LDS Scene
October 2000

“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, 79

LDS Scene

Church Presents Records to Jewish Genealogical Society

The Church recently presented a new computerized database, Jewish Records in the Family History Library Catalog, to the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) during its 20th annual convention in Salt Lake City.

When Richard E. Turley Jr., managing director of the Family and Church History Department, announced the unexpected gift, hundreds of attendees “stood up and shouted for joy and clapped,” said Nancy Goodstein, a family history missionary who compiled the database. “I’ve never felt such incredible joy and emotion.”

The searchable database is a catalog of some 5,000 specifically Jewish records found on film, on microfiche, and in books. Sallyann Amdur Sack, co-chairperson for the convention, said the database will be valuable to Jewish genealogists because researching their roots is so challenging. “Jews have been expelled from country after country,” she explained. “They ran for their lives. They didn’t carry papers with them.”

The new catalog will make it easier for Jewish people to research their ancestors in specific categories and locations. “The Jewish people have worked so hard on indexing and researching their families,” said Sister Goodstein. “We want to assist them in their efforts.”

The Jewish database is available in the Family History Library. The IAJGS is presently deciding how it will make the database more widely available.

First Meetinghouse Dedicated in Bulgaria

Members of four branches in the Sofia, Bulgaria, area joined Elder Charles Didier of the Seventy and other Church leaders recently to dedicate the first meetinghouse in the country. The dedication comes 10 years after the Sofia Bulgaria Mission was organized.

“This represents the first building where Church members will be able to meet on a regular basis. It is a message for them that the Church is here to stay in Bulgaria,” said Elder Didier, then President of the Europe East Area.

The meetinghouse serves as the central location for the Church in Bulgaria, with a chapel on the first floor; a kitchen, reception area, and mission offices on the second; and the mission president’s residence on the third.

A day prior to the dedication of the Sofia meetinghouse, ground was broken for a second meetinghouse in Bulgaria, in the city of Plovdiv. “It will be a great blessing to the members of the branch, as well as have a great impact on the people of Plovdiv,” said Rosan Giorgiev, president of the Plovdiv Branch.