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NEW PROJECT: TRANSLATION OF "PINKOS BIALYSTOK" 

the definitive history of the Jewish Community of Bialystok 

by Abram Shmul Hershberg

A JEWISHGEN YIZKOR BOOK PROJECT 

NEW PROJECT: TRANSLATION OF YIDDISH BOOK "STATISTICS OF THE MOVEMENT OF THE JEWISH POPULATION IN BIALYSTOK 1909-1918"

 

BIALYGen

Bialystok Region Jewish Genealogy Group


THE BASICS

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Bialystok Memorial

RESOURCES

 Archival Records

Articles & Features
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Yizkor Books

Bialystok Great Synagogue - burned to ground by Nazis on June 27, 1941

We welcome you to and thank you for your interest in the BIALYGen, the Bialystok Region Jewish Genealogy Group.

The primary function of BIALYGen is to facilitate cooperation and discussion amongst Jewish researchers interested in the Białystok region of Poland. This includes the city of Białystok and nearby towns and villages currently in Poland that were formerly in Grodno Gubernia when these towns were under Russian rule.

BIALYGen was formed on July 23, 2003, when 40 researchers met at The 23rd International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Washington, DC, USA and committed to the following objectives:

  1. Sharing research and experiences
  2. Commemorating our Ancestors and their lives
  3. Cooperating on projects of value to all researchers

To this end, the goal of this website is to share information and data amongst Jewish genealogists interested in the Bialystok region and to provide the most up-to-date inventory of information about our ancestors lives and the Jewish history of the region where they lived from the 16th Century. 

This website starts with the basic information:    

And then provides more details on available resources and those provided by our members under the following categories: 

The specific goals of BIALYGen as determined on July 23, 2003 are:

  1. Gain access to Jewish records in the National Historical Archives of Belarus in Grodno, create an inventory, and create useful indices.
  2. Translate and index vital records not yet indexed by JRI-Poland.
  3. Acquire and index non-vital Jewish records available at the Bialystok branch of the Polish State Archives and other sources, e.g. Business directories, old newspapers.
  4. Acquire maps and photos from NARA and other sources for shtetlach in BIALYGen region.
  5. Acquire and index records of the Bialystok Hebrew Gymnasium.
  6. Search repositories in Israel for records applicable to the BIALYGen region and index those records.
  7. Indexing of Cemeteries in Poland and in other countries where Landsmanschaften burial plots exist.

Our effort to bring together all the available information for the Bialystok region depends first on the substantial efforts of others who have worked diligently to find, catalogue, translate, and place on the web the historic evidence for the BIALYGen region. This includes JRI-Poland, JewishGen, Belarus SIG, Ada Holtzman and her cohorts in the Zchor.org website, Tilford Bartman's Zabludow website, Andrew Blumberg's Bielsk Podlaski website and others.

The success of BIALYGen depends on all researchers with an interest in this area. More needs to be done. Please contribute your expertise, your time, and your funds to help us all succeed. Click on the buttons Research Projects, Participate, Towns, and Translations for more information. Or, contact Mark Halpern, BIALYGen Coordinator or Sidney Zabludoff, BIALYGen Research Coordinator about how you can help.

From the beginning of the 1800s to the Holocaust, Bialystok was a prominent Jewish City. The Jewish share of the population for most of that period ranged between 50 and 75 percent. Among major cities of Poland, Bialystok clearly had the highest percentage of Jews. While Vilnius (Wilno) was considered the "Jerusalem of the North," Bialystok was a major "entrepreneurial zone" for Jews. Even so, Bialystok had the largest number of Synagogues per capita in Poland while the region has one of the oldest Synagogues in Tykocin and had the famous wooden Synagogue in Zabludow.

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Photo of Bialystok Great Synagogue courtesy of Tomasz Wisniewski

This research group, its mailing list, and this website are hosted by JewishGen, Inc. at no cost by JewishGen, Inc., the Home of Jewish Genealogy. If you have been aided in your research by this site and wish to further our mission of preserving our history for future generations, your JewishGen-erosity is greatly appreciated.

Copyright 2004-2006 BialyGen, Mark Halpern, Coordinator, All rights reserved.

Last Updated on 16 April 2006.