Re: Why Did Jews Marry Christians? #general

Janet Furba

On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 11:55 AM, Cliff Karchmer wrote:
The intermarriages were not forbidden. But one of the two had to change his or her confession because there were then only religious marriages recognized by the State.
Janet Furba, Germany

Re: Why Did Jews Marry Christians? #general

Sarah L Meyer

In the 19th century Jews married Christians either for marriage or to protect their family from antisemitism or for economic reasons - to get a "good" job, enter college, etc.

Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

Viewmate translation Russian - surname for bride, no surname for groom? #lithuania #records

Michele Lock

On Jewishgen, I found the probable 1854 marriage record for the brother of my great great grandfather Aron Lak, from the town of Telsiai, Lithuania. The brother's name is Jankel Lak, son of Efroim, according to his own gravestone. From his family's Hamburg ship passenger list, his wife's name was Shula (short for Shulamit, I imagine).

The Jewishgen record is for a Jankel son of Efroim, but there is no groom's surname indexed. For the bride, she is listed as Shulke Ordman; this corresponds to a US birth record, where her maiden surname was given as Ortman. 

For the original image below on Viewmate (Record #17), I'd like a translation from the Russian to confirm there is nothing written for the groom's surname, and to confirm her surname and father's name. Anything else of note about the either person would also be of interest. For some unknown reason, the Hebrew side of the record was not filled out.

Has anyone come across this type of situation before, where no groom's surname was given? I suspect this Jankel Lak did not have his birth recorded, so when he married, they had a problem with how to write the marriage record.
Michele Lock

Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai and in Plunge/Telsiai, Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus

Re: Why Did Jews Marry Christians? #general

Sherri Bobish

Hi Cliff,

I found you question interesting, and while searching for some info on the subject I found this book (I have not read it.)
Confessions of the Shtetl. Converts from Judaism in Imperial Russia, 1817-1906 by Ellie R. Schainker
This site has a detailed commentary on the book, which on its own is interesting.

Hope this helps,

Sherri Bobish

Searching for relatives of Harold Goel LERNER and Rosalie (FINE) LERNER #general #names #usa


I am searching for relatives of Harold Goel Lerner and Rosalie (Fine) Lerner who I believe are related to me. They are both buried alongside other Fine relatives of mine in the Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Queens, NY.

They lived in Ft. Lee, NJ. Children: Joseph and Susan.

Harold Goel Lerner was born in Providence, RI (5 Jun 1926) and died NJ (19 Jun 2006)
Rosalie (Fine) Lerner was born in NYC, (19 Jun 1926) and died NJ (14 Sep 1998)

I believe Harold and Rosalie were married in the Bronx in 1954.


Jeff Fine
Montclair, NJ, USA

Galician Military Records #galicia

Barbara Ellman

I came across this posting from American Ancestors regarding military records for Galicia (1865-1918):

This is the first such record that I've seen.  Looks like a local researcher would be required.

Barbara Ellman
Secaucus NJ USA
ELLMAN, COIRA, MAIDMAN - Minkovtsy, Ukraine
KAGLE, FASS - Ulanow, Poland

New York City Death Record Questions #general #records #usa


I am trying to request the death certificates for some likely distant cousins, Julius Fine and Samuel H. Fine, who are buried near other of my Fine relatives in the Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Queens. They died in the 1954 and 1956.
Currently NYC Death records after 1949 are available only from the Department of Health and only to certain relatives:
  1. The following relations to the deceased may request both a death certificate and the confidential cause of death medical report: Spouse, Domestic partner, Parent, Child, Sibling. Grandparent, Grandchild, Informant listed on the certificate, Person in control of disposition.
  2. The following relations may only request a death certificate, not the cause of death: Niece/Nephew, Aunt/Uncle, Great grandchild and great-great grandchildGrandniece/Grandnephew
1. It seems like there are specific exceptions to the specific relatives listed above for specific legal purposes. Are there any exceptions for genealogical purposes? 
2. I have read in previous posts that after 50 years, the records move to the "genealogical" group. Is that correct? We are already 72 years past 1949.
Jeff Fine
Montclair, NJ, USA

Re: Are "Muni" and "Munya" nicknames? For what name? #names

Trudy Greener

My Russian first cousin was Munya, and I understood that it was short for Emanuel... 

