New translation project #yizkorbooks
When my mother told me that she and her family were from a town in Romania, I was immediately interested in learning more; about their journey and about the town of Yedinitz. I thought all the towns where Jews lived in Europe were gone forever. I am proud to know that this town was once a thriving and intelligent community of people. It lives on in its descendants. – Allan Bass
Yizkor Books are a unique source of information on the once vibrant Jewish life in shtetls and towns in Europe before the Holocaust. The Yizkor Book of Yedinitz contains a first-hand account by those who lived there and knew the Jewish community before its destruction in the Holocaust. Written after World War II by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, this Yizkor book contains narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, personal testimonies, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping stories.
The value of this book is that all the contributors are gone. Moreover, a translation of this book will reveal names and biographical details that are not available anywhere else. This is of a tremendous genealogical value as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or were murdered in the forests, are not recorded elsewhere.
A new project to complete the translation of the Yizkor book for Yedinitz to English is underway, with Allan Bass as coordinator together with the assistance from Yvette Merzbacher and Ed Berkowitz. Only a small portion of this Memorial Book has been translated. It is imperative that all the remaining pages be finally translated.
As descendants of those from Yedinitz, it is our responsibility to understand the life and feelings of Yedinitzers, both who lived before and after the Holocaust. As we started the translation, we were all choked with emotions as we read the first words by one of its authors, Yisrael Zemura; “I admit and am not ashamed: for many years since I came to Israel, I thought that I had deleted all my ties to the past and that I am no longer bound to the country in which I was born and to the place where I grew up and received my education. I thought I was an Israeli and nothing else. As the years went by, I learned to know that this was not the case. A person cannot deny his past, since the past is one of his foundations, whether he wants it or not.”
We all need to support this project and contribute towards the translation of this book that was written for us, the future generation of these survivors, and for our future generations. We want to hear the voices of our ancestors today and make it eternal. When questions arise in the future this important book will provide the answers. We want to make this translation available to Genealogists, Holocaust researchers, historians, and students of Jewish history.
Even after obtaining several volunteer translators, we still require hiring professional, paid translators. The book is over 600 pages, and it is written in a beautiful, high-level Yiddish and Hebrew. We estimate the cost to complete this project at $15,000.
Your donations for this project can be made at:
If you live in the United States donations are tax-deductible.
Moreover, in lieu of a donation, we would be delighted if any of you with expertise in Hebrew or Yiddish translation to English can volunteer to translate a section of the book.
We can include a mention with the translation “Donated by… or in Memory of…” to people who donate a minimum of $250 for a particular article of the book. People donating $500 or more will be entitled to a complimentary copy when the book is published.
You can view the original book online:
You can read the English Table of Contents for the book here:
Many warm regards,
Allan Bass, Yvette Merzbacher and Ed Berkowitz