Re: Portuguese Legislators Step Back from Attempt to Severely Limit Applications for Citizenship From Sephardic Jews Descendants #sephardic

Mark Strauss

I'm very interested in exploring the opportunity to gain Portuguese Citizenship, especially since the new law does not require residency or the ability to speak the language. . My wife and I honeymooned in Portugal 30 years ago, and last year we celebrated our 30th anniversary, there
I have a family tree that shows that my 19th Great-Grandfather was Don Abraham of Toledo (Abraham el Alfaquin = al-Ḥakīm), who was physician to King Alfonso X (el Sabio - the Learned) of Castile, and to his son Sancho IV. He was active between 1260 and 1277 and translated books from Arabic into Castilian under the patronage of the king in Toledo and Burgos.
Since the law only requires proof of ancestry on the Iberian Peninsula, I would think that I would be eligible. Has anyone had experience gaining Portuguese Citizenship; and/or can recommend someone in Portugal who could help facilitate the paper work? If so, please email me, personally.

Train travel Ukraine 19th-20th Century/ #ukraine

Sheryl Stahl

My ggps lived in Kolomea, moved to Chernowitz for a few years and then moved back to Kolomea before coming to the US.
I know there was a train between the 2 cities, but does anyone know about travel between the 2 cities at the turn of the last century? Was it common? Was there anything pushing or pulling them?


Sheryl Stahl (Los Angeles)

Suwalki (RAKOVSKI, OKRAGLINSKI,) Wizajni (RAKOVSKI) Kalvarja
Odessa (STESSEL) Pervomaysk (STESSEL)  Grzymalow (LANDAU) Kolomyya (STAHL,


Which is the town? #ukraine #general


Hi all, In a Blitzstein Bank Steamship Purchase Ledger, my relatives' address in Ukraine is listed as:
M Ivanke Pocsta Buki
us Uman
Gub Kiev
Which of these is the actual town where they live?
Thanks for your help.
New York

Re: Looking for information on Moshe Oshman from Wilna, Lithuania or Belarus, married to Myriam Goldzycher in Warsaw Poland #poland #lithuania #belarus

Sherri Bobish

Hi Angel,

You write 'We have stories that the Oshmans had a fruit store and they were 3 brothers and one sister."

Have you tried searching old digitized Eastern European city directories at:
It is a free database.

Often occupations are listed.  You can do a regular or soundex search.

Sometimes people are listed in the directories with first and last name, but often with just first initial and last name.


Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Finding ship manifest #general

Sheryl Stahl

I have been tearing my hair out. Some time ago, I found the ship manifest for my gf Bernard/Bernhard Stahl. I snipped it and saved the image but did not make a note of the date and ship (I've been yelling at my younger self and changed my evil ways) It should be from ~1900.

I have spent hours on LibertyEllisIsland, Ancestry, and Stevemorse, but I can't find it again. 
Does anyone have any suggestions? TIA



Sheryl Stahl (Los Angeles)

Suwalki (RAKOVSKI, OKRAGLINSKI,) Wizajni (RAKOVSKI) Kalvarja
Odessa (STESSEL) Pervomaysk (STESSEL)  Grzymalow (LANDAU) Kolomyya (STAHL,


Re: Records of Home of Old Israel, New York City and 1930 US Census search possible by address? #courland #usa

Sherri Bobish

Hi Susan,

1930 U.S. census, and other census years, can be searched by address via Steve Morse's amazing search tool:

Be sure to choose the census year you want to search from the drop box, as ED's (enumeration districts) changed between census years.

When prompted, put in the cross streets to help pinpoint the ED.


Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Re: Seeking info on ZAICSEK/ZAITCHIK/ZEIDMAN Traveling Circus near Uman, Ukraine, 1880-1900 #ukraine

Sherri Bobish

Hi Dale,

I recently saw an on-line presentation from The Leo Baeck Inst. given by Stav Meishar.

She is an expert on the subject of Jewish circus performers in pre-WW11 Europe.
Here is a link to the info about her talk:

I can't find a recording on-line of her talk, but if you Google Stav Meishar you will find lots of info about her work, and she has her own website:

You can probably get in touch with Ms. Meishar through her website, or perhaps the Leo Baeck Inst. can help put you in touch with her.

Hope this helps,

Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Re: Please translate German to English #translation


i Kathhy,
Did you receive any translations? If not, I will gladly have a go at them. Let me know.
Ron Peeters
Ulvenhout (NL)

Re: "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

Peter Cohen

Thanks to Yale Zusman for an excellent analysis.  This has been an interesting discussion. It breaks down into certain groups:
Those who can only discuss name changes in terms of "the immigration officers at Ellis Island never changed anyone's name. Therefore all involuntary name change stories are false."
Those who equate spelling changes with name changes even though the names are essentially the same.
Those who would like to discuss it.

