The Weekly News Nosh
JewishGen Weekly E-Newsletter
Phil Goldfarb, Editor
Date: August 28, 2022
“A Family Without The Knowledge Of Their Past History, Origin And Culture Is Like A Tree Without Roots”
I apologize in advance as this Weekly News Nosh is a little longer this week as it contains stories from two weeks as opposed to a single week as I have been on vacation.
Enjoy this week’s News Nosh!
1. JewishGen Discussion Group (JGDG) surpasses 20,000 members! The JewishGen Discussion Group in August surpassed the 20,000-member mark with 1,165 new members being added this past year. There has also been over 10,500 new posts approved this year by our three volunteer moderators: Jessica Feinstein (U.K.), Stephen Jones (U.S.), and Lead Moderator Phil Goldfarb (U.S.). If you have not yet searched the JGDG archives, there are over 670,800+ messages going back to 1998 that can be searched by names, towns, almost any subject or topic and can be a terrific, untapped, genealogical resource for you. To join the JGDG go to: main@... | Home To search the 670,800+ messages, once you sign in, simply go to “messages” and then “search.” For help go to: support@...
2. JewishGen Announces Viewmate Update. JewishGen recently updated Viewmate to make the main page run much faster. Viewmate is a service where researchers post images, they want information about - translations, or other information - and volunteers help them out. To read more see: Viewmate Runs Faster (jewishgen.org)
3. The 2022 Annual IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee (PRAMC) report. The Public Records Access Monitoring Committee (PRAMC) had a busy year monitoring and addressing
issues affecting access to public records. From Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, these are highlights of what PRAMC worked on since last year’s report. Go to: PRAMC.Annual.Report.2022.pdf (iajgs.org)
4. Introducing Photo Tagger: Tag Multiple Photos Instantly. A free new feature on the MyHeritage mobile app that lets you easily tag multiple photos of the same individual in one go. Photo Tagger makes organizing your family photos easier and accelerates your productivity, enabling you to tag hundreds of photos in minutes. Read more from MyHeritage: Introducing Photo Tagger: Tag Multiple Photos Instantly - MyHeritage Blog
5. Legacy Family Tree Webinars is hosting their third annual Webtember: a free, month-long online genealogy conference. Every Friday in September, Legacy Family Tree Webinars will host multiple live and pre-recorded webinars with expert speakers on a wide variety of family history and DNA topics. A total of 31 webinars will take place, and they'll all be available to view for free until the end of the month. Go to: Upcoming Webinars - Legacy Family Tree Webinars to view the full schedule and register for sessions.
6. MyHeritage Adds New Records in July. They added 11 collections with 15.4 million historical records. The collections originate from Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Chile, France, and Sweden. Most of the collections include high-quality images of the original records. To read more about specific records go to: Historical Record Collections Added in July 2022 - MyHeritage Blog
7. Findmypast Releases Tree Search. Tree Search will help you: Search for ancestors you have in common with others, gather information from other members’ research and privately message that member, validate your own research, and help other Findmypast members to find their family stories. Read more from Findmypast: What is Tree Search? - Help and FAQs | findmypast.com
8. Findmypast Adds almost Two Million Records for North of England. See their press release about these records: Get lost in 1.8 million new records across the North of England | Blog | findmypast.com
9. Vatican Archives Opened: Desperate Letters from Jews During WWII Revealed. The virtual reproduction of a collection preserving the requests for help addressed to Pope Pius XII by Jews from all over Europe after the beginning of Nazi-Fascist persecution is now accessible to all. It consists of a total of 170 volumes, or nearly 40,000 files. Only 70% of the total material will be initially available but will later be supplemented with the final volumes currently being prepared. Requests were addressed to the Pope from all over Europe, with the aim of providing all the help possible. Requests could be made to obtain visas or passports to expatriate, find asylum, reunify families, obtain liberation from detention and transfers from one concentration camp to another, receive news regarding deported people, supplies of food or clothing, financial support, spiritual support and much more. Each of these requests constituted a case which, once processed, was destined for storage in a documentary series entitled “Ebrei”. It contains more than 2,700 cases with requests for help almost always for entire families or groups of people. Thousands of people persecuted for their membership to the Jewish religion, or for merely having “non-Aryan” ancestry, turned to the Vatican, in the knowledge that others had received help. Read more: https://momentmag.com/vatican-archives-opened-letters-from-jews-revealed/ Thank you to Jan Meisels Allen Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee for this story.
