Re: Future of Holocaust Research In Poland Hinges on Libel Case #holocaust #poland

Adam Cherson

In the course of my genealogical research I've read personal testimonies about atrocities against Jews committed alongside or on behalf of Germany before and during WWII by its political confederates in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Italy, Austria, and elsewhere. Many common folk and peasants in these countries jumped on to this bandwagon of scapegoating Jews for their own miseries and then participating in the killing and theft of property, both personal and real. Many local folk in all these places also risked their own safety by aiding Jews. So to say that all Poles were aiding and abetting Germany is false. However a book documenting specific instances of such aiding and abetting is merely describing the truth, which by definition cannot be libelous.
Adam Cherson

Re: #dna Question about genetic groups on My Heritage & Ancestry #sephardic #dna

Jill Whitehead

Hi Mandy

All the DNA companies give completely different results - they are not reliable for Jewish sub groups. I am on FTDNA, 23andme, Ancestry and My Heritage and none of them agree - some give me as one eighth Sephardic. But others give this as North African, whilst others give this as Eastern European. You would be better getting an in depth K16 analysis from a specialist company. 

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Re: Article of Interest on DNA Testing #dna

Adam Cherson

Many of the issues raised are magnified by Full Genome Sequencing. The types of limited testing done for genealogical purposes produce only a narrow band of genetic data.

Whether the pros of genetic genealogy outweigh the cons is a personal decision. In my experience the primary psychological benefits, greater  and more accurate self-knowledge, and meaningful social connection with fellow researchers and previously unknown family, have exceeded the risks/costs enumerated in the article.
Adam Cherson

Re: #dna Question about genetic groups on My Heritage & Ancestry #sephardic #dna

Adam Turner

AncestryDNA does not currently list "Sephardic Jewish" as a region in its ethnicity analysis. Full list of all of the regions they report here: 

Presumably, until Ancestry updates the product to include a distinct Sephardic Jewish ethnicity (likely contingent on their being able to find reliable markers of who is Sephardic Jewish vs. non-Jewish Spanish, Greek, Moroccan, etc.), people of Sephardic origin end up with their AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate as some combination of various Southern European, Levantine, and North African regions.

All that said, you may want to take caution and review some of the posts in this forum which discuss the perils of taking consumer DNA ethnicity analyses - especially those produced by MyHeritageDNA - too seriously. Here's one recent thread:  

Adam Turner

Re: Anyone know places called Kajankow and street Richeliewsca - Odessa #ukraine


Rishelievskaya street is one of the main streets of Odessa, named after the first mayor of the city and the future Prime Minister of France, Armand-Emmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis, duc de Richelieu.  During the Soviet time it was renamed to the Lenin street and then renamed back to Rishelievskaya in the 1990's. 

Mike Vayser

Re: Meeting Place in Brownsville Brooklyn #usa


There are many ways they could have met. My parents lived on opposite sides of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, were 3 years apart in age, and went to different high schools with no friends overlapping, but met at a party.

Alex Skolnick

Exhibit of Romaniote Jews in New York City #announcements #photographs #usa

Jan Meisels Allen

Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue is a two-story building constructed of buff-colored brick with cast stone detailing with a modest peaked parapet that subtly creates the effect of corner towers. Moorish influence can be seen in the cast stone cusped arch over the front entrance. In addition, traditional Jewish motifs were incorporated in the cast stone tablets of the Ten Commandments placed above the entrance and stained-glass windows.



In September 2019, I posted about a photographic exhibit by photographer, Vincent Giordano, Romaniote Memories- A Jewish Journey from Ioannina, Greece to Manhattan being shown in the Greek Consulate in NYC and the Greek Consulate in Washington DC. The exhibit features over 100 photographs presented in 10 thematic sections, including the synagogue’s art and architecture, religious rites and celebrations, as well as photographs taken during the High Holidays in Ioannina, Greece, in 2006. Now the exhibit is at Queens College in New York City and there is a Zoom program  for an opening reception featuring a conversation with the curator, organizer and others scheduled for February 11, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET/2PM Pacific Time.


To register for the Zoom program go to:


In 1999, Brooklyn-born photographer Vincent Giordano made an unplanned visit to the Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue on New York City’s Lower East Side. Built in 1927, the synagogue housed a congregation (kehila) founded in 1906 by Jewish immigrants from the town of Ioannina (Janina) in northern Greece, who followed the Romaniote rite.


Launched as the multimedia project “Before the Flame Goes Out,” Giordano’s efforts to chronicle the Kehila Kedosha Janina community would prove critical to preserving Romaniote culture, with the synagogue being its only representation in North America.


Over 80 percent of Greece’s Jewish population perished in the Holocaust, decimating the country’s historic Romaniote communities. Of the 1,960 Jews who were deported to Auschwitz from Ioannina, Greece, 110 survived. The Romaniote language, a Greek dialect that combines words and phrases from Hebrew and Turkish, is endangered, without preservation efforts to maintain or revive it. As of 2019, only a small number of Romaniote Jews remaining in Ioannina, Greece, spoke the language.


