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L'Shana Tova from JewishGen

Part IV - The Family Tree of the Jewish People


Just over a year ago, JewishGen announced the Online Version of the Family Tree of the Jewish People. In conjunction with IAJGS and Beth Hatefusoth, the finishing touches are being prepared for a formal agreement whereby the three organizations agree to share their data so that the information contained in the respective organizations databases will be available in multiple formats in order to benefit the worldwide Jewish community.

In January of 1999 we had about 250 trees when we realized that the engine we were using was not going to meet the growing needs of this critical database.

Michael Tobias, Warren Blatt and I put our heads together for about three weeks, and what you see today is a masterful piece of which we are very proud and one of the most sophisticated database engines online on JewishGen today.

It was hardly imaginable a few years ago... when we first began looking at some of the technology availabe to do such a thing. If you saw what we were playing with then... and what JewishGen has presented to the Jewish genealogical community... we know we have been blessed; blessed with technology; blessed with wizards; blessed with people who understand searching and databases; and blessed with volunteers, like Iris Folkson, who has single-handedly insured that the gedcom files you send to us are imported into the database promptly, cautiously and that each file is run through the paces to effect the 100 year privacy rule we have adopted. But most important there are now 754 who share the idea that this project alone has the "power" to connect and re-connect our families.

Success stories are indeed more and more commonplace... and we hope in the coming days, many of you who have not joined with this team of volunteers will decide to do so... in short order. As we have always seen a spurt of growth during the summer, JewishGen always sees another ground swell of usage during and right after the High Holy Days, when families have a chance to get together... and where they have an opportunity to share JewishGen with their family and friends.

Don't miss out on a unique opportunity... to find and be found. For those of us who have been on the receiving end, who have connected our families after nearly 50 years of separation and not even knowing of each others existence is a heartwarming tale to tell! We hope all of you have a chance to experience this.

The "power", once again is in YOUR participation.. and this project is one worthy of everyone's full participation.

In July, July 29, 1999 to be exact we put out a call and you all have been answering it day after day.

Number of trees: 613
Number of names: 766,877

By August 3, 1999

Number of trees: 648
Number of names: 803,702

Today, this September 13, 1999 the numbers are showing a commitment and a dedication of JewishGen'rs around the world...

...and there are yet more in the processing queue..

Number of trees: 754
Number of names: 926,237

Now we wonder, only wonder if we might not be able to meet that MILLION MARK by the end of this New Year season!!!

We leave this in your able hands.

Again, to the FTJP Project Team, to those who have contributed their family trees via GEDCOM to this project we offer our deepest thanks. It, too, has become a project of great proportions.

If you have profited in any way from this project, if you have had a success story, or if you merely wish to say thank you... to these volunteers and donors... to JewishGen, or to someone who has assisted your research in a special way, you can.

Visit our Special Honors and Thanks site at


L'Shana Tova

Susan E. King