Date   

Re: European Education #general

Judith Romney Wegner
 


I was telling a friend that another friend has traced their family back
to the 1500's. My friend told me that this was impossible because that
period of time was considered the Dark Ages and that written records were
not kept and that there was no possible way of this person or any person
going back that far in search for a Jewish family. She, being a teacher,
told me that the Jews back then did not write or read. I know that this
sounds ridiculous but I must check it out. I have searched my personal
library but unfortunately I cannot find any information on this. I really
need your help.
TIA,
Lois Friedman
The idea that Jews as a whole in 1500 were illiterate is indeed ridiculous,
as you say. As in other cultures (both then and now) some people could
read and some could not. Furthermore, if your teacher friend characterized
the 1500s as the Dark Ages, he or she is way out of line and should go
back to school on the other side of the desk! 1500 was not the Dark Ages,
even in the (then relatively backward) lands of Christendom -- and
certainly not in the lands of Islam for centuries prior to that -- a
flourishing and literate culture in which many Jews lived. The
expression "Dark Ages" is usually applied by Europeans to a much earlier
period, namely the early Middle Ages in Europe (say, between about 600-
1000 CE), and is in any case it is a very ethnocentric designation, as it
ignores the highly literate Islamic culture that flourished in those early
centuries (not to speak of others such as the Chinese).

While it is certainly true that most individuals in most cultures could not
read or write in 1500 (or for that matter even in 1800) this was probably
less true of the Jews, at least for males, many of whom were taught to read
Hebrew in order to recite lengthy daily prayers (the earliest written
Hebrew prayer book goes back to the 10th century) and the mitzvah of Torah
study. But in any case, people who were illiterate could seek the services
of scribes when they needed to record important information.

However, this much said, it is difficult (except for famous dynasties,
which among the Jews means the leading rabbinic dynasties) to trace
families back that far in almost any culture, because official record
keeping hardly existed back then, except for the church and the nobility.
One notable exception is Holland, where I have learned that general b/d/m
records do in fact go back to the 1500s.

Judith Romney Wegner


Eurocheck #general

David Gottdenker <davidg5@...>
 

After writing them, I received a notice >from the Osterriechisches
Staatsarchiv that there are assets in an account of an ancestor. To
provide details of the assets, they are requesting payment via
Eurocheck. How do I go about obtaining a Eurocheck in the U.S.?

Thanks!


Teacher and Dark Ages #general

Ma <sneezi@...>
 

Hi Lisa:

In rereading your email, I realized the teacher was a friend of a friend
so that could had been a misunderstanding. I should had been more
careful, just like your friend.

Sincerely,
Edna McDonald


help! the name Zaltzah??? #general

Lancy
 

I would bet on Zelda. I have seen many handwritings in which the
dalet is drawn like a tzaddi. I never heard the name Zaltzah. By
the way Zaltz is "salt" in Yiddish.

Lancy Spalter
Kfar Tavor, Israel

Searching: PRESSER & ZIMMERMAN - Galicia, Ukraine
SPALTER & GRUNHUT - Galicia, Poland
GUTMAN - Opatow, Poland
KANAREK - Sandomierz, Poland
GULIAK - Dubossary, Moldova

Genners,
I have a picture of an individual who I believe is a
woman - surprisingly, it is really had to determine the
gender. On the back is the name (in Yiddish) that I read
out to be Zaltzah. >from first letter to last, it is spelled:
zion, ayin, lamed, tzaddik, ayin.

The tzaddik looks exactly like "3". (If it were a daled, I
would read it as Zalda - perhaps Zelda).. But lets say it
IS a tzaddik and the name is Zaltzah....
Would anyone be able to tell me about this name


Re: help! the name Zaltzah??? #general

Judith Romney Wegner
 

I have a picture of an individual who I believe is a woman -
surprisingly, it is really had to determine the gender. On the back is the
name (in Yiddish) that I read out to be Zaltzah.
from first letter to last, it is spelled: zion, ayin, lamed, tzaddik, ayin.
The tzaddik looks exactly like "3". (If it were a daled, I would read it
as Zalda - perhaps Zelda).. But lets say it IS a tzaddik and the name is
Zaltzah...
Howie

Many people (including myself) write a dalet that looks quite similar to
the number 3 in cursive script (the script normally used in writing
Yiddish) so I don't think you should dismiss your own thought that it
might actually be Zelda after all, Unless of course, her name was Elka
Zaltzah.... (:-)

JRW


One story behind the age changes #general

papa-nana@...
 

