Important genealogical information in old Jewish newspapers #belarus #russia

Shlomo Gurevich

Important genealogical information can be found in old Jewish newspapers published in Russia in the end of 19th – and beginning of 20th century in Hebrew, Yiddish and Russian, which are available on-line at the website of National Library of Israel recently updated at

There are lists of donations for poor, victims of fire, pogroms, and, especially, for Eretz Israel, collected by the representatives of the “Society for support of Jewish farmers and artisans in Syria and Palestine” was established in 1890 with its Vaad (Committee) based in Odessa. Local branches of the Society were founded all over the Russian Empire.

The donations were collected on regular basis as well as on various occasions like weddings, births, bar mitzvas, Torah readings on Holidays, In Memoriam, etc. Eretz-Israel donation bowls put in synagogues and beith-hamidrashim were full on Yom Kippur Eve. The names of the donors and other important information were published mostly in Ha-Melitz.

Here is one of such publications:   

Ha-Melitz, 21.08.1898

I am sending my Mazal-Tov blessings to my friend Moshe Meir Leites from Mstislavl for the wedding of his brother Yakov Leites with Anna Gurevich. In the memory of this event, I donated 2 times “chai” (18) kopecks for the benefit of the workers in the Holy Land.  

B. Pines from Chislavichi.

Recently, the lists of such donations for 1892-1903 in alphabetical order for Chislavichi, Monastyrshchina and Mstislavl of Mstislavl uyezd and for Lyady of Gorki uyezd, all of Mogilev gubernia, were added to my website, as well as lists of donations collected for special purposes, such as for the poor in the South of Russia (1881, Lyady), the hungry in Bessarabia (1900. Chislavichi), victims of Kishinev pogrom (1903, Chislavichi), etc, and the articles on Chislavichi, Monastyrshchina and Lyady, extracted from the Jewish newspapers.  Lists of conscripts and deserters in Mstislavl, Gorki  and Gomel uyezds, extracted from 1875 Mogilevskie Gubernskie Vedomosti were also added. They can be found at ernia/Mogilevgub.htm and further under Uyezd towns.

Shlomo Gurevich
Hoshaya, Israel


Thank you, Shlomo. This looks like terrific work, and I'm grateful to have this new information.

Your second link seems as if it may be broken, however. When I click on ernia/Mogilevgub.htm  I get taken to an error message.

Good luck, and it's generous of you to share such substantial work with all of us.
Joe Kraus

Mitchell Collier

Corrected link (extra space removed from URL)