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Frequently Asqued Questions (FAQ)

Are you overwhelmed by the possibilities of the Kishinev KehilaLinks website? You don't know where to start? You've arrived to the right section.
  • Q: How can I collaborate with this site?
    A: There are many ways to collaborate with this site both with material and/or resources. Full Answer
  • Q: Which information can I find in this website?
    A: You can find historical, genealogical and personal information. Full Answer
  • Q: Is there a Yizkor book for Kishinev?
    A: Yes, but not in English. Full Answer
  • Q: Where can I interact online with others interested in the Jews from or in Kishinev?
    A: There are several genealogy message boards and forums to try. Full Answer
  • Q: Where can I search online for genealogical data for Jews from Kishinev?
    A: There are some great online databases to try. Full Answer
  • Q: Where are the original vital records for the Jewish community of Kishinev located today?
    A: In Kishinev, on the other side of the planet. Full Answer
  • Q: What other kinds of archival resources for Kishinev are available beyond vital records?
    A: Many resources are listed on these heavy-duty Web sites? Full Answer
  • Q: Can I research the archives myself if I go to Kishinev?
    A: Sure, but be prepared -- perhaps hire someone to do it for you. Full Answer
  • Q: Where can I find some historical maps of Kishinev online?
    A: There are some on Moldova, but none of Kishinev itself. Full Answer
  • Q: Where can I find some up-to-date maps of Kishinev online?
    A: Most are far from complete and easy to use. Full Answer
  • Q: Where can I find historical photos and videos of Jewish Kishinev?
    A: Good ones are hard to find. Full Answer
  • Q: Where can I find information on Jewish cemeteries in Kishinev?
    A: Good luck in finding anything useful online. Full Answer

How can I collaborate with this site?

First of all, this website was (and continues to be) built with the collaboration of people with roots in Kishinev. Without your collaboration this website wouldn't be possible.
There are many ways to collaborate with the site, with material (photos, documents), with articles (about the life in Kishinev, about family stories), volunteering for document translations or other projects, and/or donating money for document acquisition.
For more information about how to collaborate please go to the Projects and Support page.

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Which information can I find in this website?

This site has different kind of information and is structured according to that:
  • General historical and geographical information under the section "Kishinev Facts"
  • Articles about the different aspects of life, as well as biographies of remarkable people under the section "Life in Kishinev"
  • People stories shared by researchers under the section "People Stories"
  • A database containing Kishinev related names, as well as information, links and many other useful research resources under the section "Research"
  • A gallery with photos and videos under the section "Image Gallery"

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Is there a Yizkor book for Kishinev?

Yes, there is a yizkor book for Kishinev, but first let me explain what a yizkor book is for those who aren't familiar with the term. Yizkor, in Hebrew, means "memorial." A "Yizkor Book" has come to refer to a book written to commemorate the victims of the holocaust who came from a particular town. Such a book typically contains a sketch of the history of the town, some biographical articles, lists of inhabitants who were deported or killed, maps and photos. A list of all known yizkor books can be found on the Web at: Yizkor Book Database (Yizkor Book Project).

The yizkor book for Kishinev is written in Hebrew and has no index or lists of personal names (see title 1. below). There is also a commentary on it, also written in Hebrew (see title 2). The only translation of it so far (as of August 2006) as one into Yiddish (see title 3).

1. The original Hebrew yizkor book for Kishinev is the following:
Yehude Kishinov, by Yitshak Korn (Tel Aviv : Hotsa'at "Avukah," 710,1950), 264 p., 22 cm., black and white photos. (has no name list)
USHMM - Rare Memorial Books

2. The commentary on this yizkor book, also written in Hebrew, is the following: Kishinov ha-Yehudit, `ir ve-'em be-Shabeshta `uvdot ve-ta'arikhim li-divre yemeha shel ha-`ir Kishinov bi-Besarabyah : agav bikoret `al ha-sefer FYehude Kishinov" le-Yitshak Korn / me-et M. M.Davidzon (Bet-David) (Tel-Aviv : Hotsa'at "Dapim-le-zikaron"; 711 [1950 or 1951]), 131 p. ; 18 cm.
In Hebrew. Title in English: Jewish Kishenev, city and [translation uncertain] of the city of Kishinov in Bessarabia, with a commentary on the book "Yehude Kishinov" by Yitshak Korn, by M[enahem] M[endel] Davidson. Does not contain a list of personal names.
USHMM - Rare Memorial Books

