When people are searching for information on their family shtetl in Europe or elsewhere, inevitably they end up at Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia created by users. We have the power to provide accurate information about the Jewish community on Wikipedia.
Unfortunately, many of the villages throughout Europe have Wikipedia entries that do not mention the presence of the Jewish community up to the Holocaust. This project is intended to change that.
Step 1: Type the name of your family's town into Google with the word "wiki" following it. For example: Chelm wiki would be for Chelm, Poland.
Step 2: You're directed to the Wikipedia entry for your village. Review it. Is the Jewish community mentioned? Is the Holocaust mentioned? Are the contributions of Jews appropriately outlined, or entirely ignored?
Step 3: Wikipedia is available in many different languages. Open a Wikipedia account, if you so desire, in the language of your choice. For English speakers, click here to open an account.
Step 4: Once you open an account, you can add information to the entry on your town. For example, for the entry on Sawin, Poland, all of the information in the Wikipedia entry was the location of the village. I logged in and added entries on the Jewish Community and the Holocaust, which were a significant part of Sawin's history.
Step 5: Wikipedia encourages you to SOURCE your information. JewishGen and a Google search can likely provide additional information on the community you're interested in. Here is information on how to cite a source from Wikipedia. Let me know if you have additional questions.
You're done! Now that you've added accurate information about your family's shtetl in Wikipedia, you can be sure that the work you've done has been both honorable to history and to the Jews who made their homes in the community.
Thanks for your participation!