Jewish Heritage Europe

Genealogy: IAJGS conference is more than lectures

Gravestone in Warsaw’s Okopowa st Jewish cemetery

Warsaw is gearing up for the annual conference of the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies (IAJGS), which begins on Sunday at the Polin museum and other venues. There are scores of presentations, on all sorts of topics of interest to our readers — but the hundreds of on-site participants can also take part in outside tours and activities.

One of these is the Okopowa Street Project — an initiative of the Blood and Frogs Jewish genealogy web site and the Billion Graves genealogy site. The aim is to engage what are expected to be large groups of visitors to document the city’s vast Okopowa street Jewish cemetery and jointly create a geocoded digital photographic database that can be accessed via the Billion Graves app and Flickr.

This would supplement or complement the full digital database of the cemetery that is already online as part of the Foundation for the Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland. The cemetery includes more than 82,000 graves.

Blood and Frogs says  it’s “probably best” to think about its Okopowa project as an art project, or an “experiment in collaborative genealogy.


In the end, if we’re lucky, we’ll have geocoded high-resolution photos of all the graves, and the photos will be available for everyone to use in whatever projects they want to use them in.

Blood and Frogs has posted instructions on how to take part.

We’ll be interested in seeing the results!

You can access the full program of the IAJGS conferencere HERE. (Among the many other speakers, JHE Coordinator Ruth Ellen Gruber is slated to give two presentations, on the evolution of Jewish Heritage travel and on using the JHE web site.)

Leave a Comment