Re: Jacob Grossman, Yiddish Actor, Bronx Art Theater #usa

Bernard Flam

Hi from Paris,
I have been often in New York for my researches at :
Center for Jewish History
and I know they detain archives on Yiddish theater, in Europe and in America, specially New York.
Bernard Flam
Archives & History at Medem Center - Arbeter Ring (Bund / Workmen Circle of France)

Re: Jacob Grossman, Yiddish Actor, Bronx Art Theater #usa


Gail H. Marcus:

One of the librarians at the New York Public Library Dorot Jewish Division (who I got to know in the 10 years (before March of this year) that I regularly spent time reading material there) -- a lady named Amanda (she also goes by Miryem-Khaye) Seigel -- is a devoted Yiddishist and is interested in the history of Yiddish-language theater (and -- in fact -- has sung and acted in Yiddish); she might be able to track down information about the Bronx Art Theater (or know sources already).

The Dorot Jewish Division can be reached (librarians -- at least in September when I last sent email to them -- can be reached by email, even though the old NYPL main building is closed to the public) via dorotjewish@.... (I hope that it is OK to include that email address -- and the one I will be giving below).

(A page on Amanda/Miryem-Khaye Seigel -- with a link to her website -- may be found here: .

(I wish you Good Luck, too.)

Ethan Kent
New York City
ewkent@... .

A Latvian Chanukah Present - Day 3 #latvia

Nancy Siegel


The Latvian Jew Who Composed the Lyrics for “Hava Nagila”

by Ann Rabinowitz 


In memory of my great uncle Max Hillman, who was born in Bauska, Latvia, and who started me on my genealogical research, which is so long ago now, I am posting a piece about Latvia every day throughout Chanukah. The posts will be about people, events, and daily life. These posts can also be viewed on the JewishGen Blog at:


One of the new facts about Latvian Jews that I learned in my research in the Historical Jewish Press website was from the article in The Palestine Post, Sunday, August 21, 1938, Page 2, which featured the obit of Abraham Zvi Idelsohn. There were approximately 115-120 references to him on the site.


He was born on July 14,1882, in Feliksberg (now Jurkalne), Latvia, and died on August 14, 1938, in Johannesburg, South Africa. A talented ethnologist and musicologist, he was known as a modern Jewish music pioneer and one of the primary individuals who brought Oriental Jewish music to the notice of the Jewish and general public.


Idelsohn spent his formative years in Leipsig, Koenigsberg, and Berlin, and then went to Johannesburg, South Africa, before his productive stay in Palestine from 1905 to 1922. He then took a position at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1922 and then settled in America in 1932.


He felt that “the key to Jewish unity and survival lies in Jewish music” and he did his best to promote that music in his studies and creations. His most famous accomplishment was the lyrics for “Hava Nagila” which was published in 1922. This song has become the favorite of the modern Jewish music repertoire and is known the world over. One can even hear it sung at athletic events such as England’s Tottenham Hotspurs games. 


In addition to “Hava Nagila”, it was Idelsohn, and his compatriot Eduard Birnbaum, who identified the melody of Chanukah’s traditional prayer, “Ma-oz Tzur”, as being related to a group of Protestant chorales and a German soldiers’ song.


To learn more details about Idelsohn and his career, check out the following site:


Nancy Siegel
Director of Communications
(San Francisco, California)

Re: Looking for a researcher for records in Romania #bessarabia #records #romania

Marcia Segal

I have done some searching, with no luck. I may not have tried hard enough--I seem to get undone when it comes to the difference between the way I know a name is pronounced, and the way it's spelled. This may simply be a matter of getting better with experience. But I did hope there would be information not in databases available to researchers like JewishGen.

Then there's the mixed messages I've received regarding one person who was said to be from Harlau but also said she was from Betashan (Botosani, I believe). She left Romania as a child, with her family, in 1888. Some of her aunts and uncles emigrated to Canada, Israel, or not at all.

Marcia Segal

Matchmaker Postcards #photographs

Barbara Krasner

A cousin passed on to me a matchmaker's postcard ca. 1910 of my grandfather in front of his Newark, NJ grocery. Does anyone have any information on these postcards?

