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Message from the Director
JewishGen Resources to Celebrate Israel's 71st Birthday

May 9, 2019 - 4 Iyar, 5779

Dear JewishGen Community,

Among the many virtues of placing family history information online, is coming across items of historical value. In honor of Yom Ha'Atzmaut, and the 71st birthday of the State of Israel, here is the birth record of Theodore HERZL, born in Budapest on May 2, 1860, to Jacob HERZL and Jeanette DIAMANT. It was come across by the late Sam Schleman, z'l, as part of his work coordinating the JewishGen Hungarian Vital Records project (which currently contains more than 700k records).

As we celebrate Israel's birthday, please take some time to explore some of the incredible Israel-related content on JewishGen. For example:

In addition to records and information, here are some links to Israel-related articles contained in various Yizkor Books that JewishGen has translated. They contain perspectives and first-hand accounts of the dreams, yearnings, desires, and hardships that people experienced to reach the land of Israel.

  • Plonsk, Poland: My Youth in Plonsk: This article was written by David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, and describes, in great detail, his desire to embrace the Hebrew language, and to live in Israel from a young age.
  • Khorostkiv, Ukraine: Rabbi Mesholem Rath, the second to last Rabbi from Khorstkiv, and his position on Yom Ha'Atzmaut: In this article by Shalom Klinger, he writes of a visit to Israel and meeting with other "countrymen" from his youth who persuaded him to document his memories of growing up and living in Khorostkiv. Among many things, he describes the perspectives of Rabbi Mesholem Rath (the Rabbi of Khorostkiv for 30 years) with regards to the religious significance of establishing the State of Israel.
  • Roktyne, Ukraine: I Made Aliyah on the Eve of the Holocaust (scroll down to p. 195): Anyone who has read the Leon Uris book “Exodus” or seen the movie will recognize this story written by Sarah Yasmin (Schwartzblat), a former resident of Roktyne. Sarah writes of the squalid conditions of the decrepit ships, the fears of people who knew the chances to reach 'Eretz Yisroel' "were dim” and the British efforts to turn away refugees.
  • Bender, Moldova: In the days of the Second Aliyah: This article was written by Rivka Machneimythe, the daughter of Baruch Holodenko (a well-known educator, and delegate to the Zionist Congress), who made Aliyah at the age of 17, and against the wishes of her father.
  • Divenishok, Lithuania: From Divenishok to Eretz-Israel (scroll down to page 119): A small article by Khenye Harari, from which one can almost feel the joy and anticipation the author felt as she approached Israel.

As always, we offer all of JewishGen's resources at no charge, and remain grateful for your support of JewishGen's important work. If you are in a position to do so, please make a financial contribution online by clicking here.

Wishing you all the best,

Avraham Groll


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