10. New York museums are now required to disclose artwork looted by Nazis. The new law forms part of a package of legislation designed to honor and support Holocaust survivors. Nazis stole and confiscated hundreds of thousands of works of art during World War II, mostly from Jewish communities. The new law mandates that museums "prominently place a placard or other signage" on the artworks. This legislation allows institutions in New York to honor those whose lives were lost and whose personal possessions were stolen for profit. Artworks stolen by Nazis continue to face contentious public debates over their ownership. Read the story from CNN: New York museums are now required to disclose artwork looted by Nazis - CNN Style
11. Ancient writing deciphered nearly a century after its discovery. The findings, based on a set of ancient silver vessels, propose a new method for decoding Linear Elamite symbols. The language originates in the 5000-year-old city of Susa, in what today is southwestern Iran. An ancient urban oasis and the capital of Elam, Susa was one of the first places to use written symbols in its bustling society. Read the story from the Jerusalem Post: Ancient writing deciphered nearly a century after its discovery - study - The Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)
12. The Jewish Artist Whose Work Foretold the Holocaust. Issachar Ber Ryback preserved the Eastern European Jewish shtetl in his art works, reaping fame in his lifetime that rivalled that of Marc Chagall. A new exhibit at the Jewish Museum in Paris gives a glimpse into his world. His main claim to fame was as an artist who drew and documented the ruined Jewish villages of Eastern Europe, combining Jewish elements and Yiddish words in works that fused cubism, the Russian avant-garde style, German expressionism, and futurism. Read more about Ryback and the exhibit from Haaretz: The Jewish Artist Whose Work Foretold the Holocaust - Jewish World - Haaretz.com
13. European Days of Jewish Culture Kick off September 4, 2022. European Days of Jewish Culture (EDJC) kick off September 4th, however some events are starting in August. This year’s theme is “Renewal”. See: https://jewisheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Renewal.pdf from the National Library of Israel. The EDJC is coordinated under the auspices of the AEPJ (European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage), in partnership with the National Library of Israel. It seeks to educate about the role of Jewish heritage, culture, and history in local, regional, and Europe-wide context, among other things in order to demystify the Jewish world and promote understanding. To find events and national programs see: https://jewisheritage.org/edjc/2022-renewal Thanks to Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee for passing along this story.
14. Doctors in Rome invented a fake infectious disease to save Jews and keep the Nazis away: “Syndrome K,” which hits digital and VOD platforms after some Jewish film festival showings, tells that little-known, surefire story: How three doctors at a hospital in Rome shielded a group of Jews from the Nazis in 1943 and 1944 by inventing a fake infectious disease called Syndrome K. The prospect of catching the disease kept the Nazis, who were occupying Rome following the fall of Mussolini, away from the hospital. The Jews there hung on until the Allies liberated the city in June of 1944. Read more from JTA: To save Jews and keep the Nazis away, these doctors invented a fake infectious disease - Jewish Telegraphic Agency (jta.org)
15. Jewish-born nun and saint who was murdered at Auschwitz honored by Vatican cardinal with Jewish ancestry. Cardinal Czerny noted that his mother’s relatives, despite their conversion to Catholicism, were also persecuted by the Nazis for having Jewish ancestry. Read the full story from JTA: Canadian cardinal with Jewish ancestry honors Jewish-born nun and saint who was murdered at Auschwitz - Jewish Telegraphic Agency (jta.org)
16. Page from 800-year-old bible on display at Glastonbury Abbey. The document made by monks, narrates the history of Israel and Judah and is on public display at its former home for the first time. The double-sided sheet is made from vellum, a specially prepared animal skin, usually that of a calf – that was used for books until the rise of paper production in the later Middle Ages. The Latin text is thought to have been written around the 13th century, probably at some point between 1225 and 1250. Read the story from Jewish News: Page from 800-year-old bible on display at Glastonbury Abbey | Jewish News