I agree that the preponderance of the evidence is that no official of the US government changed anyone's name. I do not agree that no immigrants ever underwent an involuntary name change. I just do not know the circumstances under which it happened.  As I understand it, many immigrants referred to the entire immigration experience as "Ellis Island", even things that did not happen there. New immigrants were referred to as "greenhorns" or "greeners", implying that they did not understand what was going on around them.  In such circumstances there could well of have been interactions with people that the immigrants mistakenly believed had some kind of authority.

I keep returning to the occurrence of the same two phrases in family stories: "He asked me my name" and "He wrote down".  That kind of interaction would not have happened at the Great Hall, but nothing precludes it from having happened somewhere else while the immigrant was still overwhelmed with the new experience. This line of thinking get attacked with "there is no evidence that anything like this happened". But, there is something else for which there is no evidence:  In order for this story to be a complete fabrication in every case, there would need to be a conspiracy of silence. That in itself seems unlikely.  We have yet to see anyone come forward and say something along the lines of an uncle telling their niece or nephew "I know your father told you that they changed his name, but I was there and he made that decision himself."   I do not think there is enough information to know what actually went on, and probably never will be.

Don’t Miss This JewishGen Webinar - July 22 #education #JewishGenUpdates

Nancy Siegel

We invite you to attend another free presentation in our series of JewishGen Talks webinars, with our speaker, Dr. Sallyann Sack.

What the Genealogist Needs to Know

About Jewish Family Names

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

3:00 pm Eastern Time (New York)

From the genealogical perspective, Jewish family names are anything but simple. In this talk, we will consider how, why and when Jews acquired family names; what kinds of names they adopted; some special aspects of rabbinical names; techniques devised to avoid being identified; spelling considerations; soundex; the variable effects of emigration; expert sources; and a few words about how to locate maiden names and married names of women.

Dr. Sallyann Sack is the founding chair of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy; past president of IAJGS and recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award; editor and co-owner of AVOTAYNU, the International Review of Jewish Genealogy; founder of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington; author or co-author of seven genealogy books; and chair or co-chair of seven IAJGS conferences.


Advance Registration Required!

Please click here:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about how to join the webinar.

Questions? Go to:

Nancy Siegel (San Francisco, CA)

Director of Communications

Kabaker family in Burlington, Iowa #general #lithuania #poland #usa

Harvey Kabaker

Hoping to find anyone with close knowledge of the family headed by Jacob and Ida Kabaker, who were married in Burlington, Iowa, in  September 1890. They moved to Clintonia, Illinois, before 1900.Their sons were Nathan, Samuel (Kobaker) and David; daughters were Esther (Morris) Strelzer, Jeanette, Sally or Sarah (Joseph) Handleman and Birdie. Most of the children were born in Illinois between 1892 and 1905. They moved to Detroit, where Birdie was born in 1909.

Harvey Kabaker
Silver Spring, Md.

Woroncov / Varansoff Family - #usa #names #russia


Trying for the last two years to find a thread tip
Rose Varansoff, born 3.15.1871, immigrated to the US in 1906 and her husband Joseph Varansoff died in 1932.
Last residential address in 1930 at 261 Madison St Ny. I have all the details about her husband but we're looking for Rose (Rosie).
The original name may have been • Rasche waranzow
I did not find her in the 1940 Census.
I would appreciate any information or idea! Thanks

Re: Found after 76 years descendants of the family who hid my mother and grandmother in Budapest in 1944 during the German Occupation and the Arrow Cross terror #hungary #holocaust


What an uplifting post.  Thank you for sharing.  With so much negativism these days, it is good to be reminded of the "unheard of " people who help their fellow man, without wanting/expecting something in return, or to be featured in the nightly news.  How fortunate for your family. Good for you, too, for those who reached out to help make the re-connection between the family descendants.

Leah H. Snider

Re: Courland Was It Within the Russian Empire but not in the Pale of Settlement #russia

Arlene Beare

Marilyn asks about the life of Jews living in Courland at the time of the Pale of Settlement.

The Pale of Settlement was from 1794-1804. Even though Courland was not in the Pale they were still part of the Russian Empire and subject to all the laws and regulations pertaining to Jews. However they escaped the worst oppression suffered by the Jews of the Pale. Courland was made up of Kurzeme in the North west and Zemgale in the South West. Kurzeme Jews according to the Book -History  of Latvian Jews by Steimanis - made gains during the reign of Paul 1(1796-1801)A decree of the Senate of Russia legalised the State of Jews in Kurzeme. The decree of 1799 entitled all Jews who lived permanently in Kurzeme to register legally in towns provided they joined the merchants or crafts Guilds for twice the normal fee. They obtained civil rights.These right were later curtailed and from 1829 only those Jews who already had been permanent residents of Kurzeme at the end of the 18th C could live there.
Courland was a German speaking Province(Gubernia)with its Capital Mitau now Jelgava.
Arlene Beare
Co-Director of Latvian Research Group.

