Jewish researchers "stood up and shouted for joy and clapped" when the Church presented a database of Jewish records to the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies July 9.
The presentation was made by Richard E. Turley Jr., managing director of Family and Church History Department, at the opening ceremonies of the association's 20th annual convention. The convention, held July 9-14, was attended by some 630 people and held in Salt Lake City.
Included in the database are a worldwide catalogue of Jewish records on film, microfiche and books available at the Family History Library. The database was compiled by Nancy Goodstein, a family history missionary.
"I have never felt such incredible joy and emotion," she said.
Another researcher, Sallyann Amdur Sack, co-chairperson of the conference, explained that the researchers appreciated the database because researching Jewish genealogy is challenging.
"Jews have been expelled from country after country," she said. "They ran for their lives. They didn't carry papers with them."
Sister Goodstein explained that "the Jewish people have worked so hard on indexing and researching their families. We want to assist them in their efforts."
The new, electronic catalogue will help Jewish researchers search specific categories, including concentration camps of the Holocaust. The database, on a compact disc, is also available to all patrons of the Family History Library.