My message to Plock's Roots Seekers, 26 November 1998

Subject: JRI Shtetl CO-OP Plock - help needed
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 99 08:24:03 PDT

Shalom Plock (8)...

There is news about the project to index the Jewish vital records of Plock from the LDS (Mormon) microfilms. Below is my message which was posted on the JRI-Poland and JewishGen Mailing Lists regarding the project.

As you will see, the indexing of the years in which the records were written in the Polish language (up to 1867) has progressed very well. However, the work involved to transliterate and data enter the post-1867 years involves different issues. Unlike the Polish years which are written in Latin characters, the Russian entries are written in old Cyrillic and this require certain expertise to properly transliterate the names into the Polish versions of the names.

Expert volunteers are not available to do this work so it must be done by paid professionals.The work to be done is for the years 1868 to 1887. The index pages for these years have been generously photocopied by Joan Krotenberg and another anonymous volunteer.

There are about 1900 indices in microfilm 1733679 (1875 - 1880)
1300 indices for microfilm 1201498 (1868-1874)
1200 indices in microfilm 1201499 (1874-1875)
and unknown records in microfilm 1733678 (B year 1875), the last microfilm to be xeroxed.

The cost of the transliteration and data entry is estimated to be between
$400-$600. This is possible because I found a Russian student who is
willing to do this for the modest fee of $5 per an hour.

Please assist me (and yourself, and your children, and your grandchildren
and their children...) in this project. Your contributions should be sent to
Jewish Records Indexing - Poland treasurer,
Sheila Salo
5607 Greenleaf Road
Cheverly, MD 20785
Fax/Tel: 301-341-1261

Please mark on the contribution: "Special Donation for Shtetl CO-OP Plock"

Donations in the U.S. are tax deductible. Payment can be made by Visa
card see. Visa payment instructions on the JRI-Poland website.

I thank you all very much for your past interest and support. I hope you will help us finish the job.

Don't forget to visit the website and check the constantly growing database of Jewish vital records of Poland. The database just topped the half-million mark and your family names may be there from Plock or other towns.

For more information on the Plock project, please visit my site


Ada Holtzman
10/5 Korazim St.
69185 Newe Sharet Tel Aviv

--------------Original Message posted in JRI & JewishGen 16.6.99-------------

Dear Plockenealogists,

The JRI-Poland database has been updated once again. The latest Plock submittal, LDS microfilm nr 730204 contains BMD for the years 1854-1859 is now on the JRI database.

Many thanks to my dear volunteers:
Gabi Lana, Tony Stern, John Holcenberg and Harriet Brown who transliterated this microfilm.

Listed below is the status of Plock data on the database.

PLOCK PL WA 10295 records: B 1822-59,79-86
(26Apr1999) M 1822-25,27-59,80-81
D 1822-59,80-81

Soon I shall submit microfilm 730205, contains data BMD, covering the Polish years 1860-1863. Also microfilms 1201496 and 1201497 for the years 1864-1867 are nearly done. It is in the last phase of proofreading.

At the meantime, another volunteer, Joan Krotenberg from NY, has volunteered to xerox for this project the remaining indices of the microfilms of Russian years, not yet photocopied. These are microfilms nr 1201497, 1201498, 1201499, (years 868-1875) and the missing parts of microfilms 1733678/1733679, not yet done in the former JRI project (1875-1887), before I took over.

Being unable to order these microfilms in Israel, I appreciate very much the efforts done by Joan Krotenberg, in ordering, xeroxing, mailing them overseas to me.

Soon the transliteration and translation of the expected 6000 records of these Russian microfilms will start.

More details about this project at:



Web site:















My message to JewishGen Forum 20 November 1998.

Subject: Shalom PLOCK (4)...


I am pleased to inform you that more data has been added to the JRI-Poland database. Microfilm nr 730201 BMD indices of years 1827-1836 have been recently added to the growing JRI database.

4739 records are now available on the web covering these years:
B 1822-36,79-86
M 1822-25,27-36,80-81
D 1822-36,80-81

But since there are expected to be over 20,000(!) records, my simcha is not yet complete...

For more information, you may access my web page at:

These are the dry figures.

But as I always believed, behind each name there was once a Jewish human being, it is not just an entry in someone family computerised tree.
After having suffered this great catastrophe of the Holocaust, while Polish Jewry was exterminated, any such tangible record serves also as something to RECORD, to keep trace, to remember...

I am building up a memorial on the web to this shtetl Plock. I meet many old Plockers, interview them and plan together this site (in the planning stage only)

One of them is Mrs. Ilana Witkowski nee SZLACHTER from Plock. Holocaust survivor of over 80 years old. Very sharp, highly educated and devoted person, who is still active in the Israeli Plock Landsmanschaften (mainly looking after old people from Plock in various old age homes in Israel).

I talked with her about the internet and its wonders and explained about the Mormons and about JRI and what this "JRI Shtetl CO-OP" is all about. Then I demonstrated to her and we made a quick search on the internet... The only hit which came along at the time, was a death certificate, in Microfilm 1733680:

SZLACHTER Bajla 1881 D akt:75

I told her I can get her the photocopy of the record itself.
I asked a very efficient and good person in Los Angeles for the copy, via

Within 5 days (!!!) I got it and fixed a meeting with Ilana. She first didn't know who this Bajla was, except that she was sure it must be her family from Plock.

It was in Russian and she could read it easily. In the end of the certificate, it says that Bajla left two parents: Zelig and Ryfka. Ilana eyes sparkled and she cried: " yes, grandfather had a brother, Zelig,


She burst into tears and had no words to thank me and those wonderful people who initiated and run the JRI project on the web. Because this certificate of Bajla SZLACHTER, Ilana father's first cousin from Plock, is THE ONLY DOCUMENT, remnant of her family from Plock, a shtetl in Poland where once we walked...

A day later Ilana phones me up, again crying, telling me:
"You cannot understand what is it for me, to find records of my own ancestors in Plock, proving their existence there 150 years ago,in the town from which I was so cruelly expelled."

This was her message, I pass it on to you and those who initiated the JRI project and coordinate it, and to those anonymous volunteers, contributing endless hours of work for this aim, without ever been paid, except by the feeling of gratitude of people like Ilana Witkowski...
We are in the 90th minute... This research is not done only for us, curious descandants. It is also done for those elders, who are still alive, who were born there in Poland, and once walked and graced those towns...


Ada Holtzman


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