Welcome to Belarus SIG

The Belarus SIG has been providing primary and secondary information on this website for eighteen years. Between 1998 and 2003, when much of Belarus was closed to researchers, many members contributed articles and small databases to help jump-start the site. In the early 1990s, the Mormons microfilmed records from Belarus. Several CD projects have been translated and vital records and revision census data have been entered into the JewishGen All-Belarus Database. Search for Your Ancestors on the JewishGen All Belarus Database is one place to start. In addition, the BSIG newsletter articles by Leonid Smilovitsky, Vitaly Charny, Oleg Perzashkevich, Peter Lande, Neville Lamdan and others add rich portraits of life in Jewish Belarus. It is the hope of the current BSIG Coordinators to promote interest in future SIG projects and to translate records from the remaining LDS microfilms.

Who We Are

The Belarus SIG was formed on July 14, 1998 at the 18th Annual Seminar for Jewish Genealogy in Los Angeles, California. At the initial meeting, hosted by David Fox, twenty researchers with an interest in various towns and gubernias in Belarus decided to aid each other by forming this SIG. This group has grown over the years and currently has over 3,000 members. In 2006, leadership transitioned to co-coordinators David Feldman and Sharon Fingold. After 2006, the leadership team grew to include research coordinator Ruth Silver z’l, and database coordinator Paul Zoglin. Currently, the Belarus SIG team is lead by David Feldman and Paul Zoglin, aided by coordinators for many shtetl/towns. Our objective is to connect you to information that will further your Jewish family history research in Belarus.

Belarus SIG, November 1998
Risa Heywood (Belarus SIG webmaster), Dave Fox (Coordinator), and Oleg Perzashkevich (Minsk Researcher)

Now, in 2016, genealogical research techniques and electronic communication has changed the way we approach family history. Since 1998, electronic devices, email, Google, blogs, DNA, social media networking, webinars, wiki-trees, a plethora of free and subscription database sites have taken the place of traditional archive and library searches. Our new website aims to take advantage of these changes. Our new toolbar system is one way we make site navigation easier. Putting the most used information tabs at the top of the toolbar where you can reach them with secondary information reached from each heading fits our objective of putting you and your search front and center!

Uncovering the records of our ancestors has always been the SIG’s number one goal. BSIG volunteers are actively working on adding translations to the All-Belarus Database and in bringing you the newest in guides, aides, and search strategies.