Article on Jewish Life in Prewar Rhodes--Memories of Stella Levi Age 96 #Sephardic #Holocaust #rhodes

Jan Meisels Allen

The New York Times has an article about Stella Levi a 96 year old Holocaust survivor from Rhodes, Greece. The article depicts her life on Rhodes until taken to Auschwitz.  The article also mentions a pop-up installation in Greenwich Village, NY using concerts conversations, films, artifacts and food to evoke Ms. . Levi’s life and Jewish culture in prewar Rhodes. The exhibit is called “Los Corassones Avlan,” which means “hearts speak,” an old Sephardic saying in Judeo-Spanish. It is on view Sundays through Thursdays from 1:00-9:00p.m. Fridays 1-4PM and Saturdays 5-10:30 PM at 148 West 4th Street through November 24th. See:


To read the article see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Seeking Rabbi Aryeh Leib BIALIK (circa 1850-1912)

Richard Goldman

I am researching the BIALIK family from the area of Ostroleka, Poland. Rabbi Aryeh Leib BIALIK lived about 1850--1912. He had a daughter Sara BIALIK (1891-1979) who came to America and was married to Menachem SHAPIRO (1882-1967).   Rabbi BIALIK is somehow related to the the family of Benjamin BIALIK (1862-1911) married to Dina WEINGART (1863-1953) who is buried in Los Angeles with numerous descendants.

Dick Goldman
Boynton Beach, FL

Re: TEDESCO-Venice originally DEUTSCH from Austria? #Austria-Czech

Stephen Katz

Debbie Lifschitz asked about researching her anctstors with surnames Tedesco and Deutsch, who were possibly from Austria.

A great database for Austrian genealogical research is GenTeam. Its web address is I searched both "Deutsch" and "Tedesco" and came up with many entries both in Vienna ("Wien") and Lower Austria ("Niederoesterreich"), which includes Baden bei Wien. 

The GenTeam site is free, although you have to register. It does not reproduce the actual records, but it does give basic information concerning each entry.

I hope this helps.

Stephen Katz
Researching Katz (Novograd-Volynsk, Ukraine), Kaplan (Stakliskes, Lithuania), Vitkin (Kaunas, Lithuania), 

USCIS Proposes Fee Increases for Genealogy Records # United States # Records Access

Jan Meisels Allen




The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced through the Federal Register that they intend to increase the request fees charged by them, including for genealogy services.  Currently, the G-1041 Index Search Request is $65 and form G-1041A Genealogy Records Request is $65. The USCIS proposes to raise the fees to $240 and $385 respectively.  These are a 269 percent and 492 percent change respectively (if I did my math correctly).  They are based on the projected costs and volumes of the genealogy program. The search fee is non-refundable if nothing is found in their search. The projected costs include a portion of Lockbox costs and an estimated staffing requirement for genealogy workload.


Under the provision of Regulatory Flexibity Act (page 62338) it states the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “does not have sufficient data on the requestors that file genealogy forms, Forms G–1041 and G– 1041A, to determine whether such filings were made by entities or individuals and thus is unable to determine if the fee increase for genealogy searches is likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” Comments on the impact of increase on fees on small entities is for the public to comment.  DHS was not able to determine the numbers of regional centers or genealogy requestors that would be considered small entities. DHS has previously determined that requests for historical records are usually made by individuals. If professional genealogists and researchers submitted such requests in the past, they did not identify themselves as commercial requestors and thus could not be segregated in the data. Genealogists typically advise clients on how to submit their own requests. For those that submit requests on behalf of clients, DHS does not know the extent to which they can pass along the fee increases to their individual clients. Therefore, DHS does not currently have sufficient data to definitively assess the estimate of small entities for these requests.


Their rationale is after 10 years of operating the genealogy program with the ultimate goal to provide the search results and records more quickly when pre-existing digital records exist. They propose to encourage requestors to submit the electronic versions of Form G-1041 and Form G-1041 through the online portal at, thereby reducing the administrative burden to USCIS. Requestors that cannot submit the forms electronically may still submit paper copies of both forms with the required filing fees.