Giordano’s photographs are a permanent exhibition within the HAP museum and maintained by the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library’s Special Collections and Archives.


To see the photographs go to:


To read more see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Re: In one Microfilm digitized by FamilySearch. #bessarabia #records

Yefim Kogan

Kagul or Cahul (modern name) at some point in history in 19 century was uezd, and it is also a center in that uezd.

Yefim Kogan

Bessarabia Revision Lists and Bessarabia Vital Records uploaded to JG and available #bessarabia #records

Yefim Kogan

Dear researchers,

12,306 Bessarabia Revision List records

4,174 BessarabiaVital Records

are uploaded to JewishGen Database and available for all of you.

Please let me or Inna V. know if you have any questions, suggestions.
All the best,
Yefim Kogan
JewishGen Bessarabia Group Leader and Coordinator

Ancestry Announces New CEO Deborah Liu #announcements #records

Jan Meisels Allen


Ancestry has announced its Board of Directors has appointed Deborah (Deb) Liu as its Chief Executive Officer and a member its board of directors effective March 1.


Previously, Ms. Liu was at Facebook where she created and led Facebook's Marketplace product group. Prior to Facebook, Liu held leadership roles at eBay and PayPal. Liu is actively involved in promoting diversity and women in technology and co-created the Women in Product​ nonprofit. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Intuit Inc.


To read more about Ms. Liu’s appointment see:


Last week IAJGS posted about Ancestry’s appointment of Mark Thompson as Chairman of the Board of Directors.


To read previous articles about Ancestry see the IAJGS Records Access Alert archives at:  You must be registered to access the archives. To register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to:  and follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which genealogical  organization with whom you are affiliated   You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



Looking for a good researcher in Kiev / Kiev Region #ukraine

David Levine


I am looking for recommendations for genealogical researcher(s) in Kiev and the Kiev region.

Thanks in advance.

David Levine
San Francisco, CA, USA

Future of Holocaust Research In Poland Hinges on Libel Case #holocaust #poland

Jan Meisels Allen


Two Polish historians, Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking, with the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw, are facing a libel trial for a scholarly examination of Polish behavior during World War ll. The case’s outcome is expected to determine the fate of independent Holocaust research under Poland’s nationalist government.  The verdict is expected in Warsaw’s district court on February 9.


The case centers on a 1,600-page, two-volume historical work in Polish, Night Without End: The Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland, which was co-edited by Grabowski and Engelking. An abridged English version is due to be published in a few months. A spokesperson for the Simon Wiesenthal Center called the book “meticulously researched and sourced book that details thousands of cases of complicity by Poles in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust.”


The case is the first major legal test in the wake of a 2018 law that makes it a crime to falsely accuse the Polish nation of crimes committed by Nazi Germany. The law has caused a major diplomatic rift with Israel.


Poland’s conservative party, Law and Justice, which won power in 2015, has sought to discourage investigations into Polish wrongdoing during the wartime German occupation, preferring instead to almost exclusively stress Polish heroism and suffering.


A number of historical institutions such as Yad Vashem and Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah have condemned the case as the verdict nears.


To read more about the libel case see:


I have not read the book nor is my posting to be construed as an endorsement of the book. It is mentioned solely for the information of the reader in regard to the libel case.


Thank you to David Oseas, JGS Conejo Valley and Ventura County webmaster for sharing the information with us.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



In one Microfilm digitized by FamilySearch. #bessarabia #records


Is Kagul an uezd or is it reference to the Jewish Community (Kahal) in Bessarabia?

Bob Weiss

Re: Jewish Community in Finland #general #russia

Barbara Levy

Thanks for all your help. I know about the kahal, and their use in filling army quotas. It's not pleasant history, but it's true.

Jewish community in Hamina, Finland
My grandfather said he was born in Hamina, Finland. Does anyone know if there was a Jewish community in Hamina, Finland? Do you know if Hamina was a Russian territory or a Finnish territory in 1878, when he was born?
Barbara Levy

ViewMate translation request - Yiddish postcard #translation #yiddish

Lee Jaffe

I've posted a copy of a postcard in Yiddish addressed to one of my great-grandfathers, of which I would appreciate a translation.   I would like to know who it is from, whether they are related, or any other information about family members it contains.  

It is on ViewMate at the following address ...
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.

Thank you very much.

Lee Jaffe
Joroff/Zarov - Mohilev, Belarus and Snovsk, Ukraine

Re: 60 Minutes Episode on Home DNA Testing and Genealogy Testing #dna

Debra Katz

On Mon, Feb 1, 2021 at 12:58 PM, Jx. Gx. wrote:
Once it is given you have no control of who has access to it and how it can be used.
I do not think there is any facts or evidence to back up this statement, which at least in my 20+ years of experience is quite false. (If you have such evidence, feel free to contact me directly at dnadeb@... as I know this forum is not the place for extended debate.)  I suppose there may be differences in privacy policy depending on what organization you give your DNA to, but any reputable lab---certainly the reputable ones that do genetic genealogy testing--gives you complete control over your DNA and how it can be used. 

