Subject: Yizkor Book Project Update - April 2020 #yizkorbooks #poland #JewishGenUpdates

Binny Lewis <blewis@...>

Dear JewishGen Community,

The Yizkor Book Team is concerned about the global impact being caused by the Corona pandemic. We mourn the loss of great people who have left us, and acknowledge the suffering of many more. It is difficult to find comfort in today’s times. Only through our families, which have now expanded to include the Jewish people and the global community, may we find a sense of unity and peace.

We are committed to continuing operations as usual and helping spread the experiences of generations who have witnessed events similar to those of our days. Although there may be slight delays, our Translators and Project Coordinators are focused on adding more English translations to the website.

We are remaining positive and focusing on the important work remaining for us to do. Let us add a prayer for the recovery of those that are suffering and for all of us to find peace of mind in these turbulent times.

יהי־שלום בחילך שלוה בארמנותיך למען אחי ורעי אדברה־נא שלום בך למען בית־השם אלקינו אבקשה טוב לך

תהילים קכ״ב

“May there be well-being within your cities, peace in your citadels. For the sake of my family and friends, I pray for your well-being; for the sake of the house of the Lord our G-d, I seek your good.”

Psalms 122, 7-9

We are proud to stand with you.

The JewishGen and Yizkor Book community. 

We wish you and your family a healthy, safe, and meaningful Passover Holiday.

Read the New Passover Companion

JewishGen and the Yizkor Book Project are proud to present this year's Passover Companion. The companion features first hand accounts of celebrating Passover throughout the past few hundred years. These accounts have been extracted from many Yizkor Books found on the JewishGen website for your reading pleasure.

Weekly Yizkor Excerpt 

Prepared by Bruce Drake

At the end of each week, we have been featuring excerpts from Yizkor books in JewishGen's archive. I struggled this week to find a Yizkor book excerpt that felt right to me. The last few weeks have been grim ones for many, out of fear of the coronavirus, the illnesses and deaths it has caused, and the disruptions to peoples’ lives. 

So, instead I collected some passages about caring for the sick - “a custom so embedded in Jewish tradition that even the non-religious Jews observed it scrupulously,” according to the Yizkor book of Zloczew, Poland. Part of the tradition was represented by the concept of Bikur Cholim (visiting the sick), which also was a social institution in many communities. “We know that a healthy person needs a friend, the sick person needs even more, a human being that is willing to listen to him,” the Zloczew book says. (Continue reading the full excerpt by Clicking here)

Summary of Recent Progress

  • Last month we translated 465 pages - all of which are freely available online via the JewishGen site. 

  • We have completed Phase 2 of the Priority Book List. The data from this phase will be added periodically to the website in the coming months. 

  • From Phase 1 & Phase 2, we have verified that there are 54 ACTIVE projects to translate Yizkor Books. Click here to see the list of ACTIVE projects.

  • Already, with data from Phase 2 of the Priority Book List project, we have now added progress bars (  ) to each of the ACTIVE projects so one can see how much of the book has been translated. The ACTIVE project list can be seen on the bottom of the homepage by Clicking here.

  • A group of Project Coordinators have agreed to Beta Test our new workflow and we are set to begin shortly after Pesach.

Translations Completed This Past Month

New Yizkor Books Available in Hard Copy

New Projects Started in the Past Month

The Yizkor Book team has begun many new projects over the past few months and will be working hard during the next few years to complete them. Please consider becoming a supporter of the projects below or any of our projects. See the full list by clicking here!

Does Your Ancestral Shtetl Have a Yizkor Book?

We have completed over 90 Yizkor Books that the Yizkor-Books-In-Print has published in the last 10 years. We have also finished translating over 160 books in the last 20 years, which are live on our website. 

  • Click here for a guide to find the status of your book. 

  • Click here to browse the list of all books on our website.

  • Click here to see the list of printed Yizkor Books now available in Hard copy.  

    • For reduced pricing of 4 or more books, please contact YBIP@....


To over 100 individuals who are actively working on Yizkor Book Projects, and to the many more volunteers who have helped in the recent past (and hopefully in the near future). Thank you for all that you are doing!! Without your tireless devotion, we could not continue to do the amazing work of making available the first hand accounts of the Jewish people describing their lives before the World Wars that are contained in the Yizkor Books.

From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate everything that you have done and are continuing to do on a daily basis. Thank you!!

We are expanding the Yizkor Book Team!!

We are working on many upcoming projects including a Priority Book List to translate, New Workflow, Web Redesign and more. 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 Project?

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

Become a supporter today!


