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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 11, Number 22 | November 28, 2010

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.
Happy Chanukah!

Reminder: Deadline for Avotaynu Discounts is December 1
Wednesday, December 1, is the last day Avotaynu will be offering discounts on all the items we offer—books, subscriptions to AVOTAYNU, maps and CDs. They can be purchased at a 10–20% discount. Readers have already taken advantage of these discounts. In one case, a person gave a Chanukah present to her local library by purchasing key books to start/enhance their Jewish genealogy collection.

Discounts are according to the following schedule:
   • Purchases more than $50 – 10% discount.
   • Purchases more than $200 – 15% discount.
   • Purchases more than $300 – $20% discount.
This applies to everything we sell with the exception of “Google Your Family Tree” which we are not permitted to discount by arrangement with the publisher.

View our more than 50 books at
View our journal AVOTAYNU at
View our maps at

Last chance. When checking out, you must use the Discount Code CHANUKAH to enjoy the benefits. Order now!

2013 Boston Conference Dates Set
The 33rd International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be held from August 4–9, 2013, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. The conference will be co-hosted by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston. The last time the annual conference was held in Boston was 1996. Among the genealogical resources in the Boston area are the American Jewish Historical Society – Boston, New England Historic Genealogical Society and Brandeis University. The hotel has free Internet access.

European Union Funds Holocaust Research Infrastructure Project
The European Union and 20 partners from 13 countries have committed 7 million euros (about $9.25 million) to establish a European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) project. The purpose is to build a database combining the now-dispersed archives materials around Europe. EHRI will design and implement a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) offering online access to a wide variety of Holocaust archives and to a number of tools to work with them. Building on integration programs undertaken over the past decades by the 20 partners in the consortium and a large network of associate partners, EHRI plans to transform the data available for Holocaust research around Europe and elsewhere into a cohesive body of resources. Additional information can be found at

Yad Vashem’s “List of Lists”
One problem that exists in writing Nu? What’s New? is whether previously published information should be republished. I use a five-year rule: If it was mentioned more than five years ago, it may be worth republishing.

An example is a recently posting to the Romanian SIG Digest on JewishGen citing a resource for Shoah-related documents on Romanian towns. It appeared to be a new exciting resource until the person posting the message explained further. The resource was the “Shoah Related Lists Database” of Yad Vashem (sometimes called the “List of Lists”), which was described in the July 30, 2006 edition of Nu? What’s New?. It is a collection of thousands of lists that name people caught up in the Holocaust. About two-thirds of the lists can also be viewed as scanned images.

For further information, read the news item at

Nu? What’s New Archives. Which brings up a second topic. Nu? What’s New? is in its 11th year of publication. All back issues are archived at with a full-word search engine. If you missed a recent issue or want to determine if some previously published item will assist in your research, use the archives.

JewishGen Discussion Group Archives.Similarly, if you are relatively new to Jewish family history research, you should search the JewishGen Discussion Group archives at and the JewishGen SIG Discussion Groups archives at

New Season for American and Australian Versions of Who Do You Think You Are
The American version of Who Do You Think You Are will debut its second season on January 21, 2011. It will air on Fridays at 8:00 p.m. (7 p.m. Central time). The third season of the Australian version of the show started airing Nov 28, 2010, at 7:30 p.m.

Fall AVOTAYNU to the Printer
 The Fall issue of AVOTAYNU is at the printer. You can view the front cover (Table of Contents) at You can subscribe to AVOTAYNU at

FamilySearch Site Adds 15 Million Indexes
FamilySearch, in its regular report, indicates it has recently added 15 million indexed records and 2.5 million images to their site at Many of the additions are church records, but those that might be of interest to researchers with Jewish ancestry include:
   Belgium Marriages, 1563-1890
   Belgium, Antwerp Police Immigration Index and Images, 1840-1930
   Canada, Ontario Births, 1869-1912
   Germany, Bremen Passenger Departure Lists, 1904-1914
   U.S., Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957
   U.S., Georgia –Death Records, 1928-1930
   U.S., Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers, 1918
   U.S., Louisiana, Eastern District Naturalization Petitions, 1838-1861
   U.S., Maryland, Naturalization Indexes, 1797-1951
   U.S., Maryland, Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1931
   U.S., Massachusetts Naturalization Index, 1906-1966
   U.S., New York State Census, 1905 for selected counties
   U.S., New York, Eastern District Naturalization Petitions, 1865-1957
   U.S., New York, Western District, Naturalization Index, 1907-1966
   U.S., Rhode Island, State Census, 1905

The complete list can be found at

Library and Archives Canada Provides Aid to Immigration Records
Library and Archives Canada reports that the original microfilming in the 1950s of immigration records (passenger and border entry lists) was not up to archival standards. Also the original documents were often of poor quality. To assist in reading these records, the column headings from various immigration forms from 1865 to 1935 have been transcribed. They are available at A complete list of indexes to their immigration collection can be found at

Czech Archives to Digitize Vital Records
It was reported on JewishGen that the Czech National Archives is digitizing their collection of vital records. It is expected that the registers of the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia—births, deaths and marriages—will be available online next year.

Passaic County (New Jersey) Naturalization Images Online
The Passaic County (New Jersey) Clerk’s Office has placed an index and digitized images of naturalization records online at Documents as recent as 1987 are included. Searching with a partial surname will provide a list of all persons whose surname starts with the partial name. This may assist in allowing for spelling variants. Major cities in this county include Clifton, Passaic and Paterson.

I know of no Internet site that identifies which non-Federal naturalization indexes and/or images are available online. If such a site exists, contact me at and it will be posted to the next edition of Nu? What’s New?

To submit a Page of Testimony, go to Click the words “Submit Additional Names.”

Join the ranks of Yad Vashem’s worldwide network of volunteers working in one-on-one outreach efforts with Holocaust survivors and members of their generation to recover the names of Shoah victims before they are lost forever. For ideas and resources on how to launch a names recovery campaign in your area, visit Yad Vashem’s Community Outreach Guide for updated program information on the project in Israel and in Russian speaking Jewish communities around the world.

Yad Vashem has provided a 10-minute Pages of Testimony tutorial video at the site to learn how to help survivors and others from their generation to fill out Pages of Testimony. To volunteer for the project or for more information contact
Nu? What's New? is published biweekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
Copyright 2010, Avotaynu, Inc. All rights reserved

To be added or removed from this mailing list, go to the Internet site To change your e-mail address, go to the same site and remove the old address and add the new address.

Back issues of
Nu? What's New? are available at

To subscribe to AVOTAYNU, The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, go to

To order books from our catalog, go to

To contact us by postal mail, write: Avotaynu, Inc.; 155 N. Washington Ave.; Bergenfield, NJ 07621