It is with great pride the members of the board of JRI-Poland report that our colleague
and co-founder Michael Tobias has been awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire).
Michael's accomplishments warranting this illustrious award are extensive. He has used
his skills as an actuary to build a resume of remarkable achievements over the years
starting with the launch of JRI-Poland in 1995, as a JRI-Poland board and executive
committee member, and years of volunteering for and then becoming Vice-President
Programming and Data Base Manager for JewishGen until 2019.
In 2012, Michael was the recipient of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical
Societies (IAJGS) Lifetime Achievement Award.
Following the publication of the landmark study 'Two hundred years of Scottish Jewry'
he was Principal Researcher, Michael was appointed Honorary Research Fellow -
Genealogical Studies at University of Strathclyde. See also
From 2001 to 2006, Michael was the database matching consultant for ICHEIC
(The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims – now archived
at https://icheic.ushmm.org). His work applying the matching systems he developed
eventually led to payments of $300 Million to 48,000 claimants.
Michael's vast knowledge and research know-how has also been instrumental in
several Holocaust-related research projects / reunions. In one case, first cousins
Moniek Garber of Glasgow and Moshe Porat-Perlman of Israel were reunited after
67 years in just 12 hours of research.
Michael has also been a consultant for episodes of BBC's Who Do You Think You Are'
series and is presently a vice-president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain.
All of us in the Jewish genealogical world and in the wider Jewish world on which he has
also had an impact, recognize that the award of the OBE to Michael is a reflection of both
the importance of his work and the many lives that have been changed though his
We salute Michael.
Stanley Diamond, M.S.M.
Executive Director, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc.
On behalf of the board of JRI-Poland