Re: Mystery man in London, 1905: Isidor Lasker #unitedkingdom #general

Yehoshua Sivan

... numerous questions remain. A simple one for now: "Isidor/Isadore" appears to be a Greek name, 'gift of Isis'.
Jewish parents often gave the name to their sons as an equivalent of Isaac and Israel...
Yehoshua Sivan

Tiraspol cemeteries #bessarabia #ukraine

Inna Vayner

I'd like to share good news about digitizing Tiraspol cemeteries project. Let me start off with sharing exciting news about the ongoing effort of cleaning up the old Jewish cemetery. This great project was organized and is being managed by Yura Kreichman. As a part of this effort, we'll have an opportunity to photograph the gravestones that were missed previously because of the condition the cemetery was in.
In addition, we'll continue working on photographing tombstones on the Dalnee Cemetery and hopefully, if we are able to collect enough funds, we'll kick off the project of photographing the tombstones on the Zapadnoe Cemetery.
If you are able and willing to support this project, please donate to Bessarabia Moldova Cemetery Project. Here is the link to donate

Inna Vayner,
Bessarabia Research division.

Forum for Dialogue Session with Gombin (Gąbin) Jewish Historical and Genealogical Society #poland

Mark Halpern

Calling all Gombiners and others with interest in preserving Polish Jewish heritage to join the Forum for Dialogue and the Gombiner Society as explained below. This Zoom program will start on Wednesday, June 9 at 1 pm in New York and 7 pm in Warsaw.

Mark Halpern


Dear Mark,

I would like to invite you to a Zoom in on the Forum session with representatives of the Gombin Jewish Historical & Genealogical Society, an organization devoted to preserving the legacy of Jewish history and culture in Gabin, Poland. Join us for a conversation with Bernard GuyerDana Boll, and Lindsey Max who will discuss their efforts to reconnect to the town of their ancestors and instill a sense of shared responsibility and community among generations of Gombiners. Listen to their stories of involvement in genealogical and historical research and of returning to Gabin to preserve the heritage of Jewish community. Each of our guests will shed light on the different activities pursued by the Gombiners: the reemergence of Gombin Society in 1996, the creation of a theater play based on a story of a family from Gabin, and the onboarding of new members and generations into Society's mission.
Join us on Wednesday, June 9th, at 5 am Australian Eastern, 10 am Pacific, 12 pm Central, 1 pm Eastern, 7 pm Warsaw, 8 pm Tel-Aviv time to hear the stories of three generations of Gombiners. 


The guests of this Zoom in on the Forum session are members of the Gombin Society representing three generations of Gombiners associated with the organization. Bernard Guyer is a retired pediatrician and public health professor at Johns Hopkins University, whose mother and father were from Gabin. He first returned to Gabin in 1998 and is currently President of the Gombin Jewish Historical & Genealogical Society. Dana Boll is a theatre artist and playwright based in New York City, whose paternal grandparents escaped from Gabin to Russia after the outbreak of the Second World War. She captured their story in her play Bella's Dream. Dana has visited Poland several times and is a member of the Gombin Society Board. Lindsey Max is a graduate of Emory University and Savannah College of Art and Design and interned at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. She recently joined the Gombin Society Board and has yet to visit Gabin.
On the same day, few hours before the Zoom in on the Forum session - at 7 am Pacific, 9 am Central, 10 am Eastern, 4 pm Warsaw, 5 pm Tel-Aviv time, you can join our guests and other members of the Gombin Society for the Unveiling of the Commemorative Board recognizing Gabin's once vibrant Jewish community. This live event will take place in Gabin with the Mayor and Polish guests, while other Polish and international guests will be joining and communicating online.

I am looking forward to seeing you on those events! 


Olga Kaczmarek
Director General

Re: Finding Marriage Record from Ukraine and Finding Their Parents Given Names #ukraine #general

Janet Furba

Ask the Kiev town Archives.
 E-mail: archive@.... Phones: (044) 440-54-16, (044) 440-63-50
Киев городской архив метрики - Bing

Janet Furba,  Germany

Re: looking for sescendants of German Refugees in Dominican Republic #germany #holocaust #latinamerica

Irene Newhouse

So sorry to have missed the original question. I've recently gathered up my scans of my mother's Dom. Rep. photos. She & my father arrived in Sosua in 1940. She in May, on the Conte Biancamano, in one of the first sets of settlers to arrive. My father in September on the Cherokee from NYC, having been deported from the US. I also transcribed & translate a video taken (in German) by one of my father's friends in 1988, mostly reminiscences of his leaving Europe & living in the Dom. Rep. 

