JewishGen's Weekly News Nosh September 25, 2022 #JewishGenUpdates

Phil Goldfarb

The Weekly News Nosh

JewishGen Weekly E-Newsletter

Phil Goldfarb, Editor

Date: September 25, 2022 

“A Family Without The Knowledge Of Their Past History, Origin And Culture Is Like A Tree Without Roots”


A Happy and Healthy New Year to AllWhat better way to start off the new year than to peruse and “nosh” on some Jewish genealogy, culture, and history stories!


Enjoy this week’s Nosh!




  1. JewishGen helps Lviv digitalize records amid war. JewishGen donated a planetary scanner to help the Central State Historical Archives in the Ukrainian city preserve vulnerable materials. JewishGen is an affiliate of New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, which has donated to the Archives a planetary scanner—a device used for scanning rare books and other easily damaged documents—so archivists in Ukraine can digitize more of their records. The Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv is one of the largest and oldest archives in the country and holds more than 1.1 million files, dating back to the 12th century. Read the story from JNS: Jewish genealogy website helps Lviv digitalize records amid war - Yet another reason to support JewishGen!
  2. Sephardic Jewish ancestry certificate now open for millions of applicants. Recent research has demonstrated that as many as 200 million people in the Americas and Europe have Jewish ancestry who were forcibly converted. Tens of millions of descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities, whose ancestors were forcibly converted from the 14th century onward, can now apply to receive a “Certificate of Sephardi Ancestry.” Recent academic and genetic research has shown that as many as 200 million people, largely in Latin and North America and Europe, have “significant Jewish ancestry” dating back to the time of the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal. Read the story from The Jerusalem Post: Sephardic Jewish ancestry certificate opens for millions of applicants - The Jerusalem Post (
  3. ANU Museum of the Jewish People (formerly Beit Hatfutsot) Exhibit Geni-based app Project.  This app that will show visitors how they are connected to figures on display in the museum and is a collection of persons who are in the museum's permanent exhibition. See The ANU Museum of the Jewish People presents the 4,000-year-old story of the Jewish people — past, present and future. Through a remarkable combination of images, exhibits, and models, as well as a unique database integrating family names, genealogy, Jewish music, films and photographs, the Museum plays an integral role in strengthening Jewish identity and perpetuating Jewish heritage worldwide. Read the story in the Geni Blog: ANU Museum of the Jewish People (formerly Beit Hatfutsot) Exhibit Project (
  4. American Ancestors Partnership with GEDmatch. GEDmatch has partnered with American Ancestors with the goal of providing additional genealogy resources to help discover your family roots. American Ancestors is America’s founding genealogical organization (they’ve been around since 1845), the most respected name in family history, and one of the leading non-profit organizations in the field. Read the announcement: American Ancestors Partnership (
  5. TheGenealogist Announces Important London Resource Now Complete. TheGenealogist confirmed that The Lloyd George Domesday Survey is now complete for all of the Greater London boroughs, as well as for North Buckinghamshire. Over 1.6 Million records are now searchable, with 118,437 records in this latest tranche. This is a key resource for those researching London in the Edwardian period. This major milestone means that the whole Greater London Area is now searchable by name, address or location. Read the news release: Thanks to Dick Eastman and EOGN for this story.
  6. Announcement: RootsTech 2023 Both In Person and Virtual…March 2-4, 2023. RootsTech, the largest family history conference worldwide has announced their 2023 dates and that it will be both virtual and in person in Salt Lake City.  The dates are March 2-4, 2023. It is sponsored by FamilySearch.  Go to:  to subscribe for updates.
  7. Israeli archaeologists uncover earliest known use of opium in the ancient world. Traces of psychoactive drug found in pottery from Tel Yehud; with new forensic scientific protocols at sites in Israel, discovery may herald many exciting new ‘firsts.’ Through residue analysis of 14th century BCE vessels excavated in a burial pit, the team uncovered what is likely the first physical evidence of the use of a psychoactive drug in the world. Read the story from the Times of Israel: Israeli archaeologists uncover earliest known use of opium in the ancient world | The Times of Israel.
