report from SIG meeting #romania


Here is a summary of the RomSig meeting held at the IAJGS conference this
summer. There was a very nice turnout of
approximately 35 people. I want to thank Daniel Horowitz who led the
meeting and arranged for me to Skype in to the
meeting. A special thanks also goes to Monica Talmor for taking notes.

People introduced themselves, their interests and towns. Via Skype,
Barbara welcomed everyone, and described the records that the group has
available to transcribe and process for upload to Jewishgen. I must say
that the internet connection was not the best, and many times the image
froze and the audio was very poor quality. Nevertheless, I think most
everything came across ok.

Barbara's goal when agreeing to be Research Coordinator for RomSig was to
be sure that we preserved any records obtained and any work done already
by volunteers since the unanticipated passing of Bob Wascou. It took two
years, but with the help of Bob's son Danny we have accomplished that.

Since some people get confused by SIGs and their relationship to
JewishGen, Barbara went on to explain that RomSig is sponsored by and part
of JewishGen. It is not an independent organization. Any records that our
group processes become part of the JewishGen collection. For the
future, Barbara explained that Rosanne Leeson really wants to retire from
her position as SIG Coordinator, but will not do so until she is sure
that there is new leadership.

There is a need for a successor team, to work with the Coordinator. Barbara
emphasized the need for an advisory group to determine priorities and
recommendations about what projects to take on. The group would consider
other tactics, such as a liaison with Romanian government agencies and
archives, the local Jewish communities, and other tasks. She brought up
other discussion points, such as whether we want to only index
the images we have or publish complete information and whether people who
want complete records could donate to Jewishgen and receive a photo of the
record. These are examples; there is much more possible.

Please contact Barbara if you are interested in finding out more about a
leadership team or leadership of any projects.

A Website Designer is urgently needed. Danny Lesser, in Australia, has
been the website manager for a number of years. He has made clear that he
is not a designer. In order to make changes to the appearance and content
of the website we need a designer to work with him and, it would be nice
to have another co-webmaster or someone to assist him as well.

She also invited suggestions for Romanian-themed speakers suitable for
next year's Conference that will be held in Warsaw.

Daniel provided information about a private tour being organized to follow
the conference in 2018. Daniel explained the idea of crowd sourcing for
record transcription using the CSI system website (
and the fact that one does not really need to know Romanian to do it. If
you have been waiting to volunteer, that is a quick way you can get started.
Please contact Barbara if you want more information about that. It is also a
great management tool for distributing and tracking the status of each record.
All record transcriptions will be proofread before uploading to JewishGen.
Native Romanian speakers would be excellent for that role.

There was a suggestion >from the audience for individual members to donate
the records they have that have been translated or transcribed to
JewishGen to make them available to other people. Daniel informed us that
Marcel Glaskie >from Israel is working on an independent, non-Jewishgen,
project of Bacau records. There are no discussions between Jewishgen and him
as yet about donating his records to Jewishgen for the Romanian database, as
he has not responded to our offer. If people are considering their own projects
there are certain advantages in working through JewishGen >from the onset.
We have noted some confusion by members of the SIG who don't know whether
they are donating to JewishGen or paying an individual. For US taxpayers,
if the donation is made through JewishGen, for a Jewishgen project,it is
eligible as a charitable donation for tax purposes. If money is sent to an
individual, it is not. The database can be enhanced through private donations
of records and contributions to the SIG through the JewishGen website.

A couple of people mentioned that they are administrators of Kehilalinks
for several towns, but I did not write down who and what towns. There is a
list of them on JewishGen.

Our researcher/photographer >from Iasi is continuing to send record images
to us as a result of the $3000 >from IAJGS Stedman grant in 2016. Also
during the past year we have purchased records >from Bucharest.

By the end of the meeting Jay Sage, a longtime member of JGS of Greater
Boston volunteered to be the web designer and web master. There was
enthusiastic applause.

I apologize to those who have tried to volunteer in the last year. I
would love some of you to offer to help in responding to emails and
getting other volunteers set up. Some of you have been working on
transcriptions and helping organize what we have.

Others have asked how they can help if transcribing records isn't for
them. You are asked to contact me again as I've developed some new ideas
for that. Please contact Barbara again with offers to work with RomSIG in
any way or to offer comments. We hope to send periodic posts to this list
to keep you all better informed about what is happening. The only barrier
now to getting records posted to Jewishgen is needed help >from you!

Thank you.

Barbara Hershey
Research Coordinator, RomSig

Join to automatically receive all group messages.