Trudy (Litt) Greener, Jerusalem  (Litvak and Naiman families from Chimerovitz, Ukraine)

Re: Are "Muni" and "Munya" nicknames? For what name? #names

Linda Cantor

I had the opportunity at a genealogy conference years ago to ask the late Shmuel Gorr (author of Jewish Personal Names) about Manes, my grandfather's name.  He told me that it was a nickname or  diminutive for Menachem.

Linda Cantor

Re: Copying Hebrew text from a PDF into a Translation tool - OCR (Optical Character Recognition) Help Request #general

H Duboff


Have you tried uploading it to Google Translate?

Toward the top there is a choice of text or document.  You may be able to upload the PDF.

Mequon, Wisconsin

Re: Why Did Jews Marry Christians? #general

Cliff Karchmer

Hi Linda!  Thanks for your reply.  To make sure I understand you, like the Conversos, are you suggesting the converstion was not an actuaol embrace of another religion--but make to appear so for social and political reasons?  I could understand that.  My underlying question is whether such a marriage to a Christian would, under Russian law, protect those assets from something--like taxation?  Czarist confiscation? Please let me know if you can further enlighten me.

Cliff Karchmer.

Re: Looking for Hans and Fritz Loew from Meddlin, Colombia #germany #general


Hi Gidon.
Tell me what kind of information you are looking for.  I belong to Colombias JGS and we have been documenting the history of the community in Medellin. Feel free to send me an email at info@... . We will be glad to help!
Lia Sragovicz

Re: Why Did Jews Marry Christians? #general

Lin Mor

Even though my maternal grandfather's brother converted to Russian Orthodox for "business reasons" in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, his descendants identify as Jewish. Consider the possibility that the conversion served as the "public religion." Think about the Conversos of Spain and Portugal, I think perhaps there are some similarities here, but with nowhere as dire consequences.

Linda Cohen Morzillo

Saratoga Springs, NY




PRESS and SCHNEIDER in Vidukle and other Raseiniai towns

AMCHISLAVSKY and ERLICHMAN in Rostov-on-Don and previously Kozelets and Oster, Chernigov Gubernia

COHEN/KAGAN and BORNSTEIN in Oshmiany and France

KOSOFSKY in Shchuchyn, near Lida, Belarus

SWOTINSKY in Grodno Gubernia Poland/Russia/Belarus

In memory of LeRoy Weinstein, z'l #JewishGenUpdates

Avraham Groll

Dear JewishGen Community,

We send our heartfelt condolences to Chuck Weinstein, long-time Towns Director for the Ukraine Research Division, and our 2019 Susan E. King Volunteer of the Year, on the loss of his beloved father LeRoy Weinstein - Yehuda Leib ben Shmuel and Tzippi, z'l.

May his memory be for a blessing, and may Chuck and the entire Weinstein family be consoled among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Avraham Groll (on behalf of the entire JewishGen Team)
Executive Director

Re: A book in English about the Jewish history of Byelaya Tserkov #ukraine #general

Irene Bowen

You can get it by emailing Natella Andryushchenko  at  b-mitsva-613@... .

Irene Bowen
Silver Spring, MD

Observing Yom HaShoah #JewishGenUpdates

Avraham Groll

April 8, 2021 / 26 Nisan 5781

Dear JewishGen Community,

For generations, Jewish tradition has associated the ritual of memory with the lighting of candles. A candle represents the past, for a flame is only as strong as its fuel source. Yet the light emanating from the candle also represents a focus on the future. We look to the candle and remember those who came before us, but do so within the context of learning from their experiences, and permitting the values our ancestors held most dear to illuminate and influence our lives today.

As we observe Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, JewishGen’s mission of remembrance and preservation becomes more pronounced and urgent. JewishGen’s work is designed to change us. It is supposed to transform us. And it should inspire us.

