JGSLA 2010: Volunteers needed

Frequent conference attendees will tell you that an excellent way to meet new people and connect with those sharing your interests is to volunteer in various ways before or during the conference.

JGSLA 2010 has put out a public call for volunteers, via conference volunteer coordinator Lois Rosen. (See below for some important jobs that need the right person now!)

A major conference like this relies on an army of volunteers in so many areas. Some jobs can be done from home prior to the conference, others are focused on helping during the conference.

Do you have time to help before or during the conference?

During the conference, help is needed in all areas to help staff important locations, such as registration, hospitality, resource and more.

Volunteering your time adds to the success of the event, and also helps you meet new people and make new friends.

Here are just some of the possibilities:
Hospitality volunteers/Greeters
Registration volunteers
Resource Room staff
Film Festival or Screening Room staff
Tour chaperones or guides
Computer or tech support volunteers
Outreach to are synagogues
Outreach to area Jewish organizations, schools, or youth groups

and many more opportunities!

Before the conference, there are other jobs that need to be done. Frequent conference attendees who arrive early know all about bag-stuffing! But there’s much more.

Volunteers needed now:

Banquet Journal: Volunteers needed for Ad Solictor and Ad Layout.

Volunteer Scheduling Coordinator: This is a major job and carries a perk (free conference registration).

Carpenter/Artist: For the handy creative types out there: A carpenter/artist volunteer is needed to create a directional sign post for the Market Square event. This needs include arrows showing the distance to, for example, Minsk or Warsaw. Tracing the Tribe is assuming distances will be measured from Los Angeles.

There are many other jobs you can do. See the next Tracing the Tribe post which details some ways that you can help, no matter where you live.

Click here to learn all about volunteering for the JGSLA 2010 event or email volunteer coordinator Lois Rosen for more information.


Shanghai: Polish citizen registration book online

JRI-Poland now features the 918 index entries of Polish Jewish refugees who visited the Polish Consulate in Shanghai from 1934-41.

For more on the database, click here to learn more about the records and Jews in China.

In a 1992 visit to the Polish Consulate in Shanghai, Dr. Jonathan Goldstein, then a research associate at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, and three other scholars, were shown a 200-page register listing Polish citizens who passed through Shanghai between January 9, 1934 and December 16, 1941.

This register was the standard one used by Polish diplomatic missions around the world to record their citizens who called on the Consulate, whether they were visiting or residing in the country. Typically, these records enabled the missions to provide consular services, invite its citizens for celebrations of national days, or contact them for other official reasons.

The following information was recorded in the register in Polish:
Registration number
Registration date
Full name of registrant (maiden name, if provided)
His or her profession
Religion (Mojzeszowa for Jewish)
Birth date and place
Marital status
Last known address in Poland (non-existent for most Jews)
Address in the consular region
Documents submitted (usually a passport)
Name and birth date and place of wife and children
Passport expiry date

The register covers two pages; here is a sample page:

The JRI-Poland Index includes the following fields:

Registration Number
Date entered in register
Maiden Name (if provided)
Given Names
Place of Birth as Written
Place of Birth – Current Name (if different)
Current Country of Place of Birth
Date of Birth
Marital Status

In line with the the cooperative arrangement with JewishGen, which hosts JRI-Poland’s database and website, the Polish citizen database will also be included in the All Poland Database and the JewishGen Holocaust Database.

JRI-Poland has created digital images of the register pages and will send electronic copies of the relevant pages to interested researchers. Contact Mark Halpern to obtain a copy of the page for individuals in the database.

JRI-Poland volunteer Peter Nash (of Australia) has documented and shared his knowledge of Jewish research in China. He and his parents were German refugees in Shanghai. JRI-Poland has reprinted Peter’s excellent paper (presented at the New York 2006 international conference on Jewish genealogy), “China – Unusual Resources for Family Research.” Read it here.

Projects like this cannot be accomplished without the input, hard work and cooperation of numerous individuals. Mark Halpern of JRI-Poland specifically thanks Selma Neubauer (Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia) and JGSGP volunteers for creating the database.

Former Sino-Judaic Institute president Dr. Albert Dein provided copies of the Shanghai Consulate register, Peter Nash reviewed the database and the webpages, Michael Tobias for placing the database online, and Hadassah Lipsius and her web team for creating the webpages.

Necrology Database: 12,000 new entries

The JewishGen Yizkor Book Necrology Database has added more than 12,000 new entries from 27 Yizkor Books:

Byten (190 entries)
Lakhva (432)
Naliboki (190)

Skuodas (288)

Marculesti (272)

Baranow Sandomierski (161)
Bielsko-Biala (61)
Brzeziny (868)
Chorzele (248)
Czyzew-Osada (62)
Golub-Dobrzyn (43)
Kutno (510)
Lomazy (979)
Lubartow (75)
Sierpc (747)
Strzegowo (34)
Tyszowce (614)
Wieleczka (327)
Wielun (1,897)

Tasnad (32)

Berestechko (474)
Dobromil (65)
Kamyanets-Podilskyy (57)
Komarno (151)
Ozerna (392)
Tovste (702)]
Vladimirets (1,124)

Search the Necrology Database here. It indexes names of Holocaust martyrs listed in the necrologies in Yizkor books at the Yizkor Book Project. It is only a name index, and directs readers back to the Yizkor book in question, where more details may be found.

