Mazal Tov to Vivian Kahn and Joel Alpert! #JewishGenUpdates

Avraham Groll

Dear JewishGen Community,

As announced during the JewishGen Annual Meeting, please join us in congratulating Vivian Kahn (Director of the Hungarian Research Division) and Joel Alpert (Director of the Yizkor Books in Print project) as co-recipients of the 2021/5781 Susan E. King Volunteer of the Year award!

This is a small token of our appreciation for their outstanding commitment to JewishGen's important work, and for their significant contributions to the world of Jewish Genealogy.

Please click the following links to view short videos which have been prepared in their honor:
Mazal Tov, Vivian and Joel!



Avraham Groll

Executive Director

Edmond J. Safra Plaza | 36 Battery Place | New York, NY | 10280

646.437.4326 agroll@...

Visit us at

Re: Removing Picture From a Find A Grave Page. #general

Ralph Baer

Actually, as was pointed out to me in an off-line response, the picture is from my aunt's US citizenship application which is available in Family Search. 


This appears to be a passport photo. As such, it is public record information. It would not be subject to copyright.
Peter Cohen
Ralph N. Baer        RalphNBaer@...       Washington, DC

Re: Steerage Experience #general

Bruce Drake

My grandfather, Samuel Drach, sald from Hamburg aboard the Patricia. He was described as a “Landmann, Tagelöhner.” “Landmann” is a peasant and “der Tagelöhner” is a day laborer. His accommodations on the ship were described as "Zwischendeck" – or, "between decks.”

A Thai Jones wrote a book about his great-grandfather who also took the Patricia from Hamburg to New York about three months before my grandfather did.

The author described passage on the Patricia like this:


It was a late December day when he clutched his ticket and climbed uncertainly up a narrow gangplank of the steamer Patricia. The ship's great black stack burped out a breath of coal smoke, and her twin screws started churning the greasy waters of the River Elbe. Philip leaned over the rail or, unused to the motion, lay in his berth as the vessel gathered way toward two European stops -- at Boulogne and Plymouth -- and then the open ocean. Patricia was one of the Hamburg-American Line's newest steamers, built a few years earlier with room for nearly 2,500 passengers. She offered a luxurious crossing for the lucky few who could spend at least fifty dollars for a private cabin. The remaining four-fifths, almost certainly including Steckler, settled for third-class berths on the lower decks, where they slept in bunks and ate in a common mess. At an average speed of thirteen knots, the passage, even during the rough winter months, was scheduled to take twenty days. Steckler's trip was marred by head winds and heavy seas, including a tidal wave that staggered the ship just as she was entering the Atlantic. Even Captain Reessing, a mariner with more than twenty years of salt in his blood, was rattled by the storm. "I have not known such weather for many years," he said. "The winter of 1882 was very similar to this, but none since then has been nearly so bad."
Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD


Re: Steerage Experience #general

Frederick Zlotkin

Though it's probably documented in a number of the sources cited, I recall reading that food posed an additional problem for the kosher steerage passengers.

Frederick Zlotkin

Re: Manhatten Hospital #records #usa

Diane Jacobs

Your best bet is to go to
And search the NYC Death Indexes.
Based on his age you can narrow down the
Possibilities.  Then register at and ancestry if you have a subscription and see if you can locate the death certificate.

If you can’t the next step is to order a death certificate from the NYC Municipal
Archives , 31 chambers Street in Manhattan.

Hope this helps.
Diane Jacobs

On Aug 3, 2021, at 10:34 AM, Jeffrey Cohen via <> wrote:

An uncle named Gershon Lorek who became George Lawrence, is shown as an inmate in this mental facility in NYC in the 1930 Census but does not seem to appear anywhere in the 1940 Census. My assumption is he died there but I have tried without success to find records of the period from the New York from links sent to me by NYC records. I wonder if anyone has had any success finding any ?

Jeff Cohen  London, England

Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

Manhatten Hospital #records #usa

Jeffrey Cohen

An uncle named Gershon Lorek who became George Lawrence, is shown as an inmate in this mental facility in NYC in the 1930 Census but does not seem to appear anywhere in the 1940 Census. My assumption is he died there but I have tried without success to find records of the period from the New York from links sent to me by NYC records. I wonder if anyone has had any success finding any ?

Jeff Cohen  London, England

Re: Steerage Experience #general


Hi Mark,

The dates 1906-1924 cover a time of significant change in passenger travel conditions, so you'll find many different accounts. By 1906 newer ships were already constructed or re-fitted to have "third" or "tourist" class instead of steerage.  Tourist class typically meant a small cabin (often with toilet/sink) on the lower decks, basic dining room, etc.  Also the passage usually lasted only 5-12 days, depending on the departure/arrival ports' distance.  Their ticket price included meals.