Under the current system, a requestor fills out the search form, G-1041, pays the fee and waits to learn if records are found. If they are found, then the requestor must complete form G1041-A and pay the fee. What is being proposed, is USCIS to provide the requestor with those pre-existing digital records, if they exist, in response to the initial search request.  Records Index Search and provide the pre- existing digital records to either an electronic reading room that can be accessed with a unique pin number, by mail with a CD, or paper copy and not require Form G–1041A. If no records exist, or if only paper copies of the records exist, then the requestor must follow the current process.  With this new proposed changed USCIS plans to use from G-1041-A Genealogy Records Request to only paper file requests. Consistent with current practices, requestors must still pay the genealogy records request fee for a paper record requested. USCIS believes the change will increase efficiency and decrease future wait times for requestors.


The notice compares work volume from FY 2016/2017 the projected workload receipts for G-1041 the search request was 3,605 and projected for FY 2019/2020 4,650 an increase of 1, 045 requests.  For form G-1041A the records request, FY 2016-2017 was 2,410 and for FY 20192020 the projection is 2,550 or an increase of 140 records requests.

Fees must be remitted from a bank or other institution located in the United States and payable in U.S. Currency.

To read the proposed rule see:

The Genealogy section is Section N which starts on page 62315-62316.

See Section 103.40 for Genealogical Research Requests on page 62359.

There are fees with DACA renewals with and without ICE transfers and I do not know why there are genealogy requests tied to DACA renewal fees (page 62329, 62331).


See page 62343 (e) for Genealogy requests for their rationale for recovering costs of the program even though they do no know if there are professional genealogists or individuals requesting the records. They acknowledge that with their proposed electronic request form there may be a reduced administrative costs. DHS requests comments from the public on the impacts to small entities of the proposed fee increases to the genealogy forms.


This is a 92 page proposed rule the remainder does not affect genealogy.

Written comments must be submitted on or before December 16, 2019.  Comments must be identified by DHS Docket No. USCIS– 2019–0010 by one of the following methods:

•Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://

•By Mail: Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Mailstop  #2140, Washington, DC 20529–2140.

No hand delivered or couriered comments will be accepted. Nor will they accept anything on digital medial storage devices such as CDs/DVDs or USB drives.


Effective date is influenced by the FY 2020 which began on October 1,2019 there fore it may affect the second year of the biennial period.



Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



Re: Searching for Switzerland 1938 information about Bernhard SIGAL

Lewis, Megan

Ruth Fivaz-Silbermann's dissertation can be downloaded via GoogleScholar ( You need to search under the French title "La fuite en Suisse: migrations, stratégies, fuite, accueil, refoulement et destin des réfugiés juifs venus de France durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale."

Bernard, this map is great.  Where is it from- archives, collection, etc.?


Megan Lewis  Reference Librarian  202.314.7860
National Institute for Holocaust Documentation
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Support the Campaign for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Re: Rzeszow mescellanious records 1790 - 1840 #Galicia #Poland #commercial


Hi Susan, I wonder if your Bohrer’s are related to mine from Lezjask and Jaroslaw in Galicia,now Poland.
Judy Abraham Czeladnicki.     Jczelad@...

This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page

Bruce Drake

In the 1930s, Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Sea Gate in Brooklyn was home to many Yiddish speakers. (In more recent years, Brighton Beach has become more known for its large population of Russian immigrants, earning it the name “Little Odessa.”) The area also attracted noted Yiddish writers including Isaac Bashevis Singer and his brother I.J. Singer. Among these authors was Yona Rozenfeld, perhaps best known for the autobiographical novel Eyner aleyn (All Alone) published in 1940. Rozenfeld is the subject of a chapter bearing his name in the Yizkor book of Kovel (formerly part of Poland, now in the Ukraine) by another novelist, Yohanan Twersky.

Twersky describes much of Rosenfeld’s life and work in his chapter, but what drew me most of all were his descriptions of Brighton Beach where he moved in 1937. “The beach looked like an altar to sun and water when we stood at the windows of our apartment,” he wrote. “It was summer 1937 and Hitler’s shadow was spreading and growing… (but) here it is easier to ignore world problems since they are only possibilities at this time.” What was harder to ignore was the sufferings of Rozenfeld who was dying of cancer, and the narrative of Brighton Beach and Rozenfeld become intertwined.

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD

Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel

Tabatchnick / Tabachnick

Shmuel Meyer


I have the same family with slightly differently spelling of the name: Tabatchnick & Tabachnick

From various sources, I know they are the same family.

Should I change to just one of the spellings? It will make the connections to various branches much more accurate.

