Ellen Sadove Renck, We Salute You!
August 2016 – Ellen Sadove Renck developed the IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project (conceived by Sid and Arlene Sachs in 1990) and launched it in 1992. Ellen was inspired and motivated by not wanting towns and people to disappear without a trace. She wanted to help people find their families, but moreover, even if it was virtual, for people and towns to not be forgotten and to not let the perpetrators of crimes against those that perished win. Ellen assembled the team, developed the scope and structure of the information to be included, and has contributed and maintained much of the database’s content. She has been the core force behind the project for almost 25 years. Through her efforts, countless genealogists have been able to learn about their ancestors’ burial sites. It simply would not exist without her.
The project’s mission is to document every Jewish burial site in the world. The database can be searched by locality and, where available, provides details describing the contact information for the burials or cemetery, their policies, extent of burial card information, local Jewish community information, town history, any photos available, topographical information, age, number of, and condition of gravestones, current use of the property, maintenance and care of the property, cemetery structures, and recommendations and threats. The database currently documents 25,000 burial sites worldwide. This information is a critical resource for Jewish genealogists seeking to find headstones and burial records identifying ancestors – especially for those burial sites that cannot be readily visited by the researcher.
Bill Israel, Chair IAJGS Salutes Committee
with Nolan Altman and Doris Nabel