Dear JGSTB Members,

If you have not already tried out the newly revised JewishGen website, you are in for a treat.

Avraham Groll, the Exec. Director of JewishGen, announced upcoming improvements to the website at the IAJGS Conference in Cleveland a couple of weeks ago, and it was almost, but not quite ready for prime time when he announced it.

Gary Mokotoff, in his August 4th edition of "Nu! What's New" announced the following about JewishGen:

    "JewishGen Has a New Home Page
    JewishGen has redesigned its home page. It is likely to be a prelude to a substantial overhaul to the design of the site.

    The organization claims the new design is more intuitive and user-friendly; is mobile- responsive; and has a more familiar

     platform, which will make it easier for the organization to find qualified consultants, contractors and volunteers to help

    them in the future.

    While JewishGen attracted approximately one million unique visitors last year, only a small portion of this group actually

    registered or became regular users. The organization anticipates that the new look will improve these results.

    Old timers used to the old format of the home page can get the drop-down menus of the original layout by clicking

    “Search” at the top of the screen.

    JewishGen is located at

The first thing you will notice is a new and different JewishGen Homepage.

Scroll just a little bit down the page, and you will find a Search Button "Search Tens of Millions of Jewish Records" that searches the entire JewishGen Unified Database in a single search.  Just enter what you are looking for, and it will find it for you in whichever database it resides.  This unified database search will save you a few steps when you search.

The next thing you will notice is that JewishGen's new web-server is lightning fast.  This is a major upgrade, and the difference in search speed from the new server is remarkable.  The response is very snappy - almost instant.

The next thing I noticed (and it may have been there before without my knowing it) is that some transcribed records include a live link to a copy of the original document in other databases (, etc.).  These original documents may not have yet been indexed, but you will be able to scroll through the group of records that includes yours (like cranking through a microfilm reel) to find the specific record you are seeking.

JOWBR (the Jewish Online Worldwide Burial Register) has grown and now contains more than 3 million entries from 7,500 cemeteries in 128 countries.

JewishGen's Belarus SIG (within JewishGen) also has a new look and now features the addition of Miriam Weiner's entire Archive Database search engine for Belarus that she has donated to the JewishGen Belarus SIG.

There may be other improvements in the new JewishGen website.  I am just mentioning a few that I noticed.  In general you will find that most JewishGen searches are now easier and noticeably quicker.

Enjoy!  (and consider making a donation to JewishGen to support the fine work they are doing).


by Bill Israel - August 13, 2018