Re: My genealogy search story #general

Andreas Schwab

Fascinating story. 
As your Jewish ancestors are from Germany, you should join the German Special Interest Group (GerSIG) inside Jewishgen. There is also a Facebook group you should join:
The problem with German-Jewish genealogy is that it is very difficult to find ancestors if you don't know the town where these ancestors were born or died. Especially the maternal line is difficult because women change surnames when they marry. I would suggest you post the names and dates you have until now here and at GerSIG.

Re: My genealogy search story #general

Deborah Blinder

Building on Sarah's comment: Family Tree DNA generally has a sale on their mtDNA tests around Mother's Day. You should check their website starting at the beginning of May. 
Deborah Blankenberg (JewishGen ID #613395)
Lodi, CA
Researching BLOCH/BLOCK (Germany to New York, Colombia and Missouri), BLINDER (Kishinev to New York via Poland? and Paris), KUSHER/KUSZER (Lodz vicinity to New York via Paris), GOLDSCHMIDT (Germany)

Yizkor Book Project Update - March 2020 #yizkorbooks

Binny Lewis

Dear JewishGen Community,

The JewishGen Yizkor Book Team is always active starting, continuing, and completing Translation Projects. Here are some successes from this past month.

See All Active Projects

To view all ongoing Yizkor Book translation projects click here. If there is any information that needs updating, please let me know (see bottom of this update for my email).

Summary of Recent Progress for February 2020

  • In February, we translated 452 pages - all of which are freely available online via the JewishGen website

  • We have begun beta testing a new workflow for Translations. If you are a Project Coordinator (ie. your name is on our active project list. See here) and you would like to volunteer your project to participate, please send me a message using my email at the bottom.

  • We completed the first round of data collection on the first 100 books for our priority book list. Thank you to everyone who participated in this project!

Yizkor Book Translation Project(s) Completed in February 2020

New Translation Project(s) Started in February 2020

Yizkor Books Now Available in Hard Copy

JewishGen is pleased to announce the release of fully translated Yizkor Books now available in hard copy. To view a list of all the books available in hard copy, please click here

  • Several books have been published in February and are waiting to be posted online. These will be announced in next month's update.

Keep an Eye Out for our Weekly Post to the JewishGen FB Page!

At the end of each week, we have been featuring excerpts from Yizkor books in JewishGen's archive.
To follow these posts, please
click here.


We would like to show recognition to the incredible work of two wonderful people: 

Karen Leon

Volunteer Manager at

Karen has played an integral role with the JewishGen team by reaching out to current volunteers and making sure their needs are met as projects are carried out. She has been especially helpful to the Yizkor Book team in assisting our efforts to organize our internal data as well as in reaching out to over 100 members of the Yizkor Book Team. 

Thank you for all your help! We look forward to continued success working with you!

Nancy Siegel

Communications Coordinator at

As the head of communications with JewishGen, Nancy has worked tirelessly to prepare newsletters, Facebook posts, announcements and more. She was able to step in to assist the Yizkor Book Project, to help us get the monthly newsletter off the ground. She has helped us communicate transparently with the incredible YB Team and to convey accurately all the wonderful work that we are doing for the growing Yizkor Book community.

Thank you for your help and we hope to continue working with you in the near future!

We are expanding the Yizkor Book Team!!

We are working on many upcoming projects. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering for the Yizkor Book Project, please see the information below:

Perhaps your skills can be of assistance?

  • We need volunteers with lots of skills!! Are you interested in being a translator for Yizkor books? Do you have a background in coding or web development? If you would like to dedicate your time and skills please apply to volunteer by following this link:

Want to lead a Yizkor Book Translation Project?

  •  If you are interested in being a Project Coordinator, please see this “Getting Started Guide” which should start you on the journey.

  •  To support an ongoing project, click here.


If there are any mistakes in this newsletter, please feel free to reach out so I can correct the information appropriately as soon as possible.

All the best,

Binny Lewis

Yizkor Book Manager

Edmond J. Safra Plaza | 36 Battery Place | New York, NY | 10280

646.494.5972 | blewis@...

Visit us at

Vatican Opens Archives of Holocaust Era Pope Pius XII

Jan Meisels Allen



The Vatican opened the Archives of the Holocaust Era Pope Pius Xll. For decades there has been controversy as to whether this Pope kept a blind eye to the Holocaust.  The Vatican says he worked behind the scenes to save Jews while others  have labeled him “Hitler’s Pope” as he knew Nazi Germany was murdering Jews but failed to act.  Pope Pius Xll served from 1939 to 1958.


