Monday, June 23, 2008

Helpful Jews

As we all know, the Jews have added a great deal to civilization, from Hollywood to quantum theory to, in a point very dear to my heart, being excused from football practice in high school so that we could observe the Jewish high holidays.

Add another point to the list - incredible genealogical resources. Last night I published a posting on seeking for help in tracking down relatives who may or may not live in Israel (our latest info is 15 years old and much may have changed). This morning I had 24 emails from helpful Israeli strangers in my inbox, the vast majority of whom personally volunteered to comb the Internet and local directories themselves on our behalf. It was an extraordinary outpouring of support, and I found myself wondering if we Americans would respond so voraciously to a similar plea from a stranger abroad (though then again, all of our directories tend to be in English rather than Hebrew).

We don't expect finding any solution to our quest for family contact in Israel, especially as our last point of contact is so outdated. But major props to the Jewish community for helping a (quarter) brother out.

And if anybody out there has any tips on tracking down these cats, please let me know at mjfstewartATgmailDOTcom.

UPDATE: In the past hour, one of the relatives has been located! Maybe I should change the title to "Super-Helpful Jews"?
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JewishGen Administrator said...

Thank you for your warm words. JewishGen, an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, has been built around the dedication and commitment of volunteers who understand the need of preserving what remains of our past heritage. As a non-profit organization, we have seen first hand the fruits of people who simply wish to help and donate their time and effort for an incredibly valuable cause. You have experienced a microcosm of what JewishGen is predicated on.

Thank you once again for using JewishGen and best of luck with your family research.

Marc Bush said...

In some circles, the willingness of the Jewish community to help each other and mobilize to respond to requests is referred to as "Jewish Lightening."

JewishGen Administrator said...

Would you be interested in having your trip stories cross-posted on JewishGen? If yes, please email

Thank you,
JewishGen Administrator

Mateo said...

I thought "Jewish lightning" was a term for Marc Bush's Turkey Bowl days...?

Jasia said...

Thank you for submitting your blog post to the carnival of genealogy. It doesn't fit with our current topic so it won't be included in the next edition. However, I will keep it on file and may include it in a later edition.