If you do not want to do any DNA testing, don't.  But please do not make sweeping statements that will frighten others needlessly.

Debra Katz
Pacific Beach CA USA

Need help to translate a Hungarian birth certificate #hungary #translation


I posted a birth certificate and I need help  to read it. It's from someone Betti krausz Born 1863 To father David in village of nyirgyulaj. I would very appreciate anyone who can help me to translate it. Thanks. Here is the link. Https:// 
Joseph Krausz

Re: Jewish Community in Finland #general #russia

Jules Levin

The status of Jews in the army needs to be clarified.  The Cantonist
system was officially ended in 1871.  Afterward Jews were subjected to
the same military service as others.  Although many Jews in the service
had to hear efforts to convert them, a remarkable percent, including
those who remained in Finland as Jews, managed to resist.  My own
relative appears as a Jew living in Viipuri--now Vyborg.  These were
specifically Jewish veterans. My ancestor was listed as sgt.   Many
Cantonists thrived in the army and remained loyal Jews, including the
highest ranking Jew, a Sargent Major--the highest ranking non-com
position.  In the Jewish cemetery of Tsarskoe Selo is the grave of a
Jew, a Cantonist, awarded the Cross of St. George for heroism in battle.
The Jewish language press in Russia--Hebrew, Yiddish, or Russian, often
published the reminiscences of Jewish veterans.  Joseph Trumpeldor, a
hero of the first Yeshuv, had lost an arm in Russian service, and said
he would gladly give another arm for the tsar.    Alexander I had
excused the Jews from the draft, because he considered them weak and
untrainable.  Nicholas I was a martinet who thought that everyone, even
the Jews, could be made into soldiers.  In the US, UK, or France the
view of Alexander I would be abhorrent to Jews.  The problem was that
the rabbinate resisted the draft because dietary and other religious
laws would not be observed.  They facilitated draft evasion and the
community failed to meet its quota.  [while this was going on, keep in
mind that 60% of Russians were serfs, whose owners easily met the quota
by sending their property to the army like it or not.]  As a result,
Russia instituted the Kahal method, and it was the Kahal--the Jewish
community leaders, who were responsible for meeting the quota.

I realize that many Jewishgenners will be horrified by this contrarian
view, but remember that views are shaped by the opinions of ancestors
who left Russia.   Тhe 6 million Jews who were still in Russia in 1900
were proud of their sons' service, as shown by the many family photos of
young men in uniform.

Jules Levin

On 2/2/2021 4:20 AM, seligson@... wrote:
I am from Finland and three of my eight great-grandparents were
already born there, the first one in 1857.
Finland was a part of the Russian empire from 1809 to 1917. Although
it has an autonomous status, there were Russian troops stationed in
Finland. These troops included a number of Jews, serving mostly in
auxiliary positions: tailors, musicians etc. Many of these Jews -
so-called Cantonists - were more or less kidnapped at a tender age to
serve in the army up to 25 years, the goal being to turn them into
good Christians. In 1858 retired Russian soldiers were permitted to
stay at their last place of service. This rule applied to all, not
only to the Jews. Before that the old laws from the period, when
Finland was a part of Sweden prohibited Jews from living in Finland.
Hamina is an interesting place: it became a part of Russia already in
1743, after the treaty of Turku, and the first known Jew to have known
permanently settled in what is now Finland was Jacob Weikain, who was
working in Hamina in 1799. In 1878 there was a small Jewish community
in Hamina, and an old cemetery, with some 20 graves, still exists. To
your question why they would leave Finland to go (back) to Latvia,
there can be many explanations. One explanation can be that they had
relatives there and considered life in Latvia to be more promising.
Another explanation can be that the permission for the retired
soldiers to stay in Finland applied only to them and their families:
when their children grew up they faced the threat of being evicted
from Finland. The woman Jules Levin mentioned is Meliza Amity and she
can be contacted through her website at
<>. there you can find a huge tree with over
30,000 names, covering virtually all Jewish families ever lived in
Finland. As a guest you can see the data on those that are deceased.

David Seligson
Poiseul-la-Grange, France
searching Seligson, Skurnik, Klimscheffskij, Indursky, Guterman,
Levin, Fischlein, Rung, Feitelberg, Bubelsky

Re: Manifest Mystery #names

Sherri Bobish


I did a quick search in this Ancestry database:
Massachusetts, U.S., Marriage Records, 1840-1915
and found:
Anna Adelstein marrying Jacob Kaplan in Boston in 1910. 

Her father is Samuel, mother Esther Skedavitz.  Address: 202 Bremen St.

Anna gives her age as 23 in 1910, and her age is 23 on the 1906 manifest, but most people at that time did not know their exact age, and the ladies always made themselves younger.

Could this be the lady you seek?


Sherri Bobish

Article of Interest on DNA Testing #dna

Jan Meisels Allen

This article may be of interest on DNA testing    The Hidden Personal Cost of Genealogy Websites


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


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