SCJGS invites you- “The Changing Borders of Eastern Europe” with Hal Bookbinder .Sunday, July 18, 2021, 2 pm Pacific Zone Time #announcements #events #education #jgs-iajgs

Leah Kushner

Santa Cruz Jewish Genealogy Society  invites you to our next Zoom program on SundayJuly 18, 2021, 2 pm Pacific Zone Time
The Changing Borders of Eastern Europe” 
with Hal Bookbinder .


Program:  As Russia expanded west, it absorbed millions of Jews. This talk examines Russiaʼs efforts to limit the Jews in its territories and the associated border changes impacting our ancestors. With them, town names, record-keeping and archive locations might change. This overview may help researchers in determining where records might be located, their format and languages. The JewishGen Town Finder and the Encyclopedia Judaica are two excellent resources for determining in what country your town was located at specific times


SpeakerHal writes and lectures extensively on diverse genealogical topics, including border changes, migration, citizenship, safe computing, Jewish culture and Jewish history. He has identified over 4,000 relatives reaching back to the mid-1700s in modern Ukraine. Other roots reach into adjacent areas of Moldova, Poland, Belarus and Russia. He has served as president of the IAJGS and has been honored with its Lifetime Achievement Award. 


RSVP:  -Register Here to receive a Zoom link. This event is free for SCJGS members, $5 for non-members. 


To become a member of Santa Cruz Jewish Genealogy Society, go to membership.scjgs@...  for more information.


Contact: Leah Kushner

 President, SCJGS
Santa Cruz, California


Announcing Book Talk "Those Who Remained" Aug 11, 2 pm EDT #announcements

Joel Alpert

Those Who Remained, a Novel of Post War Hungary with author Zsuzsa F.
Varkonyi and filmmaker Barnabás Toth
Wednesday, August 11, 2021 2:00 pm Eastern Time (NY)

Please join us for a conversation with author Zsuzsa F. Varkonyi and
filmmaker Barnabas Toth as they discuss,"Those Who Remained." We are
announcing this program now so that you have enough tim order and read the book
prior to the presentation.

Jews who remained in Eastern Europe after the Holocaust and World War
II bore successive and unimaginable scourges—loss of family and
community, followed by communist repression. In the novel Those Who
Remained, Budapest psychotherapist Zsuzsa Varkonyi captures the grief,
hope, and endurance of this generation through two survivors who meet
in 1948. The novel has sold over 14,000 copies in the original
Hungarian and has also sold well in a German translation. The English
translation is now available (See Below).

The film based on this novel, Akik Maradtak (Those Who Remained), won
huge accolades at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival, and was
shortlisted for the 2019 Oscars. The film was shown extensively at
Jewish Film Festivals this past year. Though the film is not yet
available in movie theaters or streaming in the US, we love the book
and we think you will, too.

Order the Book:
To get the most from this presentation, we strongly recommend that you
first read the book. You can order the English translation from the
JewishGen Press for about $20 or less from Amazon
Please allow two weeks for delivery.

Registration is free with a suggested donation. To register go to:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about how to
join the webinar.

Questions? Please send an email to YBIP@...

Joel Alpert, Coordinator of the Yizkor Books in Print Project

Announcing the publication of "Tales from My father's Home" - Kupishok by Dr. Shlomo Kodesh #yizkorbooks

Susan Rosin

The Yizkor-Books-In-Print Project is proud to announce its 128th title:
Tales from My Father's Home - Kupishok - By Dr. Shlomo Kodesh
(Kupiškis, Lithuania)

This is the English translation of Sipurim Me'Beit Abba

In the words of the author Dr. Shlomo Kodesh (excerpts from the Introduction):

My story opens in the small township of Kupishok, which, for me, includes the whole of my Lithuania, the Jewish Lithuania, the Lithuania that is gone forever.
The Lithuanian stories started in my hometown. When I left the country, the stories continued to accompany me. Nevertheless, the story inclination has become even stronger after the great ruin. Moreover, the experiences that I used to consider meaningless and unimportant appear today as significant and worth describing.

