All posts by Philip

Hebrew Resources

A look at Hebrew resources on this site

As many of you know, I live in Israel, and while I do not speak Hebrew fluently, I have tried to offer Hebrew resources for genealogy. This is both for Israeli genealogists, and for Jewish genealogists everywhere who almost always need some Hebrew skills, whether to transcribe a gravestone or read old documents. For Hebrew-language genealogy I’ve created Hebrew Genealogy Forms, as well as researched and put together the list (and chart) Hebrew family and genealogy terms.

In the B&F Compendium of Jewish Genealogy, there are many Hebrew-language resources spread across the thousands of locations. Some resources are things like Yad Vashem Encyclopedia of the Ghettos articles (only available online in Hebrew), or the web sites of Israeli landsmanshaftn.

As a Mac user, I also have worked through using Hebrew on my Mac when it wasn’t the language I use everyday. For Mac users, I’ve put together Using Nikud (Vowels) in Hebrew on a Mac and Trick to use Hebrew and Yiddish in Adobe InDesign. For all computer users, there is also my article Finding Hebrew Fonts.

Lastly, I have been regularly publishing the top 101 Israeli Jewish boys and girls names when they are released. Most recently these were 101 Most Popular Jewish Boys Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018 and 101 Most Popular Jewish Girls Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018. I’ve also published the 101 Most Common Surnames in Israel (in 2016).

To make it easier to find all of these posts, I have added a page that is simply located at bloodandfrogs.com/hebrew.

I’ve also consolidated several of the site features and categories into a single menu, called Features. So along with the new page on Hebrew Resources, there is also Forms, Search, Names, Naturalization, and Belgium. For a short description of each of these just go to the Features page itself, which gives brief descriptions of each page.

Figuring out the Polish State Archive changes

After my earlier post Changes at the Polish State Archives about the closing of several important record databases at the Polish State Archives, it was pointed out that the database I directed people to use instead, szukajwarchiwach.pl, is also going to be shut down.

szukajwarchiwach.pl on left and szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl on right

It has been announced that that site will be replaced by szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl. The date for that transition has not been announced yet, but hopefully they will not do so before you can do everyone on the new site that you can do on the old site. I’m going to discuss two issues I have with the new site, one very significant, and one perhaps less so, but that still bothers me quite a bit.

You can’t get the same search results

As it currently stands, the new site cannot do the same kinds of searches as the old site. I pointed people to szukajwarchiwach.pl because I was able to show the exact same results from searches on both PRADZIAD and szukajwarchiwach.pl, even if the results were in a different order and format. It does not seem possible to do the same kind of searches on szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl.

For example, in my earlier article, I wrote about searching for all Jewish civil registers (birth, marriage, divorce, death, etc.). Both PRADZIAD and szukajwarchiwach.pl returned 3303 results:

3303 results from both PRADZIAD (left) and szukajwarchiwach.pl (right)
Continue reading Figuring out the Polish State Archive changes

B&F Honored by the IAJGS

I want to thank the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and the over 80 member societies that make up that organization for honoring this site last night at their annual conference in Cleveland. I am very grateful that this site and the many years of work I’ve put into have been able to benefit so many people, and I am thankful to have that work recognized.

I am sorry I was not able to attend the conference this year, not only because I wasn’t able to accept the award personally (thank you Garri Regev for accepting on my behalf), but because it is always nice to be able to see other genealogists from around the world and to learn from the many lecturers who speak at the conference.

IAJGS President Ken Bravo presenting the Outstanding Project award to B&F

For those who learned about this site from hearing about the award, and are new visitors, see the Welcome page and also the Follow this Blog page for ways you can get updates about what is added to the site (such as via Facebook or Twitter). Also make sure to check out the B&F Compendium of Jewish Genealogy, with over 25,000 resources for Jewish Genealogy.

Polish State Archives Contact List

It’s great that so many records in Poland are being scanned and put online for everyone to access, but sometimes it’s necessary to contact an archive directly. I’ve created a list of archive locations with their contact information, which you can view on the new Polish State Archives Contact List page.

You can get an idea of what it looks like above. Each archive has their archive number, the name in both English and Polish, the physical address, the phone number, and a series of links which include e-mail, web site, the list of records for that archive, a description of that archive, and (if it exists) the Facebook page.

You can search through the list using the search field on the top right of the table.

Go to the Polish State Archives Contact List page now to check it out. If I’m missing anything, let me know.

101 Most Popular Jewish Girls Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018

My annual posting of the top 101 Jewish boys and girls names in Israel are popular posts on this site. Usually the data for a given calendar year is posted over a year after that calendar year comes to an end. Possibly due to the ongoing upgrade of the Central Bureau of Statistic’s web site over the past year, I don’t think the 2017 names data was posted until this week when it was released together with the 2018 data. That’s late for the 2017 data but early for the 2018 data. Therefore I’m combining both sets of data for this post, and also include the 2016 ranking information for comparison. You can also see the posts for 2016 (which includes rankings for 2015 and 2014), 2015 and 2014. You can also see the parallel post 101 Most Popular Jewish Boys Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018.

Only three girls names entered the top 101 names in 2017 – Haleli (102 to 98), Michaela (122 to 92), and Lior (104 to 99). The names that left the list in 2017 were Aleen (80 to 109), Rotem (84 to 104), and Yuli (99 to 105).

In 2018 five names entered the top 101 names – Lenny (108 to 91), Liv (122 to 94), Bar (107 to 96), Aleen (109 to 97), and Anne (137 to 101). Note that Aleen reentered the list after exiting it in 2017. I’m still not sure if Aleen is supposed to be a form of Aileen or not. The names that left the list in 2018 were Odele (84 to 103), Daniella (91 to 105), Batsheva (96 to 106), Lior (99 to 109), and Orin (100 to 113). Note that Lior entered the list in 2017 and exited it in 2018.

Continue reading 101 Most Popular Jewish Girls Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018