Re: September 2021 Summary of IAJGS Records/Family Search and Poland microfilms #poland #records

Sarah L Meyer

Yes there are.  You need to go to a Family History Center - and take a large capacity flash drive.  When you find the records you want right click and save image as to your flash drive.  Do not be fooled by anyone there who says if you attach it to your "tree" that you can view from home - because I tried it with one record and it did not work when I got home.   What I did was make a rather long list of records in Excel from JRI Poland and then when I went to Salt Lake (in 2019) I found most of them with the help of a wonderful Polish lady.   The agreement that FS made with the Polish government is that the records can only be viewed in a FHL.  That said I could have gone to a local FHL - but chose not to, as my husband had professional meetings near Salt Lake and also wanted to research at the University.

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

Re: Seeking a publisher to print my family history #general

Sarah L Meyer

I have looked into Lulu but have not used it myself.  
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

Re: Seeking a publisher to print my family history #general

David Cantor


600 pages in one fell swoop seems like an ambitious target and a very hefty and possibly unwieldy book, would it be better to divide the publication up into time periods, geography, or family groupings?  I realise that this may create cross-reference issues.  I have some experience in publishing one-offs with the likes of Blurb and also self-publishing,

Blurb is expensive but then your family history is priceless, This is where I would start as a test.  The BookWright software is free to download and I have used it prepare drafts that were later self-published.  You will be able to use standard jpegs and you can cut and paste text from Word files. If you find that this isn't for you, it will have cost you only time but the experience will probably be helpful.  This approach will likely help in determining important issues like sequencing and proofing.

Self-publishing, you need a different mindset preparing files that are print-ready for a commercial printer.  It is not like sending jobs from your computer to your ink jet printer.  You will require PDF files created in something like Adobe InDesign.  If the requirement is the same in the US as the UK, every page will need to be a separate file, so that's 600 files numbered sequentially.  I use Affinity Publisher which is inexpensive and very capable, it costs about $65.00 here in the UK, you can of course download it in the US probably for time-limited trial.  As you can guess, the final cost to have your book published commercially will depend greatly on the number of copies printed.

Good luck

David Cantor

Picture of 2 stones at New Montefiore #photographs #usa


Hi there,
I am wondering if anyone has a trip planned before winter to the New Montefiore Cemetery. I would love a photo of the following two stones. I am prepared to cover costs.  
First Name Last Name Age Date of Death Div. Block Row Grave Sec. Plot Society name
SANDRA BARASH 83 6/23/2017   3 8 140R 5   TEMPLE SINAI OF ROSLYN
First Name Last Name Age Date of Death Div. Block Row Grave Sec. Plot Society name
PHILIP M. BARASH 85 5/3/2017   3 8 139R 5   TEMPLE SINAI OF ROSLYN
Many Thanks,
Naomi Finkelstein
Winnipeg, MB CA
JewishGen ID:  358299

Re: Looking for pre-1700 records DE LA PARRA - family #sephardic

David Mendoza

I can see that some members of a PARRA family were arrested by the Portuguese Inquisition in the early 18th Century. They had come from Murcia in Spain. Don't know if they relate to yours. A bit later someone of that surname from “Martjena” (Sint Maarten near Curacao? Martinique? Somewhere else) was married in Amsterdam. There was also a PARRA family in Jamaica.

Watch Aviva Ben-Ur’s talk on Suriname to the Sephardic Genealogical Society.

The Society's site links to the key Sephardic genealogy groups.

Best wishes,

David Mendoza, London

A Moroccan Jewish Genealogical Journey #sephardic


Through family lore and document-based genealogy, Raquel Levy-Toledano
'discovered' a great-grandfather born in Manchester, England. But what she
had been told was wrong! Genetic genealogy introduced her to a whole new
family: the Levy Belfsahi of Mogador in Morocco.

Her genealogical journey highlighted the need for better organised research
into Moroccan Jewish genealogy. Moroccan rabbinic lineages are
well-documented, but sources on other families are often inaccessible or
non-existent. Frequently the main source of information is oral family
history. Raquel shares her experience and offers guidance.