Shabbat Shalom.


New and Updated Databases on IGRA’s Website

Elena Bazes

The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) has just released new and updated databases on its website. There are over 1,400,000 records available in our databases. We want to thank the participating archives and the many volunteers who have prepared these databases. With each release we provide a variety of records to our collection.

A preview of the databases is available at


New Databases

Benefactors of the Tachkimoni School   Jaffa 1909   919 Listings


Tourists in Palestine  1935   615 Listings

“Helkat Mehokek” 1 booklet  (inscriptions of headstones in Mount of Olives cemetery)   1744-1903    1,300 Listings

Voters’ List of the Sephardic General Assembly in Jerusalem  1939  1,465 Listings

Voters Local Authorities Bat Yam   1939    559 Listings

Immigration Certificate Applications  1946   966 Listings

Jerusalem Census 1947  (Part One)      3,757 Listings

Lists of Rabbis from Rabbi Herzog’s Files    813 Listings

General Service Medal and the Colonial Police Fire Brigades Long Service Medal  1941-1957     54 Listings

Knesset Candidates   April and September 2019    2,756 Listings

Updated Databases

Residents Jerusalem United Home for the Aged  1823-1911   409 Listings

Births in Zikhron Ya’akov   1884-1920   1,409 Listings

Tel Aviv Census   1928   Various Neighborhoods      5,144 Listings

Voters’ List Knesset Israel 1936   Haifa   Letters Lamed, Shin-Tof   2,227 Listings

Notrim-Jewish Police Force British Mandate Period   Railway 1941   1,439 Listings

Palestine Marriage/Divorce Certificates    2,294 Listings

Telephone Directory Haifa   1963   Letters A-D    3,752 Listings

Please note, the IGRA databases are now searchable to all registrants. The search results page is also available to all registrants. Additional details regarding most databases are available only to paid IGRA members. Certain exceptions exist due to requests of the specific archives.


Before viewing the databases, please register for free on the IGRA website:


To view the databases, go to the database tab on the website.

Elena Biegel Bazes

IGRA Publicity Chair



Re: Date of Birth input into databases #advice

Danielle Weiner

Hi Louis,
Do you have any Zetler family that lived in Vilna in the late 1800s - early 1900s? 

My grandmother's brother, Simon/Shimel Geler, married a Bunika/Bunia Zetler bat Khonon in 1898 in Vilna.  Khonon's wife may have been named Khaia.  Do any of these names sound familiar to you?

Thank you,
Danielle Weiner

PS - with this new JG forum format, I did not know how to email you properly so I just tagged on to one of your previous posts!

Klein in Mass.

Neil Rosenstein

Trying to make contact with the family of Shmuel and Chava Klein whos had two sons - one, Jack, married Shula (Shulamit in real estate) and their three sons are Eran, Arnon and Ilan Klein. They trace back to Rabbi Shmuel Klein, the Rabbi of Selish.

Dr Morris A Wirth of Baltimore

Neil Rosenstein

Trying to re-establish contact with genealogist Morris Wirth or a family member.

New York's Governor Cuomo signs S3419 into law -- New York adoptees can reclaim their own records in 2020


It's done! It's signed!

As a strategic partner of the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition
(NYARC), we at Reclaim The Records are happy to announce that the bill
to equalize the right of access to original and un-redacted birth
certificates for New York adoptees and the descendants of deceased New
York adoptees has been signed into law today.

This means that if you're someone who was born and adopted in the
state of New York, even if you don't live there anymore, or if you're
the direct descendant of a deceased New York adoptee, you can apply
for a copy of the original and un-redacted birth certificate starting
on *JANUARY 15, 2020*. That's only two months away!

(Of course, as anyone doing New York genealogy can tell you, you may
have to wait a ridiculously long time for the records you ordered to
finally arrive from Albany. But legally, now they will!)Further
information, and specific details about the application process, will
be posted on the NYARC website in the coming months:

This law means New York is now the tenth state to allow people to
reclaim their own records, without preconditions or redactions. And
there will be many more coalitions pushing for similar laws in other
states in the next few years.

So if you're a genealogist or a historian, or a member of a
genealogical or historical or lineage society, *please* think about
formally and publicly supporting these other states' efforts, too.
Fighting for equal records access isn't just about your
great-great-grandpa's military pension or your grandma's
naturalization, it's for your friends and neighbors, too.

