IAJGS Announces 2020 Rabbi Malcolm Stern Grant awarded to Tsal Kaplun Foundation for Interactive Shtetls Map Project #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Michael Goldstein

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, I am pleased to be able to announce that the Tsal Kaplun Foundation (TSF) is the recipient of the 2020 Rabbi Malcolm Stern Grant.  This grant in the amount of $3000 honors the late Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern, widely considered to be the dean of American Jewish genealogy, and his efforts to increase the availability of resources for Jewish genealogical research.

The grant this year recognizes and supports TSF’s project titled “Interactive Shtetls Map.” The project goal is a creation of the interactive shtetls map, based on the 1897 Russian Empire census and provides opportunities to locate relatives from a common shtetl using Facebook communication. 


This map will contain approximately 4000 localities from within the 90 Russian Empire provinces.  In addition, the interactive shtetl map also will indicate the number of Jews living in every shtetl of Russian Empire.  Additional information regarding TSF can be found at

Ken Bravo
International Association of Jewish
   Genealogical Societies (IAJGS)

Russian translation of gravesone of Leyzer Eydelshteyn #general #translation

Marilyn Levinson

I would appreciate help in translating the Russian words on the gravestone picture I have attached to this message.  Also the shape of the gravestone
seems peculiar does any one have any thoughts on this?  Thank you in advance for your help.
Marilyn Levinson
Spring Lake NC

Geography mystery: Did any part of Polish Russia became German between 1880 and 1900? Specifically where? #poland #germany

Rob Lederer (personal gmail)

My ggg-grandparents Sol HYMAN and Pauline LICHTENSTEIN came to US from Polish Russia / Russian Poland in 1840s.  i'm trying to narrow down where they came from specifically.

Their and their families' US census records are consistent through 1880.  In 1900 and 1910 the country of origin became Germany.  Nowhere I've looked have I been able to find territory that changed hands from Russia to Germany (Prussia) in those years.  Anyone know what may have happened?

Thank you,

Given name naming patterns in Latvia, 1800s-1900s #latvia

Ava Nackman

I have always been told that Ashkenazi Jews do not name a child after a living relative. However, I am wondering if there is more nuance to this general practice. For example, I have seen one Latvian family tree where a father will be named Behr (Berel) and his two sons are named Nackman Berel and Itzig Behr. I have had some research on my own family done at the Latvian Archives and in at least one instance a father, Itzik, named his first son Hiam-Isaak. Was there some practice of using the father’s given name as a middle name for a first son or something along those lines?

Babi Yar victims #ukraine #general

David Lewin

I have a book in Cyrilic which was published after an extensive Oral
History project and which lists the victims of BabiYar

Is anyone interested in getting that to the Internet?

David Lewin

Open Archives 220 Million Personal Records in Dutch and Belgian Sources #announcements

Jan Meisels Allen


Open Archives has 220 million personal records in various Dutch and Belgian sources including certificates of the Civil Registry and population register.  You can search in English, German, French and Dutch.  This is a free website. 

Go to:


I tried a search using the name Goldberg --no first name . Many results—3,829-- were returned. I clicked on one for notarial records and another for death and for the death it listed the date at Auschwitz he died with the source being the Dutch Government Gazette, You are able to view and to download the records. There is an icon that states if the record is available.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee




I had such a good response to my inquiry about Mexican records that I am motivated to try again for a French question.  A man named Joseph GRAND, born in Tomashev-Lubelski, Poland in 1879, came to the US in 1905.  He told his son that he had two half-brothers in France.  I have to assume they were somewhat older than he was and they came to France somewhat before him. His father was GRAND (original spelling), obviously and his mother was BLUM.  I have no idea of any other possible surname.  Are there any French immigration or census records from that period?

Thank you in advance for any help.

Carol Isenberg Clingan
Dedham MA

Rabbi Shmuel LANDAU-son-in-law of R' Itzaleh of Volozhin #belarus #general

Yonatan Ben-Ari

Researching a possible connection between our family and the daughter
and son-in-law of R' Itzaleh of Volozhin, Rabbi Shmuel and Mrs. (?)
LANDAU. I am specifically interested in the names of ALL their
descendants. I capitilized ALL as I know of one daughter who married


Yoni Ben-Ari, Jerusalem

Also can be searched as Leon David (Heublum) #galicia #poland


Sorry, Forgot to add that he had been found on lists working at the Carpathian Oil Co Lemburg as Leon David. No traces of him afterwards.

Re: Are we related? If so, how? #general

Linda Kelley

Hi, Marilyn. DNA testing might help decide if the Schaffers were the same family as the Schlifers. I agree that vowels can be disregarded in many cases. But for the ancestors to be closely related, they should have lived near each other. The other researchers may have taken your family’s data and incorporated into their trees. 

Linda Wolfe Kelley
Portland, OR, USA

KATCHOP-Ukrainian Slavic language #ukraine

Yonatan Ben-Ari

Can anyone confirm that the above term-KATCHOP- in Ukranian refers to
someone who deals with lumber. It appears in one of Chaim Nachman
Bialik (Israel's national author) as such. I believe also in other
jewish literary sources.


