International Holocaust Remembrance Day January 27, 2021 #announcements #holocaust

Jan Meisels Allen


International Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated on January 27th.  January 27, 2021 is the 76th anniversary of  the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration, the ending of World War ll and the ending of the Holocaust.  The theme guiding Holocaust remembrance and education in 2021 is “Facing the Aftermath: Recovery and Reconstitution after the Holocaust”. It focuses on the measures taken in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust to begin the process of recovery and reconstitution of individuals, community, and systems of justice. Integral to the process of reconstitution was the accurate recording of the historical account of what happened before and during the Holocaust. Challenging the denial and distortion of the historical events was interwoven in the processes of recovery and reconstitution. The theme examines the contribution of the responses to the victims of the Holocaust, and of the survivors, to addressing the needs of the contemporary world, and to the historical record of the Holocaust. Against a global context of rising antisemitism and increasing levels of disinformation and hate speech, Holocaust education and remembrance is even more urgent, as is the development of an historical literacy to counter repeated attempts to deny and distort the history of the Holocaust.


Many governments have legislated that January 27 is an annual Holocaust Memorial Day to mark the date as an international day of commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust. The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on November 1, 2005. The Resolution establishing January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day urges every member nation of the U.N. to honor the memory of Holocaust victims, and encourages the development of educational programs about Holocaust history to help prevent future acts of genocide.


With the pandemic the following events will be virtual.


To read what the United Nations will be doing on January 21, 27,28, February 4 and February 11 for commemoration see:

To see what Yad Vashem is doing for International Holocaust Memorial Day see:


To see what the Wiener Holocaust Library in London, England will be doing see:

Registration is required. It’s free.


House of European History


To see what the US Holocaust Memorial Museum will be doing go to:

Social media #WeRemember


Holocaust Museum of Los Angeles


University of Michigan-Dearborn


Holocaust Center for Humanity (Seattle, Washington)


Midwest Center for Holocaust Education


(US) National Archives


There are many other venues that will hold commemoration activities. Please look locally for any activities in your area.


Some countries memorialize the Holocaust on other days, for example, Yom Hashoah in Israel and in the United States is commemorated on the 27th day of Nisan, the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. In 2021 Yom Hashoah is observed on April 9 (starting sunset the evening before). 


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



Translation from Russian - KAMINSKY Icek POT #translation #holocaust


May I please request translation from Russian of the attached Page of Testimony of Icek KAMINSKY
- just of paragraphs 7. 10. 11. 12. and the relation of the submitter.

Melbourne, Australia

Researching (main surnames):

Help with translating German marriage record #translation

Sarit Klein

Hello! I've posted the marriage record of my great-grandparents and would appreciate any help translating the document.  It is on ViewMate at the following address:
Kindly respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.

Thank you very much!
Sarit Klein

Re: French archives #france #records

L Levy

What a generous offer! I've been looking for relatives who fled Lida and Vilna for France.  I only have two first names, the mother Simcha and the daughter Janine. We were told that their last name was Aronovitz. Janine would have been born around 1938, and may have a son named Eli.  Simcha's maiden name would be a variant of Tzgelnitka or Tzgelnitski, and we believe she was born around 1900 in Lida. Thanks you!

Laura Levy

ViewMate translation request - Russian to english or french #poland #translation

wenglenski virginie <vwenglen@...>

I request a translation of the Yiddish text on a postcard. It is on ViewMate at the following address :

Please respond using the online ViewMate form.

Thank you so much,

Virginie Wenglenski

Looking for inform on Marguerite (Margaretha) HAUPTMANN, HOFFMAN, OFFMAN, or KAUFMAN b. 1698 Baden-Wurttemberg, Gemany d. 1760 in Picardie, France married to Martin Mayer (Mair, Meyer) #france

TheUglyChick <crystal.demars@...>

I am working on my genealogic history from a genetic standpoint as well as my family tree. I have had my DNA analyzed via 23andMe and was surprised to learn that I have a small percentage of Ashkenazi Jewish dna. I have been looking into my family tree and believe I have found the ancestor that it may have come from, but there is not much information on her. 
My 7th Great Grandmother was named Margueritte (Margaretha) HAUPTMANN, HOFFMAN, OFFMAN, or KAUFMAN b. 1698 Baden-Wurttemberg, Gemany d. 1760 in Picardie, France married to Martin Mayer (Mair, Meyer). I cannot find any information on her line. I would like to connect with anyone with any information on her family. 
When I researched Jewish families in Wurttemberg, there were only very few in the area at the time and they were not allowed to settle there permanently. 
Martin Mayer passed away in 1752.
Her son is my 6th Great Grandfather. He was Hantz Jakob Mayer was born about 1715 who died in 10/17/1757 in St. Charles, Louisiana
Any information would be most appreciated.
Crystal Ann Demars
(225) 290-3541

ViewMate translation requests - Polish #poland #translation


I've posted two vital records in Polish for which I need a translation. They are on ViewMate at the following addresses:

Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.

