IAJGS Conference Announcement #jgs-iajgs #education #events #announcements

Chuck Weinstein

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) announces its 40th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be a virtual conference for the first time, held Aug. 10-13, 2020.

“Given COVID-19, we are unable to hold our usual in-person conference, but are excited with the possibilities in continuing to offer our broad array of presentations and meetings on a virtual platform to our diverse audiences worldwide, from first-timers to conference veterans,” said Robinn Magid, conference chair.

Brainstorming and Connectivity will be the focus of four days of live, streamed sessions on broad topics presented as plenary sessions, panels and webinars.  Meeting rooms will be provided for Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Birds-of-a-Feather (BOFs) to help gather our worldwide audience.  The Pre-Recorded Video Archive available to conference registrants for up to 60 days after the virtual conference will offer an even wider range of specialized presentations beyond the scheduled, live sessions.

Early Bird Registration is now open June 21 through July 5 on the Conference website at

Conference Chair is Robinn Magid, a retired management consultant from Berkeley, California, who has 30 years of experience in Jewish genealogy research.  She was also the chair of the 2018 conference in Warsaw, Poland.  Robinn is a frequent speaker at the IAJGS conferences and various American Jewish Genealogical Societies.

The Conference is hosted by IAJGS, an umbrella organization of more than 90 Jewish genealogical organizations worldwide.  The IAJGS coordinates and organizes activities such as its annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy and provides a unified voice as the spokesperson on behalf of its members. Ken Bravo of South Euclid, Ohio, is IAJGS president.

The IAJGS’s vision is of a worldwide network of Jewish genealogical research organizations and partners working together as one coherent, effective and respected community, enabling people to succeed in researching Jewish ancestry and heritage. Find the IAJGS at: and like us on Facebook at

Chuck Weinstein
Communications Chair
40th Annual IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy (and 1st Virtual Conference)

Logistics of emigration from Pale of Settlement to America #lithuania #poland


My paternal great-grandparents all came from Suwalki Gubernia, now split between Poland and Lithuania.  I'm interested in reading about how during the 1885-1900 period (a) relatives in the US sent money and tickets to those wanting to come to USA  (b) how they traveled to the ports given that for many Jews, travel was restricted, (c) what documentation was required to cross borders and to board the ship, (d) how easy it was to falsify surnames or change surnames during the process, (e) how they navigated from entry (usually New York) to final destination without speaking English or knowing how things work in the US.  Would greatly appreciate seeing links to articles on these topics. Thanks.

Re: Descendants of Dutch Jews. Any interest? #general


While I am not descended from Dutch Jews, one of my (German) aunts married a Dutchman and they lived in Amsterdam, from where they and their young child were deported to Westerbork and killed in Sobibor. 

As the family name is Cohen, it has not been particularly easy to find the family, although I ultimately had some success.  Today, based on the information in a new post, I learned of the multiple records available through the Dutch archives and have begun to plow through, although many are only in Dutch.

This is what I know about my uncle.  His name was Herman COHEN, born in Arnhem in 1908.  His father was Louis Simon COHEN, son of Simon Jacob COHEN and Sijtje SONDERVAN.  His mother was Louise DESSAU, daughter of Hermann DESSAU and Bertha KALISCHER.

If anyone has information about these families, please reply privately.

I have also learned that there is a "Jokos" file on my uncle and aunt's family, which I would like to pursue, but do not know how.  The file is said to reveal that a claim was lodged for compensation of valuables surrendered to the Lippmann-Rosenthal looting bank (there is a claim number).  I am hoping that learning who filed this claim may leas me to surviving relatives of my uncle's, but have no clue as to how to proceed with this investigation. 

A public reply to this part of my request might be helpful to others.

Thank you.
Fredel Fruhman
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Rodrig Family from Bulgaria #general



Hello, Dear, I am trying to find more information about the Haim Rodrig-Galdetti Family from Bulgaria (aprox. 1830-1850), how many children did they have? One or two children immigrated first to Istanbul. In at the beginning of the 20th century a grandson named Haim  emigrated near to 1930 to Israel. Where could I find more information about this family?  Thank You  Juan


Harry Chernicoff home town #latvia #courland


This appears to be Windava (Russian), formerly Windau (German), now Ventspils, a port in Courland.

Ted Smith
Reston, VA

Re: Male given name Shira #general #names

Shelley Mitchell

One of the survivors of my family’s town was named Israela. I thought it was a woman. It meant son of Israel.
Maybe similar to your. Son of Shir?
Shelley Mitchell, NYC    shemit@...
Searching for TERNER, GOLDSCHEIN, KONIGSBERG, SCHONFELD, in Kolomyya; PLATZ, in Delaytn; and TOPF, in Radautz and Kolomea.

