<Czern-L> Report from Washington, D.C.

From: Bruce Reisch <bir1_at_nysaes.cornell.edu>
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003 09:41:12 -0400
To: czernowitz-l_at_cornell.edu
Reply-To: bir1_at_nysaes.cornell.edu

<x-flowed>Dear Friends:

I'd like to report on our Czernowitz/Bukovina lunch during the Jewish
Genealogy conference last week in Washington, D.C. We numbered 21
attendees (plus 2 who joined just for the discussion) and I have to
say how impressed I was with the level of interest, professionalism,
and comraderie among all who attended. Merle Kastner commented that
if you mentioned "Bukovina" at a Jewish Genealogy meeting a few
years ago, no one knew what you were talking about. Now we seem to
be on the map!

Here are my notes from our meeting. I invite others who were there
to fill in the blanks, and expand upon what I write here.

1. We organized a buffet type lunch (assortment of Kosher deli
sandwiches, cole slaw, potato salad, etc.) - food was ready for us
and we had a semi-private room for our lunch and short meeting.

2. We started our meeting by introducing ourselves and briefly
stating our interest in Czernowitz or other connection to Bukovina.

3. I welcomed the group and invited Hymie Reichstein, President of
the Jewish Genealogica Society of Ottawa, to talk about the
Czernowitz Cemetery Project. The project computerization phase will
begin with the creation of a database of information from the Jewish
Cemetery burial registers. Hymie noted that more than 20,000 names
from the post 1947 Cyrillic listings have already been transliterated
into Roman characters (applause!). He then handed me 6 CD's with
images of all pages of the 20+ volume cemetery burial registers.
These were described by Alti Rodal in the winter issue of Avotaynu
(2002). Eventually, the entire database of names linked to images of
each tombstone will be placed online in the newly released "JOWBR" -
JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry. Hymie thanked Alti Rodal
and George Bolotenko for their efforts to complete the on site work
in Czernowitz, and also thanked Lawrence Tapper for his generous
contribution toward the project.

3. Hymie asked Alti Rodal to describe her moving trip back to the
villages of her ancestors (Borivtsi and Kisilev), 2001. She talked
about this trip and about her efforts to construct a monument at the
site of the mass grave near these villages. She was greeted warmly
by many of the local people, some of whom related their memories of
the Jewish community.

3. Hymie also asked George Bolotenko to speak about his experience
photographing the tombstones in the cemetery. George works for the
National Archives of Canada, and accomplished much of the actual
digital photography along with his family. George also suggested
that archives in Ukraine are more likely to respond to mail/email
from groups rather than what they receive from iniduals. "Someone
could put together a group letterhead, and send a request for
research on behalf of the group. Keep writing over a period of time
to keep your interests on the front burner!" (These aren't direct
quotes, but I'm paraphrasing from what I think George said.)

4. Boris Feldblyum offered to help do research in the archives. His
only connection to the area is that he once had a girlfriend from
Bukovina, but regardless, he could still travel there to do research!
Boris is a professional researcher with experience in Russia and
Ukraine (maybe someone could forward his web site address to the

5. Merle Kastner thanked Bruce for creating the Czernowitz/Sadagora
mailing list - Bruce blushed but your couldn't tell because of his
tan. In any case, he said that any progress being made is due to the
efforts and contributions of many. You can't single me out!

6. Various discussion took place privately and as a group. There
are many project to do - just need volunteers, organizers, and a good
set of directions/guidelines. In addition to the Czernowitz
cemetery, JGS Ottawa also possesses digital images of all tombstones
in Sadagora, Khotin, and some from Kamenetz Podolsk. I suggested
that the core group of Sadagora descendants would be anxious to begin
creating a database from the Sadagora tombstone inscriptions.

A 1930 address directory was copied by the Ottawa team, along with
many miscellaneous death certificates from the early 1900s. We have
plenty to do now, and will have more in a few years when the vital
records that are being microfilmed by the LDS Library become

Finally, we talked a bit about how to continue the momentum in
Jerusalem, at next year's meeting. A lunch is limited to those who
pre-arrange to attend. Others heard about it by word of mouth and
were also able to attend, though space could have been a problem at
the restaurant. So the suggestion surfacing for next year is to
organize a "Birds of a Feather" type of group meeting, and have it
listed in the conference program. In this way, a meeting room could
be pre-arranged, and all interested parties could attend. An
informal agenda could be arranged as the time nears. Renee Steinig
suggested that the meeting in Jerusalem could be an excellent
opportunity to sit down with some of her older relatives and other
older Bukovina emigrants and record their experiences. In addition,
we could set up meetings with the leaders of the Bukovina Jews World
Union, and invite them to the B.O.F. session, too.

Organizers of a meeting in Jerusalem could be drawn from among those
planning to attend the meeting, and preferably from among those who
live in Israel. We'll need to continue this and other discussions!


Appendix: Attendees at the Czernowitz/Bukovina Lunch

Rae Barent
George Bolotenko
Adam Bronstein
Richard Brucker
Richard Cooperman
Boris Feldblyum
Joyce Field
Rand Fishbein and spouse
Ruth and Jerry Gavis
Sandra Greenberg
Carlos Hecker
Merle Kastner
Shlomo Katz
Gay Lynne Kegan
Debora Milstein
Hymie Reichstein
Bruce Reisch
Alti Rodal
Renee Steinig
Ignacio Sternberg
Lawrence Tapper
Received on 2003-07-27 09:54:15

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