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

Sam <yo_sam2077@...>

Dear Moses et. al.

My father spent more than 50 years pursuing a claim for his parents' property that was "aryanized" in 1938 in the small German town of Ilmenau.   The Thuringia region was part of the Soviet-controlled sphere after 1945.   My father submitted his case right after the end of the war, but nothing happened until German reunification. He hired a local attorney who took the case. Our family  property, consisting of a modern department store and living quarters completed in 1929, had been held in a national trust along with other seized former Jewish property (as well as nationalized assets from Nazi Party members and collaborators -- possibly the same way under the CSR.)  The former ownership was well documented and my father successfully had the deed reassigned to him.  I relate his ceaseless pursuit in a memoir, Loss and Legacy: The Half Century Quest to Reclaim a Birthright Stolen by the Nazis.

Amnon Gronner <yo_sam2077@...>

Re: Lost family from russia somewhere #latvia #lithuania #russia




You did not write if you have exhausted absolutely all possible sources of information available to you in England.


For example, what is “Jewish community”?  A synagogue? Which one? Have you inquired if they had any records of interest to you?

Have you checked published sources, e.g. newspapers? There may be a 25 words news piece.

What is “taught a trade”? Which trade? Who taught? There may be a paper trail there.


Without knowing anything else about the family location, a reasonable assumption is that it would be Latvia (i.e. Courland) rather than Lithuania. However, Cossacks did not operated in Courland. They were a scourge in Russia and Ukraine. That is until World War I, when there were everywhere, as a part of the Russian Army. (butu you did not write the year your grandfather came to the UK).


Good luck.


Boris Feldblyum
FAST Genealogy Service

Re: The crumbling structures of Romania’s Jewish past

David Lerer

Interesting article:


"Like much of Eastern Europe, Romania’s synagogues and "other symbols of Jewish life are in decay. As the community dwindles and cemeteries become parking lots, will Jewish history also fade away?............"

Re: Lost family from russia somewhere #latvia #lithuania #russia


Have you checked the British National Archives?  They have files on many immigrants and with a name like Samuel Rosenberg there are many candidates but when I have found a relevant file it usually produces a lot of information.

Good luck with your search,

Judy Wolkovitch    <judywolk@...>

Researching: CHAIT, KESSEL, ZEID from Yampol, Ukraine

Rosenbusch #germany


Any family??

Re: Identifying mystery relatives #general


It would have been better if you had given more information, such as the time period of these photos.  Here are some ideas:

1. Send copies to relatives and ask if they can identify anyone.  Or post them on your FB page, if you have one, with the same request.

2. If these photos are from the USA, you might give them or copies to your local library when it reopens.  Maybe they could do a display asking if anyone can identify the "mystery" people.

3. There are FB groups dedicated to various localities.  Another place to post and ask if anyone can identify the people in them.  I've seen this done successfully where I live.  There may be FB groups related to the places where your foreign photos originated where you could do the same thing.

Good luck!
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Re: Holland-American records - Dutch document ViewMate VM79365 #translation

Alan Shuchat

The last two columns on the right in ViewMate 79365 are for cash back payments. Vreemde munt means foreign currency and Ned. crt. probably means the corresponding amount in Netherlands currency (the guilder, abbreviated by the symbol f. or fl.). I don't know what the exchange rates would have been, but I'm guessing that R323.80 means that Marcus had 323.80 in rubles, which was exchanged for 404.75 guilders.

We can check to see if this is reasonable by using historical exchange rates for that time period. According to (in Russian), $1 was worth 1.94 rubles in 1897. According to, $1 was worth about 2.46 guilders in 1914. Using these exchange rates, 323.80 rubles would have been worth $166.90, or 410.59 guilders. So my interpretation of those columns seems to make sense.

Alan Shuchat, 
Newton, MA  ahs613@...

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

Bruce Drake

The Sabbath has arrived, and in these troubled times, I found this excerpt about the celebration of the day and its loving description of shtetl life comforting, and a reminder that there were happy days in towns and villages who would undergo such hardships and destruction.

The allure of this account is in the details, so I won’t spoil them other than to share with you this lyrical ending:

“The shul grows dim [as the sun sets and the lamps stay unlit]. Jews stroll about the shul, singing their prayers with utter sweetness. It is a holy atmosphere. People are transformed into shadows. The prayer-leader is also a shadow, and all are bound up into one prayerful choir. I feel as if the roof is opening, the words floating up, up, becoming luminous, and turning into fiery arrows, shimmering and flashing like lightning-bolts. In turn, the heavens open, angels with fiery wings are singing praises to the Throne of Glory. Elye-Leyb is standing, humbly, next to Him.”


Bruce Drake,  Silver Spring MD

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


I am a retired lawyer from Texas. I had a German client, who emigrated after WWII,  who was contacted By a distant cousin to sign a deed because heirs were trying to sell a small apartment building in Dresden. We hired a very large international law firm with offices in Germany. Since they were an american firm, they had ethical duties to worry about.

so, search for a large international law firm in the same area as the property and write to see what they can do. They should charge a small retainer to check into it. If they can get something for you they will ask for more money. They probably will not work on contingency, as that is rare overseas. If they think it is a bad case, they should say so. Important that they have offices in US to protect you in case of trouble. Good luck. We got net of 200,000 dollars for her one sixty fourth share.