Re: Harry Chernicoff home town #latvia #courland

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

"from somewhere around Courland/Kurland as he's buried in one of the Kurland plots at Mount Zion Cemetery in Maspeth Queens"

Sometimes burial societies sold plots to 'anybody', so he may have been from there, and maybe not. One of my cousins is buried in the burial plot of a society for a place nowhere near where he came from. They must have been selling at a good plot when he died.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

Re: JSTOR Expands Free Access During Pandemic #announcements

Jan Meisels Allen

Adrian Koifman from Buenos Aires asks if the free time on JSTOR also includes Polish genealogy.  I do not represent JSTOR. I would go to their website and scroll down to the contact us and ask them.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Re: ViewMate translation request - Russian and Hebrew #ukraine #belarus #translation

Rosalind Finkelstein

Robin Levine,
I sent you an email privately with no response so I'm trying this way as I really want to hear from you.  On your list of names you're researching  you have Salmanson from Latvia.
That is my grandmother's family.  I have a lot of information about them.  I am very anxious to hear your connection to them.  Please respond.  Maybe we're related.
Roz Brandt Finkelstein

Portugal More on Aristides de Sousa Mendes #holocaust

Jan Meisels Allen



Aristedes de Sous Mendes about 1940



I recently posted about Portugal recognizing Consul who saved thousands from Holocaust—Aristedes de Sousa Mendes.


Aristides de Sousa Mendes (1885-1954) was Portugal’s consul in Bordeaux during World War ll. He supplied Jews with visas that permitted them to escape from advancing German forces. His decision to save the Jews’ lives cost him his diplomatic career under Portuguese dictator António de Oliveira Salazar. The foreign ministry in Lisbon began sending cablegrams to Bordeaux, ordering him to desist, amid reports from colleagues that he had "lost his senses".


Stanley Diamond, Chairman of Jewish Records Indexing, Inc also posted about his personal relationship with one of the people who Sousa-Mendes saved. Stanley has kindly shared a posting from the Sousa Mendes Foundation announcing that The New York Times

Published a long and detailed story on the actions of Sousa Mendes and the work of the Sousa Mendes Foundation.


“So far, 3,907 of the recipients of the visas issued by Mr. Sousa Mendes have been identified publicly. About half were Jews. In 2013, some of their descendants undertook an emotional pilgrimage to the small town in central Portugal where Mr. Sousa Mendes was born and is buried in a family crypt, and participants held a remembrance ceremony at the site.”  NY Times June 19, 2020


Last week the Portuguse Parliament voted to put a cenotaph dedicated to Sousa Mendes in the national Pantheon in Lisbon.  Due to the pandemic No date has been scheduled yet for the inauguration of the cenotaph,


To read the NYTimes article go to:

To see a movie about Sousa Mendes go to:   There is a charge of $4.99 to view this


Thank you to Stanley Diamond for sharing this information with us.


I have no affiliation with the Sousa Mendes Foundation and am posting this solely for the information of the reader.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Male given name Shira #general #names


A Family Search extract of a 1923 New York City death certificate for Harry Tarter lists his father as Shira Tarter. The family was from Mikulince, Galicia. I have seen Shira as a feminine given name only. Were males named Shira? If not, is Shira a diminutive or variation of a male Hebrew or Yiddish name? If so, what would have been a likely name from which Shira was derived? 

Richard Gross
Guilford, Connecticut, USA

Re: Zaverezhye/Vorotinschtina #belarus


Schelly--we suspect we are related thru the Merlin line, as you know.  Just can't quite figure it out yet.  We'll have to connect again soon.  

Donna and Laura--I'd love to connect with you privately.  My grandfather was Schachne (Samuel) Merlin who emigrated from Zaverezyhe in 1904 at age 24 (b. 1880).  He had a brother Leyba (Louis) b. 1870, married to Doba Plotkin (Dora).  Louis and Dora had 9 children.  Are you a descendant of one of them?  

Sonia Merlin Lipetz
Boston, MA

Re: Zaverezhye/Vorotinschtina #belarus

Schelly Talalay Dardashti

Hi Laura
It has been a long time since last communicated. Vorotinschtina was the agro colony established by the Talalai and some other families. It is adjacent to what was the hamlet of Zavarezhye, where the post office and "general store" was located. I would say that all the founding families of V were from Mogilev city proper and maintained connections. It was only about 12 miles SW of Mogilev so rather close. How one or why one would focus on V/Z without including Mogilev city is something I do not understand, as all the families were from Mogilev city originally.

Schelly Talalay Dardashti
New Mexico, USA
DARDASHTI - Isfahan/Teheran, Iran; branch in Bombay/Mumbai India via Baghdad.
TALALAY/TALALAJ/TALALAI - Belarus: Mogilev (Vorotinschtina/Zaverezyhe, Mogilev city, Bobruisk). Branches in Chernigov UKR, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Siberia, Kazakhstan.
BANK: Kovno/Kaunas, Kedainai, LITH.