Our goal is for people to understand not only who their relatives were, but how they lived. What was important in their lives? What challenges did they face? How can their experiences influence and illuminate our life choices today?

Among JewishGen’s many projects of relevance to this day are the translations of Yizkor Books (memorial books), which provide insight into communal life before and during the Shoah. These accounts help us to visualize what life was like in a very personal way, while providing us the ability to transmit a more profound legacy for the future.

Take some time to explore these treasure troves of information, and perhaps find the book for your ancestral town. Many of these books also contain first-hand testimonies of what happened during the Shoah.

We also encourage you to explore our Holocaust Collection, which contains more than 3.6 million records about Holocaust victims and survivors. 

As with everything on JewishGen, we offer our resources at no charge.

Thank you for your continued support of our important work.

 - The JewishGen Team

Re: pronounciation of name #names #poland

Trudy Barch

I forgot  to sign my first email.  Sorry.

My Weiss family pronounced it Vase.

Trudy Barch,   FL

Re: Copying Hebrew text from a PDF into a Translation tool - OCR (Optical Character Recognition) Help Request #general

Alicia Weiss

Perhaps I am misunderstanding the problem, but "Image" .pdf files certainly can be converted to text; I do this all the time to produce accessible files for people who use assistive technologies, although I confess I have never attempted Hebrew or other language with nonLatin characters. . Sometimes a bit of editing is necessary as OCR is not always 100% accurate, but it will not produce a blank file if you are doing this correctly Of course, you will then need to run the resultant text through Google Translate or a similar program.  I am assuming that when you attempted this using the paid version of Adobe Acrobat, you first set the language to Hebrew.  What was the output?  There are also higher-quality programs that are designed specifically for OCR purpose that often perform better than Adobe (for which OCR is one of their tools), such as Abbyfine and OmniPage.  Of the two, Abbyy Fine is the more affordable.

Alicia Weiss
Researching: WEISS/WEISZ Szecseny, Hungary; KUNDLER, Kaposmero/Kisvarda/Gyongyos/Budapest, Hungary; POLLAK, Kaposmero/Csurgo, Hungary;PRESSMAN/PRESEISEN, Kiev, Ukraine; GOLDFELD, Russia; Dufine/Dufan/Dufayn, Orgeev Moldova/ Tuchin Ukraine; MAUTHNER/MAUTNER, Szecseny, Hungary, HEMPEL/HAMPEL, Poland.

The Steinfeld-family living in Libau/Liepaja before and during WWII #latvia

Dag Steinfeld

My name is Dag Steinfeld.  I am living in Bergen, Norway.  My great grandfather, Moses Steinfeld, was born in Libau in 1853. (He may have been born in 1852 in Grobin - 15 km from Libau). He left his family and country in 1879 and went to Sweden.  Here he married Dora Gittelson (Born in Suwalki).  One of their children was my grandfather, Jacob Benjamin, born in 1886.  In 1891 Moses brought his family to Norway where they stayed.  Many of my familymembers were murdered during Holocaust.

I know nearly nothing about my family who lived in Latvia.Latvias National Archiv has informed me that Moses presumely was born in Grobin in 1852.  His parents were Benjamin Steinfeld and Jette Steinfeld.  They had Aldo some other children:  Noah Itzig, Abraham Ahron, Hanne, Lina, Minna and Cheese.  Abraham seems to die in 1868 ,Hanne in 1869, Benjamin and Jette in 1885.   

Otherwise I know nothing about my family in Libau.  What was their occupation, did they have pernission to live in Libau (outside Pale), what happened to them after Moses left etc?

Can anybody hjelp me in mye research?

My emailadress is: dagsteinfeld@...

Yours sincerly

Dag Steinfeld

Re: Are "Muni" and "Munya" nicknames? For what name? #names

Mary Clare

The famous actor Paul Muni, in his personal life, went by the nickname Muni or Munya. His real name was Meshilem Weisenfreund, and his family was from Galicia.

Mary Clare
Austin, TX

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