Mokotoff is a noted author, lecturer
and leader of Jewish genealogy. He has been recognized by
three major genealogical groups for his achievements. He is the
first person to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award of the
International Association of Jewish Genealogical
Societies (IAJGS); recipient of the Grahame T. Smallwood Award of the
Association of Professional Genealogists; and the Rabbi Malcolm H.
Stern Humanitarian Award of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.
is the author of a number of books including the
Once We Walked,
a gazetteer that provides information about 23,500 towns
in Central and Eastern Europe where Jews lived before the Holocaust, How
to Document Victims and Locate Survivors of the Holocaust, and Getting
Started in Jewish Genealogy.
is also known for his application of computers to genealogy. Among his
accomplishments is co-authorship of the
Daitch-Mokotoff soundex system; the JewishGen Family Finder, a database
of ancestral towns and surnames being researched
by some 70,000 Jewish genealogists throughout the world and the
Consolidated Jewish Surname Index.
has been on a number of Boards of Directors
Federation of Genealogical Societies, JewishGen, Association of
of Jewish Book Publishers and Jewish Book Council.
Genealogical Accomplishments of
Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (1989–95).
Founding president. Established AJGS as
advocate of the interests of Jewish genealogy to government agencies,
Jewish archives and libraries, genealogical groups, LDS Family History
Department and other organizations. Encouraged the establishment of
Jewish genealogical societies throughout the world; the number of
societies grew from 35 to 56 during his tenure. Established an IAJGS
Gift Fund to assist Jewish archives and libraries in providing improved
access by genealogists to their records. First person to receive the
Lifetime Achievement Award (1998) by IAJGS.
Publisher, Avotaynu, The International Review
of Jewish Genealogy.
Founded in 1985 as a 20-page
semiannual, it has grown to 68-page quarterly that is one of the most
respected magazines in genealogy. It is considered by many to be the
definitive source on the status of access to genealogical records in
the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The parent company, Avotaynu,
Inc. has published more than 75 books of interest
to Jewish genealogists. Five of these books have won
In 2004, the Association of Jewish Libraries awarded Avotaynu its "Body
of Work" award for the collection of books it has published in the area
of Jewish genealogy.
Board of Directors, Federation of Genealogical Societies (1991–2006; treasurer
vice-president development 1999–2000, member
2003–2006 ). Production
FGS Forum (1994–2010). As
Forum Advisory Committee, guided the FGS magazine, Forum,
through the transition from unpaid
to paid subscription. Recipient of the George E. Williams Award (1994)
for his accomplishments on this project. Recipient of the David S.
Vogels Award (1997) for his contribution to FGS. Recipient of the Rabbi
Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award (2006) to "recognize
the lifetime contributions of a rare
individual whose positive personal influence and example have fostered
unity in the genealogical community, provided leadership to its
individual members, and helped make family history a vital force in the
community at large."
Board of Directors, JewishGen (1996–2002),
of Jewish genealogy on the Internet. Member Board of Governors (2009–2017) Co-chair Board of Governors (2009–2014).
Board of Directors, Association of Professional
(2002–2005). Winner of Grahame T. Smallwood Award for
the organization: 2006. Awarded life-time membership for contribution
to genealogy: 2008.
Board of Directors, Jewish Genealogical Society (New
(1985–89). During his tenure on the Board, membership grew
from 150 to
900 members, beginners workshops were initiated, the first National
Seminar on Jewish Genealogy was held in 1982. He was on the committees
of the 1982, 1985 and 1986 seminars. He was responsible for the
publishing and marketing functions of Genealogical Resources in the New
York Metropolitan Area (more
than 4,500 sold to date).
Founding Committee, International
Institute of Jewish Genealogy, Jerusalem, Israel. (2004–
Advisory Committee, Douglas E. Goldman Genealogy Center,
Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv,
Assisted in promoting, worldwide, the family tree database of the
Advisory Committee on Russian-American Genealogical Archival Exchange
which established the first exchange of genealogical data between the
U.S. and Russia. (1989–1994)
Author, How to Document Victims and Locate
Survivors of the Holocaust (Teaneck, N.J.: Avotaynu,
1995), a "how to" book on Holocaust research.
