Following the very successful 1999 International Conference on Jewish Genealogy hosted by the Jewish Genealogical Society, Inc. (New York), the society allocated $6,000 to JRI-Poland to be used for a mutually-approved project. The grant was used to launch a program to index genealogically-related holdings at the Jewish Historical Institute in July 2000. In consultation with JGS, Inc., the board of JRI-Poland decided to use the donation as seed money so that this project might be extended indefinitely with a view of indexing many other holdings at the Jewish Historical Institute.
Projects of genealogical interest were identified by Yale Reisner, then director of the Ronald S. Lauder Genealogy Project at the Institute. As each project was launched, JRI-Poland initiated fund-raising activities to offset the cost of indexing the records in the collection. People with an interest in specific records were encouraged to help fund the data entry. In 2009 the Genealogy Project became the Genealogy Department of the Jewish Historical Institute and is supported by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture.
Copies of records found in JRI-Poland searches may be ordered directly from the Jewish Genealogy & Family Heritage Center at The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute. There is a separate order form linked from the web page of each of the projects listed below.
This indexing initiative is yet another example of the power of cooperative effort by volunteers and contributors with a common interest.