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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 10, Number 19 | September 29, 2009

This edition is going to 8,555 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.
30th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy Now Has Website
The Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles, host of the 30th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, has established a conference website at The event will be held from July 11–16, 2010, at the JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live. L.A. Live is a new downtown Los Angeles entertainment and cultural complex.

The Call for Papers will begin on November 15, 2009, and close on January 15, 2010. Persons who would like to lecture can see a list of possible presentation categories at

This may be the first conference whose leaders are all women. Their responsibilities can be seen at

The conference is sponsored annually by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, the umbrella group of nearly 80 Jewish Genealogical Societies throughout the world. The conference is the premier event of the Jewish genealogical calendar. It is expected that more than 1,000 researchers from nearly 20 countries will gather in Los Angeles. In addition to 100+ lectures, there is a Film Festival, access to Los Angeles genealogical resources, Birds-of-a-Feather meetings, Special Interest Group meetings and luncheons. A vendor exhibit hall will include a number of companies selling their products. (Avotaynu is a major exhibitor and will be selling our books, maps and CDs.)

JewishGen Offering “Build Your Owen ShtetLinks Page” Course
Interested in creating a website for your ancestral town but don’t know how to do it? JewishGen is offering a course on "How to Make Shtetlinks Web Pages" to begin October 15. It is a six-week course where you will learn how to create web pages for ShtetLinks. JewishGen provides a free, downloadable, simple-to-use web page editor that runs on both PCs and Macs. They claim that only basic computer skills are need to develop a ShtetLinks site. Cost for the course is $36. Additional information is available at

Kielce-Radom Index To Be Part of JRI-Poland Database
For many years, the Kielce-Radom Special Interest Group has been indexing Jewish vital records from that area of Poland, publishing the data in their printed Journal. There are plans to merge all of their indexing effort into the Jewish Records Indexing - Poland database which now contains more than 3.7 million records. It is estimated that the Kielce-Radom data will add more than 50,000 records.

A list of all the towns indexed and which years and record types, can be found at

Feedback from Readers
The last isssue of Nu? noted a site that shows former versions of web pages. Wayback Machine, located at, is the home of billions of web pages from the past. Nu? reader Ellen Morosoff Pemrick gave a practical application of the site. JewishGen had a broken link to an offsite web page and using Google, she could not locate the site. Apparently it had been removed from the Internet. Using Wayback Machine, she found a 2001 version of the site, and she was able to get the information she was looking for.

Jean-Pierre Stroweis responded to the posting about Internet sites that showed geographic distributions of surnames in Austria, Canada, Germany Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, UK and U.S. He noted they also exist for France and Italy.

The Italy site is at

The French site at The French site has an unusual feature. After searching for a surname, the results show the number of occurrences in four time frames: 1891–1915, 1916–1940, 1941–1965 and 1966–1990. For example, it showed there was a person living in Paris named Mokotoff during the period 1916–1940, a person named Mokotow in the period 1941–1965 and numerous persons named Mokotowicz during the last three time periods.
A news clipping service at claims to have online 182 million newspaper articles published in the U.S. At no charge, they provide approximately the first 75 words or the article; for $5.95 the entire article will be provided. A one-month membership is $19.95. There are 81 articles that include “Gary Mokotoff” and 266 articles that name any person named Mokotoff (all Mokotoffs in the U.S. are related to me).
Guy Shachar, an Israeli photographer and traveler, has created a number of PowerPoint presentations of European synagogues at Click the word “English” in the upper left corner to view an English-language version of his site. The synagogue presentations are at

A photo essay of Berlin can be found at

There are numerous other presentations mostly of Israel. Topics include:
   • Israel 60 Pictures Collections
   • Flowers and plants
   • Snow
   • Water – North
   • Water and Flash Floods – Desert
   • Landscapes of Israel – general
   • Hiking and biking trips
   • Holidays, Religions and Pilgrimage
   • Urban Landscapes
   • North Israel at war – Summer 2006
   • Judaism in the Diaspora
   • Landscapes in the world

A complete list can be found at There are also photo essays at the site.

Southern Israelite Indexed 
The Southern Israelite, the predecessor name to the Atlanta Jewish Times, has been indexed for the years 1929–1958 and 1984–1986 and is available on the Internet at The weekly newspaper covered the Jewish communities in Georgia with additional coverage for communities in Florida and Alabama. Searching for Howard Margol of Atlanta, a past president of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, uncovered an article in 1940 that his family held membership in the Jacksonville (Florida) Jewish Center. The indexing project was the effort of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Georgia, Breman Museum, and Digital Library of Georgia.

Kiev Mayor Vetoes Babi Yar Plan
In what would have been the most tasteless plan since the placing of a cross at Auschwitz, the mayor of Kiev has vetoed a plan to place a hotel on the site of Babi Yar, the ravine outside Kiev that was the scene of the mass murder of nearly 34,000 Jews in September 1941. Kiev will host the 2012 European soccer championships and town officials proposed building a hotel at the site as well as other locations in the Kiev area to accomodate the expected crowd. Additional information can be found at

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