IAJGS Achievement Awards 2023

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IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award 2023: Henry Wellisch

Henry Wellisch has been selected as a recipient of the 2023 IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award. Henry is a former president of JGS Toronto and was integral to the startup of the Montreal JGS. His volunteer transcription efforts not only helped researchers with Toronto-based ancestors, but he has been—and continues to be—an avid transcriber for JewishGen’s Hungarian Research Division. He has regularly shared his knowledge with the greater genealogical community, speaking at IAJGS conferences and to local societies. He has personally mentored others who have become leaders in the Jewish genealogy community.

IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award 2023: Vivian Kahn

Vivian Kahn has been selected as a recipient of the 2023 IAIGS Lifetime Achievement Award. Vivian’s efforts as JewishGen’s Hungarian Research Director have enabled the indexing of over 1.5 million Jewish records from greater Hungary, all freely accessible to the community on JewishGen. Her creation of relationships with archivists and her ability to recruit and mentor volunteers has enabled researchers with Jewish ancestry from Greater Hungary to gain insight into their families from a broad variety of documents over centuries. Her knowledge of historic Hungary allowed her to focus efforts in the most fruitful areas, and also has allowed her to educate others at IAJGS conferences.

Nolan Altman Volunteer of the Year 2023: Alex Krakovsky

In recognition of his work making millions of Ukrainian Jewish records digitally accessible to researchers across the world. His tenacity in suing archives—and later teaming with them to place digital scanners within their facilities—has ensured preservation and public availability of these records and has revolutionized the ability to do genealogical research in Ukraine, regardless of researchers’ geographic location. These documents not only give insight into individual researchers’ family members, but they also give historic insight into the Jewish communities of Ukraine as far back as the late eighteenth century.

IAJGS Member of the Year 2023: Santa Cruz Jewish Genealogical Society

In recognition of its outstanding efforts to create a society that is accessible to members around the world. Faced with the challenges presented by launching a new society during the height of the pandemic, the Santa Cruz JGS embraced technology and was able to thrive. The breadth of programming as well as personalized mentoring and additional resources give their geographically diverse membership resources to help improve members research abilities, regardless of skill level.

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