Meeting this Sunday: Balkan Sephardim in early modern Amsterdam #announcements #sephardic


Balkan Jewish refugees from war arriving in late 17th Century Amsterdam must
have been astonished. Even though connected to the resident Portuguese Jews
through ethnic‐religious bonds, they were entering an alien world.

Most of the Sephardim of Amsterdam were conversos. They had been living as
Catholics - outwardly at least ‐ for generations before returning to their
ancestral faith. They were acquainted with the most modern European ideas,
but had to be reintroduced to Judaism.
Meanwhile, the eastern Sephardim from the Balkans had lived a Jewish life
for generations. Most of them descended from Jews expelled from Spain in
1492 who had settled in the Ottoman Empire and North Africa. The chain of
tradition in Judaism was never broken. Many had studied at famous yeshivot
in the east and were well versed in Hebrew and Jewish sources, while to a
certain degree they became part and parcel of the Oriental and North African
culture as well.

Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld will talk about the experiences of the Balkan Jews
upon their arrival in Amsterdam. She will focus on how the eastern Sephardim
were received by the Portuguese Jews in Amsterdam and their absorption into
the community.

Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld, an independent scholar, lives and works in
Amsterdam. She earned her PhD in Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem. She specializes in European Jewish History of the early modern
period, concentrating in particular on social and cultural aspects of the
Sephardi community of early modern Amsterdam. Her book Poverty and Welfare
among the Portuguese Jews of early modern Amsterdam (Oxford: Littman 2012)
won the National Jewish Book Award of 2012 in the category of Sephardic

The meeting is on Sunday 1 August 2021 at 11am in LA, 2pm NYC, 7pm London,
8pm Amsterdam, and 9pm Jerusalem. Patrons can join us on Zoom. The link is
shared at our Patreon page. Everyone is invited to join us for free at: Please subscribe to
the YouTube channel. It helps us a lot and reminds you when we are going

Best wishes,

Ton Tielen and David Mendoza
Sephardic World

Code of Conduct for Sephardic research #sephardic


The Sephardic Genealogical Society have proposed a voluntary Code of Conduct
to help those providing services to applicants for Portuguese or Spanish
citizenship. Feedback and suggestions are welcome.

Best wishes,

David Mendoza
President, Sephardic Genealogical Society

Subj: ViewMate translation request - German #translation

john groenendijk

I've posted a vital record in handwritten German (death certificate Hersch Nadel, Austria 1878) for which I need a translation of line nr. 83.  Only the handwritten part please. It is on ViewMate at the following address:
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much for your help,
John Groenendijk

Grandfather Abram Josef Piterman birth certificate in Polish please translate #translation

Michele Leighton

Dear friends I have attached a photo of my grandfather's birth certificate which is in Polish. He and my grandmother and other family members died in the Holocaust so I never got the opportunity to meet him or indeed find out about his family. It would be great if someone could translate this for me. Thanking you in anticipation.
Kind regards from Michele Leighton

Re: Green-Wood Cemetery - picture request #photographs #usa

Sharon Ann Dror

Thank you - the staff charges a minimum of 2 hours for $131.00 just to go on field and take a picture :-( They are swamped.

Greatly appreciate your recommendation.

Sharon Ann Dror

Re: article about Viennese Jews who escaped to U.K. via Manchester Guardian advertisements #austria-czech #unitedkingdom #holocaust

Jules Levin

Years ago I knew a man from Vienna who was sent by his parents to London before the war.  When the war started he was interned as a foreign national.   When the British realized he was a Jew instead of releasing him, they enlisted him to remain in the camp and root out Nazi agents--that was his wartime service.

Jules Levin

Los Angeles

On 7/28/21 11:23 AM, Yael wrote:

I read that article!

My great grandmother (Irma) was a Hacker, born in Austria. I wonder if any relation?