  8. First digital translation of Mishneh Torah interconnected with other Jewish texts goes online. A complete English translation of the Mishneh Torah interconnected with other Jewish texts is being digitally offered for the first time ever by the nonprofit organization Sefaria, which digitizes and shares Jewish texts for free in Hebrew along with translations and commentaries. The Mishneh Torah, authored by the medieval Torah scholar Maimonides, commonly known as the Rambam, between 1170 and 1180, while he lived in Egypt, consists of 14 books and is a major code of Jewish religious law. Read the story from JNS: First digital translation of Mishneh Torah interconnected with other Jewish texts goes online - and access it on Sefaria’s website: Halakhah, Mishneh Torah | Sefaria
  9. Digital Archive Catalogs Thousands of Holocaust Survivors in NJ. When Stockton University professor Michael Hayse and some students started working in 2019 on a project to catalog South Jersey Holocaust survivors, they thought it would take about a year, and net a few hundred names. However,  three years later, the project continues, and now hundreds of involved students have found the names of 1,500 Holocaust survivors who live or lived in Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland counties. Read the story
  10. Dutch Museum Returns Kandinsky Painting to Heirs of Jewish Collector. A 1910 painting by Wassily Kandinsky is being returned by a Dutch museum to the heirs of a Jewish family from which it was seized during World War II. The decision ends a years-long legal dispute over the painting, which has been in the collection of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven since 1951. Read the story from ARTnews: Dutch Museum Returns Kandinsky to Jewish Heirs –
  11. Jewish Sports Museum in Kfar Maccabiah near Ramat Gan, Israel to open on October 7. The museum covers an area of 1,500 square meters and will present the exciting story of Jewish sports, from the 19th century to the present day, alongside more than 1,000 rare items. Read more from The Jerusalem Post: Jewish Sports Museum in Kfar Maccabiah to open for Sukkot - Israel Sports - The Jerusalem Post (
  12. From The Just-In-Case-You-Want-to-Know Department… Prayers at the Western Wall: Where Do Those Slips of Paper Go? The many written prayers and wishes crammed into the crevices of the Kotel are cleared out by workers using long wooden sticks. It is part of a twice-yearly operation that takes place ahead of major Jewish festivals in in Jerusalem’s Old City. Read the story about this process from Jewish News: Prayers at the Western Wall: where do those slips of paper go? | Jewish News
  13. How Does the Jewish Calendar Work? The complicated system that determines the High Holy Days is a relatively new creation, dating to around 350 CE. Much of the world lives—or at least conducts business—according to the Gregorian calendar, which was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 as a “corrective” to the Julian calendar. But the Jewish (Hebrew) calendar sets the dates for the High Holy Days. Read the story from JSTOR Daily How Does the Jewish Calendar Work? - JSTOR Daily Thanks to Bruce Drake for passing this story along to me.
  14. Mazel tov on assimilating:’ The strange, rich history of Rosh Hashanah advertisements. In the postwar years, as the American Jewish community underwent dramatic changes, Rosh Hashanah greetings became a surprising marketing trend. Long before the era of perfectly staged social media posts wishing friends and family “l’shanah tovah,” families and companies placed Rosh Hashanah greetings in newspapers, a practice that originated in the early 1900s as a revenue generator for American Jewish periodicals. Holiday greetings gained steam as a popular way for public figures and institutions to connect with their constituencies in 1927, when President Calvin Coolidge issued the first official presidential Christmas greeting. The tradition quickly expanded to a variety of holidays, with prominent politicians, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, placing ads in Jewish newspapers before the High Holidays. Read the story from The Forward: The rich history of Rosh Hashanah advertisements – The Forward
  15. David Beckham: 'My Jewish grandfather inspired me to queue for the Queen'. The footballer said that his lifelong appreciation for the monarchy came from his mother's dad. The soccer star David Beckham spent 12 hours in line waiting to see the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II rather than taking advantage of VIP access. He said that act of humility was inspired by his Jewish grandfather, a British soldier who served during World War II. Read the story from The Jewish Chronicle:  David Beckham: 'My Jewish grandfather inspired me to queue for the Queen' - The Jewish Chronicle (