I have seen many messages telling of Jewish women who
lowered their ages and men who increased their ages, or
vice versa. First of all, one must remember that few
Jews ever had their births and deaths recorded with
authorities, especially in Eastern Europe. The Russians
and Poles probably didn't care.

Most Jews, being Orthodox, followed the Hebrew (Jewish)
calendar. Thus, my mother would tell me that he
birthday was sometime around Purim. The year was the
year of the "great snow". Over time, her birth date
varied >from the 1st of March to the 30th of April. The
year fluctuated >from 1898 to 1901. When she died, we
had to arbitrarily pick one of the public records,
Social Security, as the "official" date.

Ages were also conveniently "moved around" to
accommodate a "shidach" (arranged marriage). If the
bride needed to be younger, so be it. Or, if the groom
needed to be younger or older, that was O.K. too. The
only thing that they had to be careful of was that the
bride and groom were not first cousins. Even this
became a problem, because people were driven
from "shtetel to shtetle" as the Czar or Cossacks went
on rampages (Pogroms), or anti-semitism became so
threatening, as in Poland, and especially Galicia, that
flight was imperative. Thus, family ties were lost, and
later it was found that indeed first cousins did marry,
albeit unknowingly. This may well explain some of the
genetic diseases common to Jews of Eastern
European "origin".

I hope this doesn't add "fuel" to the "problem". I had
intended to enlighten people on the subject.

Bernie Auerbach


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: European Education #general

Judith Romney Wegner
 


I was telling a friend that another friend has traced their family back
to the 1500's. My friend told me that this was impossible because that
period of time was considered the Dark Ages and that written records were
not kept and that there was no possible way of this person or any person
going back that far in search for a Jewish family. She, being a teacher,
told me that the Jews back then did not write or read. I know that this
sounds ridiculous but I must check it out. I have searched my personal
library but unfortunately I cannot find any information on this. I really
need your help.
TIA,
Lois Friedman
The idea that Jews as a whole in 1500 were illiterate is indeed ridiculous,
as you say. As in other cultures (both then and now) some people could
read and some could not. Furthermore, if your teacher friend characterized
the 1500s as the Dark Ages, he or she is way out of line and should go
back to school on the other side of the desk! 1500 was not the Dark Ages,
even in the (then relatively backward) lands of Christendom -- and
certainly not in the lands of Islam for centuries prior to that -- a
flourishing and literate culture in which many Jews lived. The
expression "Dark Ages" is usually applied by Europeans to a much earlier
period, namely the early Middle Ages in Europe (say, between about 600-
1000 CE), and is in any case it is a very ethnocentric designation, as it
ignores the highly literate Islamic culture that flourished in those early
centuries (not to speak of others such as the Chinese).

While it is certainly true that most individuals in most cultures could not
read or write in 1500 (or for that matter even in 1800) this was probably
less true of the Jews, at least for males, many of whom were taught to read
Hebrew in order to recite lengthy daily prayers (the earliest written
Hebrew prayer book goes back to the 10th century) and the mitzvah of Torah
study. But in any case, people who were illiterate could seek the services
of scribes when they needed to record important information.

However, this much said, it is difficult (except for famous dynasties,
which among the Jews means the leading rabbinic dynasties) to trace
families back that far in almost any culture, because official record
keeping hardly existed back then, except for the church and the nobility.
One notable exception is Holland, where I have learned that general b/d/m
records do in fact go back to the 1500s.

Judith Romney Wegner


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Eurocheck #general

David Gottdenker <davidg5@...>
 

After writing them, I received a notice >from the Osterriechisches
Staatsarchiv that there are assets in an account of an ancestor. To
provide details of the assets, they are requesting payment via
Eurocheck. How do I go about obtaining a Eurocheck in the U.S.?

Thanks!