Yael Silver

Re: Tombstone Translation - Louis Levitt #translation

Shimy Karni

Hello Sue,

The translation is:

Here was Berried
Rabi Eliezer Yoel
the son of Rabi Haiim zalman Halevi
the winter of the books the Innovations from REI (which is capitals of Rabi Eliezer Yoel)
and The fruits of old and wise people
Died on 21/12/1920
May his soul be bundled in the bundle of life

I hope it helps.

Best Regards,
Shimi Karni, Israel

‫בתאריך יום ד׳, 28 ביולי 2021 ב-22:50 מאת ‪SUE KAHN via‬‏ <‪‬‏>:‬

I've posted a photo of a gravestone for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address. The gravestone is in Hebrew.
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Sue Kahn
researching Schiff, Bloomgarden/Blumgarten, Groden/Grodensky, Levitt/Levy, Bass, Kahn/Kagan

Re: Green-Wood Cemetery - picture request #photographs #usa

Sharon Ann Dror

Thank you - the cemetery staff is charging $131.00 for a minimum of 2 hours to go and take a picture. Someone just offered to take a picture for me when it is cooler as there is a heat wave happening in NY now. 

Sharon Ann Dror

Re: Family Background Jewish or Not? Solf, Nagler, and Rucktäschel from Würzburg and Bamberg, Bavaria #germany #hungary #holocaust #israel


DNA testing will almost answer your questions. However you must get a test that will show your latest DNA history. That means the last 200-300 years. It should be enough but you might not know where or exactly when the contribution to your overall DNA was added. A company called Crigenetics opened my eyes. Although my mother's family came from a town in Poland and had lived there for at least 300 years my DNA showed that I had among other things, Vietnamese DNA! Through research I found that my maternal Great Grandfather's father was born in Vietnam to a Polish Jewish male (my 3rd Great Grandfather) and a Vietnamese woman. Surprise! The boy was named Jacob, went back to Poland with his father and life went on. So I'm a Jew with Vietnamese DNA... so don't be surprised at anything!
Also test for your parent's Haplogroups. It will give you a larger albeit fuzzier picture.
It's a blessing to seek knowledge and a blessing to give knowledge. 
Keep asking...
Eric Warren

Tombstone Translation - Louis Levitt #translation


I've posted a photo of a gravestone for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address. The gravestone is in Hebrew.
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Sue Kahn
researching Schiff, Bloomgarden/Blumgarten, Groden/Grodensky, Levitt/Levy, Bass, Kahn/Kagan

ViewMate Translation Requests - Russian #translation #records

Julia Levin

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

Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Julia Levin

Re: What to do with Romanian Passports #romania

Emily Rosenberg

For right now it would help if you never touched the passport with your bare hands because the subtle oils in our skin gradually deteriorate the paper. If you are not doing conservation right away please make sure there is no plastic touching it (that's how we "saved" things 30 years ago) and that you don't continue to handle it . Move it one last time to a place where it can lay flat, hopefully with plain white tissue paper loosely wrapped around it. If you want to invest only a little money in it now you can buy an archival sleeve at one of these places like Gaylords. It will end up costing $25 for your size plus shipping. Or you could leave it folded and pay less for the sleeve but just as much for shipping. The key is to not fiddle with it.  Ouch for the sleeve price but you have a priceless object.
Emily Rosenberg
Oakland, California

KESNER in Amsterdam, London, Chicago
STODEL in Amsterdam, London, USA
KAWIN in Suwalki and Poland
RUBINSKY in Suwalki and Poland

Re: Papa/Pupa #hungary


I know this is an old, old question, but as people have said, yes, they were. One side of my family lived in Pupa before the Shoah. (Only a few survived). No Pupa Chassidim that I'm aware of, tho; the Chassidim in my family aren't Pupa Chassidim. 


You likely know Pupa was a yeshiva town. Boys would cross borders from neighbouring countries to study there.


Yael Silver

ViewMate Image 94606 #photographs

Yehuda Rubin

I know this is a long shot, but can anyone identify the person in this picture? It was taken in Lomza, circa 1910.
Any help would be much appreciated

Thank you!