The last ones to mention are the Litvaks, the Jews of my country of origin wherever they are. Not many of us have remained alive after the horrible Nazi burning. The people of my generation are slowly disappearing the natural way. Precisely for this reason, I sincerely hope that the Lithuanian Jews and their descendants will find something of the old aura of their devastated homes in this book.
For the researchers, this book contains a wealth of both genealogical and cultural information that can provide a picture of the environment of our ancestors.

For ordering information please see:

For all our publications see:

Susan Rosin
Yizkor Books In Print

Re: Austro-Hungarian army records? #galicia #poland #hungary #records #austria-czech


There are several 19thc -WW1 Austria-Hungarian military rosters and KIA/MIA lists compiled online. A tip: start by looking at articles about Austrian genealogy resources and on Austrian genealogy societies websites - irregardless of religious affiliation. For example, the Mormon's (LDS) publishes geographically based 'wikis' and guides which include a section on Austrian Military Records. Cyndi's List is another go-to site for genealogically useful websites. Good hunting.

Pat Weinthal, USA

Re: SAIONZ family in Havertown, Pennsylvania, USA #poland #russia #usa

David Ziants

To give a public update to my previous reply concerning Sara's brother Victor - someone sent me the newspaper family announcement from 1960 that proves that it is Victor ZION (and not the person who died in 1946) who is Sarah's brother.

Sarah also renders her maiden name as ZION on her marriage authorisation document. On that document, she writes her father as "Michael" rather than Elimelech (who never came to the USA) - I guess it is an easier name on English speaking ears as, unlike in Elimelech or Melech, the "ch" of Michael is pronounced in English - "k".

David Ziants

Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel

Recording Now Available: Virtual Conference on Restoring Jewish Cemeteries of Poland 2021 #JewishGenUpdates #poland

Avraham Groll

The recording of this virtual conference can now be accessed at: Thank you to Dr. Dan Oren and all of the conference organizers for a wonderful and informative program, and for all of their efforts in support of this important work. 

Original Message
Restoring Jewish Cemeteries of Poland 2021:​ The Task Ahead
JewishGen is proud to co-sponsor this important conference, which will take place tomorrow, Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 10 AM EDT, 16.00 Poland Time, and 5 PM Israel Time.
A distinguished AND involved group of discussants will come together to share the goals and work of restoring the Jewish cemeteries of Poland by increasing a sense of community across interested parties; increase awareness of active issues; promoting sharing of resources and experiences, and promoting networking.
Please join us and view the livestream in English or Polish at
Speakers include:
  • Jarosław Sellin, Secretary of State at the Poland Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sports
  • Tal Ben-Ari Yaalon, Chargé d’affaires, Israel Embassy, Warsaw​
  • Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress
  • Włodzimierz Kac, Vice-president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland
  • Michał Laszczkowski, President of the Coalition of Guardians of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland​
  • Paul Packer, Chairman of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad
  • Witold Wrzoziński, Director of the Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery, Warsaw
This event is co-sponsored by:
  • FODŻ, the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland
  • WJRO, the World Jewish Restitution Organization
  • The Matzevah Foundation
  • Friends of Jewish Heritage in Poland
  • JewishGen
  • The Chief Rabbinate of Poland

Re: Austro-Hungarian army records? #galicia #poland #hungary #records #austria-czech

Nancy Siegel

Logan Kleinwak’s “Genealogy Indexer” includes some military records.

My grandfather’s brother, born in Rohatyn (now Ukraine), served in the Austro-Hungarian Army. I found him listed in some military directories by going to Google Books. On the Google Books website I searched on his name and found several listings.

