Margalit Ashira Ir
Dear fellow researchers:
More than three years ago we embarked on a project to extract and
create a database of the Jewish entries in the huge collection of Lodz
Registration Cards >from 1916 to 1921.
Like any large initiative, it was difficult to initially grasp the
depth of this project and the time it might take to complete. But we
soon learned that there are more than 262 thousand cards to be
reviewed and, of course, knew that a large percentage would be for
Jewish families. It was clear that to carry out this project would
require many years of engaging with and retaining volunteers.
We soon were able to assemble what turned out to be a dedicated team
of our fellow genealogists who took this project to heart. They
realized that the information in these cards would open vital research
opportunities with the potential for dramatic breakthroughs.
Our volunteers reviewed each card to identify the Jewish families and
then extract the key genealogical information - surnames, given names,
parents=E2=80=99 names, towns of birth, birth date, occupation, marital
status, date of arrival in Lodz, and in some cases, dates of death.
While we had a core group who drove the project forward, along the way
we were joined by dozens of other volunteers doing their share. It
was truly an international group representing the U.S. Israel, Canada,
Spain, France, Belgium, Russia and Argentina. We also had a
Kenya-based company, Digital Divide, volunteer the time of one of
their expert employees.
Some volunteers were with us >from beginning to end, others offered
their help in between business hours, care giving or simply involved
in their families=E2=80=99 day-to-day lives. Each day I could visualize th=
activity on this project, the hours at their computers, diligently
reading through and documenting the names of our Jewish brethren.
Their devotion was a heartwarming example of the power of a united
force carrying out a unique mission. In this case ensuring that all
Jewish names in this collection became new stars in the heavens, their
memory forever ingrained on the web for future generations of their
families to find and treasure.
In fact, I have heard >from countless researchers who have found family
members, often learning about cousins and even entire branches they
never knew existed.
I would also like to extend a special and heartfelt thanks to
JRI-Poland super volunteer Howard Fink who has played such a vital
role in processing the data and preparing it to be uploaded to the
The Lodz Registration Card Project is now complete and the data is
online. Along the way, we reviewed 262,000 cards and identified more
than 230,000 Jewish individuals. They are now forever part of the
database of Jewish Records of Poland, available for all to find.
As the leader of the Lodz Registration Card 1916-1921 Extraction
Project, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to bring this
mission to fruition and once again express my heartfelt thanks to the
volunteers who made this long journey a success. Yasher Koach to each
and every one of the volunteers.
Margalit Ashira Ir
Lodz Registration Card Project Leader