Thank you very much.

David Mahler

Akiva the Elder of Salonika #rabbinic #sephardic

Adam Cherson

I am in need of any information I can find regarding the Spanish part of the life of Akiva the Elder of Salonika, who according to GENI was born in Spain ca1360 and died in Salonika ca1400 (note: this is well before the Alhambra Decree), because I believe he is part of my own great-grandfather's yDNA ancestral lineage. If there are any Jewish History scholars who can recommend books or a person to consult with, or otherwise point me in a worthwhile direction, I would be most grateful.
Adam Cherson

BRCA-2 Gene Test Reveals Breast Cancer Genetic Link -Including for Males #dna #unitedkingdom

Jan Meisels Allen



Many of us are familiar that the BRCA-2 gene mutation may cause breast cancer in women, but many do not also realize that it could also cause breast cancer and/or prostate cancer in men and also breast and ovarian cancer in women. An article in the British press, The Guardian, discusses the BRCA-2 and to some extent the BRCA-1 and PALB2 genes.


While the breast cancer diagnosis in men is substantially less than in women it is still something everyone should be aware of.  The gene mutation was discovered 25 years ago.  The variant can be inherited from either parent and can spread through lineages with devastating effect. “If a man inherits a pathogenic mutation in BRCA2, then, when he’s in his early 60s, we now know he will have a 20% chance of developing prostate cancer. That compares with the normal risk for that age of about 3%,” said Professor Rosalind Eeles, at the Institute of Cancer Research. “In addition, those cancers are a lot more aggressive than standard cases of prostate cancer.”


BRCA-2 is found on chromosome 13. There are two such chromosomes, one inherited from one’s mother the other from ones’ father. If one parent has a mutant BRCA2 gene there will be a 50-50 chance they will pass it on to one of their children.


According to The Guardian article, pathogenic versions of BRCA1 have a similar effect while abnormal versions of another gene known as PALB2 has also been found to increase risk. The prospect of getting breast cancer over an average lifetime for a woman is 12%. However, if they carry mutated versions of BRCA1 or BRCA2 that risk rises to around 70%. An abnormal version of PALB2 raises that risk to around 50%.


The story of the discovery of the gene variant in The Guardian is of interest as there are two BRCA genes and BRCA-1 when found researchers at first did not think there was a second gene.


The new European Union medical guidelines have recently recommended that men over the age of 40 who have a pathogenic BRCA2 mutation should be offered annual screening for prostate cancer.

To read the Guardian article see:


The consumer direct-to-consumer DNA testing companies test for the three most common variants-but there are other variants that these DNA tests do not test for. there are more than 1,000 other known BRCA mutations, and dozens of other genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer." A  negative result does not rule out someone is a mutation carrier. Any positive test should be confirmed and the patient should undergo genetic counseling. See:

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Finding info on great grandparents Bayarsky in Belarus (Grodno? Minsk?) #belarus

Karen Heller Key

I am trying to find records regarding the deaths of my grandparents, Avram Elia Bayarsky and Nechama Shapiro Bayarsky and their children and grandchildren who lived in a small village called something like Szewoholodwicz - I’ve been told it was in the Minsk gubernia near Slutsk, though I also have reason to believe it was near Grodno. We were told that the family was taken out and shot in the woods near their farm - a neighbor wrote my grandmother after the war. We don’t have the letter, unfortunately. My grandmotther and four siblings came to the US between 1910 and 1920, but apparently many siblings and their parents remained in Belarus / Russia (depending on the report). I’ve found out a great deal about my great grandmother’s family, the Shapiros, but nothing about my great grandfather’s, though I have a photo of him. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Karen Heller Key
Washington, DC

Re: Weitz Bakery on West Adams, Los Angeles #usa

Michael McTeer <mcteer@...>

You also might try contacting the library to see if they have research services. The library from what I recall has large collections on various subjects.

An additional note for those with relatives in the Los Angeles area, is that the library also has telephone directories on line which are searchable.

Michael McTeer, 13488

Search advice for family/records from Pilica, Poland #poland


I am searching for records of my paternal grandmother and her family, who I believe may have emigrated from Pilica, Poland to Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1908.  From Buenos Aires, they settled in Rosario, Argentina. 

I found a family that I believe may be them on the Hamburg passenger lists with the hometown of Pilica but I cannot confirm it is them.  The ages & names seem to somewhat line up but I can’t find any records in Jewishgen from Pilica that correspond to the family.  There are no other records from the family that point me anywhere other than Poland (marriage and death certificates).  Does anyone have any advice on other resources I can use to try to find Polish records on the family? My ggparents were born in 1870 and 1878 and my grandmother was born in 1905. 

