New Website Helps Russian Jews Track Ancestors

St. Petersburg, Russia

May 17, 2009

( A new Russian language website – – is helping Jewish families discover their ancestors and visit their gravesites in St. Petersburg’s Preobrazhenskiy Jewish Cemetery.

The extensive site, developed by the Jewish Community of St. Petersburg and supported by local businessman Mikhail Khidekel features a searchable archive and photographs of headstones and gravesite.

Project coordinator Moishe Treskunov said that “For years, people from all over have been calling or visiting the community for help navigating the local registry and finding grave sites.”

“They are interested in their family history or want to honor their ancestors by visiting their graves.”

Before the website, says Treskunov, there was no way of finding the exact grave even if someone knew their relative was buried somewhere in the Preobrazhenskiy Cemetery. “The site lets you search and verify that your relatives are there, and locate the burial site.”

Soon to be added services include gravesite restoration and regular caretaking.

“It puts peoples’ consciences at ease knowing that their relative’s grave is cared for and the gravestones restored,” said Treskunov. “Our staff will regularly send photos of the grave via e-mail so that they can see its condition with their own eyes.”

The Jewish community of Saint Petersburg is a member of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia.

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