Re: A Window into our Past: 10th of Tevet #holocaust #JewishGenUpdates

Penny Rubinoff

Too bad just Jews are reading this.  We know about the horrors and the cruelty.  Many others don’t.

Penny Rubinoff


From: main@... <main@...> On Behalf Of Avraham Groll
Sent: December 14, 2021 8:39 AM
To: main@...
Subject: [Special] [] A Window into our Past: 10th of Tevet #holocaust #JewishGenUpdates


Dear Friends,

Today is the 10th day of Tevet on the Jewish calendar, which marks the beginning of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem (portending the destruction of the First Temple). After the Holocaust, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared this day to serve as a memorial for those who died in the Shoah, and for Kaddish to be recited in memory of those whose date of death is unknown. 

Within this context, we share with you this excerpt from the Yizkor Book devoted to remembering the Jewish community of Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, Poland. JewishGen is in the process of translating this book (originally published in 1971), which tells the history of a Jewish community that existed for hundreds of years, and of whom only a small percentage of its Jewish population would survive the Holocaust. 

The following chapter was written by Aron Tsaytlin, and describes the martyrdom of Rav Yehezkel Halstock, the last Grand Rabbi of the town, who was murdered on this very day - the 10th day of Tevet - 79 years ago.

If you would like to learn more about this book, please visit: To search our collection of translated Yizkor Books, please visit:

 - The JewishGen Team


The Martyrdom of the Last Ostrovtser Rebbe
by Aron Tsaytlin
JewishGen Translation by Tina Lunson

The tenth of Tevet is the yahrzeit for a Rebbi who on that day was killed al Kidush Hashem in Hitler's Poland. It is the Rebbe Rov Yekhezkel may God avenge his blood, the son and heir of the old Ostrovtser Rebbe.

The yortsayt of the Rebbe falls on the tenth of Tevet and also of another twenty of his khasidim, who were murdered on the same day. I know this from a document, from a letter, that I have in my possession and which I publish here. The letter was sent to me some time ago by a Jew from Tsoyzmir (Sandomiezsh) who saved himself and has lived the last years in Canada – Mr. Yeshaye Zoberman.

Here is his shocking letter, which depicts the martyrdom of the Rebbe and of a Jewish witness:

“After the slaughter in Ostrovtse there were only about fifteen hundred Jews left, who worked in a factory six kilometers from town, in Bodzshekhov. The Ostrovtser Rebbe, Rov Yekhezkel, was hidden among those remaining. The Gestapo suddenly raided the whole work site, searched for the Rebbe but did not find him. It was decided to take the Rebbe to Tsoyzmir. 

At that time there was a second ghetto in Tsoyzmir – the first had already been eradicated. The German authorities published a so-called ironclad decree to all the Jews hiding in forests and fields, in attics and cellars, that if they returned voluntarily to Tsoyzmir nothing would happen to them and they would get work, bread and an apartment. The Germans spread the rumor that those who returned would survive the war. Thousands of Jews who had been in hiding were drawn to Tsoyzmir from all directions. Had they believed the Nazi persecutors? No. But there was no alternative. They were weary to death, terribly tortured by hunger. The winter had been a frightfully cold one – there was no more strength for suffering.

But the Tsoyzmir ghetto was then ruled by the Nazi murderer Lesher. He made the ghetto assemble twice a day for him to “give attention” and he recounted to see whether all the ghetto-folk were there. When someone was sick, pregnant and so on, they went to their home and shot them on the spot. A hope nonetheless glimmered in Jewish hearts that they might somehow outlive the murderers.

It was under such circumstances that they brought the Rebbe to Tsoyzmir. His entire head was bandaged up so that his beard was not visible. The Rebbe was smuggled into the ghetto for a hefty fee, set up in a closed house where the entrance was walled up, and they served him and brought in food through a hole in the floor.

This was in the second half of Kislev.

Two weeks later the Gestapo chief Braun came to the ghetto. Tsoyzmir ghetto was under his command. He went into the Jewish community office and demanded that they present the Ostrovtser Rebbe within one hour. When they told him that the Rebbe was not in the ghetto he let it be known that if they did not present the Rebbe to him within the hour, he would order that two hundred Jews with their wives and children be burned alive in the shul.

The leaders communicated with the Rebbe. The Rebbe told them to take him to the Gestapo chief. The Rebbe did not answer the murderer's questions. The Gestapo chief photographed him several times in various positions. After that he ordered that the community leaders take the Rebbe under their responsibility until tomorrow at nine in the morning when he, Braun, would come for him. Should it happen that the Rebbe fled he would carry out his “coercion”: he would burn two hundred Jews.