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,

Mr Binny Lewis

Director of Special Projects - Yizkor Books


Re: Kowel #ukraine

Bruce Drake

This won't be of specific help to the people who inquired here about ancestors in Kovel, but if they haven't seen it, here is the KehilaLinks page I created for the city
Bruce Drake  Bdrake100@...>

Re: Meaning of male name Osia #names

Alexander Sharon

Osia (and related Osha, Oshke)  is a diminutive form of the popular Jewish Russian name Osip = Iosif (Joseph)

Alexander Sharon  <a.sharon@...>

Re: How to learn if an immigrant received US citizenship? #usa

Lee Jaffe

I'm assuming from your note that the person in your case was an adult at the time he immigrated, since you don't mention parents or other family. I think the case gets more complicated if someone immigrated as minor child, or a wife.  It's usually the father as the titular head of household who would apply for naturalization on behalf of himself and his spouse and all the children who were minors on arrival. 

I have the naturalization petitions for two of my great grandfathers. The first was filed in a Memphis criminal court in 1892 and does not include names or details about any of his dependents (or much able himself for that matter). Yet his son,  my grandfather, was able to use it to prove his naturalization when he applied for a passport in the 1950s. 

In the second case, 20 years later, my maternal great grandfather, filing in federal court, listed each dependent on his application, plus arrival information. It seems there is a clearer paper trail for naturalization as time went on and the process got more standardized nationwide. However, I want to note that my great grandmother still  didn't get her own passport, but was included on her husband's.

Lee Jaffe
Joroff/Koshkin -- Shchors/Snovsk

Holocaust Survivors in Venice #poland #holocaust #austria-czech


On the occasion of Passover, and my 88th birthday, I have compiled, and sent to Jewishgen,  a database of 118 non-Italian Jewish survivors located September 1945 in Venice.  The survivors came primarily from Austria, Poland and Yugoslavia. 
If you had relatives you believe ended up in Venice please feel free to contact me.  Otherwise, please wait until the names are added to Jewishgen’s holocaust database.
Peter Lande,  Washington, D.C.

Need translation of Lithuanian record written in Polish #lithuania #translation

Mary Anne Z Wheeler

I have a two part document in ViewMate from Sudargas, Lithuania 1819.
They are written in Polish and I need a translation to English. The
numbers are 79192 & 3. Help will be most appreciated.

Mary Anne Wheeler,  Birmingham, MI

Re: Need help with grandfather's name change and birthplace (Maramoros?) #austria-czech #hungary #names

Marilyn Weinman

-- Happy  Passover Valentin ! 
Thank you so much for this information.

This could possibly be the correct family,because I know my Grandfather was one of many children,and one of the youngest being that he had a brother that was close to 20 years older ! The one thing that doesn't make sense is that the final child was born in 1895,but according to what you've said, the father Hersh, passed in in 1892...maybe mom had a boyfriend,but decided to keep the last  name of the other children.

I  will definitely look into this family, now that I know the name of the town ! Thanks again and be safe and stay healthy too. As an aside, where do you live in Israel ?? We've been twice and fell in love immediately with the entire country and people ! Hope to get back at least one more time in the future :)
Marilyn Weinman

Chag Sameach from Gesher Galicia #galicia

Steven Turner

Passover 5780/2020 will be a memorable one for us all. We at Gesher Galicia wish all our friends a very Happy, Zissen and Kosher Passover. May we all stay safe and healthy and B'ezrat Ha'shem as many of us celebrate quietly apart from loved ones may coming chagim bring us all together again in good health and happiness. Please stay safe. We want to leave you with an all time favorite Passover melody - The late great Moyshe Oysher's famous Chad Gadya.
Chag Pesach Sameach,
Dr. Steven S. Turner
Gesher Galicia

Re: Need help with grandfather's name change and birthplace (Maramoros?) #austria-czech #hungary #names

Valentin Lupu

Marilyn , Hag Pesach Sameach,
The town name is Vonihove (in Ukraine now). It was known as Vanif in Yiddish or Vajnag in Czeck . Before WWI it was a Check territory in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is located in  Maromorosh (Hungarian) / Maramures (Romanian) , a Sub- Carpathian region. The town is located north of Sighet (Elie Wiesel's birth town).
I found  many entries for Engelman / Engel in this town during the period you mentioned.
 - Josef who was born to Engel Hersh and Rivka in Dec 1881.
- Probably the same couple had many children registered as Engelman. The first child Jacob was born in 1863.
The last registered child, born in 1895, was Freidl.
- The father Hersh died in 1892.
This family could be related to you but I am not sure about.
Stay safe and healthy, keep  Covid19 away.
Valentin Lupu