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Teacher and Dark Ages #general

Ma <sneezi@...>
 

Hi Lisa:

In rereading your email, I realized the teacher was a friend of a friend
so that could had been a misunderstanding. I should had been more
careful, just like your friend.

Sincerely,
Edna McDonald


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen help! the name Zaltzah??? #general

Lancy
 

I would bet on Zelda. I have seen many handwritings in which the
dalet is drawn like a tzaddi. I never heard the name Zaltzah. By
the way Zaltz is "salt" in Yiddish.

Lancy Spalter
Kfar Tavor, Israel

Searching: PRESSER & ZIMMERMAN - Galicia, Ukraine
SPALTER & GRUNHUT - Galicia, Poland
GUTMAN - Opatow, Poland
KANAREK - Sandomierz, Poland
GULIAK - Dubossary, Moldova

Genners,
I have a picture of an individual who I believe is a
woman - surprisingly, it is really had to determine the
gender. On the back is the name (in Yiddish) that I read
out to be Zaltzah. >from first letter to last, it is spelled:
zion, ayin, lamed, tzaddik, ayin.

The tzaddik looks exactly like "3". (If it were a daled, I
would read it as Zalda - perhaps Zelda).. But lets say it
IS a tzaddik and the name is Zaltzah....
Would anyone be able to tell me about this name


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: help! the name Zaltzah??? #general

Judith Romney Wegner
 

I have a picture of an individual who I believe is a woman -
surprisingly, it is really had to determine the gender. On the back is the
name (in Yiddish) that I read out to be Zaltzah.
from first letter to last, it is spelled: zion, ayin, lamed, tzaddik, ayin.
The tzaddik looks exactly like "3". (If it were a daled, I would read it
as Zalda - perhaps Zelda).. But lets say it IS a tzaddik and the name is
Zaltzah...
Howie

Many people (including myself) write a dalet that looks quite similar to
the number 3 in cursive script (the script normally used in writing
Yiddish) so I don't think you should dismiss your own thought that it
might actually be Zelda after all, Unless of course, her name was Elka
Zaltzah.... (:-)

JRW


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen One story behind the age changes #general

papa-nana@...
 

I have seen many messages telling of Jewish women who
lowered their ages and men who increased their ages, or
vice versa. First of all, one must remember that few
Jews ever had their births and deaths recorded with
authorities, especially in Eastern Europe. The Russians
and Poles probably didn't care.

Most Jews, being Orthodox, followed the Hebrew (Jewish)
calendar. Thus, my mother would tell me that he
birthday was sometime around Purim. The year was the
year of the "great snow". Over time, her birth date
varied >from the 1st of March to the 30th of April. The
year fluctuated >from 1898 to 1901. When she died, we
had to arbitrarily pick one of the public records,
Social Security, as the "official" date.

Ages were also conveniently "moved around" to
accommodate a "shidach" (arranged marriage). If the
bride needed to be younger, so be it. Or, if the groom
needed to be younger or older, that was O.K. too. The
only thing that they had to be careful of was that the
bride and groom were not first cousins. Even this
became a problem, because people were driven
from "shtetel to shtetle" as the Czar or Cossacks went
on rampages (Pogroms), or anti-semitism became so
threatening, as in Poland, and especially Galicia, that
flight was imperative. Thus, family ties were lost, and
later it was found that indeed first cousins did marry,
albeit unknowingly. This may well explain some of the
genetic diseases common to Jews of Eastern
European "origin".

I hope this doesn't add "fuel" to the "problem". I had
intended to enlighten people on the subject.

Bernie Auerbach


Plashet Cemetery, London #general

Miriam Margolyes <75342.3217@...>
 

A huge Jewish cemetery in the East End of London is
Plashet Cemetery, covering families who died in
Ilford, East Ham, Whitechapel, Dulwich, etc.
Actually, I think it's technically in the county of Essex.

It's not "manned" but the details are kept by
United Synagogue Ilford Burial Society,
+44 208 518 2868.

There is also a FAX: +44 208 451 0478.

The lady I spoke to was extremely pleasant:
to get information, someone has to visit the
Cemetery: it's open M-F & Sunday: 9-4pm.

Closes an hour earlier in the Winter.

I don't know if the Index of graves is on-line, but
that would be a terrifically useful undertaking for
those of us with UK family.