In the community office where the Rebbe was sitting, they began gathering Jews and reciting psalms. The Rebbe immersed himself in the mikve that was in the ghetto. He chopped through the ice and immersed himself.

No Jew in the Tsoyzmir ghetto slept the entire night. All were reciting psalms.

Since it was almost day (it was the tenth of Tevet) the Rebbe dressed in a white kitel, prayed, recited slikhes and al kheyt – the whole ghetto wept together.

At exactly nine o'clock the Gestapo murderer showed up, accompanied by Nazi gendarmes. Twenty Jews appealed to the persecutor with a request: they would volunteer to give their lives for the Rebbe's. Braun laughed; very well, he would carry out their request. He would shoot all of them, but along with the Rebbe. And he ordered the gendarmes to arrest the twenty Jews. Then they told them to position the Rebbe in the shul courtyard against the wall. When he pointed his revolver at the Rebbe the Rebbe called out loud and fast, “Shema Yisroel, d'alkeynu, d'akhod”. Six bullets the Nazi bandit shot into the holy man. A peasant wagon had already been prepared. They laid the martyr in the wagon and ordered it be driven to the cemetery. The twenty arrested Jews had to dig a large common grave for themselves in barely an hour. They were shot soon after.

This happened on the tenth of Tevet sav-shin-giml (13 December 1942).” 


The dedication of the memorial at the grave of Rov Yekhezkel may God avenge his blood

Ostrowiec Jews performing a memorial service for their town's victims on the memorial day specially fixed for them

Re: Additional USA Alien Case files available via NARA, Kansas City #announcements #usa

Renée K. Carl

I have some clarifications to add to this post, and I have reconfirmed them with a friend who works on the A-files at NARA-KC. is a big driver of the need for this clarification. A number of years ago, it obtained the original index from NARA and put online, and had not updated it in more than 3 years. However, the data they have added to their catalog was not received from NARA directly, but created by programming a bot scrape of the data from the NARA catalog.
Ancestry has further confused the matter by keeping the old data, and adding in the newer NARA catalog additions. There exist thousands of duplicates! They have also scraped some field codes that will certainly confuse people. It was confirmed to me today that NARA has, at the most, 1.5 million A files in its holdings right now, and 1.2 million accessible in the  NARA catalog.
The most accurate place for a person to check for Afiles is the NARA catalog. The entry for A files held at NARA-KC is, and people should use the "Search Within" button in the middle of the page. The search for San Francisco/San Bruno is  Note that the best way to search is with the A number, but if that is not available, search by name, but only within the catalog entry for Afiles.

To order an A-file, the correct form to use is at this link:, though you can also simply email KC or SF/SB at the address in the link, along with all the data for the Afile. The form link posted in Emily's message is an old one, which will hopefully be pulled from the NARA site this week.
Prior to ordering, people should be aware that KC has been hit very hard by Covid and was closed for many months, and I do not believe is taking new orders. The status of both KC ( and San Bruno ( can be checked online.
There is a system in place for USCIS to transfer the Afiles for individuals born 100 years ago over to NARA. Unfortunately at the moment Afiles are the only USCIS documents regularly being accessioned by NARA.  For more on USCIS records, you can check the USCIS Genealogy Program, or read about the records at

I hope this helps to clarify for people and causes less frustration. Good luck!
Renee Carl
Washington DC

Irish Jewish Roots in JGSGB UK Database on JewishGen #unitedkingdom #records

Peggy Mosinger Freedman

I am mentoring someone who is researching his uncle, Joseph David BLAUFOX.

We know that Joseph David was born in London in July 1892, emigrated to the USA in 1900, and fought with the RAF (probably via joining in Canada) during World War I and stayed in Great Britain for a few years after the war.
We found this record of David BLAUFUKS in the JGSGB UK Database.  

We know that Joseph David used the name "David" some of the time, so it could be a simple membership listing, or it could be the record of the man that Joseph David was named after!

Most JewishGen records link to a page that describes the source.  This record links to a very general information page about Irish Roots.
Does anyone know how to determine when and where this record is from?

Thank you!
Peggy Mosinger Freedman

Leah Kushner

Santa Cruz Jewish Genealogy Society  invites you to  

Finding Your Jewish Documents in the Ukrainian Archives

Speaker: Alex Krakovsky

Sunday, January 9th- 1 pm Pacific Time Zone/4 pm Eastern


Free to Members, $5.00 to Guests

If you have Ukrainian ancestry, this presentation and explanation of obtaining documents is a must.  Alex Krakovsky will share his database as a research tool and a method to finding and understanding scanned archival images.  He will discuss his work in the Ukrainian archives. 

