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Translation of the
Voronova, Belarus Yizkor Book

(Voronova, Belarus)


Project Leader: Adam Cherson
JewishGen Liason/Advisor: Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

This project is being initiated in order to fund the translation of Voronovo: Memorial Book to the Martyrs of Voronovo (Voronova; sefer zikaron le-kedoshei Voronova she-nispu be-shoat ha-natsim), H. Rabin, Ed., Israel, 1971, 392 pages, (written in Hebrew). This book is the Yizkor volume for the town of Voranava, Belarus, known also as Voronovo, Woronow, Voronova, Varanavas, Voronove, etc. Voranava, Belarus is located about 92 miles West of Minsk. This book was published in Israel by the Voronovo Societies of Israel and the United States and contains some history, memoirs, stories of community and political life, the Holocaust, personal anecdotes, and records of landsmen in other countries. There are also various photographs and maps appearing in the book. To my knowledge, except for the 'List of Martyrs' on p. 385, the book has not yet been translated into the English language.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in Voronova 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, or both, these are not accessible to a wider audience. 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 Outstanding Project/Resource Program award in 2016 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 Voronova or its Jewish community. With the destruction of the Jewish community, 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

As funds become available, Yiddish pages will be translated into English by a professional translator. The project coordinator will review the translation and work closely with the translators.

Estimated Cost

Translation: $5,000; Manuscript Editing and Preparation: $1000


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