Yehuda Rubin
Lakewood, NJ

Re: Help with a Montefiore Cemetery photo #usa #photographs

Peter Cohen

Most New York City cemeteries will photograph a gravestone for a small fee. Contact the cemetery office. has 2,191 outstanding photo requests for Montefiore, as of this morning. You have almost zero chance of having a request fulfilled through findagrave for one of the big NYC cemeteries. Works great in other places, though.
Peter Cohen

Re: Family Background Jewish or Not? Solf, Nagler, and Rucktäschel from Würzburg and Bamberg, Bavaria #germany #hungary #holocaust #israel


Philipp, I agree with others who have said that DNA information will help you gain clarity on your situation. I can recommend this FAQ page about "Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing", which includes not just ancestry testing -- finding out about your genetic heritage - but also health-related testing. 

Ancestry testing is described here: 


Good luck!

Catherine Arnott Smith
Stoughton, Wisconsin, USA

Report on Gesher Galicia's Research Projects #galicia

Gesher Galicia SIG

Vital Records Project

Gesher Galicia works to index Jewish records of births, deaths and marriages from both western and eastern Galicia, and upload the indexes to our online database, the All Galicia Database ( We also transcribe, where this information is useful, index books of Jewish vital records from Galicia. Since the beginning of this year alone, we have indexed over 21,000 records.


Since our last report at the end of April 2021, Gesher Galicia has uploaded the indexes of the following record sets from our Vital Records Project to the All Galicia Database:


 - Kraków Jewish military chaplaincy marriages 1917-1918

 - Przemyśl Jewish military chaplaincy marriages 1916.05-1918.10

 - Podkamień (near Rohatyn) B (index book) 1900-1942

 - Tartaków B 1815-1819, 1828-1858

 - Nawaria D 1889, 1891-1897, 1899-1900, 1902-1904, 1906-1908

 - Strzeliska Nowe B 1841-1875.


We expect to add another 15,000 or so vital records to the database this year, from towns including Przemyśl, Stanisławów, Suchostaw, and Tyczyn.


General thanks for the continuing work on the Vital Records Project to Sławomir Postek and Piotr Gumola.


Przemyśl Identification Project - and follow-up

As most readers will know, we completed the Przemyśl Identification Project in June, having identified all 582 sets of town records (nearly all of them index books of vital records). Their full list can be freely viewed at:

If you are a Gesher Galicia member and are logged in to the Gesher Galicia website, you can also view the page images of all the files.


We had earlier transcribed some of these books (either wholly or in part) containing new information. These included books from: Bochnia, Kołomyja, Komarno, Kopyczyńce, Nowy Sącz, Sądowa Wisznia, Tarnopol, Tyczyn, and Żołynia.

We thank Jacob Heisler for his work on books from Bochnia and Żołynia.


Since our last update, we have also now transcribed and uploaded to the database:eHs


 - Korczyna B (index book) 1920-1942; 1833-1876 (still to come)

 - Kozowa D (index book) 1877-1891, 1934-1938


Later this year, there will be additional transcriptions of index books from: Nowy Wiśnicz, Podgórze, Sieniawa, and Skałat, as well as the further indexes from the Korczyna book mentioned above.


Next year, we plan to transcribe index books from the following towns: Bobowa, Bochnia, Bolechów, Bursztyn, Dobrotwór, Drohobycz, Horodenka, Kraków, Leżajsk, Lutowiska, Lutowiska, Muszyna, Nadwórna, Nowy Sącz, Przemyślany, Pruchnik, Rohatyn, Sambor, Skole, Stary Sącz, Tarnopol, and Załoźce.

In all, we are aiming to transcribe, wholly or in part, up to 70 index books from the Przemyśl ID Project.



Holocaust Project

Earlier this year in the Holocaust Project, as previously announced, we uploaded to the database over 10,000 records of Jewish residents in Stanisławów from 1942.


Our new research activities in the Holocaust Project will be announced early next year. Meantime, as Research Coordinator, I want to thank Michał Majewski for his vigorous efforts over more than three years while he coordinated the Holocaust Project, building it up into an important element of our Research work.