Alex was born in  Kyiv in 1982. He graduated from Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in 2005. Alex Krakovsky is one of the most influential figures in modern Jewish genealogy. Most notable is his goal to digitize and publish online all of the Jewish records in Ukraine. He has spent years in Ukrainian archives finding previously unknown Jewish list made available by taking the government to court using the Freedom information act.  He has won many lawsuits with Ukrainian archives to make records open and available to everyone. 

Zoom link will be sent to your email the week of the event, please check your Spam folder. For more information or membership information membership.scjgs@...

Contact: Leah Kushner

President, SCJGS
Santa Cruz, California


For more information or membership information membership.scjgs@...
co-sponsor- Chadeish Yameinu
Leah Kushner, SCJGS

Seeking emigration information FROM the U.S. #israel #poland #usa


After arriving in the U.S. from Milelec Poland in 1880, My gr. gr
Grandparents, Leib and Chuma HONIG emigrated to Palestine roughly
1900. I believe they may have taken 1 or 2 of their grandchildren
with them

They left their 9 children in the U.S and all of their grandchildren
to live out their lives in Jerusalem.

I would love to find any documents, passenger lists etc leaving the U.S.
I have yet to see that type of information on Ancestry...ever...

thank you

Michael Salzbank
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately with family information

Help with translating response from Bucuresti town hall #romania

Sarit Klein

Hello. I'm hoping someone can help me understand the gist of the attached letter from the Bucuresti town hall. I wrote in an effort to obtain my grandmother's birth record from 1916 and I believe the response states that such records can only be provided to a legal representative. However, my understanding was that records older than 100 years are available to the public -- is that not the case?  Does the letter state that the record exists in their archives? Thanks in advance for any guidance/advice.

Sarit Klein
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately

German Translation and Purpose of Documetn #germany #translation

Allan Karan

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

Thank you very much.

Allan Karan
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately

Re: Subject: Did individuals ever use names other than their own in Lithuania #lithuania #names

Cathy Miller

Thank you

Interesting to know that the practice using deceased peoples names is true (in the case of your cousins) - in this case my grandfather was not deceased but perhaps because he was on the other side of the world it was safe to use his name in Lithuania
Cathy Miller, New Zealand

Re: Marriage document date doesn't match other records #records #poland

Marcie Murray

From my experience and some things I have read mentions that :People in Europe were not so invested in proper dates. Also peoples memories differed at different times.  My grandmother's birthday was "unknown" by my family.  Then found another document -my great grandfather' naturalization papers, that showed one date and then I found her actual birth certificate in Poland. I would "trust" the earliest record until another more credible record comes to light.. In my uneducated, humble opinion
Marcie Murray
Minneapolis MN

Re: Marriage document date doesn't match other records #records #poland

Diane Jacobs

The only thing that comes to mind is that the first marriage was civil and the second was
Religious ie. performed by a Rabbi.

Diane Jacobs

On Dec 14, 2021, at 11:48 AM, srg100@... wrote:

Does anyone know why the date on a Polish marriage record would be in January 1897, while the marriage date recorded on the couple's children's birth certificates is in March 1897?
My great grandparents marriage record says they were married in Szrensk, Plock Gubernia on 22 January 1897.It's definitely the right record, the place and all the names  match.
My grandfather was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1901 and his birth certificate has his parents' marriage as being on 8 March 1897. His brother's birth certificate has the same marriage date on it. The informant was my great grandfather in both cases.

Many thanks.
Shoshanah Glickman
Gateshead, UK

Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

Re: Seeking any descendants of Herscu Grinberg/Aprivei #romania #general

Diane Katz. SURNAMES/TOWNS: Laske/Ladyzhin;,Steinberg Kiev; Grunberg Rheinhorn/Iasi; Milston/Slutzk; Bicz/Mogilev; Glas/Varniai; Moskowitz/Nagy-Saros Klein/Eperjes; Hefliech/Hungary; Marks/Machester/Suwalki; Shedrofski/Suwalki

