Dr. Alexander Avram has won IIJG’s Chava Agmon Prize for Jewish Genealogy
The International Institute for Jewish Genealogy is proud to announce that Dr. Alexander Avram has been awarded the 2018 Chava Agmon Prize, which is given for unpublished research that expands the horizons of Jewish genealogy. It carries with it a purse of $1,500.
Dr. Avram’s study is entitled “Historical Implications of Jewish Surnames in the Old Kingdom of Romania”. For it, he assembled and analyzed a database of over 28,000 surnames, including phonetic and graphic variants, used by Jews in Romanian-speaking lands from the 16th Century until the end of WWII in Romania (1944). 91% of the surnames are of German-Yiddish or Slavic origin. 8% are Romanian and Romanised surnames and these constitute the central focus of the study. Among other things, Dr. Avram examined the historical development of the names, geographical patterns and ways in which they reflect the Jews’ interactions with their surroundings. The resultant dictionary of Romanian and Romanised surnames, expected to be published with the study in 2019, will be a valuable work-tool for Jewish genealogists and family historians.
Dr. Avram has been Director of the “Hall of Names” at Yad Vashem since 1988, and Director of its “Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names” since 2000. The official presentation of the prize will be made during the IIJG session at the IAJGS Conference in Warsaw this August.
Lynn Tolmas-Karawan, IIJG Administrator