It Takes a Shtetl (Ukraine) #general

Chuck Weinstein <cmw521@...>

Ukraine SIG has the largest mailing list of all of the JewishGen Discussion
Groups. As of today, we have 3,357 daily readers, worldwide (or at least in
26 countries). We have over 100,000 records available to us that have yet
to be acquired and entered into the All-Ukraine database. These records,
which include Revision Lists, Vital Records, tax records, and others, await
someone who can organize a project around each set of records, and follow
through with volunteers to enter the transcriptions into an Excel
spreadsheet template we will provide.

And there's the rub. Despite the fact that we have this large list of
subscribers to our Discussion Group, we are short of people to organize
these projects. We have a system of Town Leaders. As Town Leader for your
town(s), your duties include establishing a KehilaLinks page for the town
(and yes, we do have volunteers who can handle the web skills if you can't),
set up a JewishGen fundraising project for acquisition and/or translation
of records (if necessary; we have a lot of projects which are "shovel
ready"), and find and organize volunteers to do the transcription work.
We can help by providing some volunteers, and we can arrange to have a blast
Email sent to everyone who is listed on the JGFF as researching family in
the town. It takes about 8-10 hours to build a KehilaLinks site, on the
average, provided you use the template KehilaLinks Project provides,
although you are certainly free to spend more time and develop your own site
design. If you need our volunteers to build the site, you can cut your time
in about half.

For fundraising, JewishGen handles the logistics. We will let you know the
anticipated cost of your project(s), and you will fill out a simple form to
set up a fundraising project. Then you can promote the project, both by
contacting researchers in the JGFF and through this forum and any other you
choose. Donations are tax-deductible in the United States and many other
countries. Once the funds are raised, you can request volunteers >from us,
via the JGFF, and via the Discussion Group. Total time commitment is
probably on the order of 2 - 3 hours. This is spread out over a period of
time and there is no time pressure on you.

As Towns Director for Ukraine SIG, I spend about 3-4 hours a week answering
Emails and sending information to people. I have a responsibility for 925
towns. If each person reading this can commit to a few hours a month for
one town, we can have all these records transcribed and in the JewishGen
Ukraine Database in short order. It is not a big task, nor an overwhelming
task. You don't need any special skills or experience (although they are

There is an old saying that "the way to eat an elephant is one
bite at a time". Despite the fact that we have relatively few records
available to us, as compared to Poland, or Lithuania, or others, we need to
provide future researchers, including you and your family, access to the
ones that are available. Together, we can do it.

So what to do. First, go to our home page,
Click on the dropdown box for "Alphabetical List of Towns" on the Town and
Districts tab. Find the Town Page for your town(s). If there is a Town
Leader, click on his or her name, and let them know you are interested in
helping with any projects available. You will note that for many of our
towns, we have projects available. They are listed on the Town Page. If
there is no Town Leader, drop me a note that you can commit a couple of
hours a month, or more, to help research the records for your town. We will
help you create the projects and provide a great deal of support. But it
starts with you.

Whether you are interested in becoming a Town Leader or not, if you have an
hour or two a month that you can donate to Ukraine SIG, we ask you to take
our skills survey by clicking on the link in the lower right hand corner of
every page and spending 5 minutes letting us know how you can help. Even if
you can't read Russian or Yiddish, your help and time is invaluable to us
and all those who are researching their families in Ukraine. Won't you
please consider helping?

Chuck Weinstein
Towns Director, Ukraine SIG

MODERATOR NOTE: Thanks, Chuck. One minor correction: the Ukraine SIG list
is indeed the largest SIG list, but the largest discussion group on all
of JewishGen is this list, the main JewishGen Discussion Group, with over
5500 e-mail subscribers and an unknown number of others who read the posts
in the newsgroup soc.genealogy.jewish.

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