Looking for information on Moshe Oshman from Wilna, Lithuania or Belarus, married to Myriam Goldzycher in Warsaw Poland #poland #lithuania #belarus


I am re-sending this message with more information about the Goldzicher, Oshman, Wowa families in Warsaw, Wilna, Kostopol/Berezne and Buenos Aires.

Looking for maternal grandfather of Maria Gordon Kosfiszer.
Her maternal grandmother was Myriam Goldzicher, born on December 22, 1888 in Warsaw,Poland. Myriam had 5 siblings
Miriam Married around 1915 in Warsaw Poland Moshe Oshman from Wilna, Lithuania or Belarus. We do not know the spelling of Oshman, the date of birth or the exact place he came from as Wilna may refer the the city, or a much larger area.
We have stories that the Oshmans had a fruit store and they were 3 brothers and one sister.
Miriam and Moshe had an only child, Leah Oshman, born Nov 8 1916.
When Leah was not yet one year old her father and mother developed typhus (possibly Spanish flu?) and Moshe past away. Myriam survived but died young in 1937.
Myriam remarried Samuel (Shmuel) Ber Wowa and moved from Warsaw to Kostopol/Berezne region in the Ukraine, and later on to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I would appreciate any help regarding Moshe's origins.

Angel Kosfiszer
Richardson, Texas, USA

Re: Research individuals in France #france

EdrieAnne Broughton

 I am a bit puzzled by Adolf Tarnower's business activities! He was trained as an engineer in France and his wife, Sura/Sara/Alice Rozembee/Rozenberg was probably French (?). So how does someone involved in Construction start dealing in clothes? 
Not all engineers were civil engineers.  Mechanical engineers designed and repaired machines used in manufacturing. Some of the engineering basics spanned many of the specialities.  My uncle was a power engineer.  He designed everything from substations to whole power plants.  He even taught power engineering at the college level. 
                                         EdrieAnne Broughton, Vacaville, California

Portuguese Legislators Step Back from Attempt to Severely Limit Applications for Citizenship From Sephardic Jews Descendants #sephardic

Jan Meisels Allen





The Socialist Party, the ruling party in Portugal has stepped back from its attempt to severely limit applications for citizenship from descendants of Sephardic Jews of Portuguese origin. In May, the Socialists submitted a draft amendment to the 2015 law that grants citizenship to people who can prove they are descended from Jews whose families fled the Iberian Peninsula following the Inquisition. That amendment would have permitted eligibility for citizenship only for  people who lived in Portugal for two years.  Currently, there are no requirements for applicants to live in Portugal or learn the language.


The concern was that Portugal would have been overwhelmed with people and Portugal could have lost its identity and that people were just looking for a European passport.


Rather than enact major changes to the existing law, they decided to adopt new regulations that would specify an “objective connection” with Portugal.


To read more see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


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

Bruce Drake

In curating these weekly excerpts, I try to strike a balance between the powerful but brutal stories of the Holocaust and other sufferings of Jews in the era covered by Yizkor books, but it can be challenging given that, by their very nature, large sections of each book are devoted to these recollections. That said, there are also rich stories of daily Jewish life and customs and some readers have said, that while the horrors Jews underwent must be remembered, they would like to see more of these stories as well. So, I’m always on the lookout for them though, to be honest, some make less interesting reading than others.

“Our Shtetl Krinek,” from the Yizkor book of Krynki, Poland is a marvelous example of an account that captures with vivid detail Jewish daily life — from the town coming alive in the morning, the bustling activity in its streets and alleys, the grand spectacle of market day to the solemnity and celebration of the Sabbath.

It’s almost like being there.


Bruce Drake

Silver Spring, MD

Re: Origin of the name BIALYI #names #belarus

Myrna Waters

Bialys and bagels were a part of the Sunday morning ritual along with smoked white fish, carp and various salads.  This was in New Jersey and we knew
them as Bialys.  The best bialys and bagels were from NY/NJ hands down.  There was a time the delis took orders and delivered these right to your home.
That would sure be nice during our current social distancing.   

Myrna Slatnick Waters

Re: Records of Home of Old Israel, New York City and 1930 US Census search possible by address? #courland #usa

Gregory Bradbury

My great great grandfather was living in The Home of Old Israel, 70 Jefferson Street, New York City, in the late 30’s and the 1940’s (until his death).
The records went somewhere, as the place moved / merged with another home in another part of NYC or L.I. (I can’t recall where).
Regardless, I found him living there, as expected, as a resident there in the 1940’s Federal Census.
S.D is. 11 or 12, ED (enumeration district) is written as 31 - 23.
Hope this helps,
Greg Bradbury

Kind regards / Cordialement,

G Bradbury
Geneva (Switzerland)

18881 - 18900 of 665353