Searching for LIEBERMAN and APFEL families from Zolkiew (near Lviv) #ukraine

Jeff Lieberman

I finally solved an enduring family mystery. My grandfather, Samuel (Szulim) LIEBERMAN, came to the U.S. by himself in 1907. He refused to speak about his childhood, and we knew absolutely nothing about his family. After years of searching, I found his birth record this week, along with vital records for much of his family. He was born in Sept. 1886 in Zolkiew (now Zhovkva), about 15 miles north of Lviv. His father was Meier LIEBERMAN, and his mother was Szyfra Brandel APFEL. Szyfra died from a postpartum infection a few days later. His father subsequently married Feiga HERMAN from Uhnow. I've been able to trace my grandfather's APFEL line back to the late 1700's (other family surname - REIZFELD), but I'm still trying to trace his LIEBERMAN line. Is any of this familiar to anyone?
Jeff Lieberman

Document Translation Project adds lists from Mglin 1882 #ukraine #announcements

Beth Galleto

Dear fellow researchers,


The Chernigov Gubernia Document Translation Project has now translated and transcribed tax censuses (family lists) from Mglin uezd (district) in 1882. I have extracted the surnames that appear in the translations and have attached the list to this email. The original pages can be seen online on the FamilySearch website in FHL film 1222346.


Those who donate $100 or more to the Chernigov Gubernia Document Translation Project on the JewishGen website are eligible to view the completed spreadsheets. Please contact me with proof of your donation if you want to see any of the spreadsheets. All donations of any size are appreciated and will advance the project. You can donate through the following link:


Previously the project translated tax censuses from the Glukhov, Starodub, and Konotop uezds in 1882, from the same film. Our wonderful translator is continuing her work at an impressive pace. I am currently proofreading translations for the Oster uezd in 1882 and will soon be able to announce that spreadsheet as well. After 1222346 is completed, there are five other films that will also be included in this project.


The information from the translation spreadsheets will be uploaded to the JewishGen website at some point in the future.


I hope everyone is staying home, staying safe, and getting a lot of online genealogy research done. Happy Passover to you and your families.


Beth Galleto

Project Leader


Re: Oshman Moshe from Wilna Lithuania that married Miriam Goldzicher in Warsaw Poland, #lithuania #belarus #poland


Thank you. The All Lithuania does not have much on Oshman. I will check Oshmiany. area. Regards.

Re: Meaning of male name Osia #names

Moses Jefferson

Sorry, I forgot the main question as to what the name means.

To answer your question, in Numbers 13.16 we find “And Moses called Hoshea, the son of Nun, Yehoshua Joshua”. Rashi explains the change as a matter of prayer “may god save you from the [evil] advice/plot of the spies”.

This understanding gives us insight to what the name actually means. It’s formed from two Hebrew words “Yah” (Lord) and “Yeshua” (salvation) literally: “may the lord save him/us”.

Hope this answers your question.

Re: Meaning of male name Osia #names

Moses Jefferson

Hi Terry.

Yes, the name is the exact same name as Joshua. In Poland (and most probably Russia, such as your case) I’ve found that those called Joshua (or Yehoshua, in Hebrew) were listed in Records as Osias Oshia etc.


Seeking a research maven who can find an arrival record #latvia #usa


One of the long unsolved puzzles has been finding the arrival records of Julius Gerber.

He was born Israel Getzel Gerber in Riga Latvia December 24, 1871    {after his arrival, he was thereafter always known as Julius Gerber} {I do have a copy of his birth record}

He arrived in the USA approximately September 1887 at the age of circa 16 years.

He was a trained tinsmith or sheet metal worker.

The assumption is, he arrived in New York where he made his home variously in NYC/Manhatten, New Jersey, and Brooklyn.

He was not married when he arrived as far as we know.   He later married in 1892 in Manhatten to Lena Schacht.

I've checked every seemingly possible port where he might have arrived.  I have used various spellings and wild cards, but no luck.

Perhaps someone here will be able to find his arrival record, which would be beyond amazing.

Thanks in advance to anyone who wishes to take a look around for him.


Joe Glass

Discovered my grandmother owned land before the war, what now? #austria-czech #holocaust

Moses Jefferson

Hi folks, I’ve been digging into my family roots and happened to stumble upon a piece of (likely) valuable information.

I discovered in a post-war form (attached below) that my grandmother owned property of “43 Joch Ackerfeld und weise” (probably a measurement of land) at an estimated worth of K.c 200,000.

In the form she indicated that it’s an inheritance, so this would mean that it was hers by all legal means. The location in given to a town Mihalani CSR, which I cannot possibly seem to find.

My questions are:
a) do you know where this town would be nowadays?
b) is it or can it be reclaimed by any legal means?

I’d like to hear from similar cases and how they’ve ended successfully.

