Dear JewishGen Community,
The JewishGen Yizkor Book Team has been very active in the past month. Here are some highlights of what we have accomplished and are continuing to work on:
Addition to the Yizkor Book Homepage
The homepage of the JewishGen Yizkor Book website has now been updated to display our list of active projects. To view all ongoing Yizkor Book translation projects click here. If there is any information that needs updating, please email me directly to let me know (see bottom of this update for my email).
Summary of Recent Progress for January 2020
● In January, we translated 543 pages – all of which are freely available online via the JewishGen website.
● Yocheved Klausner has been awarded the IAJGS Salute! Award for her “significant and continuing contributions to JewishGen’s Yizkor Book Project and her other volunteering efforts for IGRA.” To read more click here.
● We published 6 Yizkor Books in January. These are books which were recently translated into English online and are now available in hard copy – Available for purchase on Amazon.com. A full list of published books can be found on the YBIP homepage.
Yizkor Book Translation Project(s) Completed in January 2020
● Czestochowa Vol. 1 – Completed on 1/15/2020
● Trakai, Lithuania – Completed on 1/10/2020
New Translation Project(s) Started in January 2020
Yizkor Books Now Available in Hard Copy
JewishGen is pleased to announce the release of fully translated Yizkor Books now available in hard copy. To view a list of all the books available in hard copy, please click here. The list of books published in January 2020, includes:
● Memorial Book of Kobylnik (Narach) – Learn more
● Jews of Czestochowa, Poland – Learn more
● Miechov Memorial Book, Charsznica and Ksiaz – Learn more
● Wyszków Memorial Book – Learn more
● Smorgonie (Smarhon), District Vilna; Memorial Book and Testimony – Learn more
● Memorial Book of the Jewish Community of Turobin, Poland – Learn more
Upcoming Yizkor Books to be Published:
● Memorial Book of Belchatow, Poland
● Memorial book of Tluste, Ukraine
● Wierzbnik-Starachowitz, Poland; a Memorial Book
● Sventzian, (will likely be published in two volumes)
● Sokoly, Poland, Deliverance; The Diary of Michael Maik
New Listing added to Yizkor Books In Print Webpage
This book, though not published by JewishGen, was added to the YBIP page:
● Lotty’s Bench,The Persecution of the Jews of Amsterdam Remembered – Learn more
(Book containing Holocaust sites in Amsterdam, highly recommended for anyone traveling to Amsterdam. Several selections are online)
In this month’s update we wish to recognize the tireless efforts of the JewishGen Yizkor Book In Print Team (YBIP) and tell you a bit about their many achievements.
Yizkor (memorial) books had originally been written in Yiddish and Hebrew by Holocaust survivors and former residents of these towns in the 1950’s and 1960’s. This unique body of literature had not been available to the English reading public until JewishGen began translating these 2000 or so books, and making them available for free on their website. In the last 8 years, a total of 91 of the fully translated books have been published in hard-cover book form by the YBIP Team through a dedicated group of volunteers. Many more books are in the works to be published as well. The books are available for purchase online and a listing of the books can be found by clicking here.
The team was organized in 2011 by Joel Alpert who continues to run the daily operations. Since getting involved, Joel has helped publish 91 books, sold over 8300 copies online and donated hundreds of books to libraries and museums. They have recently begun to expand their scope and include memoirs and other Shoah related material. You can take a look at the YBIP webpage to see all the books and the kinds of books that are offered by clicking here.
There are over 20 dedicated volunteers that help bring a book to print. The team is made up of graphic designers, editors, web designers, and more. The average book takes between 2 to 6 months to prepare for publication and the team is always hard at work on all the day-to-day tasks. They are very dedicated to their team mission which, in the words of the Lead Coordinator, Joel Alpert, their mission is to “Bring the “hidden” history of the Eastern European destroyed communities to English readers in book form.”
They are certainly accomplishing their mission and are continuing to do so with new books each month. We recognize their diligent activities and look forward to seeing the amazing work that the team continues to produce!
Notice about Indices in the Yizkor Books In Print publications.
Until the past year, Yizkor Books were not published with indices (which help readers easily search for their family names). We initiated a project under the leadership of Susan Rosin and her team to go back and index as many of the already published books as possible.
Thus far, we have taken two steps:
Please be aware that some of the original Yizkor books in Hebrew and Yiddish had indices, which are reproduced in our translations. These indices refer to the page numbers of the original books, not the new pagination of the translations.
— Joel Alpert, Coordinator of the Yizkor Books In Print Team.
We are expanding the Yizkor Book Team!!
We are working on many upcoming projects. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering for the Yizkor Book Project, please see the information below:
Perhaps your skills can be of assistance?
● We need volunteers with lots of skills!! Are you interested in being a translator for Yizkor books? Do you have a background in coding or web development? If you would like to dedicate your time and skills please apply to volunteer by following this link:
● If you are interested in being a Project Coordinator, please see this “Getting Started Guide” which should start you on the journey.
● To support an ongoing project, click here.
If there are any mistakes in this newsletter, please feel free to reach out so I can correct the information appropriately as soon as possible.
All the best,
Yizkor Book Manager
Edmond J. Safra Plaza | 36 Battery Place | New York, NY | 10280
646.494.5972 | blewis@jewishGen.org
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