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Making A Difference

Connecting Past and Present

Stanley Diamond (MBA 1958)

Family health was the impetus for Stanley Diamond (MBA 1958), founder of one of the world’s largest genealogy resources.

“My family carries the beta thalassemia genetic trait,” a blood disorder. When my nephew was diagnosed, and we then learned that I and all of my siblings were carriers, I wanted to warn other members of the family,” said Diamond, whose search led him to Poland—and then to the creation of Jewish Records Indexing–Poland.

Since founding JRI-Poland, in 1996, the not-for-profit has indexed more than 5 million birth, marriage, death, and census records from some 550 towns in the eastern European country. Funded exclusively by donations and with an army of volunteers, the online database can help find family ancestry dating back more than 200 years. It is also a critical resource in connecting people with relations who survived the Holocaust.

Diamond had just retired from the decorative-ceiling business when he began what would ultimately become JRI-Poland—a mission that has never felt like work. “People have found family they were never were able to locate,” he says, “or never knew existed.”

(Published September 2016)