Barbara Krasner
Somerset, NJ
Searching Krasner, Zuckerkandel, Dvorkin, Seife, Pryzant, Entel, Drewno, Donsky

Re: Jacob Grossman, Yiddish Actor, Bronx Art Theater #usa

Sherri Bobish


A search at for Bronx Art Theater comes up with newspaper articles from at least the1930's and 1940's.  There were lots of hits, so I didn't browse through them all.

Do an exact search at the above site for "Bronx Art Theater"

The site is free, and has old digitized newspapers.  You can search by surname, or by address also, or any keyword.

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish

RIPSTEIN #canada

Paul Silverstone

I am trying to find the original name of the RIPSTEIN family of
Winnipeg. They came early to Winnipeg in the 1870s.
My cousin Reg Ripstein said his father told him the family name had been
changed but didn't tell him what it had been.

Those who came were the children of Bezalel and Hinia Gittel. They came
from Lithuania, he died there. She apparently died in Chicago in 1891.

Those who came to Winnipeg were
Simon Avigdor, who married Annie Finkelstein
David, whose first wife died 1881,
second wife Annie Feinberg died 1885,
third wife Mary (Miriam) Shapiro
Jacob (Yehiel) who married Yetta Bala Seipp
Rachel, who married Simon (Sidney) Diner

They had many descendants. Ripstein is a scarcely seen name, although
there is a branch in Mexico. Towns associated with the family are
Kovno, Darsuniskis, and also I have seen Trok in Volhynia.

I have searched the Litvak Sig database using first names but so far
have not found anything.

Suggestions for further search are welcome.

Paul Silverstone
West Vancouver, BC


From Hungary to Germany: travel documents? #germany #hungary

Carole Bass

My great-grandfather Bernard Ackerman was born in 1874 in the northeast Hungarian village of Benk (near present-day borders with Ukraine, Slovakia, and Romania). After his birth, the next record I have for him is in Sodingen, Germany, in 1901, when my grandmother was born. 

My best guess is that he grew up somewhere in Austria-Hungary and emigrated to Germany as a young man, in the 1890s. What records might exist of such a journey? Did he need a pasport, visa, or other government document?

He and his family left Germany in 1903 for the United States. I have those passenger lists, his U.S. naturalization papers, and other documents starting from my grandmother's birth in 1901. I'm looking for earlier records from Hungary or Germany.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Shabbat shalom and happy Hanukkah to all.
Carole Bass
New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Re: Seeking descendants/relatives of LIEBREICH: father Ernst, mother Else (nee BERGMANN), and son Erich #germany #usa

Sherri Bobish


When Ernst, Else and Erich arrived in NY in 1937 they were going to Ernst's brother-in-law John SIMON at 352 Central Park West, NYC.

In 1940 in NYC, a John SIMON married Frieda Liebreich (born in Miltenberg.)  I wonder if this could be the John SIMON from the manifest, although this couple married 3 years after the year of the manifest.
Name: Frieda Liebreich
Gender: Female
Race: White
Age: 52
Birth Date: Sep 1888
Birth Place: Miltenberg, Germany
Marriage Date: 30 Nov 1940
Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA
Residence Street Address: 207 E. 95th St.
Occupation: Housekeeper
Father: Moses Liebreich
Mother : Mina Liebreich
Spouse: John Simon
Certificate Number: 21753
Current Marriage Number: 0
Witness 1: Josef Chotzen
Witness 2: Ott Pfaffle
In 1927 and again in 1930, Frieda Liebreich, born circa 1889/1890 in Miltenberg, a milliner / modiste, arrived in NY.  Her father is Moses, living in Elbersfeld.  Frieda is going to her sister, Lina, in Pelham Manor, NY.

When Lina arrived in 1926, she was going to her Aunt Blanche STRASS in Brooklyn.
Lina also left behind her father, M. Liebreich in Elberfeld.

In 1932 a Lina Liefreich married in NYC to Carl STAIB.  In 1940, Lina & CArl STAIB were living at 352 Central Park West, the same address that Ernst LIEBREICH and family were heading to in 1937.

Name: Lina Liebreich
Gender: Female
Marriage Date: 18 Apr 1932
Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA
Spouse: Carl Staib
Certificate Number: 8478
This should give you more names to search, and possibly find descendants of this family.

Sherri Bobish


I am looking for connections to my grandfather Leon Sacks.  He arrived in South Africa in 1898/99 from Lithuania, via London.
He subsequently married Rebecca Solomon. He died in Cape Town in 1941.
Thanks for your help.

