Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wishing You a Sweet New Year


Dear Friend,
 
1 million records. 41,000 new users. Nearly 8,000 donors.
 
These figures demonstrate tremendous accomplishment by JewishGen last year. First, we are actively growing our databases to meet the demand of ourconstantly expanding user base. Second, our users continue to appreciate thefree service provided by JewishGen, and are willing to financially support its mission.
 
There is still so much more to do.
 
We added more than 1 million records last year (surpassing 21 million records in total!), hundreds of Yizkor Book translations and many other important items of interest to Jewish genealogists – but there remain millions of records throughout the world that have yet to be digitized, indexed and made searchable on JewishGen. Some for-profit companies seek to obtain these records, and then charge to access them. It is our belief that Jewish family research should be freely accessible, and we are doing everything we can to keep it that way.
 
Within the next few weeks, we hope to publish our second annual report highlighting JewishGen’s accomplishments over the course of the previous year. Running almost 50 pages, it also includes a list of 2011 donors who permitted us to share their names and generosity with the public. We will send you an email when the report is ready. Last year’s report was viewed more than 20,000 times, and we are confident that this year’s report will reach an even wider audience.
 
As always, major and significant improvements (with the rapid advance of technology, these improvements are always significant) have continued to be made “behind the scenes” to help ensure an easy, powerful and secure web experience.
 
As you may have noticed, many of our most popular features (such as the Family Finder and Burial Registry) now have distinctively branded logos, making it easier to identify the information you are viewing. A project that has generated particular enthusiasm is our “Memorial Plaques” project, whereby volunteers throughout the world are indexing the names appearing on Memorial (Yizkor) plaques in their synagogues.
 
Finally, and most importantly, our loyal users continued to provide us with a strong base of financial support – we received nearly 8,000 donations last year – allowing us to operate within our budget for the third year in a row despite global economic uncertainty.
 
This feat was possible only because our users made a conscious decision to participate – each according to their ability – in the important service we are providing. Every single financial donor has a share in any success that results from JewishGen. While we received some donations in excess of $1000 or as modest as $5, each was significant and important to us, and we are grateful.
 
As the New Year approaches, we remain confident that you and other JewishGen users will once again help support our important work to the best of your ability. Each donation makes a difference, and helps us to continue offering a service that has connected thousands of families over the past two decades.
 
If you are in a position to make a financial contribution to JewishGen, please CLICK HERE - it will be greatly appreciated. 
 
Regardless of your level of financial support, we are glad that you are part of the global JewishGen community – the JewishGen family – and we wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year, a Shana Tova and a K'siva V'chasima Tova.
 
Sincerely,
 
Warren Blatt - Managing Director
Michael Tobias - Vice President of Programming
Avraham Groll - Director of Business Operations

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