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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 15, Number 9 | March 2, 2014
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.

Past issues of Nu? What's New? are archived at
Conference “Family Finder” To Be Accessible Online
Yet another aspect of the annual conference, the “Family Finder,” is being placed on the Internet for access before, during and after the conference. Similar to the “JewishGen Family Finder,” it provides a list of ancestral surnames and towns being researched by attendees. It will be available 60 days prior to the conference and then refreshed periodically until the start of the event. This will permit attendees to make contact and plan to get together at the conference. It will then remain available for the next year and so provide an easy way to connect with other registrants quickly and securely.

Hands-on conferences may be doomed. Thirty years from now, we may celebrate the 63rd International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in the Cloud by using Skype (version 23) on our 42-inch (106 cm) TV, split screen, which will show 10 options—five concurrent lectures, exhibits, interaction with people found in the Family Finder, friends, SIG meetings and Breakfast With Experts (in your pajamas). Attendees who now have the problem of two concurrent sessions being of interest will be able to watch them consecutively.

The 34th International IAJGS Conference on Jewish genealogy will be presented in the current fashion at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center from July 27 to August 1. It is co-hosted by the International association of Jewish Genealogical Societies and the Utah Jewish Genealogical Society. Registration, hotel and other information about the conference is at

Proceedings of the 2012 Paris Conference To Be Available
The 32nd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy was hosted from July 15-18, 2012, by the French Cercle de Genealogie Juive. They are now making available, for a fee, the proceedings of the event in different sections:
   • Volume 1: Western World. 32 texts relating to France, Western Europe (including Italy but not Spain), United States and Israel. 330 pages – completely translated (1 English volume - 1 French volume). Now available.
   • Volume 2: Central and Eastern Europe (including Germany and Austria).
37 papers, 292 pages. Completely translated (1 English volume - 1 French volume). Now available.
   • Volume 3: Sephardic, Middle-East, and African areas. 57 papers or summaries, 506 pages, some texts are translated, others are in their original language accompanied by abstracts in the other language (1 bilingual volume). Now Available.
   • Volume 4: Thematic lectures (Holocaust, genetics, ethics...) and methodological workshops (genealogical travels, use of pictures, publishing, deciphering Hebrew, software). About 35 papers. Completely translated (1 English volume - 1 French volume). Still in preparation.

Volumes can be ordered separately or together, in hard copy or on a flash drive. Additional information, including costs, can be found at Planning To Implement a Search Control Feature plans to add to its search facility in the next few weeks a new sliding control function. For each of the search parameters, the user will be able to use a slide to indicate whether the search parameter is “Exact,” needs a “Broader” search, or other values in between.

The first application of this feature will permit slider controls on the following fields:
   • First and last name of the person being searched
   • Birth and Death facts
   • One “Any event” fact
   • One residence location

Additional information about the feature can be found at

IIJG Issues Annual “Call for Research Proposals”
The International Institute for Jewish Genealogy has issued its annual “Call for Research Proposals” for original research in the field of Jewish genealogy to be carried out during the academic year of 2014–15. Successful applicants will be awarded grants of up to $10,000.

Proposals are requested by May 31, 2014. They must meet strict standards of academic excellence and will be judged by the extent to which they broaden the horizons of Jewish genealogical research and/or create innovative tools or technologies to assist Jewish genealogists and family historians in their work.

“Instructions to Applicants” are at the Institute’s website, under “RESEARCH”/“Research Grants”. These instructions should be followed carefully, as only applications in correct form will be considered. Successful applicants will be announced on 1 September, 2014.

USCIS Plans Webinars
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a number of webinars planned, each scheduled for a number of dates. Information about each program can be viewed at Of particular interest is the webinar on “Genealogy Program Introduction.” It introduces the USCIS Genealogy Program and familiarizes attendees with the services, fees, website, request processes, and how/where to get help/more information. It is being given on three separate dates.

Other webinars planned are:
   • History Library Catalog and Services
   • Guide to I&N History Research
   • “Records Found” Case Studies

Library and Archives Canada Posts Description of Their Immigration and Citizenship Sources
Library and Archives Canada [LAC] has published online a series on immigration and citizenship sources to Canada. The first section, covering arrivals in Canada before 1865 is at It can be searched by name of immigrant. Another section describes Passenger Lists for the Port of Quebec City, 1865-1900. It can be found at It too can be searched by passenger’s name. Neither dataset provided images of the passenger lists in the few cases tried. Yet another database, “Passenger Lists, 1865–1922,” can only be searched by ship’s name, port of entry and date. Information on other passenger lists, 1865–1935, can be found at

I found all these sites difficult to navigate. In every case it stated “No Image Available,” yet when clicking on the icon that showed the message, images sometimes appeared.

To submit a Page of Testimony, go to Click the words “Submit Pages of Testimony (online).”

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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