Alan Sacks

Re: How did my great grandmother travel to Ireland from Kyiv? #ukraine #general

Dr. Ruth Leiserowitz

One of the most convenient and cheapest (!) routes of emigration from the Ukrainian regions in the 1890s was by train to Libau (today: Liepaja)  and from there by ship directly to England or Ireland. (There was a ship twice a week.) Why cheap? Traveling by train was affordable in the Tsarist Empire. In addition, no state borders had to be crossed on this route. (In other decades were other variants, which were given preferance.) 

Ruth Leiserowitz

Re: LA Times Article on The Untold Story of How the Golden State Killer was Found: A Covert Operation and Private DNA #dna #usa

Nancy Reicher

Can't access this article without being a subscriber, unfortunately.

Nancy L. Reicher
Kansas City MO

Israel death certificate #israel #records #usa

Rebecca Racer

Has anyone had success obtaining an Israeli death certificate from the US - either from the Israeli consulate/embassy or from Israel directly? To request from Israel living in Israel it says you can be a grandchild but in the US it says only a first degree relative and I’m the granddaughter.

thank you
rebecca racer

Re: Jaroslaw Poland cemetery photographs #poland #photographs

Todd Brody

When we went to Jaroslaw, we were able to go to the cemetery to see the ohel of my ancestor R. Shimon of Yaroslav.  There is a fenced pathway next to the house with the barking dog.  (That dog is actually pretty scary).  But you really need to know where you are going.  It is not an easy cemetery to find.  I've never seen a list of the matzevot and many of them have fallen.  Some of the matzevot are huge and cannot be lifted.   
Todd Brody
(Grosser, Lamm -- Przemysl, Jaroslaw, Sieniawa, Rzeszow)

Re: Records of South African Jewish Board of Deputies #southafrica #records

Jeremy Lichtman

It would be useful to have a name index on those records.


Jeremy Lichtman
Toronto, Canada

Re: Help 'Brisk Russian' puzzle on London Census #russia #records


For several of my family members, I found "Brinsk, Russia" on census documents. It turned out to be Briceni, a town in Bessarabia, a Russian jurisdiction. Briceni might be the place you're looking for.
Sherry Robinson, Albuquerque, NM

Re: Help ship records - not all family did entire journey to USA #usa #russia #records #belarus

Jill Whitehead

There are very few early ship records for journeys across the Baltic to Britain, and certainly hardly any in the 19th century for those who travelled to Hull, and other East Coast ports. They were either not kept or destroyed. See the Moving Here pages on The National Archives website. 

You are lucky if you do have some from 1905.

We all have stories about families who stayed in UK but had intended to go onto USA (e.g. they were robbed of their money, they were terribly sea sick and could not cope with ship trips). Some of my family who came in 1860's or 1870's did go onto USA in about 1905, when the Aliens Act came in, and if they had not bothered to Naturalise as a UK citizen by 1905. 

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Re: Help with this town screenshot please on synagogue record #poland #records #slovakia

Beth Long

Can you please post the whole page? The language of the record is Hungarian
Beth Long

Re: Help 'Brisk Russian' puzzle on London Census #russia #records

Jill Whitehead

The birthplace could have been expressed as the town or as the Gubernia (County/Province) the town was situated in

All my great grandparents were born in the Suwalki Lomza Gubernias in NE Poland as expressed in UK 1871 or 1881 Censuses.  But their UK Naturalisation records gave their actual town of residence in those Gubernias, and in some cases there were also birth or marriage records  on JRI Poland.

In one case, one ancestor was not naturalised but he gave his place of birth on the 1911 census (but had not on the 1871, 1881 1891 nor 1901 censuses) - as it was Suwalki Town in Suwalki Gubernia, and this helped solve a mystery, as the town was the capital of the Gubernia.  

Note there are lots of places with the same name, and you may need to look at all possible sources to determine which is the right one.  Cross referencing is important.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Re: How did my great grandmother travel to Ireland from Kyiv? #ukraine #general

Jill Whitehead

I have family by marriage who travelled in the 1860's across the Baltic, possibly from Konigsberg in East Prussia, to Hull in Yorkshire on the East Coast of England, then by train to Liverpool (this was the most common route for migrants in Britain - See University of Hull website and Hull and Liverpool Maritime Museums websites). They then stayed in Liverpool for a few years before moving onto Belfast in Northern Ireland.  

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

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