A new genealogy project has just been announced by the Federation of Jewish Communities in the FSU.
The Jewish community of Yekaterinburg has opened a new program aimed at assisting local Jews discover their genealogical roots and the history of their families.
Many Jewish families came to the Urals and Siberia during World War II amid the chaos of war, and this project will help families research how their ancestors came to Yekaterinburg and perhaps find long-lost relatives.
There are also projects for Kharkov and for Birobidzhan. All these projects will ultimately provide resources for worldwide Jewish genealogists looking for connections.
Jewish history researchers are compiling an electronic archive - The History of Jews of Kharkov in Documents - which involves transferring relevant records from the Kharkov State Regional Historical Archive into an electronic format.
The first group of records are Jewish births from 1854-1917. The researchers have recreated the first register of birth record books from the Kharkov Rabbinate. Other registers include marriages, divorces and deaths for the same period.
The project plans to include police and other historical records such as those on synagogues and prayer houses, permission for Jews to reside in the Kharkov Region and more.
Worldwide researchers of Kharkov and environs are asked to assist in the project.
The Jewish community of Birobidjan is launching the Birobidjan Jewry Research Center. The project - Family Book - is aimed at research into the Jewish population of Birobidjan, based on archival documentation and other data.
Coordinator Yosef Brener says participation is open to Jewish residents of Birobidjan and from anywhere in the Jewish Autonomous Republic, who will actively gather family photographs, research archival documents, trace and map family trees and create a database to allow easy searching for relatives.
A comprehensive inventory and map of all Jewish graves will be created, in addition to a regional guidebook incorporating the information gathered.