Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pre-Conference Update

Posted by: Nolan Altman


JewishGen is proud to announce its 2012 pre-Conference update to the JOWBR (JewishGen’s Online Worldwide Burial Registry) database. The JOWBR database can be accessed  here. If you’re a new JOWBR user, we recommend that you take a look at the first two explanatory screencasts by clicking here

This update adds more than 105,000 new records and 21,000 new photos.  The database is adding 244 new cemeteries along with updates or additions to an additional 343 cemeteries. 

In our continuing effort to broaden JOWBR’s coverage worldwide, we are adding or updating records to cemeteries from 46 countries literally spanning from A to Z, Algeria to Zimbabwe.  This update brings JOWBR’s holdings to 1.86 million records from almost 3,600 cemeteries / cemetery sections. We’ve also added initial data sets for 16 new countries bringing the number of countries represented in JOWBR to 80 on 6 continents!

Once again, donors for this update include a mix of individuals, Jewish genealogical societies, historical societies and museums.  We appreciate all our donor’s submissions and the transliteration work done by a faithful group of JewishGen volunteers. 

I want to particularly thank Eric Feinstein who has been helping me to find and gain permission to add many of the records from under-represented countries.  In addition, without our volunteer transliterators, led by Gilberto Jugend, we would not be able to add the information from some very difficult to read photos.

Of particular note in this update are the following additions:
  • US Veterans buried in Non-Veterans Administration Federal and State cemeteries. Thanks to Randy and Aliza Fishbein who have been working on US veteran records, we are adding 20,700 records for US veterans who requested VA markers and buried in local cemeteries.
  • Czech Republic.  We are adding close to 10,000 records from 34 different cemeteries thanks to Achab Haidler from the Chewra organization in the Czech Republic.  
  • Switzerland.  Thanks to Eduard Benjamin of the Israelitische Cultusgemeinde Z├╝rich (ICZ), we have added 7,200 records from 2 Zurich cemeteries.
  • St. Louis, Missouri.  Our thanks to the United Hebrew Congregation for permission to add 7,000 records from the United Hebrew Cemetery.
  • Morocco.  Thanks to Guy Dvir-Ovadia for his submission of 6,100 records from cemeteries in Fez, Meknes, and Sefrou.
  • Massachusetts Cemeteries.
    • Thanks to David Rosen of the JGS of Greater Boston for submissions of 5,750 records and 950 photos from 2 Lynn and 1 West Roxbury cemeteries.
    • Thanks to Diane Lurie Berg for her submission of 1,050 records and photos from the  Jewish Benevolent Cemetery in West Roxbury
    • Thanks to Marjorie Duby for adding 800 records and 2,700 photos from 3 cemeteries in Waltham, Woburn and West Roxbury.
    • Thanks to Jeff Kontoff for submitting 400 records and 2,300 photos from 3 Springfield and 1 Chicopee cemeteries.
  • Passaic Junction Cemetery, Saddle Brook, NJ.  Thanks to Mark Pollack who has already submitted 3,500 records from this cemetery and continues to work on indexing remaining sections.
  • Quebec, Canada.  Thanks to Alan Greenberg and the JGS of Montreal for updating 129 sections and adding 3,200 records from the Back River and Baron De Hirsh cemeteries in Quebec. 
  • Venezuela.  Thanks to Ignacio Sternberg, founder and president of the Asociacion De Genealogia Judia De Venezuela for submitting 2,900 records from 5 cemeteries in the Caracas area.
  • Italy.  Thanks to Angelica Bertinelli of the "Mantova Ebraica" Associazione Culturale and the Jewish Community of Mantova, Italy for submitting 2,500 records from 11 cemeteries in Italy.
  • Austria.  Thanks to Charlotte Lugmayr-Frantz from Linz, Austria for submitting 2,300 records from cemeteries in Ebensee, Hohenems, Linz and Steyr.
  • Zdunska Wola, Poland.  Thanks to Dr. Kamila Klauzinska and Prof. Daniel Wagner who have completely indexed and submitted an additional 2,100 records bringing the total number Zdunska Wola records to 3,100.
  • Aachen, Germany.  Thanks to Dieter Peters for submitting his 2.050 Aachen records.
  • Brazil.  Thanks to Denis Minev, grandson of Samuel Benchimol, professor emeritus of the Universidade Federale do Amazonas, who wrote Eretz Amazonia: Os judeus na Amazonia, which includes cemetery burial records from 17 cemeteries throughout Amazonia.
  • Ontario, Canada.  Thanks to Allen Halberstadt, coordinator of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada, Toronto’s Cemetery Project, for updating 165 cemetery sections resulting in 1,400 additional records from various cemeteries. 
  • Petach Tikvah / Segulah and Trumpeldor, Israel.  Thanks to Gilda Kurtzman for her ongoing submissions of 600 new records and 2,600 new photos.
  • New Countries.  This update includes our first listings for Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Martinique, Morocco, Myanmar, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Trinidad, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.  Although some are small in number, these listings help achieve JewishGen’s goal of permanently memorializing Jewish communities around the world.
  • Whether your name or records are listed above, we appreciate all your submissions!  Thank you to all the donors that submitted information for this update.

We appreciate all the work our donors have done and encourage you to make additional submissions.  Whether you work on a cemetery / cemetery section individually or consider a group project for your local Society, temple or other group, it’s your submissions that help grow the JOWBR database and make it possible for researchers and family members to find answers they otherwise might not.  Please also consider other organizations you may be affiliated with that may already have done cemetery indexing that would consider having their records included in the JOWBR database.

Stay tuned for our inaugural upload for JewishGen’s Memorial Plaque project.  We currently have approximately 9,000 records to start with and are very interested in your help to add to those figures.  We’re still actively looking for additional files for the launch.  Please contact me to find out more about this project and how you or your JGS can help.

Nolan Altman
JewishGen VP for Data Acquisition
JOWBR – Coordinator
June, 2012

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