[unsigned]   <Arneschonb@...>

Moderator Note:  Signature: Please include your full name at the end of your email. It’s helpful, but optional, to include your location and any names and towns you
are researching that relate to the contents of the message and topic.

Re: Identifying mystery relatives [using old photographs and social media] #general


Excellent question.  I don't have a definitive answer.  With some photos of unknown people in the collection of my husband's great-grandmother, I posted an inquiry on an Ancestry Message Board for the county in which she'd lived.  I included a link to the photos, which I'd posted on Flickr.  That was 8 years ago, and the photos have been viewed hundreds of times.  To my surprise, someone responded just last week, leaving comments for me on Flickr that identified many of the people in the photos, one of whom was her grandmother (as a child!). 

Perhaps this is an opportunity for someone to develop a better tool for searching/indexing large photo collections.

Ellen <lnmp@...>

REISFELD, LEWIN, KANNER, Rabbi Dr Isaac LEVIN of New York - RZESZOW, Brody, Lviv, New York #galicia #poland

Carol Jean Weightman

I am searching for information on a RZESZOW family. Family members probably also lived in Brody and Lviv in the late 1700s, during the 1800s and in the early 1900s.

I have some information from Gesher Galicia and JRI Poland, from family sources and from the Memorial Book of Rzeszow. I still struggle to put together a more complete family tree.

I would very much like to make contact with anyone who has researched these families. I would also like to make contact with the family of Rabbi Dr Isaac Levin of New York in order to see if there are shared ancestors.

I can provide further information to anyone who thinks they can help.

Thank you,    Carol Jean Weightman <c.j.weightman@...>

Re: Finding the SHERESHEVSKI siblings #poland #ukraine #lithuania #belarus

Jack Berger

I found two instances of the name Shereshevsky in my English translation of the Zelva Memorial Book. Both seem to be excerpts from Newspaper articles.

 Since this is Belarus, there is a chance there is a connection.

Good luck,  Jack Berger   <Jsberger@...>

Re: Visas issued overseas (Riga, Latvia) in 1926 #latvia


Hi Ellen
I researched a couple who immigrated from Switzerland to the United States in 1914. They were not naturalised until 1944 and they had children born in the United States before 1920. They all travelled to Switzerland for a visit of relatives in 1926. I found the passenger manifests for their travel back to the United States in 1926. The parents are on the passenger list for immigrants, the children are on another list for American Citicens. But I couldn't find the children in the Passport Applications Database on familysearch, which ends in 1925. In my case a descendant of the daughter found an old passport of the father. It contains stamps (with dates) from all boarders they crossed on their travel from the United states to Switzerland. 



IGRA Free Webinar and Zoom Meeting April 22 #events

Elena Bazes


The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) will be broadcasting a free webinar and a “Show and Tell’ free Zoom meeting both on Wednesday, April 22nd.

“The IGRA Collection”, a webinar in Hebrew, will be broadcast on April 22 at 7 pm Israel Time, 12 pm (EDT). The lecturer will be Rose Feldman.

One of the goals of IGRA is to make available documents and documents about people living in Eretz Israel since the 19th century. We have collected scans of documents and documents from many archives in Israel and abroad. The database is searchable by name, one search covers all the documents. Our database, as of today, has over a million and a half lines. The bulk of the collection is from the British Mandate period. The lecture will show the diversity of the repository and the sources of the documents and documents.


Rose Feldman is in charge of developing new databases for IGRA. She has lectured at nine IAJGS conferences starting in 2003, at various annual seminars and branch meetings of IGRA and IGS, at the Israeli Association for Archives and Information workshop, and the genealogy workshop of the Central Zionist Archives. In 2017 she was the recipient of IAJGS Award for Volunteer of the Year. Rose was one of the three coordinators of the Montefiore Censuses Project and has four Kehilalinks sites on JewishGen, and operates two twitters for IGRA – Israelgenealogy and IGRA_Hebrew and IGRA’s facebook page


Registration is required as there are a limited number of “seats” available. Reminders will be sent out closer to the date of the webinar. To register go to the link below.


The Zoom “Show and Tell” meeting in English will be broadcast the same day, April 22 at 9pm Israel Time, 2 pm (EDT). The topic is “Holocaust Resources”.

There is no need to register in advance. “Show & Tell with IGRA” will be open to those who connect to ZOOM with the following meeting code.


The Zoom Meeting will be held on this week Wednesday due to Yom Hashoah Eve in Israel on Monday night. There will be NO Zoom meetings on April 27th and April 19th due to several holidays in Israel.   