In the course of this I realized that has been allowed to film some miscellaneous records from the Dom Rep & these include applications & reapplications - apparently the equivalent of green card applications & renewals. Among them are many for residents of Sosua. You do not need much info - if you enter a German surname & limit the search to the Dominican Republic, you won't get a very large number of 'stray' hits. Some of these documents have photos - a front view & a side view.

As to tracing descendants, the last reapplication for residence may provide a clue as to when the family left (most did) & use that to check entrances to the US. (Although one has to take into account some records may be lost.) But although I have no name, I do know that a dentist who'd lived in Sosua moved back to Berlin, where he was dentist to one of my mother's Gross Breesen friends. (Small world!) (Sorry, I don't have a name.)

Marion A. Kaplan's "Dominican Haven" is a general reference, but not particularly suitable as a genealogical source. Lore Segal "Other People's Houses" has 2 chapters about life in the Dominican Republic - this is a fictionalized account. 

 You might be lucky if you contact .  Also, Allen Wells, author of "Tropical Zion" might be a source. 

As for my family, my parents moved from Sosua to their own coffee farm after a few years  & to the US in 1957. The only ex-Sosua person we had any contact with was Dr. Raphael Landau, who visited us twice in the US & who died almost a lifetime ago, so I'm sorry I can't provide any specific current information.

Irene Newhouse
Kihei Hawaii USA

Re: Ancient Ashkenazic DNA Admixture #announcements #israel #dna

Richard Cooper

This is absolutely fascinating!
It shows that the ancestry of the subject (you, Adam?) at the time of the foundation of the Jewish people was broadly half Canaanite/Israelite and half from the classical Graeco-Roman world. This coalesces around the time of the expulsion of the Jews from Israel by the Romans into entirely Roman/Latin ancestry. The only explanation that fits this is that at the beginning of the Diaspora period, Judaism could be either patrilineal or matrilineal, and was not fixed as matrilineal only until around 1000CE. And pretty much all the subject's ancestors ended up in or around Rome itself in the wake of the expulsion. But I'm no expert - corrections welcome!

Ric Cooper
Midhurst, UK
MILLET, ENGELBERG, BLUMENKEHL, SUSSWEIN, WACKS & PITERZIL from Tarnow, Dabrowa Tarnowska and Lezajsk
YAROSHEVSKY, SHAPOCHNIKOW & GRANITUR from Odessa and Zlatopol/Novomirgorod
LEWINSTEIN from Berdichev

Yiddish translation requested - Skierniewice #translation #poland

J Antrich

Please could someone translate the Yiddish writing round the photo and the placard in the picture? Is it taken in Poland, and is it townsmen or a support organisation?
Thank you,
Jeremy Antrich
Surbiton, Emgland

Re: Index of Holocaust testimonies #holocaust

Linda Higgins

There are Pages Of Testimony at  I found one for my great-aunt.

Linda Higgins
Spring, TX

Kovno 7th Fort massacre and murder of R. Elchonon Wasserman, 80th Anniversary June 21-22 #lithuania #announcements #holocaust


June 21-22 is going to be the 80th Yahrzeit of the big massacre at Kovno's 7th Fort massacre (3-6,000 Jews murdered there altogether) on the night of July 6-7 1941 (11-12 Tammuz 5741). This was actually the starting point of the Holocaust. Lithuania is presently allowing in Israelis with "green passports" dated in the last 180 days, I am planning please G-d to lead a group to commemorate the massacres, and to bring attention to the fact that my namesake Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman hy"d and thousands of others killed, have no grave, the area is not marked or cordoned off, there are no signs, and the whole site is completely not respectful for the thousands of Jewish souls resting there. I expect we will visit many other holy sites, including the gravesite of the Vilna Gaon and the giant Shnipishok cemetery in Vilna that the authorities plan to turn into a Convention Center. I am looking for more information on those murdered there, especially the Rabbis, as well as any other help with these ongoing sad chapters. For further information on the trip, one may email me or call and leave a message 02-571-1771. Rabbi Elchonon Baron.

