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Click here for comments received in 2002
(following the website creation)

Miriam Weiner's Routes to Roots Foundation website was introduced to us about 20 years ago. The Archival database provides the holdings by town of repositories in five eastern European countries plus certain repositories in Israel and the United States. What a resource to me and thousands of other genealogists with roots in Eastern Europe. Just look at the great comments that Miriam received back then Well, she did not rest on her laurels.

Miriam gave me a preview tour of her updated website with the new Surnames Database. I entered my mother's maiden name PERLIS and what a surprise. There were eight collections, five from my mother's birthplace of Bialystok. I looked at the "List of Jewish Taxpayers, 1847" and there were my great great grandfather Moszko ben Abram PERLIS and my great great great grandfather Abram ben Moszko PERLIS. I had never before been able to place these ancestors in Bialystok or anywhere else before the late 1860s. I now know they were resident in Bialystok in 1847 and most likely for years before 1847. Thank you Miriam!!

If you have not yet searched Miriam's new Surnames database, do it now.

As a long-time member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia, I have known Miriam for a long time. She has always been very kind to our Society; donating books and other materials and speaking to our Society when we have asked. Just last year, well before the pandemic hit all of us, she made a terrific presentation to us. See Well, it's time to ask again.

Thank you Miriam and also a big thanks to all those who helped you bring this new Surnames database to the Jewish genealogical community.

Mark Halpern
Conshohocken, PA, USA
Jewish Genealogical and Archival Society of Greater Philadelphia, Past President

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This is a marvelous and significant addition to Miriam's pioneering work cataloguing Jewish records in the Eastern European archives. The JewishGen Belarus Research Division was very fortunate to be given access to Miriam's Belarus research a couple years ago. It led to the Miriam Weiner Archive Database for Belarus which is now incorporated into Miriam's new Surname Databases which include over 1 million names from many other regions as well as maps and images of original documents (and more to come). The value of Miriam's work is not just in data on individual surnames but in the vast record sources her work has revealed. We are forever indebted to Miriam for leading the way in our journey to trace our ancestral roots.

Dave Feldman
Sharon Fingold
Paul Zoglin
JewishGen Belarus Research Division leadership

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Miriam Weiner's website at The Routes to Roots Foundation ( has always been one of the go-to sites for Eastern European Jewish research. Now, with this update and the additional information she has added, this should always be the place to start.

I have been using her site for the last couple of years and the resources and help it provides has taken my research far beyond what I imagined possible, what a blessing.

Thank you, Miriam, for all your incredible work and for making it available for researchers worldwide.

W Todd Knowles, AG
Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer
FamilySearch International

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The lead story in Gary Mokotoff's Nu? What's New? this week was a lengthy article about Miriam Weiner's updated website of The Routes to Roots Foundation at In addition, she also wrote an article in the new Fall 2020 issue of Avotaynu, The International Review of Jewish Genealogy. For those of you who do not subscribe to these valuable Jewish Genealogy resources, I wanted to let everyone know of the extraordinary and important additions to Miriam's lifelong work.

I had a 'preview tour' of the updated website and new surname databases where Miriam includes important information in the 'Introduction' on the surname database page. It was exciting for me to see what she has done and is still doing so I wanted to share this release with the Discussion Group Members.

Miriam had her own roots in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her maternal grandparents and mother and we have become friends due to this connection. I urge you to check out her website and I have attached some helpful content descriptions for your perusal.

Good hunting!

Phil Goldfarb
President, JGS of Tulsa
Chairman, 2020 IAJGS Award Selection Committee
Lead Moderator, JewishGen Discussion Group

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Congratulations, Miriam, for the monumental work you are doing with Jewish genealogy. These precious records will open countless doors for us. The treasures we find will be handed down to our children and their children and so on down the line. How can we thank you enough for that? I'm always amazed, but never surprised. Way to go, 'Sis!

Keren Weiner
The Berkshires

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As JewishGen Director of Ukraine Research, I too was fortunate to be given a preview tour of Miriam Weiner's Routes to Roots Foundation greatly enhanced website. There is so much that is new and easily accessible -- including links to scans of some original records. After my tour, I searched for particular information and found some helpful data.

There is no other source where one can find which archives have particular records for a town. I have used this feature regularly for years. And it's so impressive that Miriam continues to update it. Mazel tov, Miriam -- and may you have many more years of updating!

Phyllis Gold Berenson
Director of Ukraine Research for JewishGen

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Miriam Weiner has done it again! The new Images and Surname Databases on the Routes to Roots website RTRFoundation-News: Announcements provide all genealogists with a highly visual opportunity to dig deeper into our collective past.

Users will love being able to search for their specific family names in the many documents that Miriam has lovingly collected and transcribed over her career as a private researcher. And her efforts to put the collections into context provide a memoir-like quality to the descriptions that are highly readable and understandable.

For readers who are fairly new to genealogical research, it is important to keep in mind that the documents and photos in the Routes to Roots collection are not items randomly downloaded from the Internet. They reflect years of research on the ground in Eastern Europe, items collected one by one that together make a remarkable group of resources that might well have something for many of us.
Mazel Tov, Miriam and thank you for your decades of research and all you have done to utilize it in ways that have been of benefit to us all.

Stanley Diamond, Creator and Executive Director, JRI-Poland
Robinn Magid, Assistant Director

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Miriam continues to amaze!
From Hal Bookbinder

Miriam Weiner kindly provided me with a tour of the latest upgrade to her Routes to Roots database. Miriam continues to amaze with her achievements in providing valuable and unique free online resources to our community.

One thing that has long made the Routes to Roots database unique is its information as to which archive contains particular record groups. So, if you find a record group that interests you, typically through Miriam's site, you can further explore it's records directly at the host archive.

Miriam's more recent upgrades include a powerful name and location search, along with numerous city maps and pictures that she has gathered over her years of research and travels in Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Belarus and Lithuania.

Miriam explained to me that this is a work-in-progress and that she still has significant data, pictures and maps to upload. So, I encourage you to check out again over time.

Hal Bookbinder
Oak Park, CA

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It has been my sincere pleasure to get to know Miriam Weiner these past few months. Her work is absolutely amazing and the website she has recently revamped is an absolute must for any serious researcher to check out. Her work throughout her distinguished career has been a treasure to the Jewish genealogy community and all honor to her for these contributions.

I was lucky to get a tour of the website and was able to find jewels for my personal family research. The site is easy to navigate and a marvelous job was done organizing all the information.

Yasher koach to Miriam and to all who helped to bring this treasure to our community. Todah rabah,

Dr. Steven S. Turner, President
Roslyn, NY

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Miriam also gave me a backdoor tour when Steve Morse was putting it together. I love the fact that there are pics of shtetls. This brings our ancestral homes to life for us. I'm also pleased that it's a work in progress and look forward to new updates! Miriam has worked tirelessly over the years to bring us information from our shtetls and I am happy to see that this new platform will reach so many people. A great tool in our resources box.

Jackye Sullins

RTR Foundation home page > Introduction