JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Cold-Calling a Distant Relative Who Doesn't Know the Family Was Jewish #general

C Chaykin

To Angie as well as the person who whose family came >from Ukraine (sorry I lost
track of your original submission):

How sad that you lost your chance to get more information about your family >from
these newly-found cousins.

Also, hindsight is 20-20, but perhaps news about hidden Jewish ancestry should
be shared, preferentially, with person whose ancestors converted. It would then
be up to them whether to tell their spouse and family about their newfound
Jewish ancestry.

Carol Chaykin

From: Angie Elfassi <>
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2018

In reply to this story, and my story is not about people denying their Jewish
ancestry, but I have been told, and found, that it is better to first write a
letter before making a phone call. I phoned a 2nd cousin once removed, who had
been adopted at birth. I was very excited when I found her and I phoned her
and she denied that she was the adopted child of .... (intentionally left
blank). But her older brother (also adopted at birth) had given me sufficient
information to know that I'd found the correct person.

So, again, better to write or email first!
I tried calling a man who is my 3rd cousin twice removed. I know his father's
headstone has a cross on it, so I already knew the family had left Judaism...
I mentioned that the family came >from a small town in Ukraine. She sounded
surprised, but told me to go on. So I asked her what she knew about the
family's religious background. She asked "what do you mean". So I said that
the family was originally Jewish. Well, she immediately changed her tone,
and said "I'm sorry, but the details don't match my husband's family. I have
to go. Bye".
Anyone else encounter this? Maybe I shouldn't have brought up religion, and
simply tried to get as much info as possible?

Join to automatically receive all group messages.