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A few years back I found an on-line source for "prenumeraten." Just to enlighten those who don't know, before a sefer was published years ago, it would seem that feelers were sent out to find out who in the various Jewish communities would be interested in purchasing such a sefer. So these lists were published "somewhere."

It is apparently a useful genealogical resource, and thanks to Daniel Polakovic of the Jewish Museum in Prague, he was able to find my grandfather (Rabbi Leopold GOLDSTEIN) in the town of Kezmarok, Slovakia,Prenumeraten Sample on one such list of prenumeraten a few years ago. These lists were not always 100% correct, since they misspellings, etc., but one can figure them out.

I would like to see if his name (or any other friends/family members) appears on other such lists, but can no longer find that source, despite having "googled" to the best of my ability, and I'm a pretty good googler!

So can anyone help?

Thanks in advance.

  • can you read Hebrew? If so, try hebrewbooks.org – Shmuel Brin Jan 2 '12 at 20:54
  • Of course I tried that -- spelling it in English and Hebrew. It was only because I couldn't find anythin that I decided to post it here. – Madeleine Jan 2 '12 at 21:15
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    Prenumeraten looks like a Yiddish plural of the word that, in Polish, is prenumerata, in which case it seems to mean simply "subscriptions". – msh210 Jan 2 '12 at 21:34
  • Your definition is certainly more succinct and accurate than mine. Thanks. Madeleine – Madeleine Jan 3 '12 at 2:17
  • There is a VERY relevant post regarding this topic by Shnayer Leiman on the Seforim Blog: seforim.blogspot.com/2016/11/… – Dave Nov 29 '16 at 14:53
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Looks like there was indeed a book of these published in 1975, which is available for viewing on the Internet Archive (see "View the book" in the sidebar). Here is a guide to using it, and this page on Hebrew Wikigenia mentions some reprints and updates to it.

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    Thank you, but in looking for what I needed, this source referenced only the Chief Rabbis of the community, while my grandfather assisted the rabbi since it was not his full time job. But I appreciate your effort. – Madeleine Jan 3 '12 at 2:14
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Thanks to all who made some great suggestions.

First let me correct the spelling of the word: it should be PRENUMERANTEN (an extra N in there). I duly found the Berel Kagan book (at UCLA's Research library) and in Hebrewbooks.org, where his name is written as כהן for those who might also try to look).

So far, I personally have not found anything else that is relevant to me (yet!), but what I have noticed, is:

  1. In Kagan's book, if there is a reference to a sefer, without an author or year, there may be several sefarim from which one must find the right one that would have prenumeranten.
  2. Generally speaking, if there are any prenumeranten in a sefer, they are at the end of the sefer. That piece of knowledge is useful by itself and I wanted to share that with you.
  3. As a caveat, if you do a "Find" in a Hebrewbooks.org pdf, there are variations in spelling of Prenumeranten such as, in Yiddish, פרענומעראנטען , שמות הפערנומראנטין or in Hebrew שמות החתומים.

So it's something of a painful one-by-one process, but I'm learning a lot through doing this.

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Your best bet is probably Otzar Hachochma. Their online version is here (click on the rightmost link to enter as a guest). There is a search box on the top, in which you can search for terms like קעזמארק. In the free version, however, they only let you see snippets of the results. Also be aware that the search is based on OCR, which is not always accurate. Good luck!

  • THanks, Dave, but my search on that website resulted in a snippet about the Kezmarker's Rabbi son (Meir Gruenberg) in the USA. Wrong time period. But thanks for the reference. – Madeleine Jan 3 '12 at 2:16
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You should contact Rabbi Yehuda Horovitz who is a world acclaimed genealogist in Jerusalem and owns the largest collection in the world of Prenumeranten lists. his email is: yudaron@yahoo.comh

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    Thanks for the pointer and welcome to Mi Yodeya. I hope you stick around and enjoy the site. Please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features. – msh210 Dec 5 '12 at 14:46

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