Raquel Levy-Toledano is a medical doctor and holds a PhD in biology. She
founded the Généalogie des Juifs du Maroc Facebook group in September 2019,
and it now has more than 4,000 members. She is curator at Geni where she
strives, with others, to connect Moroccan Jewish families and to restore
family ties that would otherwise be lost. She is a co-administrator of the
Avotaynu Y-DNA Project and recently co-founded NAJMA, a genealogical society
dedicated to Moroccan and Algerian Jews.

The meeting is on 10 October 2021 at 11am in LA, 2pm NYC, 7pm London, 8pm
Paris/Amsterdam and 9pm Jerusalem. Patrons can join us on Zoom. The link is
shared at our Patreon page at:

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,

David Mendoza and Ton Tielen
Sephardic Genealogical Society

A New Book in German about the Adoption of Surnames in Galicia and Bukovina #galicia #ukraine #names #austria-czech

Abuwasta Abuwasta

A new book based on a Ph.D. thesis about the process of adoption of surnames in Galicia and Bukovina just came out
 in Germany. Here is the link
The author is working on an English summary.
Jacob Rosen

Re: Seeking a publisher to print my family history #general


Beware of a lot of "shark" companies out there that charge a lot to deliver very little.

I have never taken the plunge myself, but I have looked into self-publishing over the last couple decades. I have heard good things about Amazon's model, though I haven't had the chance to follow up. As I understand it, they can be good for providing e-book (Kindle) editions which are obviously cheaper and easier to deliver if you have family who may not want to pay what will likely be substantial money for a printed copy of that length. I believe they can also provide those printed copies, though -- and on-demand through Createspace.

Please don't consider that a recommendation, though, just a place you might consider as you investigate.
Joe Kraus

Re: Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, NY #photographs #usa

Lynn Caporale

If someone does go to Beth David with a camera, I have one additional suggestion,

I was there on a quiet weekday, visiting my beloved Grandparents, few other people there, a large silent expanse of graves.

It led me to reflect on the millions of Jews who came here in the years from 1880-1924 bringing their hard work and devotion to family and our communities, enriching our worlds, (In 1924 the Reed-Johnson Act --named for the Republican Congressman and Senator whose bill imposed strict quotas on immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe —trapped millions in Europe in time for the Holocaust),

So many of these good and courageous people, inspired refugees escaping pogroms and other horrific treatment, who came to the “Golden Land”, now lie there, quietly,

I was thinking perhaps a photograph of that vast expanse of graves would be meaningful,

Lynn Caporale

Re: My Hebrew Name #names

Feige Stern

Do you know who you are named for?  That may provide a clue.
Here are a couple of ideas for you:
If you live in the US and your parents, grandparents or great grandparents immigrated here, try looking for their passenger arrival record.  It's possible they used their Hebrew name when they immigrated. 
I don't know where you are on your genealogical journey, but you may need to construct a family tree that includes birth and death dates.  Jewish people name after the dead, so you need to look for people who died before your birth.
There are no rules, but commonly people choose a Hebrew name that begins with the same letter or sound in Hebrew.
Try checking the Jewishgen given names information.
There is a lot of great information there!
Other ideas:
If your family was affiliated with a local synagogue, check there.
Gravestones are a great source of Jewish names.  
If you have death records for people in your family, there should be a funeral home listed.  If you get lucky, the home might be in existence and have records.
Your local historical society may keep records from local synagogues or funeral homes.

Best of luck in your search,

Feige Kauvar Stern
Cleveland, OH

Re: My Hebrew Name #names

Shlomo Katz

Here are some possibilities:
1. If your parents belonged to a synagogue, it may have records--not necessarily a record of your birth, but even membership records may list names of children.
2. If you are named after a deceased relative, try to locate that person's tombstone.
3. If you have living older relatives, perhaps they remember.
PLEASE NOTE: Even if you find an answer through this or other methods, if you are seeking this information for a religious purpose such as getting married or divorced, you must inform the officiating rabbi that you are not certain what your name is and tell him how you came to the conclusion that you came to. He will then decide whether to rely on your research for the religious purpose.
Good luck,

Shlomo Katz
Silver Spring MD

Help needed to ascertain Blumberg family variant first names #names

Martin Blumberg

Brina Feitelberg

I’ve been trying to track down my 2nd ggm without success, so am trying through her husband, Abraham, my paternal 2nd ggf or my ggf Schmerl.