Nancy Siegel
San Francisco, California

Jewish name changing to be subject of JGS of Illinois online talk on July 25, 2021 #names #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Martin Fischer

Kirsten Fermaglich, who has been teaching history and Jewish studies at Michigan State University since 2001, will give a talk on “A History of Jewish Name Changing in America” for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois online meeting on Sunday, July 25, 2021. Her live streaming presentation will begin at 2 p.m. Central Daylight Time. (A separate JGSI members-only genealogy question-and-answer discussion time will start at 1 p.m. CDT.) 

To register for this free event, go to After you register, you will be sent a link to join the meeting. This webinar will be recorded so that JGSI’s paid members who are unable to view it live will be able to view the recording later.  

In her presentation, Kirsten Fermaglich will offer an overview of her most recent book, “A Rosenberg by Any Other Name” (NYU Press, 2018). “Our thinking about Jewish name changing tends to focus on clichés: ambitious movie stars who adopted glamorous new names or insensitive officials who changed immigrants’ names for them,” she said. But as the speaker will describe, the real story is much more profound. Scratching below the surface, Fermaglich examines previously unexplored name change petitions to upend the clichés, revealing that in 20th-century New York City, Jewish name changing was actually a broad-based and voluntary behavior: thousands of ordinary Jewish men, women, and children legally changed their names in order to respond to an upsurge of antisemitism.  


Rather than trying to escape their heritage or “pass” as non-Jewish, most name-changers remained active members of the Jewish community, she said. While name changing allowed Jewish families to avoid antisemitism and achieve white middle-class status, the practice also created pain within families and became a stigmatized, forgotten aspect of American Jewish culture.  

Using court documents, oral histories, archival records, and contemporary literature, Fermaglich argues that name changing had a lasting impact on American Jewish culture. Ordinary Jews were forced to consider changing their names as they saw their friends, family, classmates, co-workers, and neighbors do so. Jewish communal leaders and civil rights activists needed to consider name changers as part of the Jewish community, making name changing a pivotal part of early civil rights legislation. And Jewish artists created critical portraits of name changers that lasted for decades in American Jewish culture.  


The talk ends with the disturbing realization that the prosperity Jews found by changing their names is not as accessible for the Chinese, Latino, and Muslim immigrants who wish to exercise that right today.  


As a professor in the Department of History at Michigan State University, Kirsten Fermaglich’s interests center around the historical meanings and problematic nature of ethnic identity in the United States: “I am particularly interested in secular Jews as both members of and outsiders to the Jewish community,” she said. “I am also interested in the ways that gender, race, class, and family intersect with ethnic identity.” 

 “A Rosenberg by any Other Name” won the Saul Viener Book Prize from the American Jewish Historical Society for the best book published in American Jewish History over the previous two years.  Her first book, “American Dreams and Nazi Nightmares” (Brandeis University Press, 2006), looked at secular Jewish intellectuals’ uses of the Holocaust in the early 1960s. Fermaglich also co-edited, with Lisa Fine, the Norton Critical Edition of Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” (2013). 

She teaches undergraduate classes in American Jewish history and culture, as well as undergraduate and graduate classes in United States history after 1865. 

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots. The JGSI motto is “Members Helping Members Since 1981.” The group has more than 300 members and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies

JGSI members have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members’ forum, more than 65 video recordings of past speakers’ presentations, monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more. Members as well as non-members can look for their ancestors on the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database

For more information, see or phone 312-666-0100. 

Martin Fischer
Vice President-Publicity
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

JGSI website:

ViewMate translation request - Croatian #translation


I've posted a vital record for which I need a translation. It concerns Karoly Steiner who died in 1900 in 
Pakrac. I think the record is written in Croatian. It is on ViewMate at the following address: Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page. Thank you very much.

Ruth Bloomfield

Re: Proving that a man who died in Paris did not have children #france #general


Anyone who has taken a Philosophy course will tell you it is impossible to prove a negative. But then logic has never stopped lawyers before. What is the Israeli court's standard for "due diligence" in attempting this "proof"?  I like Alain's suggestion of contacting City Hall of Paris since if that comes up blank one could argue that none were found.