Pius, when he was still Eugenio Pacelli, served as the Holy See ambassador to Germany in 1917-29, where he witnessed the beginning of the rise of Nazism.  The historic moment of opening the archives was preceded by decades of controversy and debate about why the pontiff, who headed the Catholic Church for almost 2 decades, never spoke out about the slaughter of six millions Jews in Nazi concentration camps across Europe.


"For millions of people, Catholic and Jewish, these archives are of enormous humanitarian interest," Suzanne Brown-Fleming, international programs director at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.”


Journalists were shown a potion of the archives last week.


The Vatican normally waits 70 years after the death of a pope before making his archives available for study. Pope Francis has fast-tracked the opening of the Pius XII archives in order to help clear up the debate over the war-time pope, whose process for sainthood has been temporarily halted.  Last year, Pope Francis decided to open the archives.  Bishop Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Vatican's Apostolic Archives, said the World War Two documents ran into millions of pages, divided into 121 sections according to topic.  Scholars will be allowed into the Vatican archives to study the files. More than 150 scholars have applied to study documents covering Pius’s papacy. The archives area is only accessible by reservation. The consultant area has been booked for the rest of the year. Scholars from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is included in the bookings.


In 2006, the Vatican opened its archives to allow historians to access documents from 1922 to 1939.  Historians have sought greater access to the Vatican's secret archives to clarify the role of the Church in the run-up to World War Two.


To read more see:




A video may be seen at:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



Death records in Israel

Merv & Naomi Barnett

I am looking for a death record in Israel c1962.  Can anyone please advise if these records are accessible.


Naomi Barnett
Melbourne, Australia

ViewMate Translation - Hebrew

Barry E Chernick

I have posted a 1907 Starokonstantinov Birth Record page in Hebrew. It is
on ViewMate at
I need Male 107, Male 108 and Female 79 translated. The part of the
Russian page for these records is missing.
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Barry Chernick

Re: Death certificate information

Shelley Mitchell

The words used are in Latin.
Easy to translate using internet.
Shelley Mitchell 



Researchers seeking information on Jews who were held in/transited Tashkent during WWII should go to the USHMM’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims (HSV) database.  You can search in this collection Registration Cards of Jewish refugees in Tashkent, Uzbekistan during WWII (ID:20492) (
The collection contain two versions of over 152,000 registration cards, English (ID:20492) and Russian (ID:20493).  Simply click on the big buttons to “View All Names in this List” or “Search Names within the List” and the card images, in Cyrillic, will appear.
Peter Lande
Washington, D.C.

Re: Death certificate information

EdrieAnne Broughton

We read a free book from Audible called "The Minute Man" by Greg Donahue that was on this subject.  Very good book.

The JGS of Montreal - Monday, March 02, 2020

Merle Kastner <merlebk18@...>

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal,
in association with the Jewish Public Library
is pleased to announce as our guest speaker:
David Bensoussan, PhD.
The Lost Tribes
2700 years ago, the Assyrians exiled the 10 tribes from the kingdom of Israel which they had just conquered. In actuality, the Jews of today are descendants of only 2 tribes of the kingdom of Judah. There are many legends about the fate of these 10 lost tribes which, until today, still remains a mystery. However traces of the 10 lost tribes have been found reaching as far as Afghanistan, China, Burma and Africa.
The meeting will be held on
Monday, March 02, 2020
7:30 pm
Gelber Conference Centre
5151 Cote Ste-Catherine/1 Carré Cummings
Everyone is welcome!

For all information on our upcoming meetings &
Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshops –
call the JGS of Montreal Hotline (24 hours a day):
watch for our emails & ‘friend’ us on Facebook
Merle Kastner
JGS of Montreal, Programming

Re: My genealogy search story #general

Sarah L Meyer

  If it was your maternal grandmother who was Jewish, I would suggest taking two FTDNA DNA tests.  First their family finder, which should give you matches on all sides of your family, but should help you sort out your situation.  Secondly, although this is generally not helpful for genealogy, their mtDNA test.  If you are fortunate enough to have one of the 4 highly Jewish mtDNA haplogroups that would satisfy the Israeli Rabbinate, that would solve your problem - and the Family Finder test would be gravy.  FTDNA is the only company that offers the full mtDNA test.  That said, watch for sales, and see if you can bundle the tests.  You would only need to contribute a single cheek swab sample.  While you are waiting to do that (I know others like other testing companies), you can continue to work on your paper trail, using Jewishgen's databases.   
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

Re: Death certificate information

Elise Cundiff

And yes, fulminant hepatitis can be fatal that quickly.    This is usually due to infectious hepatitis but can be from a toxin as well.

