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

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 19, Number 21 | May 27, 2018

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
Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.

European General Data Protection Regulation Is Now Law
It appears the entire world is reacting to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union (EU) that went into effect on May 25. I have received notices of disclosure of privacy practices from many organizations including Ancestry, Dunkin’ Donuts, a firm in Poland that I have never contacted, and even the U.S. Library of Congress. CNN is one of many sites I visited that has a popup window that discloses it uses cookies.

If you are one of the few people who have not heard of this rule, the GDPR is a regulation of the European Union that focuses on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. This includes data found anywhere in the world that collects information about these individuals. A fine up to €10 million or up to 2% of their annual income worldwide can be imposed for violators. A description on GDPR can be found at

It appears that the term “data collection” may have a broad meaning.
  • As a tourist, you take a picture of yourself at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and post it to Facebook. Included in the picture are other tourists. Have you violated GDPR because you did not get permission from the other tourists to post their photo?
   • You receive an unsolicited letter from a genealogist in France. After responding to the inquiry, you save the email in your Trash folder. Are you in violation of GPDR because you collected information (name/email) without the person’s permission?

GDPR may hurt citizens of the European Union. Internet sites that do not conform to GDPR may be blocked by the European Union. The Los Angeles TimesChicago Tribune and New York Daily News are telling EU visitors, “Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries.” Clearly implementation of such a major rule will take years to sort out what will be put into practice. It is unlikely that the EU will require individuals to get permission to save emails in their Trash folders. It is possible that the EU will require Facebook to blur out the faces of people in the background of photographs posted to the site.

Commentaries about the consequences of GDPR can be found at and The entire regulation—all 156 pages—can be found at

Bessarabia SIG Documenting All Burials in Region
The Bessarabia Special Interest Group (SIG) is in the process of identifying all Jewish cemeteries in the region and placing tombstone images on the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). They have compiled a list of cemeteries that can be seen at

Many of the graves are overgrown with foliage; therefore, it is difficult to photograph the tombstones. An example is the project to film the tombstones of Brichany, Moldova. A report can be found at

Jewish Documents from State Archive of the Kiev Oblast Online
Alex Krakovsky has placed online digitized images of 600 Jewish record groups found in the State Archive of the Kiev Oblast. They include metrical books, school records, revision lists, vital records, voter lists and others. The list can be found at The list is not in any particular order, but the six pages of listings can be browsed easily.

The collection is hosted by the Tsal Kaplun Foundation whose stated mission is:
   • To research and preserve history of Jewish families
   • To promote knowledge of Jewish family roots
   • To educate people about “Holocaust by Bullets” on territories of Former Soviet Union

FamilySearch Adds Nearly 3.5 Million Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, nearly 3.5 million indexed records, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. Those identified with a dagger (†) are Christian-only records. They include records from Argentina(†), Austria(†), Benin, Bolivia(†), Brazil(†), England(†), Luxembourg, Germany, Netherlands, Poland(†), Portugal(†), Ukraine(†), United States (Iowa, Louisiana, and Rhode Island) and Venezuela(†).

Note that at the website, 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 can be greater.

New Collections at
Ancestry has updated the following record groups at their site. Excluded are Christian-related collections. Note that they do not indicate how many entries have been added. Announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date.

Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865–1935
Louisiana, Soldiers in the War of 1812
Queensland, Australia, World War I Soldier Portraits, 1914–1918
U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940–1947
UK, Burial and Cremation Index, 1576–2014

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Each year AVOTAYNU publishes more than 300 pages of useful, interesting information about Jewish family history research that can help you in your research. Now in its 33rd year, an index to the first 24 volumes is available to all the major articles.

Published quarterly, our contributing editors from 15 countries throughout the world regularly gather important information that appears in our issues. Our publishers, Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Amdur Sack, are on a first name basis with officials at institutions containing genealogical data throughout the world. 
Some institutions are U.S. National Archives, U.S. Library of Congress, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Leo Baeck Institute,  Yad Vashem and  Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People.

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