The database now has more than 215,000 entries from 241 different Yizkor Books.

Warren Blatt, JewishGen managing director, thanks such dedicated individuals as Michael Tobias, Max Heffler, Lance Ackerfeld as well as donors and translators. Yad Vashem gets special mention for contributing the necrologies to the website. Additional volunteers are sought to continue the project. Contact Warren for more information.

New York City: 1901-1907 birth index online

Thanks to the German Genealogy Group and the Italian Genealogical Group, there is now an online index to New York City births; 1901-1907 are available now, and the complete index will run from 1881-1909.

I’ve checked out my families of interest and realize I will have some work to do to sort out the FINKs and BANKs who were in New York that early.

A caveat: researchers should know that about a quarter of all pre-1910 births were not reported as many took place at home and attending doctors or midwives did not report the event to the authorities. If your ancestors are not in this index, go to census records and other supporting documents.

Volunteers, representing many ethnic and religious groups, have spent many hours compiling these indexes and others already completed (other vital and naturalization records). The amazing John Martino of the IGG is the spearhead of this volunteer army.

For more information, visit the German Genealogy Group or the Italian Genealogical Group.

Additionally, Steve Morse has already created a One-Step search tool for these records.

The birth records are on microfilm at the NYC Municipal Archives; copies made be ordered online or by mail. For more details, click here.

The microfilms of these records are always available at the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Researchers elsewhere in the US and many other countries (not in Israel) may order the films from SLC and view them at their local Family History Center branches. Search the FamilySearch.org catalog for each borough of New York City to find the microfilm reel numbers.

Wanted: Yizkor Book project needs help

The Yizkor Book Project at JewishGen needs a few good men or women.

If you’d like to get involved, this worthy project needs the following volunteers:

Editor: Necessary skills to check grammar and form of text submissions.

Transliterations Editor: Familiarity with Jewish names transliteration rules and/or is well equipped with reference books.

HTMLer: Familiarity with HTML coding.

Yizkor Book Project manager Lance Ackerfeld would like to hear from you if you have the required specialized and organizational skills, and can volunteer some time to perform these tasks.

These are volunteer positions; payment is in appreciation from the Project and Yizkor Book readers.

Tracing the Tribe readers who are interested should contact Lance.

Philly 2009: An offer you can’t refuse!

Jewish genealogy film festival coordinator Pamela Weisberger is making an offer that conference attendees should consider.

Pam is calling for volunteers to staff the film festival room throughout the conference, morning to evening.

It’s a great opportunity to see some wonderful films and meet some terrific filmmakers up close. The only requirements are knowing how to run a DVD player, turning lights off and on, adjusting sound levels.

Being organized also helps as it will be your job to switch over from one film to the next on our tight schedule, and make sure the films run on time.If you plan to go to see several films anyway, consider volunteering to be in charge for a few of them.

Pam would prefer to have volunteers work in shifts from 2-5 hours for continuity. Films will run until 10.30pm most nights.

Now for the really interesting part:

– Are you traveling with someone who is not attending the conference? If they volunteer for four hours on one day, they can attend lectures for the rest of that day for free.

– Do you have film buff friends in the Philadelphia area? The offer holds for them as well, as long as they are not JGSGP members.

– It’s a great opportunity for responsible high school/college students or seniors,. You can even work in pairs.

See the film schedule here. Many films will have speakers taking Q&A to add to the experience.

If you or someone you know is interested in helping, contact Pam for more information.

MyHeritage: An army of translators

Did you know that MyHeritage.com is available in 34 languages?

Although many staffers at the company are bilingual and a good number are multilingual, 34 languages means that others are needed. The site has an entire army of volunteer translators – more than 80 currently help with 30 languages.

Some of them work on Family Tree Builder, some translate webpages and some do both. Many of these volunteers have their own websites and also know MyHeritage very well.

Daniel Horowitz is MyHeritage’s genealogy and translation manager – his own languages include Spanish, Yiddish, Hebrew and English.

Among the volunteers’ languages – not alphabetically – are Italian, French, Portuguese, Norwegian, Finnish, Czech, Estonian, Croatian, Swedish, Slovenian, Catalan, Romanian, Dutch, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Greek, Latvian, Uzbek, German, Arabic, Polish, Slovak, Afrikaans and Albanian.

Genealogy is an international endeavor. Technological innovation, new resources and cooperation are key to reaching even more people around the world.