He  is usually referred to as Schmariyahu or Schmerl.  One of my ancestors, whom I believe to be a son of Smariyahu / Schmerl has Simcha as the father’s name on his headstone.   I am trying to research if Simcha and Schmerl and Smariyahu are variants of the same name in order to verify that this ancestor is a son of Schmariyahu/Schmerl.

Thank you for any insight you can give.


Martin Blumberg

Melbourne, Australia



IGRA Free Webinar “From Liepaja to Latgale: Latvian Jewish Research” #events #latvia

Elena Bazes

Join the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) for our upcoming free webinar, “From Liepaja to Latgale: Latvian Jewish Research” by Marion Werle on October 17th, 7 pm Israel Time, 12 pm ET

Advance Registration Required:

In recent years, the number of resources available to the Jewish researcher with Latvian roots has increased exponentially. This talk will introduce the core sources to further your Latvian research. The presentation covers vital records (birth, marriage and death), censuses, revision lists and house lists, internal passports, the Latvia Research Division databases on JewishGen, newspaper articles, and Holocaust resources, including the Latvia Names Project. Recent filming in the Latvian State Historical Archives by FamilySearch has added to the availability of documents and created a wealth of information in unindexed documents. This presentation will also be of interest to researchers with family from Lithuania, as there were close ties between the two areas, with many families having families that extend into both countries.

 Marion Werle 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 the Jewish Genealogical Societies of both Los Angeles and Conejo Valley, is a past president of the Latvia SIG (Special Interest Group) and a co-director of the JewishGen Latvia Reasearch Division.  A retired IT professional with master’s degrees in both European History and Library Science from UCLA, she has also completed the Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research and the ProGen study group. Marion has written two unpublished family histories, The Skuders from Skud, about one of her family branches from Lithuania, and a history of her brother-in-law’s family, The Wilsons of Washington County, PA – from Hopewell Township to Santa Ana, California. Marion has also spoken at several IAJGS conferences and local genealogical societies in the Southern California area. She was a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society Writers Group for several years, which gave her the opportunity to hone her family history writing skills. She teaches a writing class for JewishGen education and has an ongoing interest in applying general genealogical methodology standards to Jewish research.


Elena Biegel Bazes

IGRA Publicity Chair 



Ukrainians Unearth Hiding Places of Jews in City Sewers During Nazi Holocaust/Tech Savvy Holocaust Memorial Draws Criticism #holocaust #ukraine

Jan Meisels Allen

Diggers Andriy Ryshtun and Oleksandr Ivanov explore the city sewage system where dozens of Jews were hiding from the Nazis during World War Two in Lviv, Ukraine September 25, 2021. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich


Under cobblestone streets in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, diggers have uncovered new hiding spots in underground sewers where some Jews managed to flee from Nazi occupying forces during World War Two.

More than 100,000 Jews, or around one third of Lviv’s population at the time, were killed by the Nazis, according to the local historian Hanna Tychka.


Father and daughter Ignacy and Krystyna Chiger, who escaped from the Jewish ghetto by digging a tunnel to the city's sewage system, and later wrote books recounting their experiences. They recently uncovered the exact area where Chiger's family lived in 1943-1944, using the books as a guide.


In Lyiv, Tychka and her team in July discovered a tiny cave where they believe Jews fleeing the ghetto would spend their first night before moving on to a larger shelter in the sewage system.


Of the original group of 21, only 10 including the Chigers and Halina survived the ordeal.

To read more see:




The Mirror Field monument displays columns shot with bullets of the same caliber as those used in the massacre. Credit...

Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times


Ukraine this week marks the 80th anniversary of the massacre at Babyn Yar, web-savvy advertising, modern art installations and audience-grabbing techniques like online gaming have become an integral part of a well-funded effort to update Holocaust commemoration.