Co-author, Where Once We Walked: A Guide to the
Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust (Teaneck, N.J.: Avotaynu,
1991; Revised edition, 2002), a gazetteer of some 23,500 town in
central and Eastern Europe where Jews lived prior to the Holocaust. The
book was named "Outstanding Reference Book of the Year" for 1991 by the
Association of Jewish Librarians. It is the standard gazetteer of
Eastern European towns in many libraries and archives throughout the
N.J.: Avotaynu, 1995), an index to towns in Where Once We Walked that permits you to locate towns
within the vicinity of towns.
Co-author, Getting Started In Jewish Genealogy (Bergenfield,
1999). Primer on Jewish genealogical
research. Sole author, revised editions (New Haven, CT: Avotaynu, 2016)
Guide to Jewish Genealogy (Bergenfield,
2004). The book won Honorable Mention in the Reference Book category of
the National Jewish Book Council.
Family Has a Story (Bergenfield, N.J.: Avotaynu, 2008). Tales
of how genealogical research affected people's lives.
Editor, Nu? What's New?,
the e-zine of Jewish genealogy (2000– )
chapter of The
Source, Revised Edition; author of numerous articles on
Jewish and Eastern European genealogy in NGS Quarterly, FGS
Forum, Ancestry Newsletter, and Avotaynu.
co-chair, Third International Seminar on Jewish Genealogy, Salt Lake City, Utah, July, 1991.
co-chair, Fourth International Seminar of Jewish Genealogy, Jerusalem, Israel, April, 1994.
co-chair, 20th International Seminar on Jewish Genealogy, Salt Lake City, Utah, July, 2000.
Co-developer, Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex System, considered by many to be the most
significant improvement to soundexing systems since the creation of the
Russell soundex system in 1918. It is the standard soundex system for
all computerized Jewish genealogical databases. The United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, and the Hebrew Immigrant
Aid Society (HIAS) have declared it to be the standard soundex system
for their databases.
Family Finder, a registry
of more than 500,000 family
surnames and ancestral towns being researched by some 100,000 Jewish
genealogists throughout the world.
Jewish Genealogical People Finder (Family
Tree of the Jewish People), a registry of family trees
compiled by Jewish genealogists throughout the world.
Creator, Consolidated Jewish Surname Index, a database of more than 700,000
different Jewish surnames taken from 424 different databases.
of numerous other Jewish genealogical computer databases including "Name Changes in the Palestine Gazette," "Index to Memorial to the Jews Deported from
and others. All told, database projects under his direction have
totaled more than one million entries.
of the computer aspect of the National Registry of Jewish
Holocaust Survivors, a
registry of more
Holocaust survivors and their children. Information about survivors
includes place of birth, town before war and locations during war. This
database is now located at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Teacher, Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy,
on indexing projects of
Russian Consular Records and
index to the book First
American Jewish Families by
Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern, FASG.
Ultimate Family Tree genealogy software system (1996–1998).
Ancestry.com (1996–present). Author of the "Where Do I Begin?"
narrative of the "Jewish Family
History Collection" at Ancestry.com.
Contributor for genealogy:
Lecturer at NGS and FGS conferences, most of
the 36 annual seminars of Jewish Genealogy, regional genealogical
societies, Greater New York City Jewish interest groups and beginners
workshops on various subjects of Jewish genealogy including Holocaust
research, geography of central and eastern Europe, status of
genealogical resources in central and eastern Europe, and getting
lifetime membership in 2008.
Board of Directors (1995–2001), Jewish
Book Council. Judge: Holocaust
National Jewish Book Awards.
Member, Board of Directors (1996–2001), Association
of Jewish Book Publishers.
1959–1963. IBM Corp
Applied Programming Department. Developed systems software that IBM
delivered with its first commercial computer, the IBM 1401. Part of the
team that designed
and wrote 1401 SPS, Autocoder and FORTRAN,
1963–1965. U.S. Army.
Installed the first computer and Fort Dix, New Jersey. Achieved the
rank of SP-5 in two years. Received commendation for work at Fort Dix.
1965–1968. IBM Corp
Commercial Analysis Dept. Developed IBM's strategy for marketing
software in its competitive environment.
President of software company that focused on serving the retail chain
industry. Installed the first computer at such retail chains as Linens
n' Things. The Childrens Place, Bed Bath & Beyond.
two certifications while in this field: Certified Data Processor (1986)
Certified Systems Programmer (1985)
© 2017 by Gary Mokotoff
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