Thank you,
Helen Gonzales
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Researching: WINTER/VISNER

Jewish Genealogical Society New York January 24 Meeting #jgs-iajgs #announcements #holocaust

Phyllis Rosner

Jewish Genealogical Society NY Meeting
Sunday January 24, 2020 at 2 p.m.
Zoom Webinar

Out of the Whirlwind: Finding the Family You Lost in the Holocaust

Speaker: Deborah H. Long


The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, Deborah Long has been researching her family history and looking for family members for more than 50 years. She has found surviving cousins in Sweden, Hungary, Canada and Israel. Deborah will review the best (as well as some of the more obscure) resources and methods for determining the fate of those caught up in the Holocaust, survivors as well as victims. She will use examples from her own research to present the documents and artifacts she has discovered.


Deborah Long grew up in Skokie, Illinois, and is a professional educator and speaker. She has written more than 20 books, including a memoir about growing up as a child of survivors titled “First Hitler, Then Your Father, and Now You.” Deborah lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is the founder and first president of the Triangle Jewish Genealogical Society in Durham/Chapel Hill. 

All are welcome; attendance is free, but registration is required:

Submitted by:
Phyllis Rosner
JGSNY VP Communications
New York, NY

Berko Portiansky in Yelizabetgrad #russia #ukraine


I am trying to learn about my paternal great grandparents and other family who lived in the Russian Empire, now Ukraine. According to papers they were from Elizabetgrad and the name was Portiansky or Portjansky. My great grandfather, Berko, came to the US with his son, Nuta in 1904. I could not find when he returned to Russia but when my grandfather, Leib, came over in 1912 he listed Berko as being in Elizavetgrad. I believe they were in the hides and skins business and maybe had a tannery over there. Once in America, my relatives changed their last name to Porter. Any help would be appreciated,

Stuart Porter, Fort Defiance, Virginia

MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately with family information

Re: Weitz Bakery on West Adams, Los Angeles #usa


Debby, you could also try the photography collection at the Los Angeles Public Library. and bizarrely enough, Youtube. My older son is a street artist who occasionally turns to me for historical photos of areas where he's painting.   I found a video on Youtube of someone driving down Venice Boulevard in the 1950s.  It showed the original exterior of a building he'd been asked to reconstruct.  Even the firm of the famous architect who designed it didn't have it.
Ronni Kern

Re: importing/transferring/sharing historical records between services? #general

Laurie Sosna

Since each of the services (Ancestry, FamilySearch and MyHeritage) are separate entities, some for profit, some not, the issue is that they do not work and play well with each other.
Also, they have overlapping records (manifests, census, marriage, birth death indexes), use different sources of the same material (marriage indexes that may or may not list parent's names). Some records are transcribed, some are not.
I found most of my family's manifests through Steve Morse because the search is much more flexible and refined.
An additional issue is caused by affiliate sites (FamilySearch & BillionGraves, Ancestry & Find-a-Grave) which have their own content, acquired independently from each other.
And there are sites that require additional membership (, Fold3) that are integrated into the Ancestry results.

There is no easy way to manage integration if you have trees on multiple sites, or work with family members if they have separate trees.
On Ancestry, there is an option to add a web link for sources that are online but outside of Ancestry.
The downside is that they don't link to an event in the Facts list or appear in the Gallery or Life Story.
You can add a new event, which will appear in the Facts list and Life Story and add the link in the description but it isn't clickable.
I don't know if FamilySearch or MyHeritage trees have that option, I suspect they have something similar.

Laurie Sosna
San Francisco, CA

Re: Newbie Question #sephardic #dna

Richard Werbin

1/2 % is noise in the data. It is meaningless. 
A good rule of thumb is to ignore any ethnicities below 5%.
Richard Werbin    New York, New York     JGSNY Membership Vice President

Re: Translation of Yizkor Books for Akkerman, Khotin, and Beltsy #bessarabia #yizkorbooks

R Jaffer


When logged in and on the home page, click on RESEARCH near the upper right of the screen and then select YIZKOR BOOKS. The first item is TRANSLATIONS and choose READ TRANSLATIONS. You can scroll until you find the book(s) you want to read or go to the box on right and click on the first letter of the community. I think most of these books are found under their contemporary names, not historical names.

To find the Bessarabia Research Group formerly SIG, follow the directions above but choose RESEARCH DIVISIONS under RESEARCH. Under the DATABASE tab, you can find JOWBR, TOWN FINDER, and all the other databases.

Roberta Jaffer

Re: Alternative place names for "Kunar, Poland, Russia" in census #poland #general

Walter Silver

Hi Lesley,

Another consideration - perhaps it was a mis-hearing of Kutner (from Kutno) Poland? I've seen quite a number of town name variations in UK and US census records for some ancestors that seem to be the misunderstanding of whomever recorded the info.

Walter Silver
Cambridge, MA, US

Re: Picture of Headstone needed Montifiore Cemetery Queens #usa

Robert Hanna

I just checked their website.  Montefiore Cemetery has no way to search by society name.

Robert Hanna

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