3. The Yiddish translation of "Yehude Kishinov" is the following:
Keshenev: 200 yor Yidish lebn in der hoyptshtot fun Besarabye / Yitshak Korn. [Translated] fun Hebreish: Hayim Brakazsh (Buenos Ayres : Besaraber Landsleyt-farayn in Argentine, 711, 1950) 416 p. : ill., map ; 21 cm. (Besaraber Yidn; bd. 3)
Added title page: Los Judios de Kischeneff.
Translation of "Yehude Kishinov."
Includes bibliographical references (p.412-416)

Hundreds of yizkor books have been written, (see Yizkor Books ? Library of Congress), but they are hard to access and usually are not written in English. Some have been translated, or at least partially translated, into English and many of the translations are now available through JewishGen (see Yizkor Book Translations). Over 600 original Hebrew and Yiddish versions are also available online (see NYPL Yizkor Books Online (accessed January 17, 2010).

Unfortunately, the Kishinev yizkor book is not one of those that have been translated into English, nor is the Hebrew version online yet (as of August 2006). However, there are several copies of the yizkor book for Kishinev held by institutions in the United States:

  • The Holocaust Center of Northern California, San Francisco, California (call no.: Yizkor Book number 140)
  • New York Public Library (call no.: *ZP-1061 no. 3 [Microfilm])
  • The Library of Congress (call no.: DS135.R93 K6)
  • Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah (call no.: FHL INTL Book 947.6/K3 F2)
  • Yale University Library (call no.: DS135.R93 K58 1950)
  • Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN, United States (call no.: 947.602 K642D)
  • Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN, United States (call no.: 947.602 K642y Korn, Yitshak)

In Israel the Kishinev yizkor book is available at the following institutions

  • Yad Vashem, Jerusalem (call no.: Yizkor book no. T 109)
  • Jewish National and University Library, Jerusalem (call no.: 2054395, DC Classification: 933.5(477.5) - KISHINEV)
  • University of Haifa, Haifa (call no.: 0378468)
  • Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan (call no.: D47(498.5))

The following are also relevant yizkor books, but I have not seen them and have little information on them.

  • Geto Kishinov, ha-pogrom ha-sofi (Added title: Ghetto Kishinev - the final pogrom), by David Spek?tor (=David Doron). (M.A. thesis ha-Universitah ha-'Ivrit, Yerushalayim, 1973; Yalkut Moreshet 19 (1975): 67-108. (published: Jerusalem : Kiryat sefer ha-hasut ha-Igud ha-'olami shel Yehude Besarabyah, 737, 1977), in Hebrew, 170 pages. black and white photos and maps of the ghetto. DS135.R93 K572
    Held by Gratz College, HDS 135 R93 K593 1977
  • Korn, Yitshak. Yahadut Besarabyah : ha-Igud ha-`olami shel Yehude Besarabyah (=Jewish Bessarabia). (Entsiklopedyah shel galuyot ; [no.] 11) (Jerusalem : `evrat entsiklopedyah shel galuyot, [1971]), 986 columns : ill. USHMM - Rare Memorial Books

For other places where you can find yizkor books see Yizkor Book Links on JewishGen:

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Where can I interact with others interested in the Jews from or in Kishinev?

  • JewishGen Family Finder
    This is a database of ancestral towns and surnames currently being researched by Jewish genealogists worldwide.
  • ROM-SIG
    A mailing list for those with Jewish roots in Bessarabia, Bukovina, Dobruja, Maramures, Moldavia, Transylvania and Wallachia (all withinthe modern nations of Romania, Moldova, and southwestern Ukraine).Additional information can be found on the ROM-SIG website. To subscribe to a JewishGen mailing list, go to ListManager and follow the online instructions. You'll need a jewishgen account before you can subscribe, but it's free.
  • Virtual Kishinev Search Board (maintained by Eugene Vaynshteyn)
    A network of Immigrants from Moldova. Find your friends in our People List and add yourself.
  • Search for "Moldova" on Message Boards (ancestry.com)
    Search and post your surnames of interest here. It is not restricted to Jewish names, but it can be very helpful for finding general tips on doing genealogy in Moldova.
  • MoldovaGenWeb (part of RootsWeb) (accessed August 6, 2006)
    [This site has not been kept up-to-date. It is hardly even worth mentioning.]

