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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 12, Number 6 | February 13, 2011
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.
New American Family History Television Program
It is a good indication a television show is popular when it is copied. Who Do You Think You Are? originated in the UK and was copied in Australia, Canada, Israel and the U.S. Now the concept that someone’s family history is of interest to the television-viewing public has been copied by the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Called Searching for… it will premiere on Monday, February 14 at 9pm (8pm Central Time).

Unlike Who Do You Think You Are, that features the family history of a celebrity,  this program may focus on people looking for relatives, including adopted persons looking for their birth families. Pamela Slaton, the professional genealogist who will appear on all shows, specializes in this area. Her website states that she has solved more than 2,500 of this type of case and more than 90% result in successful reunions. Her fee is $2000–$2500 and there is no charge if she is unsuccessful. Information about the show can be found at To determine which channel is OWN in your area, click the link “Find OWN on TV.” Information about Slaton’s services can be found at

Family History Centers to Have Library Edition
FamilySearch has announced an agreement with that will allow English-speaking Family History Centers (FHC) throughout the world access to the Library Edition of There are more than 4,600 FHCs worldwide.

The Library Edition contains the vast majority of databases available to subscribers. Excluded are:
   • Family and Local Histories Collection
   • Historical Newspapers Collection
   • OneWorldTree. User contributed family trees
   • Passenger and Immigration Lists Index whose source is P. William Filby’s “Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s–1900s”
   • Biography and Genealogy Master Index. Americans who have been profiled in collective biography volumes such as “Who's Who in America.”
   * Freedman’s Bank Records. A U.S. bank setup in 1865 for former slaves and their dependents where they could place their money.
   • PERSI. Periodical Source Index, a collection of 2 million-plus references to family history articles published in U.S. and Canadian periodicals since 1800.

The announcement, actually a letter sent to FHCs, was displayed on Renee Zamora's Genealogy Blog located at and reported on Dick Eastman’s Genealogy Newsletter.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach To Be Pre-Conference Scholar
One way the annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy has grown in scope is the pre-conference Shabbat program. While the conference officially opens Sunday, Aug. 14, early comers will have the opportunity to participate in pre-conference activities with lectures by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who will speak after the Shabbat dinner Friday, Aug 12, lead a discussion mid-afternoon on Saturday, and lecture again after Havdalah services Saturday evening.

Rabbi Boteach is an author and radio/television personality. He has authored 23 books; hosted an award-winning TV show, Shalom in the Home; and hosts The Shmuley Show on WABC radio in New York City. He also publishes two weekly syndicated columns appearing regularly in the Washington Post, Jerusalem Post, AOL and other outlets.

The 31st International Jewish Genealogy Conference will be held in Washington, DC, at the Grand Hyatt Washington from August 14–19. It is hosted by the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington. Further information about the conference can be found at It is expected to attract more than 1,000 attendees from more than 20 countries. Washington, DC, is rich in genealogical resources located at such institutions as the National Archives and Records Administration, Library of Congress and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

JewishGen Education One-on-One Independent Study Program
JewishGen Education Program is now offering one-on-one consulting through a program they call Independent Study. From February 25 – March 25, Nancy Holden will be available to consult on projects centered on research in the United States or the Russian Pale of Settlement. This session will follow the format of other JewishGen Education classes using a Forum and one-on-one consultations via the Internet.

In order to qualify for this class you must submit a paragraph about your project, surnames, towns and goals. JewishGen states this will be a do-it-yourself, computer-based, online seminar. Individual readings will be posted according to your research needs.

Cost of the course is $100. Additional information and registration can be found at

Webinars on DNA and Genealogy
Professional genealogist Elise Friedman is offering two webinars on “Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results.” The first, which will be given Thursday, February 17, will focus on how to interpret the results of Y-DNA and mtDNA tests. The second, which will be given on Thursday, February 24, will focus on interpreting the results of FamilyTreeDNA’s recently announced Family Finder test which predicts the exact relationship between two persons independent of sex.

Each webinar costs $10. Friedman is offering a $5 discount on the February 17 webinar to readers of Nu? What's New?. Enter coupon code RRWGGD517NU in the shopping cart before checkout. For additional information or to register for a webinar, visit

Elise Friedman is a professional genealogist specializing in Jewish genealogy, genetic genealogy and technology. She is leader of JewishGen’s DNA Special Interest Group, manages several DNA studies through Family Tree DNA, and co-authored a genetic genealogy case study that was published in the AVOTAYNU and FORUM genealogy journals.

Pittsburgh Jewish Newspapers Online
This item appears in the index to articles appearing in AVOTAYNU located at, but it has never appeared in Nu? What’s New?. Jewish newspapers of Pittsburgh have been online for some time at The newspapers include Jewish Criterion (1895–1962), American Jewish Outlook (1934–1962), and Jewish Chronicle (1962–present). The results show the page on which the search element appears but it is not highlighted.

Croatian Newspapers Online
It was reported on the Austria-Czech Special Interest Discussion Group that historical Croatian newspapers are online at The time period is mid-19th century to the present. The results can be displayed with the actual image of the page or in plain text. The page version does not highlight the exact location of the searched item, so the plain text version can be of value by locating the item using your browser’s search capability.

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
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