Those of us who have heard Yale Reisner of the Ronald Lauder Foundation talk about the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw have dreamed of having easy access to their large archival collections. But, broad access to their holdings has been impossible while the Institute was undergoing reconstruction. Fortunately for us, the re-opening of the archives at the Institute coincides with other positive news.
Following the very successful conference last summer, the JGS of NY allocated $6000 to JRI-Poland to be used for a mutually-approved project. We proposed to use this grant to launch a formal program to index genealogically-related holdings at the Jewish Historical Institute. Discussions started last October and in the last few months, everything has come together. Remember, I just said a “formal” program, not something ad hoc; we wanted to be sure that the work would not be interrupted once it starts and that meant hiring someone whose sole task would be to carry out the goals of the project. The last few pieces fell into place last month when JRI-Poland hired an experienced multi-lingual transliterator to handle the complex indexing, and a computer was made available for the work.