JRI Poland #Poland Thanks to the Bialystok Shtetl Co-op #poland


My mother was born in Bialystok, but, (I'm sure you have heard this before) I
never asked her about her grandparents and other relatives before she passed
away. Since hers was the first generation to emigrate, I needed the LDS films
to help me trace my ancestry. To my great surprise, I easily found in the JRI-
Poland database dozens of records of people that are most likely my ancestors
and many new names to research. However, there are still gaps that remain to
connect these ancestors to me. The shtetl co-op has so much more that it can

I volunteer to help with the data entry. But that is only one small way I can
and will participate. The most important contributions are by the dedicated
leadership of the Shtetl Co-op and the transliterators who have made the
researcher's task much less tedious and painful. However, there remain many
Bialystok films to be transliterated >from the Russian and the transliteration
of Cyrillic documents has a cost. They cannot be done without the monetary
support of all the researchers who are the beneficiaries. Therefore, I have
just written a check to JRI-Poland specifically directed to the Bialystok
Shtetl Co-op. And I challenge all other Bialystok researchers to do the same.

Sonia Hoffman, in her recent JewishGen post, pointed out that the Bialystok
records include references to families living in shtetls for miles around
(often those places for which there are no other sources of records). So now,
I should say "I challenge all other Bialystok and _vicinity_ researchers to do
the same!"

Additionally, for all you Americans, it was announced at the Los Angeles
Seminar that JRI-Poland has applied for tax exempt status, which, when
granted, will make your contribution tax deductible. In addition, if you work
for a philanthropic company, this contribution may qualify for Matching Gifts
status if your company has such a program. Find out how to contribute at

Mark Halpern
Hermosa Beach, CA

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