JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois Oct. 25, 2015, meeting: "The Greenebaum Family: From the Rheinpfalz to Chicago" #general


"The Greenebaum Family: >from the Rheinpfalz to Chicago" will be the
topic of a presentation by Joan Adler, executive director of the Straus
Historical Society in New York, at a special joint meeting of the Jewish
Genealogical Society of Illinois and the Chicago Jewish Historical
Society. The program will begin at 2 p.m. Oct. 25, 2015, at Temple
Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill.

The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. to
accommodate those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials,
get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions before
the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information, visit or phone 312-666-0100.

The Greenebaum family originated in southwestern Germany in the
Rheinpfalz. They were a large and observant family, pious in all ways.
They were prosperous merchants who suffered many hardships due to
changing political conditions in their region. After immigrating to
Chicago in the mid-1840s, they became the founders of some of the city's
outstanding financial, religious and philanthropic institutions,
including KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation, Ramah Lodge of B'nai B'rith
and the National Council of Jewish Women. Adler's talk will illuminate
the Greenebaum family's history, both in Germany and then in America and
will touch upon the factors that contributed to their success.

Joan Adler, executive director of the Straus Historical Society, has
spent the past 25 years researching, documenting and disseminating
information about the Lazarus Straus family >from the Rheinpfalz area of
Germany. The Greenebaum/Gruenebaum family are progenitors of the Straus

In describing her work, Adler said, "I have come to think of my work as
'social history.' By this I mean, placing the details of people's lives
into context: learning about the times in which they lived, the
political, social and economic conditions that affected their daily
interactions, and how they chose to deal with these factors."

She writes extensively about the Straus/Gruenebaum family in a
semiannual SHS newsletter that is distributed in paper form and can be
found on the Straus Historical Society website, Adler frequently speaks to large
groups at historical and genealogical societies, schools and museums.
She is the author of "or the Sake of the Children: The Letters Between
Otto Frank and Nathan Straus, Jr." and compiler/editor of several other
books about the German Jewish families she researches.

The Straus family were early owners of R. H. Macy's & Co. Adler was
asked to research the family in 1990. As a result of her efforts, a
project was begun to read, translate, transcribe and organize more than
100,000 pages of Straus family personal papers.

While this program is free, those who join the Jewish Genealogical
Society of Illinois have access to several valuable members-only
resources on the JGSI website. They include video recordings of a dozen
presentations >from past JGSI events, valuable informational handouts
from past speakers, access to past Morasha newsletters containing
informative articles about Jewish genealogy, the syllabus >from the 2015
JGSI conference, and more. To learn more about the benefits of joining
the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, go to

Submitted by
Martin Fischer
Vice President-Publicity
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

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