Dear Litvak SIG Members and interested Litvaks,
I want to thank all of those who congratulated me and the new board members
for being elected to the Litvak SIG Board. All of us realize the importance
of the duties and responsibilities placed upon us and, speaking for myself
as well as for the other board members, we are ready to accept the
In some respects, the road ahead will not be an easy one. Some aspects of
the past must be forgotten, and ruffled feathers must be smoothed. With
everyone's cooperation I am sure this can be accomplished to the benefit
of all. We cannot change the past but we certainly can influence the
future and make it a bigger and brighter one.
The election was held on Monday, late afternoon, on August 14. The next
day, the new Litvak SIG Board met and had its first official board meeting.
I am very pleased to report that it was a very productive meeting. Everyone
was on the same page, a cooperative spirit prevailed, and it bodes well
for the future.
In my "campaigning" before the election, I promised to make the Litvak SIG
as transparent, and as member-friendly, as possible. As soon as I, and the
other board members, have a chance to catch our breath, you will start to
see evidence of that transparency. Merle Kastner, the SIG Secretary, will
produce her notes taken at the initial board meeting of the new board and,
as soon as they have been approved for accuracy by the other board members,
the minutes of the board meeting will be displayed on the SIG Digest.
I am not prepared to go into all of the details at this time but I do want
to report that the confusion that may have existed in the past, involving
the vital records projects, will be cleared up for the benefit of all.
Joel Ratner will concentrate on the Vilna Gubernia vital records and Aaron
Roetenberg will concentrate on the Kaunas Gubernia vital records. There
will be no duplication involved and no competing for the same financial
donations as different districts will be involved. At some point in the
future, all of the vital records will appear in the ALD as well as on
JewishGen. Some preliminary work has to be done prior to this happening
but it will be done. Your patience until the fine details are worked out
will be appreciated.
Over the years, I know many good Litvaks sort of "dropped out" and ceased
paying their $36 annual dues to the Litvak SIG. The new board hopes, by
their actions and accomplishments, to show that you will receive benefits
from being a dues-paying member. If you want to wait until you seeevidence of that, fine. If you would like to show your support for the
commitment the board members have made by being elected to the new board,
then a remittance of your $36 dues now would be appreciated. Please follow
the payment instructions as shown on the SIG website. The SIG year is on
a Calendar year basis - January 1st through December 31st.
President, Litvak SIG