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Where can I search online for genealogical data for Jews from Kishinev? (databases)

  • JewishGen Romania Database (vital records, business directories, holocaust lists, etc.)
    This database contains more that 190,000 records of which 74,000 records are for Kishinev. (see Description of the Bessarabia Vital Records Database). The Kishinev index contains more than 25,700 birth records, 6,400 marriage or divorce records and 17,875 death records. When completed this database will contain birth, marriage, divorce and death records from 1829 to 1915 but will not contain all years because some records have been destroyed. The contact person for this database is Bob Wascou robertw252@aol.com (accessed August 1, 2006)
  • Many other online resources of Jewish names can be found at:
    • Databases page on JewishGen (accessed June 24, 2006)
    • Jewish Genealogy Aids page on the Web site of the Israel Genealogical Society. (accessed October 24, 2009)

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Where are the original vital records for the Jewish community of Kishinev located today?

All vital records for Kishinev are in the Moldova National Archives in Kishinev, but we are very fortunate to have inventories of those holdings available to us online now (see below). There are currently over 600 microfilm rolls of these vital records available for you to borrow from an LDS Family History Center.

The most up-to-date inventories of the holdings of these repositories for doing Jewish genealogy were developed and are being maintained by Miriam Weiner who has visited the archives in Kishinev many times. In 1999, she published her inventories in a book called Jewish roots in Ukraine and Moldova (hereafter referred to sometimes as just "JRUM") and on her Web site, http://www.rtrfoundation.org/. Her inventories are thorough, but, by her own admission, they are not comprehensive. She notes in JRUM that "the reader should also be aware that there is material of interest to Jewish researches in virtually all of the archives in Ukraine and Moldova (see Chapters 4 and 9 [of JURM])" and "there are extensive document collections relating to the Jews of Ukraine and Moldova throughout the archives in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, which have not been inventoried for this book." (JRUM, p. 2)

You can search her database at Search Database, but be sure to browse the General Information about the Archive Database and especially the Frequently Asked Questions pages. Please do not write me with questions about her database. She describes how it works very well herself.

For the location of the various archives and repositories in and around Kishinev see: Towns and Repositories in Moldova (Routes to Roots Foundation, Inc.)
You will also find here the addresses, telephone and fax numbers of the repositories.

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Permanent Mission of Moldova to the United Nations

What other kinds of archival resources for Kishinev are available beyond vital records?

  • Go to the Family History Library Catalog (IAJGS version) and perform a search for "Kishinev".
    This is a database presented to the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) by The Genealogical Society of Utah. It is designed specifically to display records of Jewish genealogical materials available on microfilm through the LDS libraries, but it might not be completely up-to-date since it contains records added to the LDS collection only up to February 1, 2001. Use the following search to search the LDS database directly.
  • Here is an automatic search for you for Jewish Kishinev vital records in the LDS Family History Library catalog.
    The above search will perform a keyword search in the LDS Family History Library catalog for "kishinev" and "jewish." It might give you a more up-to-date listing than the IAJGS Database mentioned about.
  • Sources (Romania, Moldova, Bessarabia Pridnestrovie)
    This "Sources" page from the "Romania Moldova Bessarabia Genealogy" Website (a commercial Web site) lists many document resources that might be useful in doing your Jewish genealogical research depending on your needs. It covers the Moldova National Archives, Archives of Pridnestrovye, and ZAGS.
  • Libraries, Archives in Moldova (Selected Internet Resources, Library of Congress)
    This page offers links to other sites that provide information, links, and online catalogs relating to libraries and archives in Moldova. Also described are general bibliographic databases which are freely available over the Internet.

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Can I research the archives myself if I go to Kishinev?

