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.