Best, Moses

Meaning of male name Osia #names

Terry Ashton

In some documents I have had translated from Russian, the male name of a relative is presented as either “Osia or Oshia.”  I am wondering if anyone can shed any light as to what this name may relate to in English e.g. Hosea/Joshua?

Many thanks for your continued help.


Ms Terry Ashton, Melbourne, Australia

SEARCHING: PRASHKER: Kalisz, Poland/SZUMOWSKI: Gorki, Zdunska Wola, Lomza,  Poland/WAJNGOT: Poland/WIERZBOWICZ: Gorki, Lomza, Poland/GOLDMAN: Blaszki, Poland/SEGAL/SEGALOVITCH: Vilnius, Lithuania/HOLTZ: Dvinsk, Russia




Re: JewishGen Passover Companion #JewishGenUpdates

Sharon Brown

same to you. a zisse pesach

On Apr 7, 2020, at 9:29 PM, Avraham Groll <main+owner@...> wrote:

Dear JewishGen Community,

As we all work to keep our Seders connected to our traditions in this non-traditional time, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust are pleased to reissue the JewishGen Passover Companion, which contains historical and inspirational vignettes curated from JewishGen’s collection of Yizkor (Memorial) Books and other material that JewishGen volunteers and researchers have translated into English. These excerpts focus on how Passover was experienced at another time of great distress, documenting first-hand accounts about the great effort and personal risk (Mesirat Nefesh) Jews took to observe the holiday during the Holocaust. Among items included in this year’s JewishGen Passover Companion is an excerpt from the Yizkor Book of Jedwabne, Poland, written by Rabbi Chaim Yitzchak Greengrass. It describes how Jews imprisoned at Auschwitz-Birkenau managed to conduct a Seder in 1943. 

Greengrass writes:  “The celebration of this Seder night left imprints on my soul. Now, when I perform the Passover service, I understand the meaning of the statement that each man in every generation is obliged to consider himself as if he personally was redeemed from slavery into freedom. Passover of 1943 was an experience that I shall remember always. The observance of it took place at Birkenau near Auschwitz, one of the greatest annihilation camps, built by slaves to exterminate themselves and the innocent people that would follow. Planning and preparations started right after Purim. There were many things to be taken care of. The main problem was how to get the two most necessary items, matzoh and wine, for the Seder.”

To read more about this 1943 Seder at Auschwitz-Birkenau and additional Passover stories collected from Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Lithuania, and Poland, please click here  or click the seder image below.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and safe Passover.
The JewishGen Team


Research for family from Vilno, Lithuania #lithuania

Barbara & David Israel

I have been searching and researching for almost 40 years, but this family line is my 10’ block wall.
If anyone can suggest anything or anywhere I might find data, I would be thrilled. I am hoping to find
some kind of connection with some of the names.
My grandfather was born in Vilna and his name was Schimen Fischer. His name when he came to
the US in 1904 became Harry Samuel Fisher. The birthdate date I have is
March 5 1888 and he died Mar 16 1969 in Covina CA. His parents were Abraham and Ida Sarah Fischer.
I have been told that his father died either shortly before his birth or just after. Ida Sarah was married
multiple times and have names of children with each marriage (or man), but I have no idea if they were
half-siblings or step-siblings to my grandfather.

Unknown Levine - 3 children:
Sarah: Jan 6, 1886 Vilna - Nov 19, 1966 Sheldon Iowa Married Theodore Wolff
(They had 3 children)

David Zwick : 2 children
Clara Zwick abt 1874 Vilna - Feb 13 1938 Chicago Married Abraham Mazur
(the had 5 children)

Lena Zwick or Becker (unsure if she is a Zwick or a Becker)
abt 1879 Vilna - Sep 14, 1931 Chicago Married Jacob Levin
(had 3 children)

David Becker: 2 children
Mary Rachel Becker abt 1873 Riga - Feb 1948 Chicago Married Issac Gottlieb
(They had 7 children)

Eugene Becker no more info
(He had a son: Samuel David Becker nov 12 1895 Libau, Russia - Jul 9 1962 Chicago
Married Minnie Aronson
(They had 3 children)

I have found some of the descendants, but do not know how to connect the dots…any suggestions
would be welcomed.

Barbara Fisher Israel
Tempe, AZ

Researching FISCHER/FISHER (Lithuania; ORLOFF/ORLOWSKI (Nasielsk, Poland); RINDSBERG, SIMON
ADLER (Czech Republic/ Austria)

Re: Son apparently named after living father #names #germany

Stephen Weinstein

Just because someone had the same name as his grandfather doesn't necessarily mean he was named for him.  Could be a coincidence.

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