See you Sunday!
Video Virtual Tour of Lost German Synagogues
Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento
Sunday, January 13, 10 a.m.
It's estimated that in Germany alone, some 1400 synagogues were destroyed during the 1938 Kristallnacht, or shortly before or after. Since 1995, at least a dozen of these synagogues that were lost have been virtually reconstructed on the computer by architectural staff and students at a German university.
Bernie Goldberg, a retired English teacher from the Sacramento area, will present a film, “A Virtual Reconstruction of the Five Lost German Synagogues” at the January meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento. The film showcases six synagogues in Cologne, Hanover, Berlin, Plauen, Munich and Nuremberg that are among the 1400 lost during the Holocaust.
The film is the beginning of a continuing effort to reproduce pixel by pixel the synagogues lost
during the war. Each viewing begins with an actual photo of the building, instantly transformed into the computerized view of the
same. The camera then transports viewers around the exterior and into the front doors, sweeping
to the interior and ceiling, revealing the decorative art in full color. The 22-minute film includes
cantorial and choral accompaniment to add to the experience.
Join us for a look at this inspirational film. The January 13th meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the Albert Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright Street, Sacramento. All are welcome to attend, and to use the JGSS library collection. For more information about the JGSS, visit www.jgss.org, e-mail the JGSS at jgs_sacramento@... or leave a message at 916-486-0906 ext. 361.
Steve Morse in Davis Sunday, January 27
In case you missed Steve's presentation of this talk to us last year, here's a chance to hear it on Sunday, January 27, 2008, at 3 p.m. -- "The Jewish Calendar Demystified.at Congregation Bet Haverim, 1715 Anderson Road, Davis.
The presenter will be Dr. Stephen Morse, an international award-winning expert on geneological research. His Web site is at www.stevemorse.org
The Jewish calendar is important to geneologists because Jewish vital records use Jewish dates. The Jewish calendar is both a solar and lunar calendar and its rules are complicated. Topics include the 19-year calendar cycle, the origin of time, errors in the Jewish and secular calendars, and the use of Hebrew letters to represent dates on tombstones.
For details, call Congregation Bet Haverim at 530-758-0842.
From Gary Mokotoff's Avotaynu e-Zine:Planned Trip to Bad Arolsen May 4–9
As a result of discussions with the directors of the International Tracing Service at Bad Arolsen, Germany, Avotaynu is sponsoring a trip of not more than 40 genealogists to do research at ITS May 4–9. It will provide hands-on research at the archives aided by trained ITS personnel.
The cost will be approximately $1000 and includes six days lodging at the Welcome Hotel in Bad Arolsen, breakfast at the hotel, lunch at ITS, and shuttle service to/from the train station in Kassel, Germany. The price does not include such costs as plane fare to Frankfurt, Germany, train fare to Kassel, dinners and other incidental costs.
It is expected that interest in such a trip will be high, so make a tentative commitment shortly. Send an e-mail to garymokotoff@... providing name/address/telephone number, number of rooms required and whether room will be single or double occupancy.
MyHeritage.com Launches Powerful Search Engine
An Israeli company has developed a search engine that will identify which of 1,331 online genealogy databases have information about a given person or surname. The search engine at http://MyHeritage.com has a powerful spelling variant system. Another unusual feature is that it will tell you if any other patron has requested the identical search.
At the Home Page, key in a name or surname only, and you are presented with a list of possible spelling variants of the surname found in 1,131 online genealogical databases. You can select up to 10 variants. The search engine then displays which of the databases contain the selected surname with links to the databases. The Megadex (a trademarked name) search appears to be quite powerful. It not only displays phonetically similar surnames but also possible handwriting variants.
New Latvian Internet Sites
Kahlile Mehr of the LDS Family History Department wrote an excellent article in the Fall issue of AVOTAYNU that identified all the Internet sites of the national archives of Eastern European countries. He now informs us that the State Archives of Latvia has placed online an index to their holdings with plans to digitize many of their documents and place them on the Internet. The index is located at http://www.arhivi.gov.lv/index.php?&3. The inventory is in Latvian, of course, so search for words such as “rabin” (rabbi) or “ebreju” (Jewish) or a specific town name. I got hits in the Database of the Central Fond Register. I could not access the Database of the State Archive of Latvia. The Raduraksti (Genealogy) collection currently has Protestant records only.
The Centre for Judaic Studies of the University of Latvia has developed a Holocaust database of Latvian Jews, located at http://names.lu.lv/. On the Home Page, click on “Surnames” and then select a surname of interest. This brings up a search page where you must further qualify the search by Place of Residence. When results are found, the system displays the person’s name, date of birth and prewar residence. I did not fully understand how the search engine worked. After selecting the common Jewish surname, Kagan, and requesting people from Riga, the capital of Latvia, the system displayed 550 entries, many of which did not have the surname Kagan.
The Centre estimates that of the 94,000 Jews who lived in Latvia before the Holocaust, about 70,000 were killed.
National Archives and Records Service of South Africa
The National Archives and Records Service of South Africa has placed on the Internet a number of indexes to government records at http://www.national.archives.gov.za/index.htm. Called the National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS), it can search a number of databases.
Russian Database of Military Personnel Lost in World War II
The Russian Defense Ministry has placed online a list of military personnel who were killed or disappeared during World War II. It is located at http://www.obd-memorial.ru/. The site is entirely in Russian. Use one of the many online Russian translators if you are not familiar with the language. If you do not have a Cyrillic keyboard, use Steve Morse’s English to Russian transliteration program to create the Cyrillic characters. A successful search provides name, date of birth and death (sometimes only year) and, apparently, place of residence. I searched for the very common Russian-Jewish surname: Kagan. There were only 30 persons listed.
Lyakhovichi Shtetl Site
Jewish genealogists whose ancestral town is Lyakhovichi, Belarus, have developed a very comprehensive website demonstrating what can be done to document a town’s history. See http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/Lyakhovichi/lyakhovichi.html. The site contains 74 separate Web pages; 37 pages with tables of extracted data;40 maps; 600 images; name index of 19,000 names; patronymic index; Immigration index. There are plans to post a 1784 Lithuanian Tax List and the 1834 and 1850 Russian Revisions (Census) lists early next year.
Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape in the new year.