Nu? What's New?
The E-zine of Jewish Genealogy From Avotaynu

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 9, Number 2 | January 13, 2008

Milestone: Nu? What's New? Now Has 8,000 Subscribers
With this issue of Nu? What’s New? the number of subscribers has surpassed 8,000.

Time to Register for Planned Trip to Bad Arolsen May 4–9
If you want to join the group of genealogists who will go to the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany, from May 4–9 to do research, the time has come to make a commitment. We must reserve rooms at the hotel shortly. The deadline for registration is Sunday, January 20. The trip will allow hands-on research at the largest and most important Holocaust archives in the world with the assistance of trained ITS personnel. The group is limited to 40 persons.

The week will start on Sunday evening, May 4, with welcoming remarks by the ITS staff, a presentation on the resources at ITS, and training on using the Central Names Index. From Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., attendees will use the Central Names Index under the guidance of members of the ITS staff. Specifically, because of the limited resources at ITS, 20 computer terminals will be set aside for trip attendees—two person sharing a terminal. Each terminal will have a member of the ITS staff assisting and guiding the registrants. When the Central Names Index yields positive results, access to files for further research will be retrieved within a half day or less. Each evening, there will be a meeting of all registrants to discuss successes and failures of the day so that all can share the day’s results.

The cost is $1000 per person for single occupancy and $880 per person for double occupancy. The price includes six days lodging at the Welcome Hotel in Bad Arolsen, breakfast at the hotel, lunch at ITS, and shuttle service to/from the train station in Kassel, Germany. The price does not include such costs as plane fare to Frankfurt, Germany, train fare to Kassel (explicit instructions to getting to Kassel from the airport will be provided), dinners and other incidental costs.

To register or if you have questions, send an e-mail to When registering, provide name/address/telephone number, number of rooms required and whether room will be single or double occupancy. All registrations are acknowledged.

Preview of New Book: Every Family Has a Story: Tales from the Pages of AVOTAYNU
I think genealogists understate how much their research affects people’s lives in a positive way. Genealogists reunite families, resolve family feuds, and, in general, memorialize their ancestral family through family trees and family history books. Without genealogists, the only permanent record that someone once lived might be merely a fading tombstone in a cemetery.

That is why AVOTAYNU devotes a portion of each Winter issue to stories of how genealogy has affected us and how our research has affected others. In the forthcoming Winter issue, there is a story of how a Holocaust survivor spent nearly 60 years trying to locate her aunt—also a Holocaust survivor—who immigrated to the U.S. and disappeared among the millions. Finally, with persistence and patience, she determined just this past year that her aunt was now dead, but she was able to locate her son who thought his mother’s family was all gone. The response of the son, who just had been found by the woman, describes what genealogy is all about: “I am still in tears and shock. This is the most momentous day that I have ever had. I cannot express the emotions and feelings that are running through my brain...It’s a dream come true. I could never have imagined what the feeling would be like to finally have contact with even a remote family member, let alone the whole extended family...”

Avotaynu feels so strongly—and proud of—this important aspect of family history research, that we have taken some of the best of the human interest stories and will shortly publish them in book form. We have named the book Every Family Has a Story: Tales from the Pages of AVOTAYNU. It is already in the works and will probably be available in March. Watch Nu? What’s New? for further details.

You can subscribe to AVOTAYNU at

Attention Europeans: The Time To Buy Avotaynu Books Is Now
A European friend of mine recently visited the United States and went home with a few thousand dollars of American goods. I was amazed to find that the cost for these goods in Europe can be more than double. It caused me to analyze the cost in Euros of Avotaynu books.

When A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names was published in 2001, the cost of $85 was equivalent in euros to €94.81. Today you can purchase the book from Avotaynu in euros for 61% of that price: €57.77 plus shipping. Prices got better for Europeans. When Avotaynu published Where Once We Walked: Revised Edition in 2002 the price was $85, which in euros was €89.17. Today you can purchase it for 65% of the price: €57.77 plus shipping. In 2004, Avotaynu published Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy. The $85 book could be bought for €66.47. Today it is €57.77 plus shipping.

The story is the same for the UK. Five years ago, an $85 book published by Avotaynu cost about ₤58.00. Today you can buy any of the named books for about 25% less: ₤43.00.

So come one, come all. Take advantage of the great exchange rates while they last. A complete list of books priced in euros can be found at A list of books priced in British pounds can be found at The prices shown are based on the current exchange rate. The actual purchase is in U.S. dollars. Prices do not include shipping.

What’s New at the Steve Morse One-Step Website
The Steve Morse One-Step Website at has grown to include more than 100 functions. To make the site easier to navigate, Morse has added a two-level menu. A recently added function is a portal to the Russian military personnel lost in World War II that was described in the last edition of Nu? What’s New? The Morse site transliterates surnames to the Cyrillic alphabet, and the results are partially translated including name, rank and cause of death. All column headings on the results page are presented in English as well as Russian.

Help Grow the Shoah Victims’ Names Database
Yad Vashem wants volunteers who are willing to contact local institutions and individuals to grow the Shoah Victims Database whose principal documents are Pages of Testimony. With the aid of promotional materials Yad Vashem has developed, volunteers will reach out to survivors and their families and assist them in registering the names of Jews who they know were murdered in the Shoah. This will be done through synagogues, Holocaust centers, Jewish Community Centers, Jewish student organizations, senior centers and social service agencies. To volunteer send your name, address, phone number and e-mail address to with the subject heading "Names Volunteer"

To submit a Page of Testimony, there is a link on the left portion of the screen from the Basic Search page at Click the words “Submit Additional Names.”

Nu? What's New is published biweekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
Copyright 2008, Avotaynu, Inc. All rights reserved

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