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 12/25/2020  Ukraine Research Division Year-End 2020 Update

Ukraine Research Division Year-End 2020 Update

Please support the work of the Ukraine Research Division. Go to: https://www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen-erosity/v_projectslist.asp?project_cat=22
Scroll down to the project that is 7th from the bottom:
Ukraine Documents Acquisition and Translation Project
We so much appreciate donations of any amount.


New Ukraine Records

The Ukraine Research Division has literally gone from zero to a thousand over the past year – in terms of available genealogical records. Thanks to our many volunteers and to Alex Krakovsky in Ukraine, we now have available thousands of records at no cost to us.

Still, the bottleneck is translation or transcription. We have a number of people working on streamlining the process, but even that takes time and funds. And we continue to pay professional translators.

New Focus in 2020

We have broadened our focus to translate entire documents which may include multiple towns, rather than just a single town from a larger record for a particular geographical area. We were concerned that a large part of a record for an entire area covering several towns would be ignored if a project manager or town leader had only the target town’s data translated. We believe that our group and JewishGen, as a community, has an obligation to make records available for researchers of other towns in our areas. Also, you might just find that your ancestors moved to a nearby town for which you would like the data.

New Translations on JewishGen

In 2020, we have submitted translations of multiple revision lists and metrical data to JewishGen covering towns including: Bar, Belaya Tserkov, Blystavytsya, Borki, Borodyanskaya, Borzna, Chernigov, Ezershina, Fastov, Gostomel, Hutor Gorianka, Hutor Gorbovaya, Hutor Paraskoten, Hutor Potok, Hutor Zhukov, Kamenets-Podolsky, Khmelnaya, Kiev plus many small towns near Kiev, Kisilevka, Korostyshev, Kozintzy, Krasnoe, Kuna, Litin, Lyutezh, Maidanovka, Mglin, Mikhailovka, Mikulichi, Mirotzka, Mogilev-Podolsky, Mostishy, Oster, Ozera, Pylypovychi, Rokitno, Rovno, Rubezhivka, Shargorod, Shpikov, Shpola, Smiela, Snitkov, Staraya Babinskaya Buda, Starye Petrovtzy, Starokonstantinov, Tripolye, Valki, Vyshgorod, Yablonka, as well as Ellis Island arrival records for Zolotonosha and Derazhnya.

If you haven’t checked the JewishGen website recently for your family information, you may want to look again – and regularly. New information appears constantly!

Town Leader Survey

We re-sent a multiple choice and fill-in survey to town leaders who did not respond to the one sent previously, in order to assess the status of their participation, projects, and needs. We received a total of 76 responses (covering about 80 towns) from mostly enthusiastic town leaders, and are now processing the results to improve communication and project information.

Alex Krakovsky Ukraine Records Project

Gary Pokrassa, Joel Spector, and their growing team continue to upload for preservation and translation records posted by Alex Krakovsky. There are hundreds of thousands of pages uploaded!

Cemetery Indexing Projects

Additions to the JOWBR site in 2020 were: Sumy in Poltava; Kremenets, Shepetivka, Slavuta and Vishnivets (new and old cemeteries) in Volhynia; Chernivtsi in Bucovina; Nizhyn in Chernigov; Mogilev-Podolsky and Yampil (new and old cemeteries) in Podolia; Ostrog in Rivne.

Nolan Altman continues to do a wonderful job as Director of JOWBR. He is very helpful to those beginning cemetery projects. For Ukraine JOWBR now includes 364 cemeteries, 129472 burials, and 80709 photos. If you know of ongoing cemetery projects, please contact me.

Yizkor Book Projects

Too many new projects to mention! Check the JewishGen website to see the progress in 2020. Welcome back, Lance Ackerfeld as Director.

Plans for 2021

A. Additional translations and transcriptions;
B. New methods of translation / transcription; and
C. Organizing town leaders to begin and continue translation projects.

Last, and not least, I want to thank all of you who have been so supportive and responsive to the needs of Ukraine work. Special thanks to all of the project managers and town leaders, who shepherd the work from raw data to translated spreadsheet, proofread, and send it for uploading. To those who manage cemetery and Yizkor Book projects. To all of you who find the time in their busy lives to pitch in and help out when and where needed.
Best for the new year,
Phyllis Gold Berenson
Director of Research for Ukraine

