Four new features on our NextGen website

Visit and you will discover some new changes as we inch closer to replacing our Legacy website with the modern NextGen website! This month you will see four entirely new additions to our website. Here’s what’s new:

1. JRI-Poland “News & Insights”

From the Landing Page (home page) scroll down below the fold and you will find our new “news & insights” section, presenting announcements, articles and links to our eNewsletter called “For the Record”. Check this area regularly to keep up with JRI-Poland’s announcements!

A number of tiles representing news articles
Our new News and Insights section

2. Project Explorer

JRI-Poland proudly introduces a new way to learn about our projects! Visit the Project Explorer module and you will find a series of project cards. The default is set to hide the Vital Records Projects, in order to hightlight those non-vital projects that don’t get as much notice since they are less numerous. We can feature one or more projects, and are kicking this off by featuring the Polish Aliyah Passport Project (see below).

Clicking on a project card will bring you to a “project detail” card where you can find a detailed description, often with project financial details and a sample page from the original source, as well as a way to contact the project coordinator. You can bookmark a project as a favorite by “hearting” it. And you can copy the link to the card to your clipboard by clicking on “share”. There is often a project surnames list displayed below the details and our next step will be to link “Related Articles” about this project to the page. Coming soon!

Card describing Polish Aliyah Passport Project
Project detail cards offer a number of tools

There is also a filtering option to display our “non-town specific” projects. Some of which are displayed below. These projects are not associated with one particular town and have never had much visibility before now! Exciting! Click on the cards to learn more about these projects…

Display of use of toggles to change project cards in view
Filters allow researchers quick access to non-vital record projects

3. Town Project Financial Details Offered

From our Town Explorer module, you can investigate a town, and scroll down to see the active and historical projects for that town. A progress bar (or thermometer) is offered to show the project target goal, the amount raised toward that goal (which we will update monthly from our separate accounting system) and the “QC” which is the minimum Qualifying Contribution requested to give a donor “an advance peek” at their family’s entries in the associated project before that project is fully-funded and eligible to be added to our database.

list of projects and their fundraising goals
Town financials allows researchers to see the progress of all related projects

Clicking on an underlined project name will take you to a dedicated project card about that particular project. Here is a sample card reachable from the City of Lublin Town Card show above.

single card view for a vital records research project
Project detail card for a vital records project

4. Town Coat-of-Arms are Gateway to Wikipedia and More!

New to our Town Explorer module are Coat-of-Arms which serve as a button (we call it “a matzah ball” where the dominant computer culture calls this “an Easter egg”) Click on the Coat-of-arms symbol (matzah ball) and you will be transported to the Wikipedia page for that town.

Use of the Coat-of-Arms symbol turns out to be both interesting and useful. Many of our ancestral shtetlach have been incorporated into the nearby city limits of bigger places. Associating these symbols will give the researcher a visual clue to this. And, smaller village and hamlets may not have their own Coat-of-Arms. In this case, we have used the symbol for the county (“gmina” in Poland or “raion” in Ukraine). By comparing these symbols, we can learn a bit about the local culture and history. Look forward to a future article on the interesting Coats-of-Arms we discovered in creating the content for this feature!

collection of town coats of arms
Coats of Arms provide a new insight into town history

In addition, Prussian researchers will be excited to learn that we’ve introduced a new color on our map legend to better explain the vital records history of that region of Poland. Purple circles on the map now indicate that the town has known Jewish records but that from 1874 on they are mixed registers which are not separated by religious denomination. We hope this will better serve our western cousins. Included below is a sample map displaying the West Prussian towns and indicating the existence of Jewish vital records (or lack of them) and shown with color-coding to indicate where separate Jewish registers are known to exist, and where mixed registers exist for 1874 and later in these Prussian towns which was different in Prussia than in other parts of Poland. Notice that the town card entries are color coded as well, with the Teal line indicating that no known Jewish vital records are known to have survived.

map with color coded dots for towns
New purple color coding in practice

Coming in 2022! We do expect to spend this year developing the detailed Search System and will begin with a new Search Results Screen for which we will solicit your input. We will also introduce detailed source inventories to better track and communicate what might be possible to acquire through projects for your favorite towns. More on those new topics soon!