About the Czech Rozmberk Society
The Kojakovice Museum in the protected hamlet of Kojakovice (Municipality Jilovice) is operated by the Czech Rozmberk Society. The mission of the Rozmberk Society is to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the rural eastern part of South Bohemia, Czech Republic, and to help the much-needed economic re-development of that region. The Society is involved in several regional and international projects on heritage conservation and regional development. The Society also operates a historic blacksmith workshop in the nearby town of Nove Hrady.
More on some of the other non-profit activities of the Society can be found on our Ecomuseum Ruze website.
The Society is a tax-exempt non-profit Public Benefit Corporation under Czech law. The Society was registered on March 28, 1998. The Society was established by founders Robert Dulfer, Director and Olga Cerna, Vice-Director (see picture). The current Board consists of Dr. Vilda Zachleder (Chair), and members Dr. Katerina Bisova, and Mrs. Zdena Kralkova.
Czech Friends is the working name for the Friends of the Rozmberk Society Inc, Iowa, USA. The corporation was established to support, financially and otherwise, the mission and activities of the Czech Rozmberk Society for heritage conservation and regional development. In addition, FORS aims to actively help preserve the Czech heritage in North America, facilitate joint US - Czech projects and student exchanges, and promote a free, democratic, and multi-cultural society.
FORS was incorporated as a charity in the State of Iowa on 28 August 2003 and has 501 (c) (3) status (tax exempt, donations are tax-deductible) with the IRS since 2004. The seat of FORS is in Oxford Junction, Iowa. This little town has about 160 families, over 100 of them with one or more ancestors from the Czech Republic. Most of them were farmers who emigrated from South Bohemia in the second half of the 19th century. In 2001, Oxford Junction signed a Sister City Partnership with the municipality of Jilovice.
Research and genealogy
Apart from their non-profit work, founders Olga Cerna and Robert Dulfer are also involved in research on the South Bohemian roots of Czech settlers in the USA and in research on village and crafts history. Being born in the village of Kojakovice and having lived and worked always in that South Bohemian region, Olga Cerna has a good contact with locals and has an intimate knowledge of the regional history. Having worked for 5 years in the State Archives in Trebon and conducting professional genealogical research for the last 12 years has given her a good knowledge about the regional emigration history.
Together with Robert Dulfer, she is also providing professional genealogical services for those who are trying to find their roots in South Bohemia.
In memorial Jean Shanelec and John Vanicek
On 8 June 2004, Jean Shanelec, member of our Czech Friends Board, passed away at the age of 78. Jean had an unbelievable large knowledge about emigration history and genealogy and an even larger hunger for still learning more. She had traced here ancestors way back to the first 17th century immigrants, and then followed with tracing all four Czech ancestors of Pep, her husband.
She motivated many to keep developing themselves and stay interested in the many good things of life. With her death, we lost a very good and close friend.
On January 28, 2010, John Vanicek, member of our Czech Friends Board, passed away at the age of 77. John was a warm and friendly man, and whenever we traveled to the USA, we were always welcome to spend a few days at his house. On several occasions, he helped us out and was always willing to lent another hand. We will miss him dearly.