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About LitvakSIG
LitvakSIG is the primary internet resource for Lithuanian-Jewish ("Litvak") genealogy research worldwide. "SIG" stands for "Special Interest Group."

LitvakSIG is a financially independent Iowa (USA) non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. We are managed by 9 elected Directors who volunteer their time along with numerous other volunteers who coordinate fundraising and projects. Financial information (IRS form 990) is filed annually and is available from www.guidestar.org. The LitvakSIG Bylaws can be found here.

LitvakSIG Mission:

LitvakSIG is dedicated to discovering and preserving Litvak heritage. Our mission is to discover, collect, document, disseminate, and preserve information about the once vibrant Jewish community of Lithuania.

LitvakSIG Activities:

Discover and Collect:
LitvakSIG supports scholarship and research, particularly primary source work, on Lithuanian-Jewish records.

LitvakSIG maintains relationships with all the archives in Lithuania and with a number of archives outside Lithuania with Litvak holdings. We have organized a number of geographic-specific Groups and Projects, whose primary purpose is to identify and collect data from available records for Lithuania from the Russian Empire Period (1795-1919) and Independent Lithuania (1919-1940). A number of shtetls now in Belarus and Poland fall under our aegis.

Document, Disseminate, and Preserve:
The LitvakSIG.org website is a platform for providing the information we collect and our searchable databases to the public. In addition, we host a Members Only website, Litvaksigmembersonlysite.Shutterfly.com, with additional content related to resources.

Some Highlights of LitvakSIG Activities:

All Lithuania Database (ALD) -- We publish all the data we collect via the All Lithuania Database, a freely searchable database which currently has over 1,400,000 records.

The LitvakSIG Online Journal -- We publish an edited, online journal which includes Eye-Witness recollections, travelogues, independent research, poetry, and other articles of interest to people researching their Litvak heritage.

LitvakSIG Discussion List (LitvakSIG Digest) -- A moderated internet discussion forum for the exchange of information on Litvak genealogy research. Topics span the historical, political, religious, and social issues which affected the lives of our Litvak ancestors as well as research resources, questions, guidance, brick walls, and success stories.

Research Resources -- We provide a wealth of reference information needed to understand how to do Litvak research and how to understand the results and the context of the results.

While the resources we've highlighted above are freely accessible to everyone, since we are a non-profit organization we rely on the payment of dues and contributions to fund all our activities. Dues-Paying Members of LitvakSIG are given access to additional, valuable resources through our Members Site, www.LitvakSIGMembersOnlySite.Shutterfly.com , and are entitled to vote in our annual elections. For a more complete description of the benefits of becoming a Member of LitvakSIG, see our Benefits of Membership page of our website. We hope you will Join LitvakSIG and become a contributor to one or more of Projects and Groups.

Other Major Jewish Genealogy Organizations LitvakSIG is Often Confused With:

LitvakSIG is an independent, self-funded, non-profit organization. All of our financial resources are provided by Members and Contributors to LitvakSIG. We are often confused with these other well-known Jewish and/or Litvak Genealogy Organizations; however they are all separately funded and we do not receive any direct financial support from them.

JewishGen (JewishGen.org) -- Our searchable All Lithuania Database (ALD) is hosted by JewishGen (www.jewishgen.org), the premiere umbrella organization for Jewish genealogy research. LitvakSIG and JewishGen are financially independent organizations;  contributions to JewishGen do not go to support LitvakSIG projects.

International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies (IAJGS) (www.IAJGS.org) This is an umbrella organization for Jewish genealogy societies and historical organizations around the world. LitvakSIG sponsors speakers and participates actively in the annual IAJGS conference.

Jewish Family History Foundation (www.jewishfamilyhistory.org) -- This organization focuses on 17th and 18th century Grand Duchy records for Poland-Lithuania. They work cooperatively with LitvakSIG but are independent of LitvakSIG.

Ancestry (www.ancestry.com)-- A for profit operation which provides genealogy-related resources and databases for genealogy research around the world. JewishGen has an agreement with Ancestry allowing much of its data to be searchable via Ancestry. The data in LitvakSIG's ALD is made available through this agreement to the public. While Ancestry is for profit, all LitvakSIG data is made available free-of-charge via Ancestry.