By 1909 the comparison of the new ships to the old probably explains an explosion of news articles complaining of the "horrific" conditions in steerage.  If you read them you may find those stories relate to specific ships, or shipping lines, that are no longer meeting standard expectations for transatlantic travel.

My point is it may be easier to answer your question regarding the majority of passengers who sailed on a specific steamship line, or from a specific departure port, since those passengers would all share a more similar experience (though I'm sure it changed over time even within those parameters).

Marian Smith

PUBLIC CONFERENCE: preserving the footprint of the southern african jewish community online #announcements

Eli Rabinowitz

SA Jewish Museum - Kaplan Centre - WE ARE HERE! Foundation


preserving the footprint of the southern african jewish community online

The next two sessions are on Wed 4 August and Wed 11 August at 7pm Sydney, 5pm Perth, Midday London, 11am South African time.

Register in advance for this webinar: 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The recording of the first session can be viewed on YouTube here:  

Eli Rabinowitz

Program for Session 2:
Websites, Zoom, Social Media & Archives

Wednesday 4 August, 11am - 12.30pm (SA time) 

Once Upon a time in Vryburg: Remembering a country community through a website  
A journey to recount and remember the personal and collective stories of the Vryburg Jews, mistakes made and lessons learnt.
Presented by Gary Sussman | Tel Aviv, Israel    
Gary Sussman was raised in Vryburg and attended Kimberley Boys High. He later studied at UCT and was very involved in Habonim before making Aliyah. He did his post-graduate studies at Tel Aviv University and LSE. Gary is married to Dorit and is the father of Amit, Rotem and Galia.


Creating An Online Community From Scratch
Challenges faced online and suggestions of how to overcome them. Unexpected advantages and outcomes.
Presented by Rabbi Ryan Newfield | Muizenberg Hebrew Congregation | Cape Town, South Africa
Rabbi Newfield has had international pulpit experience and is a surfer, yogi, guitarist, food and adventure enthusiast. He is also a world traveller in search of G-d always and everywhere.  

The Woodstock & Salt River Hebrew Congregation Collection at the SAJM Archive 
The goals, steps and experience of creating the WSRHC digital archive collection for the SAJM Archive.
Presented by Juan-Paul Burke | Freelance Copy Editor, Librarian, Archivist & Historical Researcher | Pretoria, South Africa
Juan-Paul Burke is a Pretorian who freelances as a copy editor, librarian, archivist and historical researcher and who has a fascination for South African Jewish history.
Moderator: Geraldine Auerbach

Re: Looking for help to locate manifest for Ralph Sevinor (Raphail Zweilok) #records #usa


I grew up in Swampscott, Ma, about 11 miles north of Boston. There were many Sevinors in the next town, Marblehead.  I just googled that and they are still there. I do remember a Ralph when I was growing up there. There was also a Sevinor Road in Marblehead.

Good luck

Re: Steerage Experience #general

Harry Boonin

 AVOTAYNU: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy,” Volume XXIV, No. 1, Spring issue 2008, 
carried an article entitled, “Coming to America through Hamburg and Liverpool Part II: CROSSING THE ATLANTIC, pp. 28-30.

The entire article is about Crossing the Atlantic. There you will find many of your questions answered and others not. The story is told from the steerage deck, the dining room and the sleeping quarters on the S.S. Dominion in 1911. Earlier crossings, of course, might tell a wholly different story. This is the story of my family’s crossing.
Harry D. Boonin
Warrington, PA

Re: Help in transcribing illegible documents #general

David Shapiro

If you have the original document, and the problem is that it is faded, UV light could bring out the faded ink. In any case, you might try look at it letter by letter though a microscope, or at least a stong magnifing glass. I have worked with antigue manscripts and have had success with these methods.

David Shapiro

Re: Searching for 1936 marriage record Bobrka, Lwow, Poland #poland

Mark Halpern

Hi Rose:

Unfortunately, no Bobrka marriage records past 1875 have survived. Here are the Jewish vital records that have survived:

Births: 1863,1865,1872-1876,1878-1940 - births up through 1915 are included in the JRI-Poland online database.

Marriages: 1866-1867,1871-1873,1875 - all are included in the JRI-Poland online database

Deaths: 1904,1912,1914-1917,1927-1940 - deaths up through 1928 are included in the JRI-Poland online database. 

Mark Halpern
JRI-Poland Lwow Area Coordinator 


On 2021-08-01 7:57 pm, Rose wrote:

Dear Group

I'm currently searching for a 1936 marriage record for Naftali KLINGS and Chaya (Klara) MERKUR, who married in Bobrka, Lwow, Poland.

