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From generation to generation to generation Solomon Schechter Day School (Upper School) Nov 14, 2010 Documenting Maine Jewry www.MaineJews.org.

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Presentation on theme: "From generation to generation to generation Solomon Schechter Day School (Upper School) Nov 14, 2010 Documenting Maine Jewry www.MaineJews.org."— Presentation transcript:

1 From generation to generation to generation Solomon Schechter Day School (Upper School) Nov 14, 2010 Documenting Maine Jewry www.MaineJews.org

2 Documenting Maine Jewry A community-based history project providing information on Jewish citizens of Maine through a state-of-the-art genealogical and historical resource reflecting the Jewish traditions of memory, remembrance and inter-generational learning

3 DMJ Minyan coordinating group Michael Cohen Susan Cummings-Lawrence David Freidenreich Annette Elowitch Harris Gleckman Steve Hirshon Elaine Crasnick Kahaner Barbara Blumenthal Stern Abe Peck Wilma Rose Ruthanne Singal Anne Schneider Amy Waterman

4 What are we trying to do ? Community-based history Not just a genealogical / cemetery record file Genealogical data yes but also Occupations / Education / Community Service Organizational involvement yes but also Organizational histories Preserving historical information yes but also Figuring out how to the internet and PC change the way we see our own history (virtual visiting to cemeteries) Hard data yes but also Oral Histories (Stories & recollections)

5 How are we trying to do it ? Build on the work of family historians Family trees / oral histories Link up with Jewish institutions around the state Membership/ Yarhzeit / cemetery / memorial boards / newsletters and commemorative books Support regional town and city groups Each community gabbiim and group has its own unique in its approach and style Establish partnerships with everyone DMJ as the virtual museum : MJM as physical exhibition place DMJ as the hard data resource : Colby U. as the research team DMJ as the state genealogical umbrella : JewishGen / GBJGS / Experiment Follow up dialogues with those who register for the website Virtual visits to cemetery Mystery photographs Matching census and other official records with family knowledge

6 People genealogical info

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8 What’s next for data on individual Maine Jews? Contributions under way by DMJ-related historians 1880 – 1930 Federal census and resident data for Waterville With new resources Support family genealogists to build their own family records and to share these records with other via DMJ’s website Analyze the information that will be collected on ‘mad lib cards’ from the MJM exhibition

9 People Genealogical info Community ties Organizations History Key Leaders

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11 What’s next for data on Maine Jewish Organizations? Contributions in progress by current DMJ-related historians an Index of Jewish businesses in Bangor accounts of Jews in Maine’s shoe industry With new resources Support to local synagogues, community organizations, cemetery associations, and social organizations in building their own organizational histories and sharing the outcome of their efforts via the DMJ’s website

12 People Genealogical info Community Ties POB, Lived In, POD Organizations History Key Leaders Locations Places Local Home Pages Maps

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14 DMJ's town/city/county Gabbiim (regional coordinators) Auburn-Lewiston - Phyllis Graber Jensen Augusta - Rabbi Sue Bulba Carvutto and Natalie E Cohen Bangor - Marcia Lieberman, Ruthanne Singal & Judy Gatchell Bath - Fred Weinberg & Nathan Cogan Biddeford-Saco - Jenny Aaronwitz & Beth Strassler Greater Portland – Annette Elowitch, Judy Halpert & Steve Hirshorn Greater Rockland – Deborah Weisgall Old Town & Orono – Beth Hillson Waterville – Peter and Joan Beckerman & David Friedenreich Rural Maine - Barry Tracy

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16 What’s next for data on Maine Jewish cities & towns? Contributions underway by DMJ-related historians Records on the Bangor Jewish community from the Bangor Public Library Stories on ‘sub-Minyan sized’ Jewish areas in the state With resources, Re-structuring the on-line website to give greater visibility to local Jewish portals A fund could support grants to local Jewish history groups to collect information on their communities

17 People Genealogical info Community Ties POB, Lived In, POD Organizations History Key Leaders Location Places Local home pages Maps Oral Histories / Biographies

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19 What’s next for oral histories? Contributions underway by DMJ-related historians Release of 80+ Greater Portland oral histories on the website of the Portland Public Library Private collections from long time Bangor residents With new resources Support to other Maine Jewish communities to do their own collection of oral histories An audio index to the 80+ existing oral histories could be created that would allow listeners to jump to the precise track that included a discussion of a particular theme

20 People genealogical info POB, Lived In, POD Images Organizations History Location Images Places Local home pages Maps Oral Histories / Biographies Photographs / Documents

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22 What’s next for original documents & photographs? Contributions underway by DMJ-related historians Yiddish minutes from the Portland Vaad 1909 – 1919 c Photographs from the Bangor Public Library and the Jewish Community Alliance With new resources Revision of website to enhance on-line editing and the contribution of documents Upgrade of the behind-the-scenes Access database routines

23 People genealogical info POB, Lived In, POD Significant Events Images Organizations History Location Significant Events Images Places Local home pages Maps Oral Histories / Biographies Photographs / Documents Years Significant Events World As it Was

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25 People genealogical info POB, Lived In, POD Significant Events Images Burial records Organizations History Location Significant Events Images Places Local home pages Maps Oral Histories / Biographies Photographs / Documents Years Significant Events World As it Was Cemeteries Burial info Public Index

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28 What’s next for cemetery data? Contributions under way by DMJ-related historians Headstone images will be taken next spring at the Beth Abraham (Auburn) cemetery Headstone census at Mt Sinai is being completed by a professional engineering company who added GPS markings for each grave site With new resources Headstone images could be taken for the remaining Maine Jewish cemeteries An updating of burial records for all the Maine Jewish cemeteries

29 People genealogical info POB, Lived In, POD Significant Events Images Burial records Organizations History Location Significant Events Images Places Local home pages Maps Oral Histories / Biographies Photographs / Documents Years Significant Events World As it Was Cemeteries Burial info Public Index Sources & Software

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31 What’s next for sources and software? Contributions under way by DMJ-related historians 1909 – 1919 c Portland Vaad records in Yiddish Private collections from long time Bangor residents With new resources Revision of website to enhance on-line editing and the contribution of documents Upgrade the behind-the-scenes Access database routines Share the methodology and software with other communities (ethnic, religious or cultural in Maine and Jewish communities outside of Maine)

32 DMJ Project with the Maine Jewish Museum, located at the restored Etz Chaim (Portland)

33 Why undertake this task? Jewish traditions Our naming tradition : Beget beget beget Uses the PC-world to support memories of our ancestors Maine and Jewish sense of history People should ‘own’ their own history Where we have been helps to define where we are going Fun and a mitzvah at the same time Re-uniting family members and friends Preserving strands in our Maine history that should not get lost (Arbeiter Ring)


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