The Estonian Jewish Museum’s website is an excellent place to begin research, especially for those unfamiliar with Estonia and the history of its small Jewish community. The museum includes the Estonian Jewry Archive, formerly a standalone website, but now part of the museum. The Museum’s catalog provides a good overview of Estonian Jewish history, as well as a virtual tour of the exhibits in the museum. The Estonian Jewry Archive section has a wealth of historical, cultural, and genealogical information about the Jewish community in Estonia. Visitors to the Latvia & Estonia Research Division’s website who wish to learn more about Estonia are urged to spend time exploring the EJA section of the Estonian Jewish Museum’s website to familiarize themselves with all aspects of the Estonian Jewish community. The Museum’s website is multilingual, in Estonian, Russian, and English. The genealogy section of the EJA also includes various lists of genealogical interest, and also has a link to its own one-step website by museum founder Mark Rybak, enabling a name search of its internal database, complete with biographical and source information of the subject.
Estonian Jewry Archive - Genealogy Files and Database
The following is a list of items in the Genealogy section of the Estonian Jewry Archive. It is likely that the EJA was transferred from the independent EJA website after Mark Rybak’s death in March 2018, as nothing beyond that date is listed. The page is mainly a listing of spreadsheets and documents, and includes a link to the Estonian Jews Database, which will be described in greater detail below. Some of the documents are photocopies of directories/and or indexes to books about the Jewish communities of Estonia. A few comments in italics have been added by the Latvia RD.
· Family trees and Presentations
· A Simple Guide to Estonian Jewish genealogy - Patrick Monson - a good basic guide, although somewhat outdated.
· Jewish vital records in Estonian archives - Mark Rybak –this is a spreadsheet that breaks down the list of the Jewish vital record archival holdings by archival number, type, year, and town.
· Vital records in the Family history centers – These records have since been digitized and are accessible through FamilySearch, as well as the Estonian Archives.
· Narva 1898-1905 The Jews of Narva - 1898-1905
· Narva 1935 community members (~1935) - S. Gurin
· Pärnu 1874. The Jews of Pärnu – 1874 - EAA.9511.111.6
· Pärnu 1935 community members (~1935) - S. Gurin
· Rakvere 1935 community members (~1935) - S. Gurin
· Tallinn 1830. The Jews of Reval 1830-188 - N. Genss
· Tallinn 1874. Jews (men) living in Tallinn in 1874. - EAA.30.5.4275
· Tallinn 1888. Composition of the Jewish religious community
· Tallinn 1902. List with indication of the profession. On basis of EAA.30.9.5851
· Tallinn 1923 community members (1923) - TLA 1387.2.9
· Tallinn 1937 community members (~1937) - TLA
· Tartu 1895 community members (1895) - EAA.325.1.93
· Tartu 1920. Tartu Jewish students in 1920 - ERA.2283.1.67
· Tartu 1935 community members (~1935) - S. Gurin
· Tartu 1938 community members (1938) - ERA.2284.1.29
· Valga 1935 community members (~1935) - S. Gurin
· Viljandi 1935 community members (~1935) - S. Gurin
· Võru etc. 1935 community members (~1935) - S. Gurin
· The Võru community - L. Yodaiken
· "How did I find my relatives" - M. Rybak
· Jewish students of the Tartu University 1889-1918 - Work in progress -05/10/2014
· Jewish students of the Tartu University 1918-1941 - Work in progress - 25/05/2007
· Estonian Jewish refugees in Tashkent - USA Holocaust Memorial Museum
· Estonian Jews who went to Palestine before 1941 - Work in progress - 16/10/2017
· Dynamics of emigration to Palestine
The Estonian Jews Database is a searchable database of Estonian Jews that is part of the Estonian Jewry Archive, compiled from an extensive list of sources, ranging from archival documents to diaries, articles, and family trees. With a little bit of sleuthing, digital copies of many archival documents can be located via a fond search in AIS or SAAGA (see Estonian Archives page <link>), although it is possible that not all documents cited in the database have been digitized.
Estonian Jewry Archive – Other Categories of Interest
In addition to the genealogy section and the database, the EJA has extensive resources under the following categories:
· Holocaust, antisemitism and anti-Zionism
· Jewish Community
· Jewish places and "Jewish" names
· Memoirs / Stories
· Organizations before 1940
· Science and Arts
These additional categories contain a wide range of materials that create a complete picture of the Estonian Jewish community and its history. There is a wealth of information to be discovered on this website.