about us

What is JRI-Poland’s mission?

As set forth more fully in the JRI-Poland Mission Statement, JRI-Poland is a collective of global volunteers with a common goal – seeking out a shared history and safeguarding it. We believe that the details in records and the stories they tell about our ancestors must be accessible in a form that will remain available forever.

To serve this mission, we continue to build the largest database of Jewish vital and other records online. We are able to do this because of the commitment and support of hundreds of volunteers and donors. We are also fortunate for generations of town authorities and state archivists in Poland who for more than 200 years diligently preserved the treasures that record our family history.

By contributing to our mission, whether as a volunteer, partner, or donor, you join us in honoring the memory of our ancestors.

JRI-Poland is an independent non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

How has JRI-Poland evolved over the years?

  • 1995: JRI-Poland founded through the efforts of Stanley Diamond, Steven Zedeck, and Michael Tobias, and it begins indexing the approximately two million Polish Jewish vital records microfilmed by the Family History Library (FHL) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (now the FamilySearch Library) (for the period of about 1808 to about 1865 through about 1880).
  • 1995: Records of Ostrów Mazowiecka indexed; first project using books in the Polish State Archives.
  • 1996: Polish State Archives agrees to allow pilot project indexing of several more towns.
  • 1997: JRI-Poland enters a formal agreement with the Polish State Archives (PSA) to index their holdings of the approximately five million Jewish vital records not microfilmed by the FHL (for the period from about 1865 through about 1905).
  • 2000: JRI-Poland/PSA Agreement expanded to include the indexing of more than one million records from towns in the eastern portion of Galicia, now part of Ukraine.
  • 2001: JRI-Poland database reaches one million records.
  • 2003: JRI-Poland database reaches two million records.
  • 2006: JRI-Poland database reaches three million records.
  • 2009: JRI-Poland database reaches four million records.
  • 2013: JRI-Poland database reaches five million records.
  • 2013: JRI-Poland and the PSA enter into a new multi-year agreement to expand access to Jewish records, and the PSA announces plans to digitize and post all vital records in its more than 30 regional archives.
  • 2014: JRI-Poland is awarded the 2014 IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies) Award for Outstanding Contribution to Jewish Genealogy via the Internet.
  • 2014: JRI-Poland and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw sign an eight-year agreement on promoting research and education.
  • 2015: JRI-Poland launches “Phase Three” project to extract all genealogically relevant information from available documents and to link to images of documents posted online.
  • 2020: JRI-Poland database reaches six million records.
  • 2020: JRI-Poland launches updated website with enhanced search capabilities.

Who are the leaders of JRI-Poland?

As of July 2021:

Executive Director

  • Stanley Diamond, M.S.M. (Canada)

Assistant Director

  • Robinn Magid (USA)

Executive Committee

  • Judy Baston (USA)
  • Stanley Diamond, M.S.M. (Canada)
  • Mark Halpern (USA)
  • Hadassah Lipsius (USA)
  • Robinn Magid (USA)
  • Gary Pokrassa (USA)
  • Michael Tobias, OBE (Scotland)

Board of Directors

  • Judy Baston (USA)
  • Jeffrey Cymbler (USA)
  • Stanley Diamond, M.S.M. (Canada)
  • William Ferstenfeld (USA)
  • Alan Greenberg (Canada)
  • Mark Halpern (USA)
  • Bryan Langer (USA)
  • Hadassah Lipsius (USA)
  • Robinn Magid (USA)
  • Gary Pokrassa (USA)
  • Joe Ross (USA)
  • Michael Tobias, OBE (Scotland)
  • Jeff Wexler (USA)
  • Howard Zakai (USA)

Financial

  • Gary Pokrassa (USA), Treasurer
  • Siddy Rosenberg (USA), Finance Coordinator
  • Dean Salman (USA), Finance Associate

List Moderator

  • Judy Baston (USA)

Web Team

  • Web Coordinator, Howard Fink (USA)
  • Design Coordinator, Bryan Langer (USA)
  • Web Developer, Meira Puterman (Israel)

Data Management

  • Database Manager, Michael Tobias, OBE (Scotland)
  • Data Coordinator, Hadassah Lipsius (USA)
  • Data Editor, Howard Fink (USA)
  • Data AGAD Coordinator, Mark Halpern (USA)
  • Image Linking Coordinators, Howard Fink (USA), Robinn Magid (USA), Steve Zedeck (USA)

Research Area Coordinators and Town Leaders

  • Check our Town Explorer page for each town for contact information