JewishGen Aids Urgent Ukrainian Effort to Digitize Historical Records Endangered by Russian War #JewishGenUpdates

Avraham Groll

JewishGen Aids Urgent Ukrainian Effort to Digitize Historical Records Endangered by Russian War

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The Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine Director in Lviv Olesya Stefanyk and Head of I.T. Andrii Berezivskyi in Lviv, with the scanner donated from New York

(New York, NY) — JewishGen, the world’s leading website for Jewish genealogy, announces a new partnership with the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv and its director Olesya Stefanyk to aid in the effort to preserve historical records at risk of loss and destruction amid Russia’s violent invasion of the country. 

Located in Lviv, the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv is one of the largest and oldest archives in the country and especially notable for its collections documenting the historical region of Galicia and the different ethnic and religious groups that lived there, with more than 1.1. million files dating as far back as the 12th century. Housed inside the 17th-century former Bernardine Monastery and Royal Arsenal, both part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lviv's Old Town, the Archives began with a 1784 deposit of court and administrative records by the Austrian rulers of that era. 

JewishGen is a wholly owned affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York, and as part of its own mission to preserve Jewish history, and with an understanding of how war threatens the history of peoples and regions, the Museum has donated to the Archives a planetary scanner to support the heroic efforts of archivists on the ground in Ukraine and to increase their digitization capacity. 


The Museum is also funding the digitization of documents about Jewish communities in the region formerly known as Galicia (which is today western Ukraine and southeastern Poland). These documents describe the real estate transactions, contracts, wills, promissory notes, and various activities of the people living in Galicia during the late 18th through late 19th centuries—and at times include large amounts of genealogical detail.


“We are prioritizing this work for towns and villages in which few or no Jewish birth, marriage, or death records are known to have survived, making these documents especially valuable,” says JewishGen Executive Director Avraham Groll. “Jews were once a large percentage of the population in these areas, which are relevant to many Jewish genealogists' research, as indicated in our JewishGen Family Finder. Digitizing these documents on a large scale is important not only to ensure their preservation but to organize them in such a fashion as to make them more easily and freely accessible to all.”


The list of places included in this effort and additional information will be updated in the JewishGen Discussion Group as this effort progresses.

“We are proud of the service JewishGen provides scholars, Jewish families, and nations the world over,” says Jack Kliger, President & CEO of the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. “Core to our Museum’s mission is remembrance, and as JewishGen’s response to the crisis in Ukraine affirms, remembrance is not a passive act. It is even, at times, a form of resistance.”  

“We are extremely grateful to JewishGen for the scanner we received, which will be used for the information resource of Ukraine’s historical heritage stored at the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv,” says Olesya Stefanyk, Director of the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv. “Ukrainian archivists are doing everything they can to preserve the historical heritage, cultural assets, and documentary memory of our nation. Some of our employees are currently defending Ukraine in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, others are making every effort at their workplaces. JewishGen’s support is not only an invaluable contribution to ensuring the preservation of Ukraine’s historical heritage, but also an important moral support. We gladly welcome all international partners at this difficult time and invite them to join us at:”

About JewishGen

The Jewish Genealogy Research Division of the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, or JewishGen as it is commonly known, was founded in 1987 and serves as the global home for Jewish genealogy. Featuring unparalleled access to more than 30 million records, it offers unique search tools, along with opportunities for researchers to connect with others who share similar interests. There is no charge to access JewishGen’s resources. For more information, visit:



Avraham Groll

Executive Director

Phone: +1-646-494-5972

Email: agroll@...

About The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third-largest Holocaust museum in the world and the second-largest in North America, the Museum of Jewish Heritage anchors the southernmost tip of Manhattan, completing the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit

Museum of Jewish Heritage

Press Relations

Karin Venegas: 347-361-7049 / karin@...

Jack Berger

Please be advised that I have translated a number of Yizkor Books from Yiddish and Hebrew into English. A number of this have already been posted on the JewishGen website.

The one Ukrainian Yizkor Book translation that is online is that of Sarny.

Yizkor Books for Sokal and Zolkiew have been completed, and are undergoing final editing.

If anyone has an interest, you can contact me at: jsberger@...

There is much to be learned from the detail in these books that cannot be found anywhere else.

Shana Tova,
Jack Berger
Mahwah, NJ

Moderator note: As requested, please contact privately