Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 16, Number 13 | March 25, 2015
Every government puts value on preserving its history. That is why we have national archives. Genealogy preserves history; the history of a family. It cannot be done without access to records, just as historians cannot preserve a nation's history without access to records. It is a greater good than the right to privacy. It is a greater good than the risk of identity theft.
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Announcing Avotaynu Online!
Avotaynu Inc is pleased to announce the creation of “Avotaynu Online,” an exciting new venture intended to stimulate collaboration among Jewish genealogists in all its forms, including conferences and meetings, DNA studies, online family trees, social networking, the development of genealogical standards suitable for the Internet age, and developments in related fields (i.e., history, law, computer science) that have an impact on Jewish genealogy. Leading participants in these areas will provide in-depth reports on events and discoveries on a regular basis.
Avotaynu Online will be available free of charge from the venture’s website at http://avotaynuonline.com, which will be shared simultaneously on Facebook and Twitter. Reports will be delivered in different formats, including text, video, and podcasts.
As a bonus to readers, all articles from 2007–2011 published in AVOTAYNU, the International Review of Jewish Genealogy, are available at no charge at the Avotaynu Online website. Articles from all other years will continue to be available on a subscription basis by visiting http://www.avotaynu.com/books/Anthology.htm.
Readers are encouraged to subscribe to the Avotaynu Online news feed by registering their e-mail address at the top of our web page, and to also follow public commentary on its articles by “liking” the official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AvotaynuOnline as well as our pages at Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media outlets.
By virtue of its focus on the in-depth reporting of specific subjects, Avotaynu Online is intended to be entirely distinct from the existing print journal, AVOTAYNU, which for over three decades has covered the broad spectrum of Jewish family history research, and from the weekly Nu? What’s New?, which reports breaking stories in the world of genealogy.
Planned DNA Project
Avotaynu Online intends to stimulate activity in our field. One excellent example relates to the field of Jewish DNA studies, in which Avotaynu Online has taken up the challenge of helping genetic genealogists develop, execute and publish studies of publishable quality. To accomplish this, Avotaynu Online has teamed up to create the Avotaynu Foundation DNA Project at FamilyTreeDNA.com. This project will help fund the development of a worldwide Jewish DNA database and will assemble a team of experts to help nurture studies that will make use of the database to illuminate recent and ancient Jewish history. Avotaynu Online, with its ability to publish stories of virtually unlimited length and detail, hopes to bring these new academic-quality studies to its readers.
Avotaynu Online aims to promote conversation within the genealogical community on the subjects it covers. Unlike print, which is a one-way medium, readers of articles will be encouraged to respond to our authors directly from our pages, and to engage them in developing new lines of thinking. Similarly, unlike print, our authors will be encouraged to revise their articles with new or revised information as soon as it becomes available, so that their stories will continue over time to remain fresh and accurate.
Experiment and Collaborate
Avotaynu intends to experiment and collaborate. It is our belief that there are subjects tangential to Jewish genealogy that may be of great interest to our readers, such as Jewish travel, history, demographics, and health issues. In the past we have been limited by available space in our quarterly when deciding whether to cover these interesting subjects. The availability of virtually unlimited space on our Avotaynu Online website will free us from this limitation. We have also developed partnerships with prestigious institutions such as the Leo Baeck Institute and the International Institute of Jewish Genealogy, among others, so that we may bring you the best thinking from some of the genealogy’s leading experts.
Managing editor of Avotaynu Online will be Adam Brown, who has for many years been a Curator for the collaborative online family tree hosted by Geni/MyHeritage and is the founder of the Jewish DNA Project at FamilyTreeDNA. Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus will be Editor-in-Chief and Gary Mokotoff will be Publisher.
History of Avotaynu Inc
Avotaynu Inc began in 1985 as the publisher of its namesake, AVOTAYNU, the International Review of Jewish Genealogy. To date 117 issues of AVOTAYNU have been published. In 1991, the company expanded its efforts to provide the tools genealogists need to research their Jewish family history by publishing its first book, the award-winning Where Once We Walked. To date, the company has published 70 books. For its publishing efforts, the company received the “Body of Work” award of the Association of Jewish Libraries. This award has been given only five times in the past 30 years. In 2001, Avotaynu added Nu? What’s New?, a weekly e-zine that provides information about current events that affect Jewish family history. In 2009, Avotaynu introduced the AVOTAYNU Anthology, which provides the online ability to search back issues of the publication using a full word search engine provided by Google. Avotaynu Online is it newest venture.
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