 01/02/2020  2019 Year-End Update

This is actually a 5-month report, as I have only been in this position since August.  Much of my time has been spent in learning how various aspects of the group operate.  But all in all, I think we have accomplished a great deal in just the last five months of 2019.
   A. We have submitted translations of revision lists and metrical data to JewishGen for the following towns: Belaya Tserkov, Chernigov, Fastov, Litin, Mogilev-Podolsky, Rokitno, Rovno, Shargorod, Smiela, Starokonstantinov, Zhitomir 
  B.  We sent a multiple choice and fill-in survey to all town leaders to assess the status of their participation, projects, and needs.  We received 68 responses (covering about 80 towns) and are processing the results to improve communication and project information.
   C.  Gary Pokrassa and his growing team continue to upload for preservation and translation records posted by Alex Krakovsky.  To date there are over 500,000 pages uploaded!
   D.  Two cemetery indexing projects are in process:  Slavuta and Mogilev-Podolsky.  We hope to submit the data to JOWBR in the first part of 2020. If you know of others, please contact me.
 Last, but not least, I want to thank all of you who have been so supportive and responsive to the needs of Ukraine work.  Special thanks to Gary Pokrassa, Stefani Elkort Twyford, and Chuck Weinstein who find the time in their busy lives to pitch in and help out when and where needed.
   Best for the new year,
Phyllis Gold Berenson
Director of Research for Ukraine

 12/13/2019  Ukraine Records – Scanning by Alex Krakovsky and preservation by JewishGen

Alex Krakovsky, a Jewish Ukrainian, is using freedom of information laws and the court system in Ukraine to force archives to allow him to scan their records, as was never before permitted. He then posts them online to a wiki page, yielding a massive amount of raw data for the Ukraine researcher. Alex uses high resolution scanning equipment to scan virtually all records in an archive, posting to a wiki just for Jewish records. He has spent a great deal of time and his own money doing this important work and constantly battling a very difficult government system. He has also received funds donated for purchase of state-of-the-art scanners, which are now in use in most Ukraine archives.

You can access his main wiki page at this URL (use Google Chrome to translate - it is all in Ukrainian).

The Ukraine Research Group, under a team headed by Gary Pokrassa, our Data Acquisition Director, is working to capture and preserve the scanned files on the JewishGen server, which includes Index files for several larger cities including Kiev and Zhitomir, as well as multiple un-indexed records.

At present we have over 285,000 pages of documents already loaded on our server, but we have less than half of what Alex has already published and he uploads new files every day. We are working hard to catch up to him. These are massive files which should exceed 1TB of information.

We have several transcription projects underway. We have selected Kamenets-Podolskiy for a pilot project using metric records from 1875-1888 as posted by Alex Krakovsky, to work with these files using innovative methodology which we hope will be a prototype for future translation projects by just creating our own indexes. Since the information in index files are very simple, just listing the surname, given name, year and record number, we are going to use a team of people who are fluent in Russian to transcribe (not translate) the names and other information in Cyrillic into a printed spreadsheet and then use the facility on the SteveMorse.org site to transliterate the names.

This opens up an entire pool of volunteers not previously utilized and will rapidly be able to generate online searchable index records. The main concern of a researcher is to first find the names and desired records. Once published, this data will allow a researcher to quickly identify and locate a record of interest; then the actual record can be found on the wiki and can then be translated using ViewMate or other means. This pilot program is under the direction of Joel Spector and Gary Pokrassa.

We are deeply grateful to Alex Krakovsky for his work and his underlying belief that all archived records should be available and free to the public. We believe the data he captures and this methodology will be a game-changer for Ukraine research, and will enhance the researcher’s ability to identify and locate records of interest.

 10/13/2019  Translation of Records

Over 1,800 books of records from Ukraine, mostly metrical records, but including synagogue records, community records, etc., mostly from Kiev guberniya, but also from other areas of Ukraine and Bessarabia, have been posted on Alex Krakovsky's Ukraine wiki page. These books are estimated to comprise over 500,000 individual records and the number is growing rapidly. We need translators to transcribe these records into an Excel template so we can put indexes into the JewishGen Ukraine database. Please contact me at Chuck1@outlook.com if you think you can help. The scans are in pdf form and are generally very good quality.

Chuck Weinstein
Towns Director, Jewishgen.org Ukraine Reasearch Division

 02/13/2019  Ukraine SIG document acquisition update

Dear friends,
Thanks to the efforts of Jeff Briskman and Michael Gerver, we have been
able to download almost 1500 files from the website on which Alex
Krakovsky has been putting his pdf scans. The records are from:

Berdichev, Chigirin, Colony - Farm, Dubno, Kanev, Kiev, Kremenchug,
Mukachevo, Odessa, Odessa & Herson, Podolia, Priluki, Radomyshel,
Ruzhin, Skvira, Tarascha & Lipovets, Uman, Vinnitsa, Wolynia, Yampol,
Zhitomir Archive, Zvenigorodka & Cherkassy

We still need to catalog the individual files. We know that many of the
documents we already have, but it was easier to download everything and
then process. After we've added the names of the files to a spreadsheet
and compare with our catalog of files we already have, the names of
those newly acquired will be added to the projects list for the
appropriate towns. Town leaders will be alerted so that the documents
can be added to projects already underway or new projects can be
started. It's taken several months to get all these records and may
take several more before they are cataloged.

Please, don't ask me questions about this data. I can't answer anything
more than I've just done.

Dr. Janette Silverman
JewishGen Ukraine-SIG Coordinator

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