JGSCT Virtual Program, TOMORROW, June 6, 2021, 1:30pm Eastern, Deborah Munk Long, Finding Holocaust Relatives #holocaust #education #events


Please join JGSCT, tomorrow, Sunday June 6, 2021, at 1:30 pm for a program presented by Deborah Munk Long on OUT OF THE WHIRLWIND: RESOURCES FOR HOLOCAUST RESEARCH about Finding Your Family Lost in the Holocaust.

Deborah H. Long, Ed.D., is a Chicago native who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is the founder and first president of Triangle JGS , and serves as a director.

She teaches real estate law, and speaks to audiences of licensed professionals who are required to attend continuing education programs, but she’d rather be working on her family tree
Deborah is the award-winning author of many articles and educational programs as well as 18 books, including two books on her family history.

The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, she has been reconstructing her fragmented family tree since she was 10 years old.
Deborah will share her incredible journey searching for her Polish and Hungarian family members. Featured on NPR’s program “The Story,” she will discuss and demonstrate the online resources that led her to a miraculous discovery and that may help you re-connect with your past.

To register, click here or cut/paste the following link into your browser:
Gail K Reynolds, Publicity Chair, Jewish Genealogical Society of Connecticut

Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience #announcements #usa

Jan Meisels Allen


The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Museum is devoted to the Jews of the South- those who came to the south through Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, New Orleans and Houston.  Those who moved inland, peddling their wares from farm to farm through the Appalachian Piedmont and the Mississippi Delta.  The Museum is now open.


The Museum website says, “The Southern Jewish experience is 19th century immigrant peddlers traveling unpaved roads, carrying hard-boiled eggs with them as they struggle to keep kosher in the land of pork. It’s small-town merchants keeping their stores open on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, because that’s the day everyone comes to town to shop. The Southern Jewish experience is driving your child from Natchez to Baton Rouge every Sunday for religious school because there is no religious school in Natchez. It’s taking Jewish athletes from across the country competing in the Birmingham Maccabi Games to visit the Civil Rights Museum, cheering for the local high school football team, even though Friday Night Lights has a very different meaning, and debating whether to have a bluegrass band or a klezmer band at your wedding.”


Although representing less than 1% of southern states’ population, and only 2.1% of America’s Jewish population, Southern Jews have made a substantial mark on the communities where they lived and the nation as a whole. Southern cities and towns have had Jewish mayors, sheriffs, council members and civic leaders, in highly disproportionate numbers.


The Museum has more than 4,000 artifacts in its collection, including Judaica, household items, business records, photographs, letters, and other ephemera. We even have Fred Galanty’s prosthetic leg and a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe found hidden in the attic of a Mississippi Delta homeowner.  While being selective it continues to grow its collection through donations of items.


If you are interesting in donating see:


The 13 states that the Museum covers are: AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA


To read more see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Re: Visits to concentration camps #holocaust

Jessica Skippon

I was born in Brooklyn in 1941 and only learned about the Holocaust from Life magazine, I think it was the New Year's edition for 1950. Most of my grandmother's European family were killed. She lived with us but the murders were never discussed in my hearing. In my opinion, the Holocaust only became widely discussed with the showing of Schindler's List (1993). A bit like child abuse - it was there but not acknowledged.

Auschwitz was still very quiet when I made my first visit in 1989. I think there was two people at work in the archives but I was the only visitor. I was given access to a card index and handled the original document - Dr Mengele's report on a Schanzer relative. I asked for a copy and was advised that it had to be sent away for copying. It took six months to arrive to me in London. When I returned a year later, the archives were closed.

I've been back several times. My grandmother's family's village is only about 20 miles away. But I stopped visiting when the site became overwhelmed with visitors, around 1999. It was especially disturbing to see secondary school students who couldn't cope with the information, laughing and joking. They never should have been there, it would have been kinder to them and to other visitors.

Jessica Skippon
London, England
Researching SCHANZER, BORGER, BIRN, JACHZEL, all Galicia

Re: Finding Marriage Record from Ukraine and Finding Their Parents Given Names #ukraine #general

Peter Cohen

On Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 09:26 AM, Madeleine Isenberg wrote:
Betzalel also shows up as Tsalko.

