Nu? What's New?
The E-zine of Jewish Genealogy
Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 6, Number 2 | February 27, 2005

Latest News About the Annual Conference
The 25th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is taking shape and glancing at the planned program, it is going to be another great conference. The lecturers are drawn from the top talent in Jewish genealogy and extend to notable speakers on the America genealogy scene.

You can see the current plans at the conference web site To view the planned program, you must step through the website because it uses "frames" to access the various pages. After going to the site, click on the image of Las Vegas at night, then click on the image on the next page, then click on “Programming”. Glancing at the program listing organized by topic, we find lectures on Argentina, Belarus, Computer Resources, Finland, France, Galicia, Germany, Holocaust, Hungary, Immigration/Emigration, Israel, JRI-Poland, JewishGen, Las Vegas, Libraries/Archives, Lithuania, Media, Methodology, Moldova, Poland, Rabbinical, Records, Russian Empire, Sephardic, Ukraine and U.S. research.

This is in addition to Breakfast with the Experts sessions, Special Interest Group sessions, book signings and just plain networking with the scores of experts who will attend, as well as other attendees who share your research interests.

Room rates for the Hilton Flamingo hotel are an incredibly low $61 per night. Many people have plans to arrive early or stay late to take in the fun aspect of Las Vegas which extends well beyond its reputation as a gambling city. The nightly entertainment, excellent (and inexpensive) restaurants, local sight seeing and the gaudiness of Las Vegas at night will add to the enjoyment of the conference. If you are planning to stay more than nine nights, you must contact the hotel directly, because the online registration only permits registering up to nine nights.

Deadline for early registration is May 1. Take advantage of the $30 discount and register now.

New Book: Genealogical Gazetteer of the Kingdom of Hungary
Genealogical Gazetteer of the Kingdom of HungaryAvotaynu has just published a Genealogical Gazetteer of the Kingdom of Hungary. It provides information about more than 12,000 towns within the 19th-century borders of the Kingdom of Hungary that today comprise regions of Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovak Republic and Ukraine. For each community, information by religion is provided for the population. If there was no synagogue (or church), the town where each congregation worshiped is indicated. This is key to identifying the Roman Catholic diocese, the church of record for the events of all faiths, including Jewish, prior to civil registration in the 1850s. It is also useful in searching possible places of burial. Additional information about each town includes alternate names and its current name if no longer in Hungary. Towns can be searched alphabetically by their current name, former name or alternate name(s).

The author is Jordan Auslander of the New York Jewish Genealogical Society. Auslander spent more than five years compiling the information which was based on the 1877 gazetteer, Magyarorszag Helysegnevtara (Hungarian Gazetteer), by Janos Dvorzsak.

For additional information, go to At the site is the Table of Contents, a sample page from the gazetteer, and a sample page from the appendix which provides contemporary names for towns in the former Kingdom of Hungary.

We initially committed to a price of $35.00. The book has many more pages than anticipated--532 pages. On April 1, 2005, the price will increase to $46.00.

Online Guide to Genealogical Resources in Israel
One of the permanent fringe benefits of the Israel Genealogical Society sponsorship of the 2004 International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is that they placed on their web site information about many of Israel's resources for genealogy. They identify a large number of institutions giving names, addresses, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, websites, hours of operation and even public transportation to the facility. You can link to the various facilities from the IGS home page at Click on one of the links in the lower left corner identified as "Archives in Israel" and "Resources in Israel."

New Google Map Feature
Google is getting downright eerie. It is taking on more and more human-like features. Dick Eastman, publisher of Eastman's Online Genealogy Forum (, noted that a new feature is Google's map abilities at Key in any town in the U.S. and Google will locate it. Then key in an attribute such as "hotel," and it will locate all hotels in the area.

When I keyed in Bergenfield, New Jersey, the town in which Avotaynu's offices are located, I got a map of the area. It was an eerie experience when I then gave Google the key word "Avotaynu". It not only identified where Avotaynu was located, but it also identified Jewish institutions in the area. Google apparently recognized that a principal attribute of Avotaynu is that it is a company that deals in Jewish matters; therefore, it provided the addresses of other local Jewish entities including Baron Hirsch Cemetery, Hachai Publishing, Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation, Ergo Media (distributes Jewish videos), Pef Israel Endowment Funds Inc, Jacs Jewish Alcoholics, Central Conference of American Rabbis and United Jewish Appeal.

