Rabbi Malcolm Stern & John Stedman Memorial Grant

The Rabbi Malcolm Stern Grant honors the late Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern, widely considered to be the dean of American Jewish genealogy, and his efforts to increase the availability of resources for Jewish genealogical research.

The John Stedman Memorial Grant: IAJGS received a total of $35,000 in donations from the Estate of Jon Stedman in honor of his late father, John Stedman.  Since 2013, the Board has made a special grant—in addition to the Rabbi Malcolm Stern grants—of $3,000 per year from this fund to an individual project.

Rabbi Malcolm Stern Grant Support

Jewish Genealogical Societies, their members, and all others who wish to advance the work of Jewish genealogy are invited to send a donation to the Rabbi Malcolm Stern Grant Fund. The IAJGS accounts funds donated for the Stern Grant as designated funds, and they are not used for any other purpose. Donations should be sent to:

IAJGS Treasurer
c/o Joe Tarshish
201 York Rd., Ste. 1-605
Jenkintown, PA 19046

Call for Nominations

The Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Grant Committee is established each year to consider nominations to be presented to the IAJGS Board for their consideration. Nominations may be made by an individual or group, IAJGS member society or non-member, or self nominated. The Committee can proactively pursue additional nominees. We also encourage you to send a donation to the Rabbi Malcolm Stern Grant Fund in addition to nominating an organization to receive the Grant.

For details about the grants, please consult the general Award Rules and Criteria and the special Stern/Stedman Award Criteria. For information regarding the current committee contacts and submission deadline, and to submit a nomination, go to the Grant Nomination Form. The deadline for all grant nominations is June 1, 2024, 7 pm EDT.

The committee will make a recommendation to the IAJGS board, for their consideration and approval, which is then presented to the membership for a vote at the annual meeting.

