New York, NY November 25, 2005 -- The International Society for Sephardic Progress (ISFSP) is pleased to announce that one of the largest and most important collections of Jewish genealogical records, one that includes an extensive amount of Sephardic data, has been made available for public research.
The material covers the period from 1870 to the present. The new online-accessible collection includes over 50,000 records, including more than 35 thousand Istanbul marriage records and some 15,000 death and burial records from other sources including the Chief Rabbinate of Turkey and the Ashkenazi and Italian community records. The data also comes from several Istanbul cemeteries. Researchers may visit www.isfsp.org/istanbul to access the new genealogical database.
ISFSP is deeply indebted to the Istanbul Jewish community for providing access to these valuable genealogical records. In particular, Lina Filiba and Erdal Frayman worked relentlessly to find and copy the documents. Special thanks goes to the presidents of the particular Istanbul Jewish organizations who are sharing their records in order to benefit Jews around the world in search of their family roots and history: the Ashkenazi Community, the Italian Community, the Kadikoy Community, the Kuzguncuk Community, and the Ortakoy Community.
The ISFSP expresses its deep gratitude to the dozens and dozens of volunteers who typed and proofed these records. Without their thousands of hours of labor, these records would remain in handwritten form only and would remain unavailable to most researchers. This material (in Turkish, French, Ladino, Hebrew, and Solitreo) was transcribed by members of the Istanbul Jewish Genealogy Project, led by Professor Daniel Kazez, and through their joint efforts, has been made available to the world on the Internet. And while the project has just been made public, it is not complete. Professor Daniel Kazez mentions,
“We now have typists and proofers working on a set of over 1000 marriage records from the Istanbul Italian Congregation, covering the late 1800s to the present. In addition, we are continuing our work to transcribe all of the Jewish death and burial records from Istanbul.”
Commenting on the new database, Rabbi Nissim Elnecave, co-director of the International Society for Sephardic Progress said,
“The availability of this material will be far reaching, allowing generations of families to conduct genealogical research for years to come. As the prophet said, the ‘Search may be made in the Book of the Records of your fathers.’ Now in our modern day, we still can learn about our fathers in a book of records, but one that is electronic and accessible in our homes. Hazakim u-Berukhim, the Istanbul Jewish Genealogy Project team should be strengthened and blessed!”
About The International Society for Sephardic Progress
The International Society for Sephardic Progress is a Jewish cultural organization committed to both the living Sephardic community that progresses with each generation, as well as perpetuating Sephardic history and culture through educational programs. The organization was founded as a national Sephardic organization with the unique intent to also focus on the international community. Our activities are centered on projects and issues both in the United States and abroad.