Trip To Belarus - ShtetlSchleppers #belarus

David M. Fox <fox@...>

Dear Members of the Belarus SIG,

JewishGen's ShtetlSchleppers will shortly announce a genealogical
trip to Belarus. Space on this trip will be limited to 20 people. The
trip is scheduled to depart >from New York on April 15. Provisions have
been made to allow up to four days for individual and group visits to
your specific shtetl(s) of interest. If several people are interested in
going to the same shtetls, some individual expenses may be reduced.
Specific information and pricing will be forthcoming anyday >from Susan
King. I just wanted to give the members of the SIG an advanced notice so
that you will be in a position to make a committment for the trip before
all seats are filled. I have been told that part of the cost of the trip
will qualify as a tax deductable donation for US tax payers.

David Fox
Belarus SIG Coordinator


Do you have any more info on the trip to Belarus ? How long is the trip?
How much is the cost? Will I have a chance to go on another belarus
journey, at another time wihin the year?

Doris Becker Geffner
Long Island, N.Y.
E-mail address: ageffner@...

MODERATOR'S NOTE: I do not have too much more on the trip. However, the
trip is for a week, although there will be various options to extend and
go to other locations in Europe and possibly Israel. You will have to
wait till Susan King puts all the details on the ShtetlSchleppers webpage
<>. I just checked it a few
minutes ago and the information has not get been uploaded. Keep checking
this website. There will be other trips to Belarus later in the year.

Myree Mueller <myree@...>

I would very much like to order documents in advance but I'm afraid no
one has answered my very first email which is where in Vitebsk can I
start to find information on my grandmother Haia or Clara
September 1902 in Vitebsk. I'm also after further information on her
first husband she married in Vitebsk, Michael BLUSTEIN/BLAUSTEIN who she
married in 1918.

Myree Mueller
Hong Kong

MODERATOR'S NOTE: To get an idea of what records are known to be available
for different shtetls in Belarus, please see the article in the first issue
of the Belarus SIG Online Newsletter which discusses this subject. It can
be reached directly at
<> or >from the SIG
homepage->Newsletter->Existing Sources for Shtetls in Belarus. There are
some records for Vitebsk in the archives, but for limited years.

Myree Mueller <myree@...>

Will the people going be willing to look up information for others?

Myree Mueller
Hong Kong


David Fox wrote:
JewishGen's ShtetlSchleppers will shortly announce a genealogical
trip to Belarus. Space on this trip will be limited to 20 people. The
trip is scheduled to depart >from New York on April 15. Provisions have
been made to allow up to four days for individual and group visits to
your specific shtetl(s) of interest.
MODERATOR'S NOTE: Because of limited resources at the archives as well as
the limited time, it will probably be difficult for the people going to do
research for others. It is my understanding that ShtetlSchleppers is making
arrangements for those going on the trip to identify what they want looked
up so that the information is available for pick up during the trip.
I would certainly be willing to carry back documents that you order in

Myree Mueller <myree@...>


Actually I was thinking more along the lines of speaking with the
"authorities" in places visited and ask them for detailed contact
information of places which can be put into a sort of address book so
that the rest of us know exactly where to write to and to whom for what
records.... record types, addresses, phone numbers, fax... email even.

I thought it would be easier for those actually in target locations
specifically for genealogy to get the sort of information we would like
to see on the website.

I hardly expected people to research on my behalf - I agree that is

Myree Mueller
Hong Kong

MODERATOR'S NOTE: After we meet with the officials at the Belarus Historic
Archives as well as members of the Belarus Jewish community, I hope we will
be able to share all the information with the SIG on our return. One of the
new links on the Belarus SIG webpage is a list of 19 Jewish communities and
the contact person in each <>. For example,
this is what kind of information is available on that URL:

Jewish Community of Pinsk
President, Aleksander Lapidus
140-22 Parkovaya St.
Pinsk 225710, Belarus


reMyree Miller, Hong Kong request for help >from Shtetl Shleppers:
I'd like to share, by comparison, an observation >from a recent visit to Yad
I had gone there for a few days last August, to do some research, at great
expense and after some 50 yrs of trying, hoping, scraping.
Was at the Hall of not sure I have the name right...where
archives of Holocaust victims are kept. I had heard earlier that the archives
are struggling to keep up with the data entry tasks.
Some years ago I had written to Yad Vashem and offered to send them lists of
hundreds of Jews >from my home town, who had been deported and killed. In reply
I received several forms, requesting that I fill out all the information, '
please not to staple, fold or mutilate.'
Sadly, I had shrugged off that request at the time, because I don't have the
time or leisure to do this -considerable- work. Realising that this means that
these names of victims will probably go unrecorded.
While, finally, visiting Yad Vashem, I was very uptight and my own emotional
load was difficult to control.
I was taking notes, mentally recording what all I saw, trying to take a few
pictures. Observing others.
There were two elderly workers, probably volunteers, struggling with the
requests >from about 15 or 20 impatient visitors, all >from a guided bus tour,
all in a great hurry, because the tour was on a time schedule.
Every one was unhappy, everyone was disappointed, all tried to be polite, but
the emotional pitch was high.
Thinking about the Shetl Shleppers, I can imagine many similar situations.
What to do?

Charlotte Guthmann Opfermann

Charlotte is absolutely correct. It is unrealistic for the people going
on the trip to do rearch for others because of the time limitations and
the limited staff at the archives.