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L'Shana Tova from JewishGen

Part II - ShtetLinks


As we are poised to enter the High Holy Days...the time we traditionally ponder and reflect on where we've been this past year..what we've done and how we surely plan to do it better next year... it might well be appropriate for us to look over what JewishGen has accomplished.

You've heard the general reports of exponential growth, explosive numbers in usage but should we not take the time to look at some of the individual projects and programs of which you are justly proud?

ShtetLinks is in the spotlight tonight...<grin>

In 1997 ShtetLinks boasted 64 localities on line, then, thanks to Mark Heckman's JewishGen College course in Creating a Web Page, ShtetLinks grew beyond our wildest imaginations. Under the leadership of project manager Chuck Weinstein of San Mateo, CA; technical coordinator and webmaster John Berman of London, UK; Mark's ambitious students and a team of six volunteer site checkers (Joel Alpert, Jim Borman, Andy Cassel, Rachel Rein, Jim Stein and John Berman)located all over the world, ShtetLinks has developed as a truly international undertaking. We now have 247 ShtetLinks pages, representing 24 countries on 5 continents listed, with 181 of these on JewishGen's servers, contributed by people from 11 countries, ranging from Denmark to Israel.

Although many of these sites are works in progress, the interest that has been expressed has been tremendous. While many pages are outstanding in design and presentation, according to the team behind the scenes, their vote for the prime highlight so far in 1999 has to be the Lodz pages, put together by Shirley Flaum and an extremely dedicated group of volunteers. Lodz is probably the prototype for all ShtetLinks pages.The Lodz team succeeded in painting a marvelous picture of the lives of Jews in Lodz from the 17th century to today, withspecial emphasis on the interwar and WWII years, when Jewish Lodz reached its apogee, only to be almost completely destroyed overa 4 year period. With photographs, stories, and a wide variety of sources, it is one of the best of the year to this point.

ShtetLinks grows daily and continues to solicit sites from all over the world. We are planning some new projects that should have special appeal to Sephardim and Mizrachim in particular. Look for announcements of new initiatives to these communities within the next couple of months. JewishGen's ShtetLinks is still the place to be if you wish to commemorate your ancestral village or kahal.

We welcome your participation and one can only dream to what heights ShtetLinks will reach in the coming year. If you have a site in mind, best to reserve it now by contacting project manager Chuck Weinstein at cweinstein@jewishgen.org

Again, if you feel so inspired, a donation to JewishGen in honor of any or all of the ShtetLinks team and participants can be made through our new JewishGen-erosity page designed for just this purpose....


So, to all who have contributed to and participated in the growth of this JewishGen project...


...we can only say well done folks, very well done indeed!

L'Shana Tova

Susan E. King