Miriam MARGOLYES
Santa Monica
e-mail: 75342.3217@compuserve.com


Weissmark/Waismark Family/Argentina #general

Joelle van den Berg-Lewkowicz <joellevandenberg@...>
 

Happy New Year to all!!

Is there anyone living in the Buenos Aires, Argentina area who can help
me locate a relative?

I am trying to contact a cousin in Argentina. Her name in Hebrew is
Chana.

We think it is Juanita in Spanish. Her unmarried name was Weissmark or
Waismark. Her married name is Manosevitz. That could also be Manosewitz
or Manosevicz or another small variation of the same name. She is an
attorney-at-law and as far as we know lives in the Buenos Aires area.
Anything, an address, a phone number or email address would be helpful.

Thank you for your help.

Joelle Lewkowicz van den Berg
kring van Dorth, Netherlands

(if you find her tell her my grandmother Lea was her father Nathan's
sister)

MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately.


Workmen's Circle, Arbeter Ring #general

Lisa Dashman <ldashman@...>
 

Ruth, you could phone Workmen's Circle at 212-532-1545 (New York City)
and ask if they have records of your relatives. It will probably take
several days because, as I recall, there is only one lady who does
look-ups.

If you are out of town and would like me to phone, please contact me
privately.


Best wishes,
Lisa Dashman
ldashman@bestweb.net


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Plashet Cemetery, London #general

Miriam Margolyes <75342.3217@...>
 

A huge Jewish cemetery in the East End of London is
Plashet Cemetery, covering families who died in
Ilford, East Ham, Whitechapel, Dulwich, etc.
Actually, I think it's technically in the county of Essex.

It's not "manned" but the details are kept by
United Synagogue Ilford Burial Society,
+44 208 518 2868.

There is also a FAX: +44 208 451 0478.

The lady I spoke to was extremely pleasant:
to get information, someone has to visit the
Cemetery: it's open M-F & Sunday: 9-4pm.

Closes an hour earlier in the Winter.

I don't know if the Index of graves is on-line, but
that would be a terrifically useful undertaking for
those of us with UK family.

Miriam MARGOLYES
Santa Monica
e-mail: 75342.3217@compuserve.com


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Weissmark/Waismark Family/Argentina #general

Joelle van den Berg-Lewkowicz <joellevandenberg@...>
 

Happy New Year to all!!

Is there anyone living in the Buenos Aires, Argentina area who can help
me locate a relative?

I am trying to contact a cousin in Argentina. Her name in Hebrew is
Chana.

We think it is Juanita in Spanish. Her unmarried name was Weissmark or
Waismark. Her married name is Manosevitz. That could also be Manosewitz
or Manosevicz or another small variation of the same name. She is an
attorney-at-law and as far as we know lives in the Buenos Aires area.
Anything, an address, a phone number or email address would be helpful.

Thank you for your help.

Joelle Lewkowicz van den Berg
kring van Dorth, Netherlands

(if you find her tell her my grandmother Lea was her father Nathan's
sister)

MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately.


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Workmen's Circle, Arbeter Ring #general

Lisa Dashman <ldashman@...>
 

Ruth, you could phone Workmen's Circle at 212-532-1545 (New York City)
and ask if they have records of your relatives. It will probably take
several days because, as I recall, there is only one lady who does
look-ups.

If you are out of town and would like me to phone, please contact me
privately.


Best wishes,
Lisa Dashman
ldashman@bestweb.net


JewishGen's 2001 Odyssey - A Look Forward into the New Millennium #lithuania

sking@...
 

The numbers are in... and by the looks of it... the year 2000 has
been another banner year for JewishGen, once again, no exception.

- Over 42,000 submitters in the JGFF and over 3.3 million
searches performed in 2000
- Over 1457 submitters to the Family Tree of the Jewish People
representing nearly 2,000,000 names
- Over 32,000 messages posted to JewishGen and the SIG and
Research Group mailing lists in the year 2000
- Over 36 million hits this past year to the JewishGen site with
an additional 5 million searches executed on nearly 5 million
records all powered by JewishGen's servers
- 255 Yizkor Book Translations Online up >from 155 this time last
year for a total of 100 new translations
- 422 ShtetLinks pages (up >from 319 last year) with nearly 1193
localities spoken for

Truely, an impressive set of statistics!