Peter Cohen

Re: Index of Holocaust testimonies #holocaust


While not strictly Shoah testimonies, the University of Lund, in Sweden, has interviews from about 45,000 concentration camp survivors who were taken to Swedish hospitals for medical care after they were liberated. Many of the testimonies have been translated and are available as pdfs. Here is a link to the Witnessing Genocide page on the University website: There is an alphabetical list of the interviewed survivors. There are also photographs, transport lists and much more. 
Cynthia Piech
Chicago IL

Dominican Republic question #latinamerica

Molly Staub


Sorry, I cannot locate the query that was recently sent asking about relatives settling in the Dominican Republic (I have poor vision), but I have an answer:


During my years as a journalist writing a syndicated Jewish travel column, I visited Sosua, Dominican Republic several times, the last time in 1992. My stories about the community appeared in many national Jewish newspapers. Unfortunately, that was so long ago they no longer appear on Google. I’m enclosing a copy from my early files from my JGS of Palm Beach County newsletter; that will perhaps answer some of your questions.  [You might want to add it as an attachment]



Scattered Seeds    <> Only the Dominican Republic welcomed Jewish refugees after the 1938 Evian conference. About 600 German and Austrian Jews arrived in 1940, promising to do agricultural work. Today only 12 families remain in the Dominican Republic town of Sosua. Molly Arost Staub relates her personal visit and a related exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. <> 

A HIDDEN SOURCE OF RELATIVES IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC By Molly Arost Staub (Member) Of all the places Jews might have looked for their genealogical links, the Dominican Republic probably doesn’t head the list. Yet it was here that 600 Jewish refugees were transported from Germany and Austria in 1940, saved from Hitler’s dreaded decree. The story is currently being told in an exhibit at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage. However, this reporter visited the community they established on the Dominican Republic’s northern coast on several occasions, and interviewed two of the original immigrants. Genealogists might find certain surnames here or in the larger city of Santo Domingo, where many of them relocated and produced families; a visit is certainly fascinating.

But how did they get there? In the late 1930s, as some became aware of the Nazi threat to Jews, Chaim Weitzmann said the world "was divided into two camps....One, of the countries expel[1]ling the Jews and the other, of the countries which refused to admit them." Immigration laws prevented acceptance of those trying to escape. But one country stood out. When U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened an international conference in Evian, France in 1938, more than 30 countries participated. The only one offering refuge to Jews was the Dominican Republic, governed by dictator Rafael Trujillo. He invited 100,000 Jews. In 1940, according to those in Sosua who related the story to me, HIAS transported 600 Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria, who were guaranteed full religious and other freedoms, with equal opportunities and rights. The only condition – the group must work in agriculture, even though most had been educated urban dwellers.

I first learned of the town's development from the late Elsa Beller, then 89, in 1990, during my second visit to Sosua. Beller, her husband Walter, and daughter, were among those who emigrated from Vienna. The Jewish families established CILCA, a meat and cheese cooperative company that belonged to the Jewish community. One factory produced dairy products, the other processed meats such as salami and sausage. The project also brought employment to many unemployed Dominicans.

Felix Koch, owner of the Koch Guest House and one of the original settlers whom I met when I returned in 1992, said his father had been a university professor. Koch, who was 22 when they arrived, recalled that the community cleared the jungle using oxcarts, built 10 barracks with tin roofs, and brought in running water and electricity. "Some of us – including myself – had been in concentration camps," Koch said. "We were so thankful to Trujillo for saving us, and then we saw this beautiful land with 80- degree temperatures and bananas growing! We were so happy."

They settled in Sosua's neighborhoods of El Batey and Charamicos. They became a charming tourist region reminiscent of European spots with low-rise buildings, narrow streets and numerous outdoor cafes. And a beautiful beach – one of the country's finest. The community created the Christofer Colon School, which maintained a fine academic reputation, and a hospital, pharmacy, bakery and other enterprises.

Gradually, however, after the war, some returned to Europe. Others moved to U.S. cities, and some intermarried; most men had Dominican wives, Koch said. Today only about 12 Jewish families remain. (Several Sosua congregants also attend services at Santo Domingo's Centro Israelita de la Republica Dominicana.)

