“Ehpes”, as it is affectionately known
to its over 350 list members, is really an overarching name for three
loosely coupled entities on the World Wide Web:
1. The Czernowitz-L discussion group with its listserv at Cornell University;
2. The Ehpes website at: http://czernowitz.ehpes.com and;
3. The Ehpes off-topic Blog at: http://ehpes.com/blog1
The 'glue' that holds everything together is the list members’
interest in Jewish genealogical, historical, and cultural research in
the Czernowitz/Sadagora/Bukovina area.
The List: A discussion group known as
"Sadagoran's United" originated in 1997
under the leadership of Nick Martin, Carl Ulrich and Bruce
Reisch. A bit more history can be found here:
As that group grew in size, and expanded to include Czernowitz and the rest of Bukovina, members voted in May 2002 to become an 'e-list' (listserv-based) discussion group, and the Czernowitz-L group debuted in June 2002. The group numbered just 28 subscribers in the early summer of 2002 and has grown to over 350 today. Jerome Schatten joined the list that summer and the Czernowitz-L Website at: http://czernowitz.ehpes.com made its debut on 13 April 2003 under his direction. There have been some 10,600 posts to List since its inception. All posts are in the website's Archives and searchable by date, author and subject.
The list is moderated with a gentle hand by Bruce and Jerome. The litmus test for a post being accepted is simply that has something to do with Jewish genealogy, history, or customs in our geographical areas of interest.
The number of posts in the first full year 2003, was 387; and in the
last full year, 2010 there were 3172 posts -- almost a 10-fold increase
in traffic. Members receive posts by either direct email or daily
digest. No attachments of any kind are sent to the list and posts are
in plain text. Thus no spam or viruses get transmitted through the
The Website at: http://czernowitz.ehpes.com The mission of the Ehpes website is two-fold: First and foremost, it serves the needs of the list members by providing a collection point for Jewish genealogical and historical materials primarily focused on the Czernowitz/Sadagora areas of Bukovina and surrounds; and Second, the Website makes its resources available to all researchers on the web by not copyrighting any of its original materials.
The Ehpes website gives voice to pre and post WWII photographs, a large collection of pre-WWII postcards and photos harvested from the net, stories, family histories and albums, maps, list member's pages, City directories and census data, a FamilyFinder, a three volume cookbook, a reading list, various projects that list members have/are engaged in, links to other sites, and much more. In all there are over 40,000 files on the website at present with more being added all the time.
The 'design' of the site is not slick. Rather, navigation is simple, intuitive, and accessible to users with limited computer skills and computing resources. Form follows function here rather than the other way around.
Members can get one-on-one help preparing their family histories,
albums, stories, and other materials that get posted. The combination
of the list, the website and the blog, provide a number of different
ways for members to express themselves and their research work.
Translators are available to help those more comfortable writing in
languages other than English.
The Blog at: http://ehpes.com/blog1 The off topic Blog captures those things that don't exactly fit the mandate of the list or the website. There is an eclectic assortment of posts, photos, discussions, films, rants, comedy, poetry, etc. Registration is required to make new posts, but comments on posts can be made by anyone and are not moderated as long as they are civil. The Blog, managed by Jerome and Edgar Hauster was started in July of 2009.
Other blogs and websites have close relations with Ehpes. an
example is Edgar's Hauster's personal blogs at: http://czernowitz.blogspot.com/
and the new Bukovina Art
Another example is Christian Herman's 'Vanised World' blog at: http://vanishedworld.wordpress.com/
Our List Members: Of our 350+ members, just about half have posted to the list in 2010. Ages run from teens to our elder Grand Dame who is over 90 years old. Our members are scattered over the globe: Australia, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Iraq, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela, Viet Nam, and most likely others.
Not only does the group share knowledge and tips regarding Jewish genealogical resources in Bukovina, but members, have painted a unique picture of what life was like there pre-WWII through their first hand knowledge and willingness to share their memories via emails, web presentations, and related blogs.
Quite often, the older members of the group knew the families of those searching for information about their roots. There is nothing like finding a person who actually knew your relatives in Bukovina, and can help you find their descendants.
Sub-groups of Ehpes have formed around projects of interest. They have translated the burial registers of the Czernowitz cemetery; participated over several years in the cleanup and restoration of the Czernowitz cemetery; have worked to memorialize Trian Popovici's saving of 20,000+ Czernowitz Jews during the Romanian holocaust; and have helped in numerous ways to establish the Jewish Museum in Czernowitz. We have a good working relationship with the city government of Chernivtsi with the help of Jewish residents still living in the city. Several reunions of former Jewish residents and their decendants have taken place in Czernowitz as a result of connections made by way of the discussion group.
As you travel the many paths of Ehpes, you will experience a conversation, an archive of memories, a record of a lost culture, and the rekindling of a spark that once fueled a vibrant community. Ehpes has provided answers to decades-old questions and comfort to those who have suffered immeasurable losses. It provides a legacy which permits the preservation of a unique and valuable spirit for future generations. In short, it has allowed for the creation of a new extended family for its members.
We invite you to join