Monday, March 7, 2016

KehilaLinks at JewishGen (a favorite website for those researching their Jewish ancestry), offers many resources, as I have shared previously. I receive occasional emails noting updates to the KehilaLinks project and I thought I'd share links to my husband's ancestral communities in one blog post for reference.

What is KehilaLinks? 

From the website: "KehilaLinks is a project facilitating web pages commemorating the places where Jews have lived. KehilaLinks provides the opportunity for anyone with an interest in a place to create web pages about that community. These web pages may contain information, pictures, databases, and links to other sources providing data about that place."

These pages are coordinated by volunteers. Some have more information than others. And there are not pages for every community, but where there is a page, it can provide additional background to your research.

I found the following:

Iaşi, Romania where Morris and Max Goldstein came from.

Shytomir/Zhitomir/Zhytomyr, Ukraine where Simche Segal came from.

Husiatyń/Gusyatin, Ukraine (formerly part of Galicia, Austria) where the Lewites / Levitt family came from (Max, Emanuel, and Sophie).

Farming Communities of NJ (specifically, Woodbine, New Jersey) where the Goldsteins and Levitts settled and where my mother-in-law grew up.

There is not a page for Hőgyész, Hungary, where Anna Honenvald's family was from. The KehilaLinks page for Hungary will show any updates and additions.

There is also not a KehilaLink page for Bonyhád, Hungary, but there is a Yizkor Book page which references Bonyhad: a destroyed community; the Jews of Bonyhad, Hungary, a book by Leslie Blau, from which a KehilaLink page could probably be created. This is where the Hollander family was from, and where the Handler family was originally from before an ancestor moved from there to Ljuba (now in Serbia).

Yizkor Book Project is another wonderful resource from JewishGen. Yizkor books, usually put together by survivors of the Holocaust, were written after the Holocaust as memorials to Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust.  They might contain descriptions and histories of the community, biographies of prominent people, and lists of people who perished. I do own the book for Bonyhád, which gives a wonderful sense of what the community was like before the war.

There don't appear to be any pages for communities in what is now Serbia and Croatia. The Handler family, before immigrating to Akron, Ohio, came from Ljuba, near Erdevik, Serbia, and Ilok, Croatia.

Have you explored the KehilaLinks pages for your Jewish ancestral community? You won't necessarily find your family name, but if you do find your community in this database, you can learn more about the history of the community and explore a variety of different resources.

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