Elena Biegel Bazes

IGRA Publicity Chair 


Yad Vashem Exhibit: Rescue by Jews; Gathering of Fragments-Request for Personal Items Related to Holocaust Before and Immediately After #holocaust #israel

Jan Meisels Allen



Yad Vashem has an online exhibition, Rescue by Jews  “One for All”.  Throughout the Holocaust, in the shadow at the hands of the Nazis there were Jews who attempted to save their fellow Jews despite difficult conditions.  Not all were successful. Jews saving Jews was accomplished by forging documents, locating hiding places, smuggling, providing food, clothing and medicines. Rescuers worked in camps, ghettos, partisan ranks on their own and in communities. Non-Jews who helped them were later recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.


The exhibition is based on survivor testimony and tells the stories of the “Nasza Grupa” (“our group in Polish) and other rescuers and features 11 stories of Jews saving Jews, from Belarus, Germany, the Netherlands. Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, France, Croatia and Romania.


Click on the photograph of one of the 11 persons featured at :  and you will be able to read their stories.


Gathering of Fragments is a campaign to rescue personal items from the Holocaust. Yad Vashem is asking survivors, family members and the general public to search for documents, photographs or objects from the years before the war, during the Holocaust, life in DP camps and immediate post-war period and submit them to Yad Vashem so they may be preserved for posterity. For more information email them at: collect@...


There is an exhibition, Gathering the Fragments: Behind the Scenes but that is only available at Yad Vashem not virtually.

To read more:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


New TV Series The Genetic Detective with CeCe Moore To Premiere May 19th #dna #usa

Jan Meisels Allen


CeCe Moore


The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) announced a new program, The Genetic Detective, which follows investigative genetic genealogist CeCe Moore using her research skills for crime solving.  The program premieres on ABC on May 19th at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Check your local listings.


By working with police departments and crime scene DNA, Moore is able to trace the path of a violent criminal’s family tree to reveal their identity and help bring them to justice. “The Genetic Detective” is a co-production with ABC News and XCON Productions.




I have no affiliation with ABC, XCON Productions or CeCe Moore and am posting this solely for the information of the reader.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Lost family from russia somewhere #latvia #lithuania #russia

Jon Ross

Dear Jewish Genners,

I guess being frustrated looking for information, coming up against a ‘brick wall’ is something that newcomers to the genealogy search, can expect....OR is just me ??
I'm looking for my paternal Grandfathers family by the name of Samuel Rosenberg.
My paternal grandfather is Samuel Rosenberg born approximately 1878 and died in 1923, who I believe was born and lived in Russia somewhere, before coming to England with his brother Maurice Rosenberg in the very early 1900’s.


According to family stories It is known that both brothers left Russia apparently one step ahead of the Cossacks leaving their family in Russia and came to London where they were taken in by the Jewish community and taught a trade before going their separate ways.


From family stories, I am led to believe that when they left Russia that they left behind a mother and sister and also that they had been living on a farm.  This was possibly Latvia or Lithuania but unfortunately, I am unaware of exactly which area my grandfather came from or where he lived prior to coming to England.


I am trying to find out more about their previous lives and family back in Russia

There are seem to be so many Sub – Russian, Latvian, Lithuanian towns in historical being that I'm unsure how to find what I'm looking for or even where to start with my quest!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Be well and Stay Safe in these difficult times.



Ceremony in Nadworna Jewish Cemetery - Update #galicia,

Steven Turner

I know that this is probably stating the obvious but I want to officially inform all of you that the dedication ceremony schedule for May 5th in Nadworna has been delayed due to Covid-19. I hope that the situation will improve where the landscaping can be finished soon and G-d willing next year we will have our ceremony. We are currently investigating contractors to do something about the broken and strewn matzevot. I will keep you posted on these developments.

Maybe many of you who would not have been able to make it this year will be able to next year.

Hope the all of you are staying safe and will come out of these crazy times healthy and in good spirits.
Warmest regards,
Steven Turner

emulate Keats-- write your memoir

Herbert Lazerow

    The word “quarantine” derives from the Italian words “quaranta giorni”, meaning 40 days, the old period of quarantine.  We have a ways to go.
    In 1820, the English poet John Keats was advised to move to a warm climate for his health.  On his way to Rome, his ship was quarantined in the Bay of Naples.
    Though he was barely into his 20s, Keats used the time to write his memoirs. That would be a good occupation for all of us. 
    What do we remember about our grandparents, or parents, and the relationship between them? Our childhood experiences? How we met our spouses? Chose our life’s work? Etc.
Herbert Lazerow
Professor of Law, University of San Diego, San Diego CA.  lazer@...
Author: Mastering Art Law (Carolina Academic Press 2015)

Orange County California Jewish Genealogy Society Virtual Meeting April 26th 1:30 Pm PT #jgs-iajgs

Michelle Sandler

The Orange County California Jewish Genealogy Society is having a virtual meeting on Sunday April 26th at 1:30 pm.  Our topic this month is Jewish Genealogical Resources in the Los Angeles Campus Library of Hebrew Union College.  Our speaker is Sheryl Stahl the Library DIrector.  The link is on our website  It will also be available in our newsletter or our mail chimp email meeting notices.
Michelle Sandler
President OCJGS
Vice President of Programming OCJGS
Librarian OCJGS

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