Robert Roth
Kingston, NY

Re: moving from Family Tree Maker to a program for a Samsung galaxy Tablet #general

Sarah L Meyer

I believe that their app is only for trees not for records.

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

ViewMate translation request - Russian #translation #poland #russia

Larry Cohen

I've posted a vital record in Russian for which I need a translation.
It is on ViewMate at the following address ...

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

Thank you very much.
- Lawrence Cohen

Re: translation needed - Polish/Yiddish to translate to English #translation


They are both in Yiddish. Unfortunately my Yiddish is basic at best so I can only make out bits about walking in the street and maybe something about glasses.
If nobody replies on this forum then you can post them on viewmate which is designed specifically for translation and similar requests.
There are many people in this group willing to help without any cost, generally the only time payment is expected/appreciated is with very large translation requests or requests for pictures or files that require some amount of travel or effort. 
Binyamin Kerman
Baltimore MD

SPIELER Lodz, Zloczew, Belchatow

Re: Registration with the SS in Netherlands #holocaust #records


In the years after the war many publications and discussions arose about the 'Joodse Raad' (Judenrat). Very impressive is what happened with hundreds of babies which were smuggled out of the babyhome across the street  from where the parents were held. The underground resistence brought them to non-jewish foster parents.
Ron Peeters(NL)

Re: Proving that a man who died in Paris did not have children #france #general


Dear Lea,

The best for you is to contact the City Hall of Paris, They must have the information and can deliver an official document.

Best regards,

Alain Sieliontchik, Belgium.

Proving that a man who died in Paris did not have children #france #general

Lea Haber Gedalia

Dear friends , 
I urge your help with an uncommon question - The Israeli court have asked me to prove that a man who died in Paris did not have any children born to him while residing there.  This person , Mr. Simon Shalit (born 1926 in Tel Aviv to Joseph and Dvora ) resided in 139 Avenue de Malakoff Paris 16eme and died 25.11.1991 . 
Is this even possible to prove  such a request ? Maybe a gravestone can indicate who brought him to his final rest, but I do not have a burial site...
Any suggestions and insights would be greatly appreciated.
Lea Haber Gedalia, Israel

translation needed - Polish/Yiddish to translate to English #translation

Linda Hall

I have 2 photos (my Uncle and Aunty) with Polish or Yiddish (not sure) on the reverse of the photos.  I would like to know if someone in the group can help with translating to English.  Can you please let me know if there is a cost? 
Thank you
Kind regards
Linda Hall
Nairne  South Australia

Re: Searching for Members of Sperber Family in France #france

André Convers

attached dead certificate for Chaim Sperber.

Andre Convers
Lorient, France

"Two barns" - Jedwabne Pogrom documentary (free on Vimeo). #poland #holocaust

Theo Rafael

"Two barns" (2014) is a powerful documentary about the Jedwabne massacre posted online by producer Roy Mandel: It features testimonies from Holocaust survivors, local Christian Poles and interviews with historians Jan Tomasz Gross, Yehuda Bauer, Jan Garbowski and Hava Dreifuss. In stark contrast, the story of Shevach Weiss who survived the Holocaust hidden underground by Polish neighbors and who went on to become Speaker of the Knesset and Israeli Ambassador to Poland is also intertwined in the storyline. 
The documentary points out that tens of thousands of Jews were killed by their local neighbors in villages across Poland, Russia and Ukraine, Jedwabne being the most notorious such event.
A gripping, highly recommended watch.

Theo Rafael

Re: moving from Family Tree Maker to a program for a Samsung galaxy Tablet #general

Richard Werbin

If you go to the google play store search for and you will find their app.
It is OK. Not as feature rich as ftm 2019.
You can log in and download your tree to the tablet.
Richard Werbin    New York, New York     JGSNY Membership Vice President

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