Re: Ottoman Jews during WW1 #general

E Feinstein

I am also researching the Jewish participation in WWI.  Speaking of Lawrence of Arabia.  There was a German military installation at Deraa in southern Syria, that Lawrence and his bedouins attacked and destroyed in September of 1918.  They also destroyed the German military cemetery and its 22 graves that had been attached to the field hospital (Feldlazarett) there.  Yes, you guessed it--there were Jewish burials in the cemetery.  Out of the 22 German soldiers buried there, I have record of two being Jewish.  Gerhard MENDELSOHN from Eisleben, Germany and Marcel WEIL from Buchweiler or Bouxwiller, France (Alsace.)  Even more incredible is that via my research I was able to connect with the family of Marcel WEIL and they sent me the picture of him below from before the war.  The family had no idea where he had fallen during that conflict.  

New Jersey

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

Jill Whitehead

Hi Rob,

Families that lived in the borderlands of Poland and East Prussia (Konigsberg now Kaliningrad), specially in the Suwalki Lomza gubernas, often said they came from Germany on their British records when they emigrated. This was seen as being "posher" than saying you came from Russian Poland, but these gubernias had been part of East Prussia between the late 18th century and up to 1807 (Different parts of Poland were split between the three European powers of Russia, Prussia and Austro-Hungary in the late 18th century on three separate occasions). In actual fact they were not German between 1807 (when Napoleon took over briefly until 1815) and WW1, when the Germans did overrun the area from 1914 onwards.

When I went to the ancestral area in 2000, we were taken to the former border between Poland and East Prussia. Even today the landscape is quite different in terms of types of housing and fields layout, and the roads and railways run north to south rather than east to west because of the former Polish-Prussian border.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Max KROOP from Russia #general #russia

Deanna Levinsky <DEANNASMAC@...>

I'm looking for any information about Max Kroop who was born in Russia
around 1883. His parents were Elias Hersh Kroop and Sara Lea
Rudaniski. In June of 1910 Max married Anna Rifkin. Max was single and
7 years younger than Anna who was a widow with 4 young children.
Deanna Mandel Levinsky
Long Island, NY
Deanna M. Levinsky, Long Island, NY

1933 marriage Friedmann/Weiss at Schiffschule synagogue, Vienna #austria-czech


I am looking for the original marriage entry in 1933 at Schiffschule synagogue between Ernst Friedmann and Lizzi Weiss. I have found the reference to it on, which provides the information below. On Family Search there is long list of the original books. I looked through the one for the 2nd district for 1933 but in that book there were no Schiffschule records for 1933, only 1932 and 1934, so I think they must be in another book, sometimes they seem to be logged randomly. Does anyone know a quick way that I might find the record? Many thanks. Colee

Last Name
First Name
First Name BrideLizzi

CLUJ/KOLOZSVAR GHETTO-looking for list of people taken to Kolozsvar ghetto #holocaust

Mihai Grunfeld

Hi, Does anyone have or know where to find a list of people taken to the Kolozsvar/Cluj ghetto?
Mihai Grunfeld

Mihai Grunfeld

Associate Professor, Department of Hispanic Studies

Chair, Vassar College Lifelong Learning Institute

Box 451

Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

This message and all attachments are confidential and meant to be read exclusively by the person(s) to whom the message is addressed. Any partial or complete circulation or publication of this message is forbidden unless expressly authorized by Mihai G. Grünfeld.

 If you wish to purchase my memoir on Amazon, it is at For more information, see

ROBERT GOLDSTEIN from Poltova, Ukraine #ukraine

Deanna Levinsky <DEANNASMAC@...>

I need help in finding any information about Robert Goldstein, born in
Poltova, Ukraine about 1872.
Deanna M. Levinsky, Long Island, NY

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

Bruce Drake

Occasionally, I come across a chapter in a Yizkor book that is a fable, and some have been about the devil trying to cause Jews to stray from their pious paths. This one, “The Devil was out of Work,” from the Yizkor book of Shebreshin (Szczebrzeszyn), Poland has to be the oddest of those I’ve encountered so far, and perhaps I should preface it with “Parental discretion is advised.”

R' Shmuel Yakov one day noticed that the devil was standing beside him.

So R'Shmuel forced a cheerful expression on his face. He extended his arm to the devil and asked, “How are you, R' Devil.”

“Oy, R'Shmuel, I don't feel so good.”

“Probably overworked yourself, R' Devil, because it's very hard now to make Jews sin. It's no small matter.”

And from there, the Devil launches into tales of how he lured Jews into temptation. I’ll let him speak for himself.


Bruce Drake

Silver Spring MD

26161 - 26180 of 670867