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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 15, Number 20 | May 27, 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
Nu? What’s New? Published Tuesday
This week’s edition of Nu? What’s New? is being published on Tuesday. This past weekend, my wife and I flew to Florida to celebrate the 95th birthday of her uncle. It was a great affair with his immediate family in attendance, as well as nieces and nephews from all over the United States.

FamilySearch Offers Free Digitization Services at Family History Centers
Now you can digitize all of your photos, documents and other family history related items for free. FamilySearch has announced a free scanning and preservation service for patrons at more than 2,800 of its North American Family History Centers. It will soon be available in other countries. People can now digitally preserve and share their printed historic family photos and documents using customized Lexmark MultiFunction Products. To locate a FHC near you, go to The complete announcement can be found at

Standards Proposed for Genetic Genealogy
Using genetics for genealogy has matured to the point that a group of genetic genealogists, scientists and traditional genealogists have proposed a set of standards for genetic genealogy. The document is intended to provide ethical and usage standards for the genealogical community to follow when purchasing, recommending, sharing, or writing about the results of DNA testing for ancestry. The committee is interested in feedback about their proposed standards and would appreciate comment from the public through June 15. Information plus a link to the standards can be found at Additional comments can be found at

Please Sign Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights
The last issue of Nu? What’s New? described that the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) has created a “Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights” which advocates open access to federal, state, and local public records. The Declaration affirms America’s long history of open public records, which has been threatened the last few years over concerns about identity theft and privacy. Nu? What’s New? readers are encouraged to read and sign the Declaration at It will be a help make legislators aware of the significant size of the genealogy audience in the United States and that their needs should be considered.

Early-Bird Pricing for Conference Ends May 31
For those readers who are certified procrastinators and have not yet registered for the 34th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, the time is now. Early-bird discounts end on May 31. Register at

Webinar on Family History Library Geared to Jewish Family History Research
IAJGS Board Member Daniel Horowitz will be broadcasting a webinar How To Find Relatives In the Salt Lake City Family History Library this Wednesday, May 28, at 2:00pm Eastern (New York) time. Although motivated by the planned July/August annual conference being held in Salt Lake City, it should be of value to any person with Jewish family history, to understand the vast holdings of this five-story structure and its vault in the mountains of Utah. For example, part of the webinar will focus on how to use the FamilySearch website. Most of their collection can be loaned to one of the thousands of Family History Centers throughout the world. Register  at

YIVO Creates Digital Archive on Jewish Life in Poland
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research has launched a “Digital Archive on Jewish Life in Poland” at The website provides access to thousands of documents, manuscripts, photographs, artworks, films, and audio recordings relating to the Jewish community in Poland before World War II.

The full importance of YIVO’s Polish Jewish archival collections can be understood only in light of the near total destruction of Jewish communal and cultural archives and libraries in Poland during World War II. Poland was once the home of the largest Jewish community in the world and was one of the great centers of Jewish political, cultural, and religious life. YIVO’s Polish Jewish Archive is the only substantial American collection, and one of very few worldwide, which was saved from the destruction of the Holocaust.
YIVO was founded in Vilna, Poland, in 1925, and relocated to New York City in 1940. It considers itself the leading academic center for East European and Russian Jewish Studies in the world and specializes in Yiddish language, literature and folklore, the Holocaust and the American Jewish immigrant experience. Their archive and library hold a collection of 23 million documents and more than 385,000 volumes in 12 major languages. They also offer public programs, educational programs, scholarly publications, research publications and fellowships. Their home page is at

FamilySearch Additions for the Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 3.1 million indexed records and images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Brazil, Canada, France, Indonesia, Netherlands, Peru, Portugal and the U.S. states of California, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin plus District of Columbia.

There are no notable additions, but one may be an item of interest to you, therefore, view the website.

Note that the announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date. Also note that counts shown in the announcement are the number added, not the total number available in the collection, which may be greater.

Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE Expands to Scotland
The great success of the London-base conference and exhibit, Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE has caused it promoters to have a second event from August 29–31 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center in Glasgow. Tickets can be purchased at The home page of the event is at

Avotaynu Anthology of Jewish Genealogy
 All back issues of our journal AVOTAYNU from 1985–2011

    • 27 years   • 105 issues   2,900 articles  • 7,000 pages 
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 Cost is $35 (one-time charge).

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Number of articles in Anthology by topic:

Algeria 8
Argentina 21
Australia 36
Austria 17
Austro-Hungary 7**
Belarus* 26
Belgium 24
Bermuda 1
Book Reviews 289
Brazil 25
Bulgaria 5
Burma 1
Canada 94
Caribbean 9
Cuba 3

China 10

Computers 21
Conferences 52
Costa Rica 1
Croatia 3
Cyprus 1
Czech Republic 33
Denmark 2
DNA 25
East Europe– Gen’l
Egypt 11
England 125
Estonia* 5
Europe-General 25
Finland 1

France 102
Galicia 20
General 233
Germany 173
Gibraltar 1
Greece 12
Holland 83
Holocaust 177
Hungary 46
India 6
Iraq 3
Iran 5
Ireland 2
Israel 125
Italy 14 
Latvia* 26

LDS 29
Libya 1
Lithuania* 71
Methodology 84
Moldova* 5
Morocco 18
New Zealand 13
North Africa 2
Poland 118
Portugal 21
Rabbinic 57
Romania 33
Russia 46** 
Scotland 27
Sephardic 42
Serbia 2

Slovakia 1
South Africa 22
South America 1
Spain 13
Sudan 1
Sweden 5
Switzerland 27
Syria 3
Tunisia 3
Turkey 22
Ukraine* 57
United States   227
USSR 92**
Venezuela 1
Zimbabwe 1

Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
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