Сonfirmation of Jewry
Thousands of Jews – natives of the former Soviet Union – face the same problem every year: having come to the rabbinate to arrange their marriage, or wanting to bury a relative in a Jewish cemetery, they cannot always prove their Jewry because of lack of documentary evidence of their ethnicity.
Their ancestors are among those who, in order to avoid persecution and discrimination in the USSR, changed their surnames or entry in the column “nationality”, or the family archive was simply not preserved.
What to do? Where to go? Where to get competent advice on what steps to take? Whether to begin the search for acquaintances and relatives in the former USSR who are able to shed light on the past of these people. Or contact the state archives to search for documents, certificates from which are likely to be regarded as an insufficiently reliable source of information? And who will do this? In many cases, access to the original archival documents is necessary to confirm Jewishness, and this, in turn, requires trips to various cities of the former USSR and costly fieldwork. Who – Activists of the Shorashim Center!
Having a representative office in Moscow, the organization’s employees take special courses to verify the authenticity of documents. In their work, experts use special equipment similar to that used by forensic experts. And Russian specialists work closely with their Israeli counterparts to ensure that as many Jews as possible remain Jews. It must be emphasized that although all this activity requires significant funds, the Shorashim organization provides all its services to all comers for free.
List of documents for confirming Jewry:
- Birth certificate (in the original).
- If there are brothers and sisters, their birth certificate.
- Marriage certificate of parents. This is necessary in order to trace the change of mother’s surname from maiden to married. In the event of a divorce, this document was seized by the relevant authorities. In this case, a divorce certificate is required, as well as a marriage certificate, in which both names will be indicated.
- An additional important document at this stage is the work book. A change of surname was registered there.
- Mother’s birth certificate (in the original). If there are brothers and sisters, their birth certificate.
- Marriage certificate of mother’s parents. In case of divorces and the absence of the original document, see paragraph 2.
- Birth certificate of mother’s mother (in the original). If there are brothers and sisters, their birth certificate.
- Family photographs relating to different time periods in which you can try to trace the visual similarity between and her ancestors.
- Additional documents with and without nationality (military card, Komsomol card, membership card + account card, etc.)
Experience shows that most people do not have such a kit. In the absence of any documents, it is possible to replace them with indirect evidence, then each case must be considered separately.
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