How to find your town page
The core of our website consists of town pages, one for each of almost 150 towns in our database. Each town page is a portal to all we know about a town.
In addition to the basic geographic information (coordinates, map, names...) you'll find there the list of all projects, datasets, articles, links, names, etc., related to this town.
In order to keep the page readable, the number of items of each topics we display is limited. However, if there are more available, you will find below each section a link to the full list (i.e. 'see more Kishinev projects').
We have tried to make it easy for you to get to any of the town pages. Use any of these three methods./p>
If none of these methods work for you, try using the JewishGen Gazetteer and the JewishGen Communities Database to obtain more information about your town and how its name was spelled. (Hint: Use Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex rather than Beider-Morse. D-M Soundex seems to be more accurate for town names.)
If after all this you still don't find your town on our website, it might be that we don't have it registered on our towns database. That could be either because the town is not on the Bessarabia SIG geographic area of research or we didn't know that the town had a Jewish community. In this last case, please contact one of our Leadership members so we can add the town to our database.
Document Collections and Project Lists
Document Collections and Project Lists contain the primary content of our website. Every town, district, and province page has sections for Document Collections and Projects that relate to that town... unless no material currently is available. These sections contain brief descriptions of the Collection or Project, along with a hyperlink to its location. Most content is on KehilaLinks websites where it the KehilaLinks 'owner' maintains it. Content for a town, district, or province that does not have an active KehilaLinks website is on the Bessarabia SIG site.
We have provided you with several ways to get to the Document Collections and Projects for your town. The easiest way is to go to your town page. There you will find lists of all relevant Document Collections and Projects for your town, along with a brief description of each item, an indication of its status, and the location of the item (e.g. on a KehilaLinks website, or at an external website or archive).
Master Index of Document Collections
You can browse through our Master Index of Document Collections. This Master Index page is accessible under the sections 'Research' and 'Get Started/Most Visited' on the left menu, and clicking on Known Documents and Datasets. In the Search Form that comes up, leave all the entries set to their defaults, 'All...', and leave the Keyword field blank, then click the Search button. The Master Index of Document Collections has six columns:
Clicking on the View button for each Collection (it looks like a magnifying glass) takes you to a page that provides a detailed description of the Document Collection. That page also contains a list of towns for which the Collection is relevant. Click on the town name or the magnifier at the right side of the town line to go to the Bessarabia SIG Town Page that lists information for that particular collection and town.
Clicking on the View button that looks like an open book takes you to the web location that is the source of the document collection.
You can sort the Master Index table by any column. Just click on the column heading you want to sort by. Click again to sort the column in inverse order.
A Search Form at the top of the Master Index of Document Collections page allows you to narrow your search to a specific province, district, town, document type, or keyword. Each box in the Search Form has a dropdown menu that enables you to select an entry for that box. The circled question mark in the Search Form heading brings up a Help page. This Help page explains your search options and defines all the terms in the Search Form.
Master Index of Projects
The Bessarabia SIG Projects link is available on the 'Research' and 'Get Started/Most Visited' sections of the Menu. It works in a way very similar to the Master Index of Document Collections. To see the entire Index, leave all the default selections set to 'All...', leave the Keyword search box blank and click Search. The Master Project Index that appears has 4 sortable columns plus a View button.
The View button takes you to a page that has a detailed description of the Project for the geographic area you selected, a hyperlinked list of Document Collections related to the project, and a list of project tasks and the status of each.
You can narrow your search to a specific province, district, town, or project status by using the drop down lists in the Search Form at the top of the page. The circled question mark in the Search Form heading brings up a Help page. This Help page explains your search options and defines all the terms in the Search Form.
We begin on the Home page with the clickable maps showing the ten districts. We'll use the town of Kishinev to show how you can drill down to original documents and their translations.
Other towns, projects, and document collections will be similar, but detailed content may differ. As we mentioned earlier, almost all this content is on a KehilaLinks website or on an external website. The 'owner' of that website controls how the data are presented.
The Left Menu Bar
The left menu bar is available from every page of our website. It offers multiple ways to access all the information on the site. Now that you understand our Town orientation, Document Collections and Projects, we hope you will find each section of the Left Menu Bar is fairly intuitive. So we'll just guide you through the menus and leave it to you to explore more thoroughly.
Begin on our Home page. It features our clickable map of Bessarabia. You can use it to click through to any province, district, or town page, each of which has considerable content. You also can access the clickable map from Towns and Districts on the Left Menu Bar. The Home page also shows our most recent 'What's New' messages.
The Get Started menu is where you are now. It has sections that describe the work of our SIG as well as several 'how-to' sections like this one.
'Get started with Bessarabia SIG' has links to three pop-out documents:
'Get started with this Website' has two items on a pop-out menu:
'Most Visited' has three pop-out items:
History and Geography
This section contains articles on different topics about Jewish History in Bessarabia as well as a huge collection of maps.
Towns and Districts
We previously discussed one of the menu choices under Towns and Districts: 'Alphabetic List of Towns'.
This section contains Holocaust related articles
This section provide access to Cemeteries related collections, projects and articles
This section provide access to Yizkor Books related collections, projects and articles.
ResearchThe Research Menu provides access to several features:
DatabasesThe Databases Menu provides access the following databases:
PeopleThe People Menu provides access the following types of articles:
CultureThe People Menu provides access the following types of articles:
The contents of this menu item also are pretty standard and straightforward. Sub-menus include:
'Donate' tells you how you can make a monetary contribution to JewishGen and our SIG. You can designate your donation for general use or for specific towns or projects.
'Contribute' identifies some of the primary ways you can contribute your time and skills to assist our work.
'Town Leaders Needed' lists the towns in our concerned geographical area that currently lack town leaders. Since we have more than 100 towns in our database, and fewer Town Leaders, there are many opportunities for you to contribute to the SIG while advancing your own family history research.
We hope Bessarabia SIG's website will help you further your research. For many of us, working with Bessarabia SIG is a way to 'give back' for all the assistance we received with our own research. If you need help, please call upon us. If you can help move the SIG forward, please contact us. We take our tag line seriously... Bessarabia SIG, where Jewish genealogy is personal.
Best wishes,Yefim Kogan, Bessarabia SIG Coordinator
where Jewish genealogy is personal