Virtual Shtetl Links

The Award-Winning Searchable Database of Indexes to Jewish Records of Poland
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Jewish Records Indexing - Poland / Museum of the History of Polish Jews Announcement

Virtual Shtetl

In October 2010, an agreement was signed between Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, and the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews, scheduled to open in Warsaw in the fall of 2013. This agreement unites the two organizations in a significant cooperative effort to promote research and to educate those interested in the rich and historic culture of Polish Jewry, which dates back almost 1000 years.

Peter Jassem, Canadian representative of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews and Stanley Diamond, executive director of Jewish Records Indexing Poland, Inc

The museum is on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto. The government of Poland and the city of Warsaw are fully funding the 120 million US dollar cost of the construction, as both levels of government understand the need to preserve the memory of this important part of its country's heritage, while the permanent exhibition has received generous support of members of Jewish communities throughout the world.

The museum will take visitors through the Polish-Jewish experience, from the early settlements one thousand years ago, to the centuries of development of a unique civilization, through the horror of the Holocaust, and beyond to the post-war years and the modern revival of the Jewish community in Poland. Once completed, the museum will compare in content and importance to both Yad Vashem in Israel and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and promises to become an important destination for visitors and researchers -- Jews and non-Jews alike.

Jewish Records Indexing - Poland was founded in 1995 to create searchable online indices of Polish Jewish records for those searching their ancestral roots and seeking to reconstruct their family trees in search of living relatives. Since its inception, JRI-Poland has indexed more than four million records, mostly from vital record registers, censuses and other sources in the Polish Archives, cemeteries, schools and museums. The archival information is supplemented by indexes obtained from other sources, such as Polish business directories, newspaper advertisements and private collections.

The key area of cooperation between the two organizations is the linkage of their respective town web pages. The Museum's "virtual shtetl' pages will commemorate and build research resources for more than 1,000 Polish shtetlach. JRI-Poland has Jewish record indices from the birth, marriage, death and census records for the Jewish families that lived in many of these same towns. By using the two websites together, researchers will be able not only to get names, dates and sources of family records from JRI-Poland, but will also be able to learn about town histories and view town photographs from the Museum Virtual Shtetl pages.