Jewish Taxpayers Project

In the Jewish Taxpayers project, we have uploaded records to the database from:

 - Sokołówka, 1937.

In total, 33 taxpayer files have been indexed and uploaded to the database, including 25 added in the past three and a half years since Mark Jacobson took over the running of this project. The larger part of these files are from Tarnopol province, and a smaller number from Stanisławów province.


While there are other taxpayer files in existence, we have decided to shift our resources to new projects, such as the Censuses Project (see below). I am very grateful to Mark for all his work on this project, and also thank Eddy Mitelsbach, who helped on it.


Josephine & Franciscan Cadastral Surveys Project - Jewish Medical Students Project

Andrew Zalewski has coordinated the first of these projects for five years now, and the second for about four years. Both will be finishing this year and Andrew will provide detailed reports on both in September. It is due to Andrew's meticulous work on these projects that they have been so successful, and he is to be thanked for all his efforts.


Andrew is launching a project on "Jewish Students from Galicia in Vienna, 1898-1938", on which he has already made an initial announcement.


Maps Project

Another member of the Research Team at Gesher Galicia who deserves thanks is Jay Osborn, our long-standing Digital Maps Manager. In the past ten years, he has stitched, prepared and uploaded almost 150 cadastral maps from Galician towns, as well as a large number of regional and specialist maps - turning the Map Room ( into a treasure for Gesher Galicia.

In the past 18 months, a regional map and three special maps have been added to the Map Room, as well as cadastral maps from: Bochnia, Jasło, Kozowa, Mościska, Nowy Targ, Podniestrzany, Pomorzany, Sambor, Świrz, and Tarnopol. Coming soon, there will a dual map from Medyka and Szechinie (Shehyni), adjoining towns now divided by the Polish-Ukrainian border, a short distance east of Przemyśl.


We have a growing stock of unstitched cadastral maps - from western and eastern Galicia in fairly equal numbers. Over the next couple of years, the intention is to stich and upload up to 30 of them. They will include maps from:

 - Brzozów, Krosno, Mielec, Muszyna, Pruchnik, and Stary Sącz in western Galicia.

 - Czortowiec, Jaworów, Janów, Krystynopol, Pniów, and Żółkiew in eastern Galicia.


New projects

As already mentioned, Gesher Galicia is launching two new projects.

 - Censuses Project, coordinated by Mark Jacobson

 - Jewish Students from Galicia in Vienna (1898-1938) Project, coordinated by Andrew Zalewski.

Both these projects are expected to reveal much new and exciting information. More information will be released on each of them soon.



We have an ambitious program of research work for this year and over the following couple of years. All this work, though, has a cost. We are always grateful to receive donations for our research work generally or for individual research projects. Donations can be made through our website, at:


Please do NOT reply to this email address. Any questions about our research work or general information about Gesher Galicia should be directed to: info@...


Tony Kahane

Research Coordinator, Gesher Galicia



Join Gesher Galicia:

All Galicia Database:

Map Room:

For all questions about Gesher Galicia, email: info@...


Send all inquiries to info@...

Re: Family Background Jewish or Not? Solf, Nagler, and Rucktäschel from Würzburg and Bamberg, Bavaria #germany #hungary #holocaust #israel

Linda Higgins

I definitely agree that your first step should be to have your DNA tested.  You will learn whether you are Jewish or something else. Good luck!

Linda Gordon Higgins
Spring, Texas

Re: Rhode Island Cemetery, picture of a tombstone #photographs #usa


My parents and grandparents are also buried there.  If you go to the office on site, they will tell you the exact location of the tomb stone.  Not sure if the office is open due to Covid.  If it is, I could go there and take a picture for you when I am next in R.I.
David Schaffer
Vienna, Virginia 

Searching Frank Harth-succesful #general

Yonatan Ben-Ari

I would like to thank publicly Oren Kaplan of Chicago who assisted me in locating the brother of Aviya (Adina bat Miriam) Lev, holocaust survivor, who is seriously ill with covid-19 in Jerusalem.
Yoni Ben-Ari, Jerusalem

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