Wednesday, August 24, 2011

IAJGS Honors JewishGen VPs Michael Tobias and Phyllis Kramer


JewishGen congratulates Michael Tobias and Phyllis Kramer on their recent awards from the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies (IAJGS).                                                        


The awards were announced on August 18 at the IAJGS Conference Gala in Washington, D.C. Michael Tobias, JewishGen Vice President for Programming and co-founder of Jewish Records Indexing-Poland, received the IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award for his role in development and improvement of online 
database systems.  Michael Tobias was singled out for his leadership role in the creation and maintenance of free databases that provide access for hundreds of thousands of Jewish genealogists to the records of their ancestors.


Phyllis Kramer, JewishGen Vice President for Education, won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Jewish Genealogy via the Internet, Print, or Electronic Product, for her role with the JewishGen Learning Center.The JewishGen Learning Center features six online interactive courses to help researchers organize their information and begin to trace their ancestral roots. Ms. Kramer has reached over 1,400 researchers in the last five years through a comprehensive educational curriculum addressing all levels of experience. 


With a growing database of more than 18 million records, JewishGen.org is a volunteer-driven forum for the exchange of information about Jewish life and family history, and has enabled thousands of families to find records of their ancestors and connect and re-connect in a way never before possible.  


JewishGen includes several databases that include vital information for anyone interested in Jewish genealogy.  The site’s content includes databases from several different countries; the Worldwide Burial Registry of 1.5 million records from around the globe; the JewishGen Communities Database, which allows users to search for town names based on proximity and phonetic spelling; the Holocaust Database; and the Given Names Database. Discussion groups are also available and are read and contributed to by researchers around the world. On the discussion group, readers ask questions, provide tips, and focus on specific geographic areas and interests. 


Recent success stories include that of two cousins, Moshe Perelman and Moniek Garber, who survived the Holocaust and thought each other had perished. Through JewishGen, they reunited 67 years later. 


Thanks to JewishGen, there have been countless other poignant stories about brothers’ families reconnecting decades after the war, and multiple family members being found after decades of searching.


“JewishGen provides the crucial link between modern life and the stories of our ancestors,” said Warren Blatt, JewishGen’s Managing Director.  “For those with Jewish ancestry, JewishGen is the 21st century resource for researching our 19th and 20th century roots.”

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