*shalom- (Yid.) Hello, goodbye, peace, and prosperity.
Recently IDG was asked to take a look at the website, Jewish Web Index and I jumped at the chance to learn more about the available information provided by the website owner, Ted Margulis. Mr. Margulis has spent twelve years developing an extensive resource that was originally meant for his own use, but was eventually made public.
“Genealogy is all about sharing information…”
I started by reading “How to Use This Site” and was certainly excited at the possibilities for discovery after getting up to speed. As I explored his website I found a number of interesting pages that provide excellent perspectives on genealogical research for those with Jewish heritage. I first turned to the pages for the countries where I have ancestors: Belarus and Slovakia. Both pages were extensive and soon I found myself overwhelmed with the number of links available. Each country page includes a brief narrative of the history of the country and the story of the Jewish people there. Mr. Margulis also listed other countries that would be helpful in researching since so many border changes occurred over the centuries.
“Making researching your Jewish roots- easier.”
The page includes a listing of books focused on that country, general genealogical research information, contact information for vital records, maps, research groups, email lists, and more. As often happens with a website that has hundreds of links to other websites; there are a fair number that are no longer working. In this case I chose to take the description to try and track down the new link. Another option was to plug in the link to the “Wayback Machine” on Archive.org. Regardless, if you find a link that doesn’t work be sure to email Mr. Margulis so that he can correct the problem.
Other highlights of Jewish Web Index include the many subject pages with comprehensive listings of books related to Jewish research, Immigration/Emigration, Genealogy, Family Links, Calendars, and more. I found the tips on cemetery visits and Hebrew tombstone word meanings very helpful. Be sure to peruse the Yiddish sayings pages to learn even more!
Overall this website provides a plethora of excellent information and Mr. Margulis provides many avenues for further research that you may not have come across yet. The challenging thing is to make your way through all the links available. The country pages are quite long and cumbersome due to the format of the site. I highly recommend that if you are starting your research on a particular country that you keep a record of what links you’ve accessed from his site. Considering that Jewish Web Index was created over many years and is more of a compendium than a link site, like Cyndi’s List, this is understandable. Mr. Margulis has invested a lot of time and energy in making the site a useful and educational resource for those with Jewish Roots. Take a moment to check out the website and show your support for all of his hard work.
© Jennifer Alford 2013