Congratulations to all the advocates who worked so long and hard to
make this happen in New York. We can't wait to see all the records and
discoveries in the new year.

- Brooke Schreier Ganz
President and Founder, Reclaim The Records
Mill Valley, California

Re: Rzeszow mescellanious records 1790 - 1840 #Galicia #Poland #commercial

Margaret Bayer

Any information for FAUST or Magenheim?

Margaret Bayer

Re: Searching for Switzerland 1938 information about Bernhard SIGAL

Bernard FLAM

Hi from Paris,
I have been often searching Geneva State archives for persons crossing illegally the border from 1942 to 1944 : last October, I copied there 250 files  of persons linked to French Arbeter Ring / Workmen Circle, including my mother who was 13'.
Obviously, the easiest area to cross from Swiss to France was on southern part of Geneva Lake where border is just a line in middle of a field, specially in 1938 when France wasn't at war.  I took some pictures near Annemasse, I could send privately to you.
I attach a 1942 map of Swiss custom / police stations in this area : in middle of map, lake's waters are colored in blue.
Mrs Ruth Fivaz, a Swiss historian, became History Doctor two years ago with her thesis " the flight to Swiss : migrations, strategies, flight, ... and fate of Jewish refugees from France during WWII".
I am sure she could be the "specialist" able to give some clues to you.
Bernard Flam
Archives and history of Medem Center, i.e. French (Bund) Arbeter Ring / Workmen Circle

Re: Question about obtaining Death Records from St. Petersburg

Alan Shuchat

The site has a forum on St. Petersburg archives:
If you don't know Russian you'll need to use Google Translate to render the page in English. You can register for free and then ask the question in English - I think many readers and organizers of the site know English. In Chrome, you can have the pages translated by default.
Alan Shuchat
Newton, MA

SHUKHAT (Talnoe, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Odessa, Balta (Abazovka), Pogrebishche)
VINOKUR (Talnoe), KURIS (Mogilev-Podolskiy, Ataki, Berdichev)
ZILBERMAN (Soroki, Kremenets), BIRNBAUM (Kamenets-Podolskiy)
KITAIGORODSKI (Zvenigorodka)

Re: Rzeszow mescellanious records 1790 - 1840 #Galicia #Poland #commercial

Patricia Futoran

I am interested in the name BEITSCHER, KANERAK from Rzeszow

Earliest documentation MENDEL JOSEPH BEITSCHER b. Circa 1820 married CHAYA ITA FEGELBAUM/Seidner

His son AHARON (Aron) BEITSCHER B.circa 1870 married FRYMETA KANAREK b. ? daughter of SALKE and FEIGE KANARAK.

All Beitscher and Kanarek names located would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your courtesy.

Re: Rzeszow mescellanious records 1790 - 1840 #Galicia #Poland #commercial


Thank you for this offer. I am looking for Izydor, Batia, and Jozef BRODY
Thomas Anders USA

Re: TEDESCO-Venice originally DEUTSCH from Austria? #Austria-Czech

Barbara Meyers

My friend's paternal side are Tedesco.
Any idea if your Tedescos ever lived in Italy,  if so, the towns?  I will ask her the same when we next have contact.
Thank you, 
Barbara Klein Meyers 

English Translation of Volkovysk Trilogy Now On Line

Jack Berger



I am pleased to advise that a *.pdf version of my English translation of three Volkovysk Yizkor Books in now on line.


As in the previous notice, please go to my family website at:


In the upper left hand corner you will see a box labeled “Yizkor Books.” If you click on it, you will be taken to the page where my online Yizkor Books can be found. Simply click on the icon of interest, and it will open the book for you.


There are four icon opposite Volkovysk:


1.       This icon open the front of the book at the frontispiece, and contains my translator’s forward. It does not contain book substance.

2.       The second icon (Book One) opens the translation of Dr. Moses Einhorn’s two-volume Yiddish Yizkor Book. Readers will find this to be the richest source of information about people, where they lived and their fates.

3.       The third icon (Book Two) opens the translation of an overview of Volkovysk by surviving partisans, and a description of what they lived through.

4.       The fourth icon (Book Three) opens the translation of the Hebrew book, “Volkovysk” by Katriel Lashowitz.


If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me directly via my e-mail at: jsberger@...


I hope you will derive satisfaction from having access to this information online.