HNet: Digital Primary Resources: Soviet Jewish veterans of WWII. “The Blavatnik Archive (BAF) is pleased to announce that 2,700 of 12,921 total items in the Veteran Testimonies & Ephemera Collection are fully digitized, cataloged, and accessible online… BAF’s Veteran Testimonies & Ephemera Collection, the largest collection in the world on the experience of Jews in the ranks of the Soviet armed forces during WWII, was launched in 2006. Nearly 1,200 unique video testimonies by veteran soldiers and partisans have been recorded in eleven countries, mostly during the period of 2006-2014.”
Jewish Press: 180 Years of Australian Jewish Newspaper History Going Online. “A new initiative will digitize and open free digital access to 180 years of Australian Jewish newspapers, including over 200,000 pages from Jewish communities across the continent. The project is a collaboration between the National Library of Australia (NLA), the National Library of Israel (NLI), and the Australian Jewish Historical Society (AJHS).”
New York Times: Beba’s Story Tells of Jewish Life Before the Nazis. “Three years ago, a large cache of artifacts, including poems, letters and notebooks by some of the greatest Yiddish writers of the first half of the 20th century, was discovered in the basement of a church in Vilnius, Lithuania. In scouring through them and other artifacts that had been rescued from Nazi efforts to destroy all traces of Jewish culture, researchers discovered a more humble document: the writing of a fifth-grade girl telling of her daily life in Vilnius in the 1930s. Now that girl, whose name was Americanized to Beba Epstein, is the central character of a YIVO Institute for Jewish Research exhibition that went up online recently.”
Jerusalem Post: USC Shoah Foundation launched new partnership with JewishGen. org. “Jewish genealogy service and affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, JewishGen.org, will be partnering with the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive to integrate the data from the nearly 50,000 available Jewish Holocaust survivor testimonies onto its platform.”
University of Pennsylvania: New Online Exhibition: The Jewish Home. “The exhibition highlights examples of the most formative and intimate of contexts for Jewish life: homes, houses, and households. Drawing from texts in the Penn Libraries’ collections and from around the world, the contributors interpreted Jewish domestic culture, architecture, clothing, landscape, and material evidence through the lenses of archaeological, anthropological, historical, legal, literary, and visual research.”
Jerusalem Post: Data of over 61,000 Turkish Jewish gravestones online in new database. “An ambitious project has been launched online, documenting Jewish gravestones in Turkey.
The project, entitled ‘A World Beyond: Jewish Cemeteries in Turkey 1583-1990’ contains the details of over 61,022 Jewish tombstones spread across Turkey, which makes it one of the largest tombstone databases in the world – covering over 400 years of Turkish Jewish life.”
J-Wire: Australia’s oldest operating synagogue approaching its 175th anniversary. “Hobart Hebrew Congregation has run services in the heritage-listed synagogue in central Hobart since its consecration on July 4, 1845, and was set to mark the milestone with an array of projects and a program of public celebrations. The coronavirus forced the celebration to be cancelled, but the projects have been successfully completed. The highlight of the anniversary year has been making the congregation’s meeting minutes from 1841 to 1958 easily accessible online.”
Winnipeg Free Press: Jewish Heritage Centre expands online archive . “People around the world can now access the oral history collection at the centre, consisting of 200 audio clips by rabbis, businesspeople, professionals, politicians, Holocaust survivors and others. They were recorded between 1968 and 2011. Online visitors can also delve into the newspaper collection, which dates back to the early 1900s and includes Der Yiddishe Vort (Israelite Press), a Yiddish-language newspaper published in Winnipeg; the Jewish Post, an English-language weekly founded in 1925; and Western Jewish News, also founded in 1925.”
The Local, Germany: New website shows how German industry used Auschwitz prisoners as slaves. “The site pulls together more than a decade of research on some 45 sub-camps or ‘kommandos’ located on the periphery of the most notorious site of the Nazi Holocaust. Based on first-hand accounts and research in the archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum and others, the site contains more than 3,500 photos, documents and maps. It tells the story of each sub-camp, including lists of the survivors and SS guards and information about their personal stories. The site also lists the industrial organisations implicated in exploiting prisoners at the camps.”
Israel Hayom: Israel’s National Library to share oral histories of Sephardi Jews. “The National Library of Israel has begun publishing oral histories from the Sephardi Voices initiative, the first digital collection that documents and preserves the life stories of Jews who lived in Arab and Islamic countries. In addition to sharing video and audio clips of interviews, the National Library will also be making photographs from the archive public.”
Penn State: Gifts to Penn Libraries enrich Judaic scholarship and digital humanities. “The most recent gifts coincide with the release of a new website, The Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica, offering free access to nearly 7,000 digital copies of items from the collection for viewing and downloading. Digital copies of recent acquisitions will be made available in the coming year, and all future items will be made available as well.”
BBC: Jewish communities: ‘Race against time’ to preserve south Wales history. “Efforts have begun to preserve 250 years of Jewish history in south Wales, after historians warned there was a ‘race against time’ to record stories. The Jewish History Association of South Wales (JHASW) has been awarded a grant of almost £55,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.”
Jewish News of Northern California: New digital map offers walking tours of San Francisco’s hidden Jewish history. “The main map collects Jewish sites across the city, from landmarks like Congregation Emanu-El to lesser-known bits of history, like Cable Car Clothiers, located at the original Montgomery Street location where founder Charlie Pivnick first opened it.” There are plans to expand the maps further.
USA Today: Ancestry will let you search online for relatives who were displaced by the Holocaust. “Ancestry is digitizing millions of Holocaust and Nazi-persecution records and making them searchable online for the first time ever. Anyone, not just Ancestry’s paid members, can explore the records at the company’s site.”