Past Recipients

2023 (Stern) International Institute for Jewish Genealogy and the Paul Jacobi Center for its Walking Among Colors: The Jewish Cemetery in Zdunska Wola, Poland project. The purpose of the project is to prepare and publish a 200-page book about the Jewish Cemetery in Zdunska Wola. The Zdunska Wola Jewish cemetery, dating from 1825, currently includes 3,505 tombstones, which makes it one of the largest surviving cemeteries in Poland. It is distinctive in having many colored tombstones—hence the title of this project. Grant funds will support the printing of 300 copies of the book that will be distributed for free to 300 current residents of Zdunska Wola. - $2,000
2022 (Stern) The Forward to create a searchable database of genealogical records found in The Forwards “Seeking Relatives” advertisements during the period 1920-1960 - $3,000
(Stedman) Jewish Department of the Stadtmuseum Hofgeismar (Germany) to translate gravestone inscriptions from nine cemeteries in the Kassel district of Hessen and place the information on the museum's website - $3,000
2021 (Stern) American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Global Archives, Names Indexing Project, Linda Levi, director of JDC Global Archives, and Jeff Edelstein, JDC Archives Digital Initiatives Manager - $3,000
(Stedman) YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Landsmanshaftn Collection Portal, Hallel Yadin, Archivist, Dr. Stefanie Halpern, Director of YIVO Archives - $3,000
2020 (Stern) Tsal Kaplun Foundation (USA) for its Interactive Shtetls Map Project - $3,000
(Stedman) No grant given
2019 (Stern) Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) for its Mediterranean Basin Project, which will enable IGRA to add material to the AID Collection from North African Jewish communities and the Jewish communities of the Middle East such as Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon - $3,000
(Stedman) Center for Jewish History (CJH) for its New York Historical Synagogues Map Website Enhancement Project - $3,000
2018 (Stern) Litvak SIG - to obtain, index, and publish some of the household registers of the city of Vilnius. - $3,000
(Stedman) Reclaim the Records - to obtain from the City of New York (by a Freedom of Information lawsuit) and to freely publish the birth and death indices through 2008. - $3,000
2017 (Stern) JewishGen Sub-Carpathia SIG - Over 3000 vital record books in Ukraine's archives covering the period from 1895-1940. - $3,000
(Stedman) Reclaim the Records - To win the first-ever public access to the Missouri birth and death indices. - $3,000
2016 (Stern) A Nação Hebrea - A Relational Prosopographic database of the Portuguese Jewish Nation, 1500-1800. - $3,000
(Stedman) Romanian Special Interest Group (ROM-SIG) - Iasi Death Records Acquisition and Transcription. - $3,000
2015 (Stern) Foundation for Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland - To create a freely accessible database containing documentation of all available monuments in Jewish cemeteries in Poland, preserving the information before the ravages of time destroy much of them. - $3,000
(Stedman) Jewish Galicia & Bukovina Association, Gesher Galicia, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Herzl Institute of the University of Haifa - To index the 1939 Stanislawow (Ivano Frankivsk) census and the Stanislawow District Passport Applications). The records are located with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and have already been provided to the project. - $3,000
2014 (Stern) Jewish Colonies in South America – Census records and passenger lists to digitize, index, and make available the Jewish Colonization Association's census and passenger lists of those assisted to agricultural colonies in South America. - $3,000 - Project Update
(Stedman) Odessa Document Acquisition and Translation Projects, to obtain copies of the indexes of the Jewish vital records stored in the State Archives of Odessa, Ukraine, and to translate and make available these indexes in a searchable format. - $3,000 - Project Update
2013 (Stern) The Oded Yarkoni Historical Archives of Petah Tikva for the purpose of recording the oral history of the settlement, doing so by interviewing the descendants of the founders of Petah Tikva, its first industrialists, teachers and adults who learned in the first schools in Petah Tikva. The material will be made available to genealogists, family historians and the public via the archives. - $3,000
(Stedman) Gesher Galicia was awarded the John Stedman Memorial Grant under the Rabbi Malcom Stern Grant for the Gesher Galicia website and All Galicia Database. The awarded funds will go toward making Gesher Galicia a multilingual site enabling more international users to easily research their Galician roots. - $3,000 - Project Update
2012 (Stern) The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to continue the printing, digitizing and indexing of records in their archives, particularly those focusing on the overseas rescue, relief, and rehabilitation of Jews during the middle of the 20th century. They will then be made available on line world-wide. Over 300,000 digitized documents are already available here. - $1,500 - Project Update
(Stern) The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA). The Grant is for the completion of a search engine able to handle both English and Hebrew searches, which will enable researchers not familiar with the other language to find the families they are searching. Such a search engine does not presently exist. Materials currently being scanned and indexed are records since the British Mandate period. The IGRA multilingual website has a world-wide audience. - $1,500
2011 (Stern) Gesher Galicia was awarded a Stern Grant towards the continuing efforts to inventory, index and record acquisition for the Cadastral Map and Landowner Records Project. This project will benefit a wide range of genealogists. - $2,000 - Project Update
(Stern) The American Jewish Historical Society was awarded a Stern Grant towards the Archive's continuing efforts to microfilm the Records of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (Boston), 1870-1977. The original files are in Boston and by microfilming them it would give greater access to these records both in their Boston and New York facilities. A partial finding aid is searchable online. This project is not only beneficial to genealogists but by providing funds to the AJHS we build better relationships between Archives and Genealogist. - $1,000
2010 The Israel Genealogical Society (IGS) for (1) transcribing and scanning records from the Ottoman Empire, recorded in Ottoman Arabic Osmanli script; (2) scanning pages from various libraries that show the Hebraizing of family names and building a database and (3) locate and scan books of residents and/or directories of citizens and make them available to all researchers. - $2,500
2009 "Shamir" (www.shamir.lv) a non-profit organization based in Latvia for "The Guide to Jewish Materials Stored in the Latvian State Historical Archive". The grant will help in preparing an overview of existing materials about the Latvian Jewish Community that are in the Latvian State Archive and to create a comprehensive guide which will benefit Jewish genealogists researching their Latvian roots and other historians. The Latvian State Archives has materials on Jewish history, culture and genealogy dating back to the XVI century which have never been catalogued nor a listing made available to the public. - $2,500
2008 The Italian Genealogical Group (IGG - www.Italiangen.org). The grant will make it possible for the IGG to create and computerize a Brooklyn Brides Index for 1910-1930 from original records on 268 rolls of film from the Family History Library. There is currently no such index available for this period – a period of massive Jewish immigration. The Jewish genealogy community has greatly benefited from the 12,000,000 records computerized by earlier IGG projects, and it is most appropriate to support the 1910-1930 Brooklyn Brides project, one that will surely allow many researchers to identify the descendants of female relatives who have to date been untraceable.  - $2,500
2007 US Holocaust Memorial Museum for its upcoming project to index materials it receives from the International Tracing Service (ITS). - $2,000
2006 Toledot-Jewish Family History Centre in Prague for its project to Digitize Jewish Familiant Registers from Bohemia (1760-1849)  - $2,000
2005 Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal for their project to digitize and index Canadian naturalization records 1932-1951 covering approximately 400,000. The data will be posted to the Internet. - $2,000
2004 No award given
2003 University of Denver Ira M. Beck Memorial Special Collection Archives to support the JCRS project indexing about 25,000 tuberculosis patient files from 1904-1920 - $2,000
2002 The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, OH - $2,000 to expand its archives
2001 Genealogy Institute of the Center for Jewish History, New York City - $1,000
Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem - $1,000
The Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center, Philadelphia, PA. - $1,000
Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Latvia, Riga - $1,000
JewishGen, Houston, TX - $1,000
2000 No award given
1999 The International Survey of Jewish Monuments, Syracuse, NY - $2,000
The US Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC - $2,000 to computerize Russian lists of Holocaust victims
1998 Jewish Agency Search Bureau, Jerusalem Jerusalem - $1,250
Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Poland - $1,250
1997 No award given
1996 Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Poland - $1,250
The US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, Washington, DC - $500
1995 Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Poland - $1,000
The Federation of Genealogical Societies' Stern-NARA Gift Fund for US National Archives microfilming - $1,000
1994 Yad Vashem, Jerusalem - $3,000 to purchase computers to speed process of computerizing Pages of Testimony
1993 Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem - Funding for adding much needed office space
1992 No award given
1991 Jewish Agency Search Bureau, Jerusalem - $3,000

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