This OJC project to collect information and display the origins of the OJC members began during the CoronaVirus Pandemic in spring 2020, after a prolonged period of consultation. It hopes to encourage the membership to discover and collect ancestral stories of Oxford’s Jewish community. We were inspired by the project carried out by the St Albans Masorti Synagogue (SAMS), where they created a virtual exhibition of the roots of their community: https://www.historypin.org/en/sams-roots
In a multifaceted approach led by Jessica Feinstein, the OJC Hebrew Classes, The Friendship Club and individual members and their families all worked together to create the database.
Data and Images should be uploaded and will be displayed using the HistoryPin website. It is an open ended project, and any OJC members interested in participating should contact this OJH website for further information
In Jessica’s own words: “Our aim is to preserve our heritage for our children, grandchildren, and generations yet to come, and to create a virtual exhibition that can be shared within the community and more widely. Our project will be running simultaneously in different parts of the community, and we welcome new ideas for collaboration.”
It’s very easy to get involved in the project, and we hope that you will be inspired to share your stories and photographs with us. We are particularly keen to involve children in collecting family stories that might otherwise be lost, and to inspire them to find out more about their roots.
If you are a member of the OJC and would like to contribute to the project, please upload yourself or send us one or two photos connected to your family’s roots, and the stories behind the photos. For example, maybe you have a photo of your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents, taken in the place where they were born, with an accompanying story that you are happy to share. (The photo must be saved as a .jpg or .png file, and you’ll need to have permission to share the photo and story if you are not the copyright owner.) We’ll need a title for each photo, an approximate date and place, and the story behind the photo. Please also tell us how you are related to the people in the photo.
The photos and stories we receive will be uploaded to the MOJO historypin website, which can also accept video clips and sound files. If you are a member of the Oxford Jewish community and would like to contribute to our project by uploading your story yourself, please download the guide here
As part of this project, we wish to work with our members to explore their family’s past and suggest avenues of research that you may not have discovered yet. We can also provide a free family tree workbook, suitable for beginners of all ages.
If you have photos and stories to contribute to our project, or would like a copy of the workbook, please email us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you, and we look forward to reading about where you come from!
JF & MEW May 2020