One has only to look at the accomplishments of this organization
over the last year to realize what can really happen when diverse

people >from all corners of this earth--numbering in the
thousands-- come together with a common mission and purpose,
participating and sharing in what we believe is one of the
largest grass roots efforts ever undertaken to preserve our
history for future generations.

And what's in store for 2001? Here are some highlights...

Data collection and indexing:

1) Through our ongoing partnerships with Yad Vashem and the
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum there are over 55 million
records awaiting us all.

2) Through JewishGen's OWBR Project, effort is well underway to
index and record millions of burials in Jewish cemeteries
throughout the world.

3) JewishGen is busily engaged in establishing and solidifying
contacts and partnerships with other organizations, institutions,
museums and with our counterparts currently living in the Eastern
European Jewish communities.

4) JewishGen has developed a plan for our database infrastructure
(All Country, All Topic, All Holocaust) which is going to take an
effort far beyond the capabilities of our current database team's
volunteer time. This means the pressing need for both full time
professional technical staff and volunteers with technical
skills.

5) JewishGen will be continuing to pursue avenues and costs for
implementing a document management and retrieval system to link
to our award winning website.

Education:

1) JewishGen has been recognized throughout the world for the
educational value of so many of our projects, including the
Yizkor Book Translation Project, ShtetLinks, ShtetlSchleppers, to
name a few. These projects are being expanded as we speak and we
look forward to everyone's participation.

2) We are developing a host of Youth Projects to educate the
younger generation and bring them into our grass roots efforts.
You'll be hearing a lot more on this throughout the new year.

3.) JewishGen has software to offer real time Chat Rooms where we
can hold ongoing lectures and classroom instruction on a host of
topics of interest to us all.

Fundraising:

1) JewishGen is in final preparations of both a strategic plan
and fundraising outline to present to funding organizations all
over the world.

2) JewishGen has just launched the JewishGenMall and is
continuing to expand the products and resource materials
available.

3) JewishGen must increase the number of financial supporters
among the tens of thousands who use our services. We improved
this year and are now up to 2,146 contributors which is progress,
but still represents only a very tiny fraction of those who use
JewishGen daily.

We do want to thank all of you who have come forward this past
year in sharing your knowledge, your skills and your financial
resources.

To insure this is a 2001 Odyssey for all of us, we can only lay the
groundwork to achieve the project goals and to just maintain the
current level of usage. We must all begin to ask some very
serious questions of ourselves:

Where can I best get involved?

What skills can I bring to this table?

What project is most interesting to me so that I can feel a
part of this worthy effort?

How can I help, individually and through contacts, to assist
JewishGen reach the financial level it must to properly staff and
manage all these projects for me and my family, today and into
the future?

Please let us know your interests by reading and answering the
requests we will be making for volunteers in the near future.
Please share your ideas and your skills so we can find a place
for you on this team. And please, help us get a jump start into
the new millennium with a tax deductible contribution so we can
all begin to concentrate on these invaluable projects rather than
on "Imagining the World..."! <grin>

So, despite the continuing growth and despite the day to day
challenges of the year 2000, here we go! We are off into 2001,
into a new millennium...sharing all the thrills and joys of
connecting and re-connecting family...of educating and bringing
new meaning to our Jewish heritage, one we hope you will share
with us... in peace, in health and with a new prosperity.

Below you will find a message that came into JewishGen's Yizkor
Book Project which verbalizes some of the meaning of the work
everyone is doing to preserve our history for future generations.
Perhaps, after the first reading it will give us all better
insight into why JewishGen is engaged in the projects we hold so
dear to our hearts. Knowledge of our history can indeed
bridge gaps towards better understanding and mutual respect...
and these qualities are indeed a precursor for PEACE! Please take
a few moments to read it, to feel it and to look beyond the words
to perhaps a new meaning and dimension to what we are all doing
together in one of the greatest grass roots effort ever!

from all of us at JewishGen, we wish you and your families a very
happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Susan

Susan E. King
President
JewishGen, Inc.