Why did the cruel dictator make this move? Speculations range from his desire to improve his worldwide image, to his plan to infuse his population with the mental faculties he associated with Jews. Nevertheless, Trujillo saved the lives of 600 Jews and their descendants. Their 1941-synagogue is a cream-colored clapboard building with baby blue-painted trim, a corrugated tin roof and a Jewish star on its gate. Services are held in the pine-paneled sanctuary seating 70 once a month (call 809-571-1386 to learn of the date).

In 1990, when celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of their arrival, the community opened a museum next to the synagogue, exhibiting photographs of the original moshav-like settlement. Next to the museum stands the dairy cooperative, Compania Industrial Leche. When I spoke to Koch, he said some of the Jews owned hotels, while some still owned dairy farms and had shares in the dairy cooperative. Street names include David Stern and Dr. Rosen.

For information, contact the Dominican Republic Tourism Offices: 305-444-4592 in Miami. Sosua Synagogue is at Calle Dr. Alejo Martinez and Calle Dr. Rosen, El Batey (15 minutes from Puerto Plata hotels).

Ed. note: Molly Arost Staub has been a member of the JGS Palm Beach County for several years. She is a professional travel writer and has been kind enough to provide us with articles in the past.



Molly Arost Staub

M. A. in Journalism

E-mail staubmolly@...


Boca Raton, FL




Re: JRI-Poland search results now link to online images on the new Polish State Archives website - A huge challenge met. #records #poland

tony hausner

Very glad to hear.   Do we go to JRI-Poland to do the searches or 

I tried both without success.  

Tony Hausner, thausner@... 

POMARLEANU - Dorohoi & Botosani #romania

Rony Golan

Dear all,

I am doing research on the POMARLEANU family from Dorohoi and possibly Botosani.
There are two researchers on the JGFF researching this family, to whom I already sent messages (and not have been favoured by a reply).
If you have any information on this family, I will appreciate it if you contact me privately.

Thank you,

Rony Golan
Ramat HaSharon, Israel

                        EISDORFER, Hungary
                        SLOMOVITS, Sighet, Romania

looking for [d]escendants of German Refugees in Dominican Republic #latinamerica

Judith Berlowitz

I am in contact with descendants of a family that stayed for a time in Sosúa, DR. Surnames: ARZT, HAHN, PHILIPPSBORN.  
Judith Berlowitz, San Francisco

Re: Latvia SIG Donation #latvia

Arlene Beare

Nice to hear from you Joyaa.
We are grateful to Barry for the work he did for LatviaSIG and for sending us the money donated over many years. It will be put to good use.

Latvia and Estonia RD formerly LatviaSIG has been actively indexing and translating documents. We have added  2 new databases  to Jewishgen Latvia Database. We added Passport Issuance Books and Passports handed in to Riga Police 1919-1940. They are indexed by Towns where born or Place of origin. and  as we index a new Town it is added to the database. There are a number waiting in the wings and we hope they will be dded before the Conference in August.
There is a Passport database that has been on the site for many years but that was a 1900 Passport Register database of Jews who were Resident in Riga at that time.
The new passport databases are particularly valuable as the dates of birth go back into the 19thC The earliest I have found so far is 1846, The Places born or originated from likewise are varied and there are from people from Lithuania, Russia or  Poland.

Estonia has been neglected and we hope to add data and information on Estonia .

Christine Usdin translated a large number of Vital records for Riga but sadly died before her task was completed.  All her work is in the Jewishgen Latvia database and I stress that there is no need to search for it anywhere else. 40.000 records  remain to be translated and that is the task  we are busy with. We have already employed 3 translators to help with the Russian translations.

We are busy redesigning the website and hope it will offer a valuable addition to Latvian Researchers .

We are also updating the Introductions to Databases written many years ago as new information has to be added.

Arlene Beare
Co-~Director Latvian and Estonia Research Division

Re: looking for sescendants of German Refugees in Dominican Republic #germany #holocaust #latinamerica


I recently read 2 mysteries by the writer  A.J. Sidransky who lives in Washington Heights, NYC.  The first book "Forgiving Maximo Rothman"  goes into the story of refugees in the DR and is a central theme of this mystery. You might want to contact Mr. Sidransky through his website as he has done quite a bit of research and may know the families of refugees.

If any one is interesting the in subject I recommend the book for a different view of New York City.

Jessica Schein

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