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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 10, Number 12 | June 28, 2009

This edition is going to 8,536 subscribers

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.
An Invaluable Resource for Jewish Genealogical Research
Now Available: New Edition of AVOTAYNU on CD-ROM
For the past 24 years, AVOTAYNU has developed a reputation for being a must-read publication for persons doing Jewish genealogical research and has even been extolled by the general genealogical community for its articles of interest to anyone, Jewish and non-Jewish, with Central or Eastern European ancestry. The 93 issues published between 1985 and 2008 include more than 5,700 pages—4 million words.

Avotaynu has published all back issues 1985–2008 on CD-ROM. It is available for Windows only, now including Vista. Using a searching tool, which includes full-word indexing, every word of every back issue of AVOTAYNU is accessible. If in all the articles there is only one mention of a town or a surname, the search engine will find it. By specifying key words or combinations of key words, the CD-ROM version will locate the article that meets the criteria of the keywords search.

The new version has the option of placing the entire database (about 500MB) onto the hard drive. This feature was not available in previous editions.

Special offers through July 15 only:
1. If you are the owner of a previous edition of AVOTAYNU on CD-ROM, you can upgrade to the new edition for only $29.95 plus shipping. After July 15, the price will be $39.95. There is no need to mail in your previous edition of the CD. We have your name on file if you ordered through the Internet or my mail. That will be sufficient proof of previous purchase. If we do not have your name on file, we will ask you to return the previous CD as proof of purchase.
2. If you are not an owner of a previous edition, if you purchase the CD for $99.95 plus shipping by July 15, Avotaynu will give you free of charge a one-year subscription to our journal AVOTAYNU. If you already subscribe to AVOTAYNU, we will extend your subscription by a year. That is a $38.00 value at no cost to you.

We now offer payment using PayPal to our U.S. customers.

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Number of articles by general topic:
Algeria 7
Argentina 21
Australia 36
Austria 16
Austro-Hungary 5
Belarus* 25
Belgium 23
Bermuda 1
Book Reviews 264
Brazil 23
Bulgaria 4
Burma 1
Canada 91
Caribbean 9
China 10
Computers 16
Conferences 48
Costa Rica 1
Croatia 2
Cuba 2

Cyprus 1
Czech Republic 28
Denmark 2
DNA 16
East Europe–Gen’l 14
Egypt 9
England 122
Estonia* 5
Europe-General 24
Finland 1
France 97
Galicia 18
General 192
Germany 162
Gibraltar 1
Greece 10
Holland 82
Holocaust 160
Hungary 45
India 5
Iraq 2
Iran 5
Ireland 2
Israel 121
Italy 13
Latvia* 26
LDS 28
Libya 1
Lithuania* 61
Methodology 64
Moldova* 5
Morocco 16
New Zealand 12
North Africa 2
Poland 103
Portugal 20
Rabbinic 57
Romania 29
Russia 44
Scotland 27
Sephardic 37
Serbia 2
Slovakia 1
South Africa 20
South America 1
Spain 11
Sudan 1
Sweden 5
Switzerland 24
Syria 3
Tunisia 3
Turkey 21
Ukraine 56
United States 209
Venezuela 1
Zimbabwe 1

*also see USSR and Russia

IIJG Plans Genealogical Glossary in Hebrew
The International Institute for Jewish Genealogy, in collaboration with the Israel Genealogical Society and the Web-based Tappuz “Family Roots Forum,” has embarked upon the preparation of a scientific glossary of genealogical terms in Hebrew. The Institute stated that it sees this project as part of its efforts to reach out to, and cooperate with, the wider genealogical community. It will provide Hebrew-speaking researchers and family historians with a much-needed tool.

Once compiled, the glossary will be submitted to the Academy of the Hebrew Language in Jerusalem for its official endorsement.

An Expert Working Group has been formed to complete the task. It is headed by Dr. Chanan Rapaport, the Deputy Chair of the Institute, and comprised of genealogists, philologists and Hebrew-language specialists. They include Arnon Hershkovitz, founder of the “Family Roots Forum”; Yocheved Klausner, former editor of Sharsheret Hadorot, the journal of the Israel Genealogical Society; Chana Meshler, a Hebrew philologist at the Academy of the Hebrew Language; Sasson Naor, an Arabic language consultant; Rabbi Meir Wunder, specialist in Biblical, Talmudic and Rabbinic languages; Joshua Yellin, Medieval and Modern Hebrew expert; and Prof. Israel Zak a professor emeritus of Hebrew University and amateur genealogist.

Valuable Databases to Be Available at Annual Conference
One of the benefits of attending the annual Jewish genealogy conference is the Resource Room which includes access—free of charge—to a number of web sites that require a subscription. Among the databases to be available are:; British Newspapers from the British Library;;; Godfrey Library (without Newspaper Archive and World Vital Records);;; ProQuest; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; and World Vital Also available in the room are books, maps, microfilms and other items of help in family research.

Additional information about the conference including the complete program, walking tours, bus tours and cemetery visits, can be found at the conference site:

Ellis Island Videos on YouTube
There are a number of original films of the Ellis Island experience on Search for “Ellis Island Immigration.” One of the more interesting ones, taken in May 1909, is at There is also a 29-minute documentary at

New Web Site Information
Censuses of Scotland: ScotlandsPeople, located at, claims to be the only site to have complete Scottish census records from 1841–1901. It includes both an index as well as the actual images. This fee-for-service site also has birth, marriage and death records.

United Synagogue Marriage Authorisation Index has been updated by an additional two years and now identifies records from 17th February 1880 to the 31st December 1891. The index contains 8,236 records for England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is located at It is updated whenever an additional year is indexed.

Contemporary Maps of Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. It was reported on various JewishGen SIG Discussion groups that there are detailed contemporary maps of Hungary, Slovakia and Romania at The maps include small towns and villages. Geographic markers (roads, bridges, streams, wooded areas) as well as inhabited areas and cemetery locations are shown.

Contribute to the Success of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy
Help support a dynamic institution that in its brief existence already has been the catalyst for such benefits to Jewish genealogy as the Beider-Morse Phonetic Matching System,  Sephardic DNA and Migration project, inventorying the Paul Jacobi Collection of 400 prominent Ashkenazic lineages, the Proposed Standard for Names, Dates and Places in a Genealogical Database, and a system for Integrating Genealogical Datasets.

Visit the IIJG website at and read about these developments, as well as  ongoing and proposed projects.

Make your tax-deductible contribution by credit card or PayPal at Click the Donate link. If you prefer, mail it to the Friends of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy, 155 N. Washington Ave., Bergenfield, NJ 07621. Make the check payable to “Friends of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy.” Donations are tax deductible for U.S. taxpayers.

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