Yoni Ben-Ari, Jerusalem

Looking for any info on Leon Heublum from Drohobycz #galicia #poland


My Father's brother Leon was born in 1912. All traces of him have been gone after the war. Leon was my father's oldest brother. He was last seen by my father in the Plaszow concentration camp sometime between June 22- September, 1944. Leon did not return nor was any trace of him found after the war. I would like to know what happened to him. I have searched on Ancestry, JewishGen and the Arolsen Collection. If anyone has ANY information, I would be eternally grateful!

Re: NYC Adoption Records 1880-1910 #usa #general

Linda Kelley

Hello, Connie,
DNA testing might help sort out relatives. It would be great if you, and some of the Levines and Abrams all got tested, then upload to GEDmatch.

If you want help, let me know.

Linda Wolfe Kelley
Portland, OR

Levine from Skidel, Poland/Russia #poland

Edward Goldberg

Hi, I’m looking for information for a Morris Levine and his wife Rachel Mudrick born in Skidel, Poland/Russia and emigrated to the U.S. Any info would be appreciated.


Sent from Mail for Windows 10


Searching for Engholm and Leff families last known in MN and CA #usa

Todd Cohn

Searching for long lost cousins who's names and last known residences were:
Diana Leff (Crow Wing, MN)
Robert Leff Jr (Crow Wing, MN)
Linda Leff Engholm (Alameda, CA)
They would be about 60 years olds now. 
Deceased grandparents were from Lewis Cohn and Anna Chinka Balaban, both born in Russia and presumably died in MN. 
Thank you!
-Todd Cohn

Searching for Shoikhet and Chausovsky families currently in Lithuania #lithuania

Todd Cohn

I came across a Yad Vashem Page of Testimony that was submitted by a relative of mine named Feiga Shoikhet in 1991.

At that time she lived in Lithuania, Vilnius, Erfurto str 48/9.

I'm looking for suggestions on how I might be able to confirm if she or her family still lives in Lithuania today and of course try and get in touch with her.  


Other relatives of hers are her:

Father Shimon Dovid

Sister Chava Shoikhet Chausovsky 

Brother in law Semyon Chausovsky

Nephew Vladimir Chausovsky 

Alexander Chausovsky   


Places the family has lived are:





Thank you for your help. 





Re: German Citizenship under Article 116 #germany


Do you think having a lawyer expedited the process or made it easier? If so, could you please share or PM the name of your attorney? I'm finding gathering the necessary documents daunting. I'm also worried because my German is so poor. Thank you.

Re: NYC Adoption Records 1880-1910 #usa #general

Barbara Ellman

Getting adoption records in NY applies to the adoptees and their descendents only.

It is entirely possible that given the time frame specified and that the "adoption" may have been within the family, that no formal adoption was made.


Barbara Ellman
Secaucus NJ USA
ELLMAN, COIRA, MAIDMAN - Minkovtsy, Ukraine
KAGLE, FASS - Ulanow, Poland

Re: German Citizenship under Article 116 #germany

Ernst-Peter Winter

... and the judgement could be found at
reference number: - 2 BvR 2628/18 -

Ernst-Peter Winter, Münster (Hessen)

Am 18.06.20 um 14:24 schrieb David Seldner:

The German Federal Constitutional Court has ruled that many
rejections of applications were not legal because the courts
interpreted the laws too narrowly.

Gittle ABRAMOWITZ-New Haven, Ct. 19th century #belarus #usa #general

Yonatan Ben-Ari

My great great grandmother, Gittle ABRAMOWITZ, came to New Haven, Ct.
somewhere between 1870 and 1890 as a widow with four youngish
orphans. The childrens' names were David (?), Sarah, Meir and Kalman.
She may have remarried on the way from Novarodok (from where she left)
and her family name may have changed.

She supposedly was in the silversmith trade (with her second husband).
One child, Meir (my great grandfather) as a child was sent to
Jerusalem (then Palestine) and the other 3 stayed in the USA. David,
the eldest, went to Boston and eventually got a job in a .
Again ,supposedly, rose to managerial level . At some point in her
life she married a LAZAROFF from London.

Sarah seems to have had a grandson, Tom, who lived ( and studied ?)
in Boston. He was about my mother's age, (b. 1914). Father may not
have been jewish. Sarah and her husband (name unknown to me) lived
and/or vacationed on Coney Island, NYC, during the 1930s

The problem with the credibility of the above data is that it derives
primarily from an autobiography of one of Meir's granddaughters which
was garnered by information received by word of mouth ("supposedly"
above). The writer of this autobiography says in the introduction
that her book " is oral history" rather than sources based. Also some
of the information is based on interviews with elderly family members
who are no longer with us.

Gittle was also supposedly related to Rabbi Isaac Simcha HOROWITZ of
Hartford, Ct. who passed away in 1936. That is my guess why she came
to New Haven in the first place (but then again why not to Hartford?)

If the above sounds familiar to anyone or can be confirmed somehow in
New Haven, I would be very grateful to hear.

BTW, the autobiography mentioned above is called : "A Child of the Desert"
by Adina Katzoff (ne ABRAMOWITZ)

Yoni Ben-Ari, Jerusalem

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