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Helpful Tools: Viewmate

Updated: May 10, 2018

By Walter Elias -

You discover an old postcard in the attic possibly written before WWII and sent from Europe. But it’s in Yiddish or maybe Hebrew and you’re not sure which. Or perhaps you have been using JRI-Poland to access some vital records from your ancestral family. The records are in Russian. How do you get these vital documents translated?

A JewishGen project called ViewMate is the answer. Volunteers will read your documents and send you translations. All that is required is a big thank you.

Here’s how it works. Go to and click on Research. Open the tab for ViewMate and read the Instructions page. It is all self-explanatory and easy to use. You upload your properly sized document and a ViewMate moderator will look it over and approve it if it meets requirements. You then get a ViewMate number and link assigned to your document that you use when you send a message to the large JewishGen audience (or smaller special interest group, or SIG) of your choice.  In your message you identify what you want translated, the whole document or just the vital information. In a few days you receive an email with a response or two.

Detailed instructions are in the Elias PowerPoint from our December 13, 2015 MNJGS meeting.

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