Doing the research yourself

The archive in Kishinev, Moldova, seems to have the personnel and equipment for providing reasonable service and is very cooperative. The archives has its own Kodak camera and developing equipment independent of the Mormon project. The director of the archive is ready to make microfilm copies of any material at 50 cents per frame (as of 1999). If you are going to visit the archives yourself it is a good idea to let them know in advance what the nature of your research is and what materials you might want to use, but it is not necessary to do so.They do not provide translation services so you should bring someoneto do the translation for you if you do not know the language of the materials (mostly Russian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Yiddish, and some Hebrew, Polish and Hungarian). To have an archivist do work for you you will need to pay for the service in advance in Moldovan currency.If you hire someone to do the work for you, be sure they have a notarized letter of authorization to do the research on behalf of another person (Berzoy, Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldavia, p. 383). In 1999, the director expressed the hope that they could soon offer research by mail, but I have not heard that that has become practice yet (as of June 2006). Bring a digital camera with you for making copies of documents. Be sure to learn how to use your camera and practice taking photos of documents in low-light situations and write down the settings, so you won't have to waste your limited time fiddling with your camera when you get to the archives.

Hiring Someone to research for you

Miriam Weiner discusses who her contacts are in Kishinev on the Credits and Acknowledgements page on her Web site for the "Routes to Roots Foundation."

There is also a list of information about professional researchers on the Infofiles section at JewishGen

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Where can I find some historical maps of Kishinev?

Historical Maps of Moldova

  • Routes to Roots Foundation (Miriam Weiner)
    Highly recommended for visualizing population figures and deportation routes of Jews in Bessarabia at the time of World War II.
    You'll need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer in order to view some of the maps on the Maps > Moldova. .These maps were originally published in the book "Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova" by Miriam Weiner published in 1999.
  • www.bessarabia.ru
    Recommended for its historical maps of Bessarabia and surrounding areas.
    This is a Web site dedicated to helping folks do genealogical research in Romania, Moldova, Bessarabia and Prednestrovie. It is available in Russian, Romanian and English versions. The historical maps it brings together are rather small, but the textual descriptions that accompany them are very helpful in sorting out the changing borders of Moldova over time.

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Where can I find some up-to-date maps of Kishinev online?

  • Google Maps
    Recommended for regional topography of Kishinev and for the city outlines, but there is no street-level information.
    Do a search for "chisinau" and then click the "Satellite" button. You can zoom in for a closer look, but as of August 2006 the street-level image is very fuzzy.
  • Google Earth
    Highly recommended for its coolness, but it requires a special installation on your computer and the street-level images of Kishinev are not as detailed as for many other cities (as of August 2006). Google Earth Home Page
    This is a freely downloadable application and there are some hardware and software specifications on the download page to keep in mind, but the small effort required to do so is well worth it. With Google Earth you can virtually fly from outer space to Kishinev or to your own neighborhood. Once at a location you can tilt and rotate the view to see 3D terrain and buildings. Then you can save and share your searches and favorites. Even add your own annotations.
    To view Kishinev on Google Earth you'll have to download the application, install it and then just type in "chisinau." For assistance with installation, see the Google Earth Help Center.
  • multimap
    Highly recommended for street-level information.
    See towns near Kishinev.
  • More Maps of Kishinev

    http://www.booking.md/images/chisinau_map.jpg (booking Moldova)

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Where can I find historical photos and videos of Jewish Kishinev?

Photos of Kishinev

  • People of a Thousand Towns (YIVO Institute)
    Recommended source for historical photos of Jewish life in Kishinev.
    Register and search the Catalog of Photos, but you will first have to register by creating a temporary account, which will be valid for 7 days. When you do a search, use the search terms "Kishinev". I received 57 hits for Kishinev when I searched in October of 2006. If you want to maintain your own online albums on their system, you must be an authorized user with a User Name and Password.
    Or, just view the Online Albums without registering.
  • (SuperTravel Net)

    > Routes to Roots (Miriam Weiner)
    Recommended source for historical photos of Jewish life.
    View six photos of Kishinev (August 2006) and 18 more photos of Kishinev (These photos were originally published in the book "Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova" by Miriam Weiner published in 1999.)

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Where can I find information on Jewish cemeteries in Kishinev?

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