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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 9, Number 9 | April 13, 2008

Happy Passover — Hag Sameach — Happy Holiday

Program for Chicago Conference Now Online
The planned program for the 28th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is now online at the conference website: The daily program starts at 7:00 a.m. with Breakfast with the Experts sessions and concludes at 10 p.m. There are breaks for lunch and dinner but registrants can opt for planned luncheons sponsored by Special Interest Groups (SIG). In most time periods there are five lectures to chose from concurrent with SIG or Birds-of-a-Feather meetings. Evening lectures are reserved for lectures of interest to all.
    Sunday: Opening Session
    Monday: Stephen P. Morse One-Step Pages
    Tuesday: The Jewish Collection at
    Wednesday: JewishGen
    Thursday: Banquet

My participation will be a Breakfast with Experts session regarding the International Tracing Service, a lecture on ITS and a computer class on using Avotaynu’s Consolidated Jewish Surname Index and the Shoah Victims Names Database of Yad Vashem.

Avotaynu will be an exhibitor, selling the more than 50 books, maps and CDs that can be seen at our website:

Early-bird registration is $250 and ends on April 30. Thereafter, it is $295. Registration is at the website. Completes Indexing British Passenger Lists has completed its project to scan and index the complete set of outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages from all British ports between 1890 and 1960. Working in association with the National Archives of the United Kingdom, the project took more than a year to scan. In total, 24 million passengers are recorded. All seven decades of passenger lists are free to search at The images and transcripts can be viewed with either a 12-month or 1-month subscription or alternatively with pay-per-view units or vouchers. is located, logically, at

The site helped solve a loose end on the Mokotow family tree. In 1956, a woman named Sasha Mokotow came to the U.S. The only information available on the American side was that she came from England, was a British citizen and was going to an address in Brooklyn. I used the pay-per-view option at and retrieved the page from the manifest on the British side. It gave her residence as an address in Prestwich, England. Googling “Prestwich” demonstrated it was part of Greater Manchester. Knowing there were Mokotows in Manchester, I rapidly identified her as Czesia Zimeliowicz Mokotow, wife of Idel Mokotow of Manchester.

Lists of Persons Caught Up in the Holocaust
A posting to the German Special Interest Group reminded me that the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has a “Name Lists Catalog” that can be searched at Where USHMM has digitized the list it is available online. Many of the entries are from Yad Vashem’s “Shoah-Related List” online database and the USHMM site links directly to the Yad Vashem site.

Search by town name. Be sure to check the box that states “Check here to automatically include variant place names in the search.”

For example, searching for the town of Otwock, Poland, yields the following results:

1. List of Jewish children at the children's home at Otwock, Poland, March 1946 / submitted by World Jewish Congress, 1834 Broadway, New York 23, N.Y. World Jewish Congress Collection
2. List of Jewish Children at the Children's Home (illegible) Otwock, Poland. World Jewish Congress
3. List of Jews registered in Otwock (Lista Zydów zarajestrowanych w Otwocku) Central Committee of Polish Jews
4. Children with Lost Identity: Archive Lists of Orphaned Children, Survivors of the Holocaust, Born in Poland between 1936-1945 / editor, Lea Balint. [Internet resource] Balint, Lea. Ghetto Fighters' House
5, Members of TOZ, the health organization of Polish Jewry in the Sanatorium in Jar. Zydowski Instytut Historyczny - ZIH, Warszawa, Poland

1916 Census of Canadian Provinces Released
The 1916 Census of the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba has been transferred to Library and Archives Canada. Only the named provinces participated in the census. It is expected to be released to the public after June 1.

Book: Every Family Has a Story Delayed
We received the copies of our new book, Every Family Has a Story, but discovered a major error in the printing process, therefore, the job is being reprinted. We expect to have new copies in early May.

Every Family Has a Story consists of 72 articles previously published in AVOTAYNU that focus on the human side of genealogy—how genealogists have been personally affected by their research and how the research of genealogists has affected others. Additional information can be found at It includes the complete Table of Contents and a sample story.

CD Contains Photographs of 1,410 Synagogue Buildings in the U.S.
Julian Preisler of West Virginia has published an e-book that contains more than 3,200 original large color photos of 1,410 individual synagogue buildings from all 50 U.S. states plus Washington, DC. It is titled American Synagogues: A Photographic Journey. It is the first volume of a projected two-volume work.

Many of the buildings are no longer used as Jewish houses of worship, and many are located in small isolated communities. The photographs represent all kinds of synagogue buildings from simple to ornate, small to large, rural to urban. There are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and unaffiliated congregations included.

Order the CD at There are two sample pages (Alabama & Iowa) at the website. Cost is $18 which includes postage and handling.

Two Slots Open for Bad Arolsen Trip
Due to last-minute cancellations, there are two vacancies available on Avotaynu’s planned trip to Bad Arolsen, Germany, to do research at the International Tracing Service. At present 38 people will go to the facility to do research for five days, from May 5–9. If you are interested in being part of the group, send e-mail to

Winners of the AVOTAYNU Renewal Drawing
For those whose subscription to AVOTAYNU had expired this year, Avotaynu offered a drawing that awarded a copy of any book published by our company to persons who renewed their subscription by March 30.

The three winners of a copy of any book published by Avotaynu are: Alan Wachtel, Palo Alto, California; Richard Avnel, Champaign, Illinois; and Gary Edles, East Yorkshire, England. The drawing was accomplished by assigning a three-digit number to each person, with those renewing for three years having three opportunities and those renewing for two years having two opportunities and persons with one-year renewals receiving one opportunity. The last three digits of the serial number on a dollar bill was used for the random number.

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.”

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