Stolin, Belarus Yizkor Book

Project Name: Translation of Stolin, Belarus Yizkor Book

Project Leader:
Joshua Perlman

JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager: Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

This project is being initiated in order to fund the translation of the complete yizkor book Stolin: a Memorial to the Jewish Communities of Stolin and the Vicinity (edited by A. Avatichi & Y. Ben-Zakkai, Tel Aviv, 1952, 263 pages, written in Hebrew). As one of two yizkor books about the shtetl, Stolin is a lengthy description of all aspects of Jewish life in Stolin, while the other yizkor book, entitled Album of Stolin, is a collection of photographs with Hebrew and Yiddish captions. Stolin is located along the Goryn/Horyn River and is one of the oldest towns in Belarus. It is currently located near the border of Belarus and Ukraine, however at various times in its history it has also been a part of Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and the Soviet Union. One of the first written references to the area dates to 1555. Jews began to inhabit the town around 1569, when the Lublin Union made Stolin part of Poland. Around 1765, Rabbi Asher Perlov moved to Stolin and established it as the new center of the Karlin Chasidic movement. Stolin's Jewish community comprised the majority of the town's population by the end of the 19th century. In the first half of the 20th century, many of the Jews of Stolin emigrated to the U.S., Canada, and Israel, although the population in Stolin continued to grow. Significant Jewish inhabitation of Stolin ended on September 12, 1942 when the Jews of Stolin were taken into the surrounding forests of Dolin and executed.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in Stolin constitute the primary audience for the material. However, the material has the potential to be of broader appeal to scholars interested in the region or specializing in Jewish history and society.

Project Importance

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant towns, primarily in central and Eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after World War II by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, yizkor books contain narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century. The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or shot in the forests are not recorded elsewhere. Usually written in Hebrew or Yiddish, these important books are not accessible to most users, who cannot read these languages. Thus, the translation of these books into English unlocks this information to many more researchers all over the world. The JewishGen Yizkor Book Project received the award in 2002 for outstanding contribution to Jewish genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

Currently, there is little information available to the English speaking world regarding Stolin or its Jewish community. With the destruction of the Jewish community in 1942, the information in this yizkor book constitutes nearly all of its documented history. This project will result in the creation of the primary English language source of information for anyone doing research on the town and its Jewish community.

Project Description

This project is intended to result in the translation, from Hebrew into English, of the complete Stolin yizkor book. The resulting translation will be posted on the Yizkor Book Translations site along with a transliteration of the necrology list. To complete the translation, JewishGen will hire a professional translator. The Project Coordinators will select the order in which to translate the chapters and will work closely with the translator to ensure a grammatically correct and idiomatic translation. Specific tasks the Project Coordinators will perform include proofreading, editing, and preparing the work for submission to the Yizkor Book Project.

Estimated Cost: $8,000


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Updated 24 Jul 2009 by LA