The tech-heavy approach has drawn criticism from traditionalists, who say it dishonors the solemnity of the topic. The Nazis shot tens of thousands of Jews, Roma, Ukrainian and Russian prisoners of war at Babyn Yar, as wells as patients from psychiatric hospitals and others.  Many of the original advisory team resigned in 2019 to protest the high-tech sensibility of the art director


The anniversary ceremonies culminate on Wednesday with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish, visiting the site and unveiling a modern art installation, the Crystal Wall of Crying. The full museum complex is expected to cost more than $100 million, about half donated by Russian oligarchs, and it is scheduled for completion in 2025.


The massacre at Babyn Yar, also known as Babi Yar, was one of the most notorious of World War II. In late September 1941, soon after German army entered Kyiv, the city’s Jews were told to gather near a train station in order to be resettled. Crowds of people, including many women and children, followed the order but when they arrived with their belongings, they were forced to undress and gather in a ravine. People were shot in small groups, more than 33,000 in a two-day period according to historians, and further mass shootings took place at the site throughout the war.


“The narrative that is being promoted is anti-Ukrainian in nature,” Mykhailo Basarab, an historian, said of the plans for Babyn Yar. “There are great fears the memorial complex is being built with Russian money to expose Ukrainians in the world as anti-Semites and xenophobes. And this is beneficial to Putin.”

Babyn Yar organizers say they will raise 50 percent of the funding inside Ukraine


To read more see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Re: Seeking a publisher to print my family history #general

Richard Gordon

Hello Rich,

There are 'self-publishing' companies to be found from a Google search and there should be plenty on your side of the Atlantic. The idea is that you can upload your book to a chosen template. There are pros and cons, the main pro being that you can publish one book only or more as you wish. Using a commercial printer whether digital or full colour press incurs more cost, in setting up, and there will be a minimum print run.

Good luck.

Richard Gordon

Researching: Gordon, Dawidowna
                      Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland

Claims Conference Negotiations with German Government Results in Pensions for 6500 Holocaust Survivors #germany #holocaust

Jan Meisels Allen



Approximately 6,500 Jewish Holocaust Survivors from the Leningrad siege, those hiding In France and persecuted In Romania to receive pensions for the first time and those who survived persecution in Romania, who are not currently receiving Shoah related pensions. Payments will be €375 ($443) per month if they satisfy one of the following types of region-specific severe persecution during the Nazi period:


  • Were at least three months in the Siege of Leningrad; OR
  • Lived between April1, 1941 and August 31, 1944 at least three months under Axis occupation within the borders of Romania on April 1, 1941; OR
  • Lived at least three months in France in hiding, including with access to the outside world. For example, those living in southern France, were able to be out during the day and hid at night when deportations took place.


Child Survivor Fund payments, a symbolic one-time payment of €2,500 ($2,930), will also be paid to those who meet the persecution criteria and were born 1928 or later.


To read more see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


ViewMate translation request - Russian #translation

Dror Bereznitsky

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.
Dror Bereznitsky

Re: The Hebrew translation for the name Yetta #names

ada zig

Jennie, was not Sheina but Freude, Joy. 
I searched for many years to connect family grandmother Jennie in NYC and later Boston to somewhere in Galicia. Shayna and more, to no avail. There was so little documentation or family info. One day, listening to the chorale and Beethoven's 9th Symphony, I heard "Freude, ....". Joy. And then I knew. She had been Freude. Now I could search on-line records, and there she was, in Tarnopol, with her parents and an older brother. And her mother's father and more. All lining up with marriage names in NYC, the only thing to go on. 
Charlotte Steinzig in Canyon, CA

My Hebrew Name #names

Willa Lewis

Both my parents are deceased. How can I research my Hebrew name?
Willa Lewis

Mount Zion Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens County, NY #photographs #usa


Could somebody who lives in New York photograph a headstone in Mount Zion Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens County, NY for me.  The person is my g-grandfather's sister "Rose L. Socolaw" Date of Burial: 05 Feb 1908, Location: 27R-2-621; Society: Chana David.  With gratitude, Jeff Skinnon (NZ)

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