Re: Death certificate information

Elise Cundiff

Diffusa = diffused but hepatitis is localized to the liver.  Perhaps in this (archaic) context it is referring to the effects of fulminant hepatitis having led to deleterious and eventually fatal effect on  the entire body.    
Collapsus = collapse and could, in this (again, archaic) context mean either cardiovascular collapse (ie shock, the  final event in disease progression) or pulmonary (lung) collapse (literally a collapse or squeezing of lung tissue.).  As the liver becomes extremely diseased, fluids aren't processed through it normally and will build up in the abdomen (ascites) leading to increased pressure that can interfere with breathing, and eventually fluid can accumulate in the lung space too, taking up the room that the lung needs to expand when we inhale.  Eventually the circulatory system will collapse due to the shift of fluid.

German translation help

Elizabeth Scofield

Would someone kindly translate this German snippet about Franz Josef Kraus, which  is on ViewMate at the following address:

Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thanks very much.

Liz Scofield

Re: Death certificate information

Nurit Har-zvi

There is a book called Tough Jews by Rich Cohen about Jewish gangsters. I don't know if that's the one you're thinking of, but it was a very good book.
Nurit Har-zvi

Re: Minsk Town - Kaplan Family Inn/Brewery #belarus


Not sure about your query, but I have Kaplan in my tree and I believe there were from Minsk or the next village love. One of my Mendelson ancestors married Emma Kaplan and lived in Brooklyn New York.

Sarah Greenberg

Re: Stein

David Ellis

My gg-gf was Isaac Leib STEIN (rendered SHTEIN back in Europe).  He came over in 1920 from Kuznica, Poland at the age of 80.  I've traced more than 600 descendants from his six daughters, but I know little about his family background other than the names of his parents (Tanchum and Rayzl) and his two wives (Bashe and my gg-gm Sarah).  He probably came from the town of Przytyk and moved to Kuznica afterwards.  If anybody can find additional information, I would be thrilled.

Search for evidence of Chevra Mishnayos pre 1872

Benjamin First


I recently discovered that Chevra Mishna/ Mishna Society that learnt
one chapter a day of Mishnayos came into existence in Manchester UK in
around March 1872. The society finished the 6 orders of Mishnayos
every 18 months and would have a siyum celebration. The society
continued in its existence until at least 1903 when it made its 22nd
Does anyone know of any evidence of any equivalent Mishna Societies
that may have existed anywhere in the Jewish world before 1872? I
would like to attempt to find the origins of this idea.

Many Thanks

Binyomin First


Re: Ancestry Announces Digitization of All 36 Million Available US Draft Cards #World War ll #Draft Registration Cards

Dahn Cukier

I found my grandfather, but his name was inexact as known
to us today. His first name seems to be the name used
on Naturalization papers and used when signing official forms
until the late 1930s.

The middle name soon became his first name and the first, his second.
Jacob Saul became Saul Jacob and later he used Saul J.

His birth date also changed on these forms, until now I have
heard of only 2 dates, both in 1901, now I
have a date from 1902.

I know this is my grandfather since both his spouse and
address are correct.


When you start to read readin,
how do you know the fellow that
wrote the readin,
wrote the readin right?

Festus Hagen
Long Branch Saloon
Dodge City, Kansas

On Monday, March 2, 2020, 08:31:31 AM GMT+2, Jan Meisels Allen <janmallen@...> wrote:

Susan Meyer asked where on the WWll Draft card the date of entry could be found. The cards are on two pages. There is an arrow on the right hand side to the right of #8 that takes you to the second page that has the physical characteristics of the person, the date and location of draft board as well as the registrar's signature.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Preserve the 2020 US Census for the Future!

jeremy frankel

Dear Genners,

Today is March 1st. In one month's time we will all be participating in the 2020 United States Census. As genealogists we spend an awful lot of time seeking out information and records about our family. Now is a chance for you to actually "create" a record.

After you have filled out the census, and before you send. it back to the Census Bureau, make sure that you preserve a copy for the future genealogist in your family. Furthermore, get the word out to your parents, siblings, cousins, anyone you can think of, and ask them (politely) if they will save you a copy. Naturally you need to contact them BEFORE April 1st.

If you don't do this, well, as we know all too well, it will get tossed into the bowels of the Department of Commerce and be lost to history for the next seventy-two years.

Don’t let this happen on our watch!



Jeremy G Frankel
ex-Edgware, Middlesex, England
now Sacramento, California, USA

Searching for:
FRANKEL/FRENKEL/FRENKIEL: Gombin, Poland; London, England
GOLDRATH/GOLD: Praszka, Poland; London, England
KOENIGSBERG: Vilkaviskis, Lithuania; London, England; NY, USA
LEVY (later LEADER): Kalisz, Poland; London, England
PINKUS, Poland; London, England
PRINCZ/PRINCE: Krakow, Poland; London, England; NY, USA

20321 - 20340 of 660677