A more practical use is for locating hotels and restaurants in a given area.

New Databases of Interest
California Death Index, 1940-97 at
Boston Passenger Lists, 1891-1943 at is a fee-for-service site.

An Avotaynu Milestone
Earlier this week, Avotaynu reached a milestone in its book publishing efforts. I can no longer fit all of the books we have published on one 36-inch (91 cm) shelf. Since 1991, Avotaynu has published 39 books to assist people interested in researching their Jewish family history. Three have won the "Best Reference Book" award of the Association of Jewish Libraries. Last June, that group awarded us their "Body of Work" award in recognition of our total contribution to Jewish genealogy.

The chronology of books we have published are:

1991 Where Once We Walked
1992 A Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Jewry: 1909-1914
1992 Jewish Personal Names: Their Origin, Derivation and Diminutive Forms
1993 A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire
1994 Following the Paper Trail
1995 A Guide to Jewish Genealogical Resources in Israel: Revised Edition
1995 How to Document Victims and Locate Survivors of the Holocaust
1995 Jewish Surnames from Prague
1995 WOWW Companion (out of print)
1996 A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland
1996 Documents of Our Ancestors
1996 FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Jewish Genealogy (out of print)
1996 Jewish Vital Records, Revision Lists and Other Jewish Holdings in the Lithuanian Archives
1996 Sourcebook for Jewish Genealogies and Family Histories
1996 The German Minority Census of 1939
1997 Eliyahu's Branches: The Descendants of the Vilna Gaon and His Family
1997 Some Archival Sources for Ukrainian-Jewish Genealogy (16th-20th Centuries) (out of print)
1998 Finding Your Jewish Roots in Galicia: A Resource Guide (out of print)
1998 Library Resources for German-Jewish Genealogy
1998 Russian-Jewish Given Names: Their Origins and Variants
1999 Kaminits-Podolsk and Its Environs (Avotaynu Foundation)
2000 Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy
2000 History of the Jews in Poland and Russia
2001 A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names
2002 Between Galicia and Hungary: The Jews of Stropkov
2002 Where Once We Walked: Revised Edition
2003 Sephardic Genealogy
2003 Legacy:The Saga of a German-Jewish Family Across Time and Circumstance (Avotaynu Foundation)
2003 The Diaries of Bernhard Cahn: A Man of His Time
2003 Overseas Emigration and Family Research (Avotaynu Foundation)
2004 The Lurie Legacy: The House of Davidic Royal Descent
2004 Chinese Exile: My Years in Shanghai and Nanking
2004 Polish Sources at the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (Avotaynu Foundation)
2004 Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy
2004 A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia
2004 The Naturalized Jews of the Grand Duchy of Posen in 1834 and 1835: Revised Edition
2005 Jews-Officers in the Polish Armed Forces 1939–1945
2005 The Old Jewish Cemeteries of Newark
2005 Genealogical Gazetteer of the Kingdom of Hungary

Future Planned Books:
2005 German-Jewish Surnames from the Nineteenth Century
2005 Finding Your Jewish Roots in Galicia: A Resource Guide (Revised Edition)
2005 Guidebook for Sephardic and Oriental Resources in Israel
2006 Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire: Revised Edition.

There are others that are still in the discussion stage.

The complete list of books available from Avotaynu can be found at

Last Chance to Take Advantage of AVOTAYNU Subscription Offer
Avotaynu is making a special offer to "Nu? What's New? readers who do not subscribe to our journal AVOTAYNU. If you subscribe for the 2005 year, we will include--for free--the Winter issue which has just been published. There is a special subscription site at If you use our regular site, the price is $7.00 higher. The deadline for taking advantage of this offer is February 28, 2005.

Nu? What's New is published biweekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
Copyright 2005, Avotaynu, Inc. All rights reserved

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