17. Israeli Artist Explores His Indian Jewish Heritage. Meydad Eliyahu’s researched the roots of the Cochin Jews and found that his family’s history nearly vanished when they came to Israel. ‘It’s a reminder that something was once here.’ Read the story from Haaretz: Israeli Artist Explores His Indian Jewish Heritage - Israel News - Haaretz.com
18. An artificial mound outside the Bagnowka Jewish cemetery in Białystok, Poland could cover hundreds of matzevot dating back over 200 years. Excavations have begun at a large, artificial mound outside the Bagnowka Jewish cemetery in Białystok where researchers believe possibly hundreds of historic matzevot uprooted under communism from another cemetery were buried. To read more from Jewish Heritage Europe see: Poland: an artificial mound outside the Bagnowka Jewish cemetery in Białystok could cover hundreds of matzevot dating back over 200 years - Jewish Heritage Europe (jewish-heritage-europe.eu)
19. Lost for decades, 3 minutes of pre-Holocaust life becomes a full-length documentary. Out on August 19, a new film, ‘Three Minutes – A Lengthening,’ by Dutch filmmaker Bianca Stigter, looks in depth at recovered footage of a Polish town prior to its devastation. In 1938, David Kurtz, a Polish-born Jew who came to the United States as a child, took his wife on a “grand tour” of Europe. A successful businessman, he brought along with him a brand-new movie camera. He visited Nasielsk, the small village where he had grown up. Nasielsk had a significant Jewish population (over 40 percent of the town) and a thriving community. The day he visited, people were out in full force, eager to show off due to the novelty of the camera. Read more from Times of Israel: Lost for decades, 3 minutes of pre-Holocaust life becomes a full-length documentary | The Times of Israel
20. City of Milan honored for helping to save Jews from Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust. The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation named the city an honorary member. The foundation is named after the Swedish diplomat Raul Wallenberg, who helped save 200,000 Jews in Budapest in 1944 by giving them protective documents, putting them in protected housing and ensuring their release from Nazi deportation trains, death marches and labor service brigades, Read the story from Jewish News Syndicate: City of Milan honored for helping to save Jews from Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust - JNS.org
21. More than 4,000 people gathered at the Coney Island Amphitheater in Brooklyn for the first annual Chosen Comedy Festival, featuring Jewish comedians and musical acts. The event served as a benefit for the Ukrainian Emergency Performing Arts Fund. Read the story from The Jewish Journal: Chosen Comedy Festival in Coney Island Lives up to Hype (jewishjournal.com)
22. The Opera That Survived the Ghetto: The Story of “The Kaiser of Atlantis.” Under a perpetual shadow of death, as train after train was sent to Auschwitz, Viktor Ullmann and Peter Kien, imprisoned in the Theresienstadt Ghetto, composed a searing opera satirizing the awful reality in Europe. Both were murdered, but a suitcase filled with Ullmann's works survived to tell the story of the human spirit’s triumph over death. Read the story from the National Library of Israel: The Opera That Survived the Ghetto: The Story of "The Kaiser of Atlantis" (nli.org.il)
23. In unassuming Rishon Lezion, a farming village founded in 1882, a treasure trove of Israeli history comes alive. With museums boasting lifelike reproductions of life in the olden days and a seemingly endless number of historically significant sites, one of Israel’s oldest towns is must-see. Read the story from The Times of Israel: In unassuming Rishon Lezion, a treasure trove of Israeli history comes alive | The Times of Israel
24. Drought exposes dozens of Nazi ships sunk in Danube River. Over 20 explosive-laden warships resurface in eastern Serbia near the river port town of Prahovo, blocking shipping and posing danger to fishing industry. The Danube is at its lowest levels in almost a century. Hundreds of ships belonging to Nazi Germany’s Black Sea fleet were sunk in the river as they retreated from advancing Soviet forces in 1944. Read the story from The Times of Israel: Drought exposes dozens of Nazi ships sunk in Danube River | The Times of Israel
25. People of the Rock: The Jewish Community of Gibraltar, Then and Now. Did you know that a thriving Jewish community has existed for centuries in Gibraltar, the British territory at the tip of the Iberian peninsula? Even when Jews were excluded from Spain, tiny Gibraltar was home to a prosperous Sephardic community that lived in harmony with their non-Jewish neighbors. Read the story from Aish: People of the Rock: The Jewish Community of Gibraltar, Then and Now - aish.com
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