  16. Urgent effort to preserve thousands of pairs of children’s shoes at Auschwitz. More than 8,000 are stored at the site of the Nazi death camp, but “without immediate conservation, they are in danger of disappearing as historic documentation of life and death”. The preservation initiative, titled ‘From Soul to Sole’, is a partnership between International March of the Living, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, the Auschwitz Memorial, and the Neishlos Foundation, with the latter providing an initial donation. Read the story from Jewish News: Urgent effort to preserve thousands of pairs of children's shoes at Auschwitz | Jewish News
  17. Leviathan Productions Launched By Ben Cosgrove & Josh Foer, Focus Will Be On Jewish Content & Storytelling. Leviathan has a plan to acquire and develop mass-market films and TV content based on Jewish history, folklore, and literature, as well as stories about Israel. Leviathan will ensure that the Jewish tradition is carried forward by the most powerful storytelling platforms in the world – TV and film. Read the story from Deadline: Leviathan Productions Launched By Ben Cosgrove & Josh Foer – Deadline
  18. ESPN documentary focuses on Holocaust and Munich Olympics survivor Shaul Ladany. Shaul Ladany, now 86, is a repeated survivor — first of a Nazi bombing of his family’s house when he was a child, then of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and then of the 1972 Munich Olympics terror attack. Check your local listing for his ESPN “E:60” episode, “The Survivor,” which is pegged to the recent 50th anniversary of the Olympics story. Read the full story from JTA: ESPN documentary focuses on Holocaust and Munich Olympics survivor Shaul Ladany - Jewish Telegraphic Agency (
  19. Are Jews who play baseball on the High Holidays really cursed? Is the ‘Koufax Curse’ really a thing? In the fall of 2019, Yom Kippur offered a unique moment in the history of Jews and baseball and the endless debate over whether Jewish players should play on Yom Kippur. Three Major League postseason games began in that 24-hour period. One team in each game featured a Jewish player as a star or significant contributor. Each Jewish player appeared in the game. Each team lost. Armin Rosen labeled this the “Koufax Curse” — the curse of the Jewish player who plays on Yom Kippur, rather than following in the footsteps of Dodger Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax, who famously did not pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series on Yom Kippur 5726. Read the story from The Forward: Is there a ‘Koufax Curse’ for Jewish baseball players? ( Thanks to Nolan Altman who suggested this story to me.
  20. A Long Island synagogue’s renovations uncover a massive work of art. At the High Holidays, many Merrick Jewish Centre congregants will get a first look at a forgotten treasure. Read the surprise story from The Forward: Massive artwork uncovered during synagogue renovations (
  21. The first Jew to escape Auschwitz helped save 200,000 lives — but few know his name. Rudolf Vrba should be celebrated for his role in preventing the deportation of many of Budapest’s Jews, says UK author Jonathan Freedland in his new book, ‘The Escape Artist.’ It began in a dark, cramped hole under a woodpile in the death camp. It ended with a report describing the Nazi machinery of slaughter which landed on desks in Allied capitals and, through a series of diplomatic maneuvers, helped to save the lives of up to 200,000 Jews in Budapest. Read the story from the Times of Israel: The first Jew to escape Auschwitz helped save 200,000 lives -- but few know his name | The Times of Israel
  22. Titanic Jewish Experience offers a moving tribute to the liner’s Jewish history. Located in Pigeon Forge, the Titanic Museum’s exhibit on Jewish passengers and crew highlights the role of immigration at the time, while drawing a direct line to the Holocaust. “Did you know Titanic had a kosher kitchen and a kosher chef on board?” a sign announces at the entrance to the Titanic Museum. Read the story from The Times of Israel: Titanic Jewish Experience offers a moving tribute to the liner's Jewish history | The Times of Israel
  23. Israel’s Jewish population passes 7 million on eve of Rosh Hashanah. Jewish state now accounts for 46.2% of the 15.2 million Jews worldwide; the global figure rises to 25.5 million when counting those eligible for Law of Return. Following Israel, the United States has the second-largest Jewish population with around 6 million, a figure that was stable from the year before. Read the story from The Times of Israel: Israel's Jewish population passes 7 million on eve of Rosh Hashanah | The Times of Israel


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