******************************************
Dateline: Plock, Poland - December 24, 2000
To: JewishGen Yizkor Book Project

I have just read your material and decided to write a few words
to you. I am a young Pole (29) and I have been interested in the
Yedwabne tragedy for a few weeks. The very first thing I came
across about Yedwabne was a huge article published by a Polish
daily newspaper "GAZETA" in November. It was a kind of public
response after publishing a book by Gratz (I haven't read it
yet). I have to admit that the Yedwabne tragedy really shocked
me. It is extremely painful for me for two reasons. The first one
is that I can't believe that such things had happened (though I
am not doubtful at all) and the second is that almost nothing is
being done to "reconcile" the two nations. All those murders
should have been punished many years ago. I totally support your
efforts towards revealing the truth about this mass murder. I
often ask myself why it is so hard to understand, accept and
respect, why it is far easier to hate, ignore and underestimate.
I am a young man and I am trying to be as far objective as I can.
I adore Isaac B. Singer literature and I find a lot about Jewish
customs, living and history through reading his books. Nobody has ever
forced me to do that. There are a lot of young people like me and of course
many others who could be described as
anti-semitic. Hate isn't born >from itself. It is born because of
certain thoughtless actions >from some narrow-minded Poles and
Jews. I think that the truth about Yedwabne must come to light
and that light should be seen by everyone. At the same time I
would really wish Jewish communities (especially in the US) made
efforts towards reconciliation and creation of new relationships
between Poles and Jews. Opening people's minds seems still
difficult. I am writing this on Christmas Eve - one of the
greatest holidays of Christianity and I think that it might shed
a ray of hope and light on our relationships. These are just a
few words that I wanted to say. They don't bring anything
important but ...... with respect, understanding and hope for
better future

M.J.


Lithuania SIG #Lithuania JewishGen's 2001 Odyssey - A Look Forward into the New Millennium #lithuania

sking@...
 

The numbers are in... and by the looks of it... the year 2000 has
been another banner year for JewishGen, once again, no exception.

- Over 42,000 submitters in the JGFF and over 3.3 million
searches performed in 2000
- Over 1457 submitters to the Family Tree of the Jewish People
representing nearly 2,000,000 names
- Over 32,000 messages posted to JewishGen and the SIG and
Research Group mailing lists in the year 2000
- Over 36 million hits this past year to the JewishGen site with
an additional 5 million searches executed on nearly 5 million
records all powered by JewishGen's servers
- 255 Yizkor Book Translations Online up >from 155 this time last
year for a total of 100 new translations
- 422 ShtetLinks pages (up >from 319 last year) with nearly 1193
localities spoken for

Truely, an impressive set of statistics!

One has only to look at the accomplishments of this organization
over the last year to realize what can really happen when diverse

people >from all corners of this earth--numbering in the
thousands-- come together with a common mission and purpose,
participating and sharing in what we believe is one of the
largest grass roots efforts ever undertaken to preserve our
history for future generations.

And what's in store for 2001? Here are some highlights...

Data collection and indexing:

1) Through our ongoing partnerships with Yad Vashem and the
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum there are over 55 million
records awaiting us all.

2) Through JewishGen's OWBR Project, effort is well underway to
index and record millions of burials in Jewish cemeteries
throughout the world.

3) JewishGen is busily engaged in establishing and solidifying
contacts and partnerships with other organizations, institutions,
museums and with our counterparts currently living in the Eastern
European Jewish communities.

4) JewishGen has developed a plan for our database infrastructure
(All Country, All Topic, All Holocaust) which is going to take an
effort far beyond the capabilities of our current database team's
volunteer time. This means the pressing need for both full time
professional technical staff and volunteers with technical
skills.

5) JewishGen will be continuing to pursue avenues and costs for
implementing a document management and retrieval system to link
to our award winning website.

Education:

1) JewishGen has been recognized throughout the world for the
educational value of so many of our projects, including the
Yizkor Book Translation Project, ShtetLinks, ShtetlSchleppers, to
name a few. These projects are being expanded as we speak and we
look forward to everyone's participation.

2) We are developing a host of Youth Projects to educate the
younger generation and bring them into our grass roots efforts.
You'll be hearing a lot more on this throughout the new year.