I would appreciate any assistance with this enquiry.

Best wishes,

Rose Raymen

Perth, Western Australia

Re: Steerage Experience #general

J Antrich

Dear Marc, - by searching "travelling steerage" you will find some answers to your questions, including contemporary accounts and pictures. Not very nice, as you can guess!
Jeremy Antrich
Surbiton, England

Re: Steerage Experience #general


This link gives a fairly detailed account of the experience. 
David Belton

Re: Steerage Experience #general


I have entertained the same questions. You can find a lot of answers among the pages linked to the following Web page:
This page in particular:
Miles Rind
Cambridge, Mass.

German Jews who served the Third Reich #germany #general


For those who are interested in tracing their German ancestry, there is a fascinating, and sobering book, Hitler's Jewish Soldiers, written by Dr. Bryan Mark Rigg, University Press of Kansas, 2002. It documents the history of half-Jews, and quarter-Jews, called Mischlings (mongrels),  who served in WWII - and there were thousands. Existing records in the German archives document this. While those of full Jewish heritage were rejected from the service, unfortunately, due to the fact, and history of assimilation, many of these "acceptable" Jews proudly served the government, and even regarded their ancient faith as undesirable. Attempts to alter records of their family's genealogy, so that they would appear as "true Aryans" could also lead to severe repercussions. This is a book well worth reading.

Neilan Stern       neilan1@...
researching:  Stern, Pistrong, Brand - Radomysl Wielki, Poland;   Black, Schwarz  - Nesvizh,  Belarus; Aronov/wsky, Cohn - vilijampole, Kaunas, Lithuania

Baltimore Cemeteries #usa

Adam Turner

I recently ordered the attached death certificate for John Myerson from 1917 from the Maryland State Archives, and would like to locate the grave of this person so I can eventually get a photo of the stone.

The death certificate gives the cemetery name as "Hebrew Washington Rd."

1. Is my guess that this refers to United Hebrew Cemetery (whose current address is 3901 Washington Boulevard) likely to be correct? (This person's wife was apparently buried in that cemetery in 1926, so it would make sense if he, too, is indeed buried there.) I'm not familiar with the Baltimore area, so I wasn't sure if there are any other candidates for a Jewish cemetery on "Washington Road."

2. Does anyone have recent experiences with contacting this cemetery? Do they tend to be forthcoming with inquiries about plot locations and such?

Adam Turner

Help in transcribing illegible documents #general

Sara Manobla

I have inherited a fascinating family archive (in French) of letters, diaries, press cuttings and more, from Paris of the 1940s, including the German occupation. When I have sorted the documents they will be sent to the library of l'Alliance Israelite Universelle in Paris. Currently I am transcribing handwritten letters and diaries that are of personal interest to our family. While I can read most of the material without difficulty there are some letters and diaries that are practically illegible, even for a native French speaker. Are there any tools that can help - scan, enlarge, transcribe a difficult handwritten text? Any ideas? Suggestions welcome.
Sara Manobla (Jerusalem)

Re: Searching for 1936 marriage record Bobrka, Lwow, Poland #poland


Hello Rose, my family was also from Bobrka.  I understand that the City Hall burned down during either the first or second world war.  I doubt the marriage record exists.  If you find out otherwise. I'd love to know.  George Frankel

SCJGS invites you to " Never Give Up – Strategies .... Finding the Previously Unfindable" with Marion Werle #events #announcements

Leah Kushner

Santa Cruz Jewish Genealogy Society  invites you to our next Zoom program on Sunday, August 22, 2021, 

1 pm Pacific Zone Time

Never Give Up – Strategies for Taking Your Genealogy Research to the Next Level and Finding the Previously Unfindable"

with Marion Werle


Program:  This talk is a collection of tips to maximize your genealogical research. The speaker presents a number of research problems that required a creative approach to locate elusive people and their documents. She discusses online search strategies and indexing, names and name variations, the importance of geography, getting the most out of each record, revisiting old research, and the importance of persistence in achieving success.

SpeakerMarion Werle, a professional genealogist, began family history research 25 years ago, researching family from Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus, who settled in the US, Canada, UK, and Israel. She has been on the boards of JGSLA and JGSCV (Conejo Valley/Ventura County) and is a past president and founding member of the Latvia SIG (Special Interest Group). She is currently on the board of the revitalized JewishGen Latvia Research Division.   She has an ongoing interest in applying general genealogical methodology standards to Jewish research. Marion has also spoken at several IAJGS conferences and local genealogical societies in the Southern California area. 


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  for more information.


Contact: Leah Kushner

 President, SCJGS
Santa Cruz, California


3141 - 3160 of 663868