Yerusha expands

08 Jul Yerusha expands

In the first six months of the year Yerusha has launched four new survey projects.  From Georgia to Transylvania and from Southern Slovakia to St. Petersburg, our researchers will map and record hundreds of Jewish archival collections.

What happened to the An-Sky collection?

As a key member of the Yerusha network, the Jewish Theological Seminary has been performing outstanding work in Ukraine and in Russia, creating thousands of archival descriptions from over 70 archives, libraries and museums. The institution’s Jewish Archival Survey, led by Professor David E Fishman, is a ground-breaking scholarly enterprise to explore comprehensively Jewish and Jewish-related documents in the Former Soviet Union. In this new extension of the project, JTS continues this work by completing, publishing and translating its most recent archival guide to 300 collections in academic research institutions and museums in St. Petersburg. The project will also deliver further hundreds of descriptions from various archives of Lviv, Ukraine. One of the goals of the project is to assemble the puzzle of the history of An-Sky’s scattered archives. The work in the Lviv Historical Archives will be carried out in partnership with the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, a division of the NLI.

Yerusha in the Caucasus…

Besides collaborating with the JTS in Ukraine, the Central Archives is also embarking on a trailblazing research project in the Caucasus.  Having completed its survey of the Jewish and Jewish-related archival materials of the Baltic States, the Archives’ new project is covering Georgia. Document-based research on Georgian Jewry is rather scarce, although Jews have been living in the lands of present day Georgia since ancient times. In the course of its research, CAHJP will cover the material of five archival institutions. The collections will include records related to the history of Georgian, Ashkenazi and the so-called Mountain Jews, with the time frame of the research spanning from the pre-Russian era to the end of the Soviet regime. The project will significantly contribute to the better understanding of the rich Jewish heritage of this multicultural region.

… in Transylvania …

Speaking of colourful cultural tapestries, Yerusha has been active in Transylvania for years by supporting the exceptionally thorough and innovative survey project of the Leo Baeck Institute.The Jewish history of this multiethnic region in Eastern Europe is remarkable. A new addition to Yerusha’s work here is a project implemented by the Romanian Institute for Research on Ethnic Minorities. It will survey Jewish-related documents in the state archives of nine Transylvanian counties, with relevant documents from administrative, judicial, law enforcement and financial agencies, papers of social and political organisations as well as vital registries, school and census records. The project will result in up to a thousand archival descriptions.

… and in Slovakia

The Jewish Museum in Prague has been successfully implementing Yerusha in the Czech Republic. In collaboration with the Holocaust Documentation Centre in Bratislava, this new project aims to conduct a survey of state archives, museums and selected Jewish communities in Slovakia, focusing on the Southern regions of the country and towns of North-Western Slovakia. In the first project of this kind in the country, the focus will be on the period from 1848 to 1938 so that sources on Jewish emancipation become widely accessible. Integrating Slovakian Jewish archival heritage into the Yerusha database will have a significant positive effect on research and will make it easier for the international research community to find currently inaccessible sources in Slovakian archives. It is anticipated that 300 archival descriptions will be created.

In the second half of 2016 we will further expand the Yerusha network. Stay tuned.