3.) JewishGen has software to offer real time Chat Rooms where we
can hold ongoing lectures and classroom instruction on a host of
topics of interest to us all.

Fundraising:

1) JewishGen is in final preparations of both a strategic plan
and fundraising outline to present to funding organizations all
over the world.

2) JewishGen has just launched the JewishGenMall and is
continuing to expand the products and resource materials
available.

3) JewishGen must increase the number of financial supporters
among the tens of thousands who use our services. We improved
this year and are now up to 2,146 contributors which is progress,
but still represents only a very tiny fraction of those who use
JewishGen daily.

We do want to thank all of you who have come forward this past
year in sharing your knowledge, your skills and your financial
resources.

To insure this is a 2001 Odyssey for all of us, we can only lay the
groundwork to achieve the project goals and to just maintain the
current level of usage. We must all begin to ask some very
serious questions of ourselves:

Where can I best get involved?

What skills can I bring to this table?

What project is most interesting to me so that I can feel a
part of this worthy effort?

How can I help, individually and through contacts, to assist
JewishGen reach the financial level it must to properly staff and
manage all these projects for me and my family, today and into
the future?

Please let us know your interests by reading and answering the
requests we will be making for volunteers in the near future.
Please share your ideas and your skills so we can find a place
for you on this team. And please, help us get a jump start into
the new millennium with a tax deductible contribution so we can
all begin to concentrate on these invaluable projects rather than
on "Imagining the World..."! <grin>

So, despite the continuing growth and despite the day to day
challenges of the year 2000, here we go! We are off into 2001,
into a new millennium...sharing all the thrills and joys of
connecting and re-connecting family...of educating and bringing
new meaning to our Jewish heritage, one we hope you will share
with us... in peace, in health and with a new prosperity.

Below you will find a message that came into JewishGen's Yizkor
Book Project which verbalizes some of the meaning of the work
everyone is doing to preserve our history for future generations.
Perhaps, after the first reading it will give us all better
insight into why JewishGen is engaged in the projects we hold so
dear to our hearts. Knowledge of our history can indeed
bridge gaps towards better understanding and mutual respect...
and these qualities are indeed a precursor for PEACE! Please take
a few moments to read it, to feel it and to look beyond the words
to perhaps a new meaning and dimension to what we are all doing
together in one of the greatest grass roots effort ever!

from all of us at JewishGen, we wish you and your families a very
happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Susan

Susan E. King
President
JewishGen, Inc.

******************************************
Dateline: Plock, Poland - December 24, 2000
To: JewishGen Yizkor Book Project

I have just read your material and decided to write a few words
to you. I am a young Pole (29) and I have been interested in the
Yedwabne tragedy for a few weeks. The very first thing I came
across about Yedwabne was a huge article published by a Polish
daily newspaper "GAZETA" in November. It was a kind of public
response after publishing a book by Gratz (I haven't read it
yet). I have to admit that the Yedwabne tragedy really shocked
me. It is extremely painful for me for two reasons. The first one
is that I can't believe that such things had happened (though I
am not doubtful at all) and the second is that almost nothing is
being done to "reconcile" the two nations. All those murders
should have been punished many years ago. I totally support your
efforts towards revealing the truth about this mass murder. I
often ask myself why it is so hard to understand, accept and
respect, why it is far easier to hate, ignore and underestimate.
I am a young man and I am trying to be as far objective as I can.
I adore Isaac B. Singer literature and I find a lot about Jewish
customs, living and history through reading his books. Nobody has ever
forced me to do that. There are a lot of young people like me and of course
many others who could be described as
anti-semitic. Hate isn't born >from itself. It is born because of
certain thoughtless actions >from some narrow-minded Poles and
Jews. I think that the truth about Yedwabne must come to light
and that light should be seen by everyone. At the same time I
would really wish Jewish communities (especially in the US) made
efforts towards reconciliation and creation of new relationships
between Poles and Jews. Opening people's minds seems still
difficult. I am writing this on Christmas Eve - one of the
greatest holidays of Christianity and I think that it might shed
a ray of hope and light on our relationships. These are just a
few words that I wanted to say. They don't bring anything
important but ...... with respect, understanding and hope for
better future

M.J.