My great great grandfather Chaim Grunberg I believe born 1832  but may have been later (not sure where I got the date) lived in Iasi, Romania.  He has a sister Judes born 1845.  I have their parents as Baruch and Etla - but that could be wrong.  I use so many sites but don't always transfer sources to my main updated tree which I keep on ancestry.  I definitely know this:  Chaim was married to Miriam/Marianne  Rheinhorn b. 1849.  The only two children I know of are Sophia and Yetty Grunberg.  Yetty was my great grandmother.  I'm always trying to find other siblings of my ancestors from Europe.  Do you have your DNA uploading anywhere so we could try to make comparisons?  Please contact me. Diane
Diane Katz

Danzig births 1847-1848 now searchable on JewishGen #danzig #gdansk #germany #poland #JewishGenUpdates

Logan Kleinwaks

A new collection of Danzig births from 4 Sep 1847 to 23 Dec 1848 (+ one from 1846) is now searchable via JewishGen's Unified SearchGermany Database, and Poland Database. You may find it helpful to restrict your search by Town = Danzig, in addition to whatever surname you are looking for. (As a reminder, Danzig births 1905-1939 and some from 1832-1846 are already searchable on JewishGen.)

These births come from Fond 1497, vol. 2 of the Archiwum Państwowe w Gdańsku (APG), via scans generously shared by / GenPol on their free website. Several years ago, we posted a finding aid to the birth, marriage, and death records in Fond 1497, including a (partial) name index. We have been working on fully transcribing those records (which contain more information than appears in the name index) and this update includes the first batch of records that have been both transcribed and proofread. Due to the difficult handwriting and narrative format of many of the records, this process requires considerable skill and effort. If you can read old German handwriting (Kurrent), please email me to inquire about volunteering, so we can expedite the indexing of these and other Danzig records.

Each birth record typically includes the child's given name and birth date; father's given name, surname, and occupation; mother's given name and maiden name. Some records have additional genealogical information, such as the names of other relatives (see Remarks field). In the Source field, the page number typically has the form "p. X / Y," referring to two numbers at the top of the first page concerning the birth, X being struck through and Y not struck through. There is usually more than one page per birth, the Source field only lists the first. The Source field contains a link to a scan of the first page (from which you can navigate to other pages) on the website You must already be logged in to that website in order to see the scan. For instructions about creating a (free) account there and logging in, see our finding aid. We have attempted to transcribe all genealogical information in these records, but, if you can read old German handwriting, you might want to check the scans, as some include lengthy narratives that might have other (not necessarily genealogical) information of interest (however, any names or places from narratives should be included in our database).

Surnames mentioned in these birth records:


Logan Kleinwaks
JewishGen Research Director for Danzig/Gdańsk

Re: Please help me identify this lady. Taken in 1876 in New Orleans, I cannot understand her name and I'd appreciate any suggestions #photographs

Jackye Sullins

First word is Mrs. second word looks like Chow but seems to end in “how”

Jackye Sullins

Re: Alexander Fixler Pennsylvania death certificate #usa

Marilyn Levinson

-----Original Message-----
From: wallachlevinson@... <wallachlevinson@...>
To: jewishgen@... <jewishgen@...>
Sent: Tue, Dec 14, 2021 11:06 am
Subject: Alexander Fixler Pennsylvania death certificate

Dear researchers
I located a death certificate for Alexander Fixler born and died on February 20, 1910.  The name of the father Max Fixler and the address are correct, but the mother's maiden name should be Dora Nudelman.  Can any one decipher the maiden name on this death certificate.
Also I located the named undertaker in Philadelphia an Esther Goldfuss.  The place of burial or removal is Har Judah. I called the office of Har Jehuda Cemetery in Upper Darby Pennsylvania aka Har Judah cemetery, but the office could not find a burial for a Fixler.  Would a six month old fetus receive a burial, and if so how do I find the correct cemetery?
Thank you for your help.

Marilyn Levinson
Spring Lake NC

Re: Please help me identify this lady. Taken in 1876 in New Orleans, I cannot understand her name and I'd appreciate any suggestions #photographs


What I read is "Ma Grandma Mrs. Chow".
Or the name might conceivably be Blair, as she does not look Asian, although maybe the name comes from Mr. Chow.
"Ma Grandma" might be someone's writing down of an American drawl saying "My Grandma". But in that case it seems a little odd not to use Mrs. whoever's first name. Unless she had just married Mr. Chow and showcasing her new title was the point.

Another idea, admittedly unlikely: this might be a list of three different people who wanted copies of this photo. But this is long before the snapshot era and I don't think copies were easy to come by and originals would not be treated so casually.
Robert Roth
Kingston, NY

Re: Please help me identify this lady. Taken in 1876 in New Orleans, I cannot understand her name and I'd appreciate any suggestions #photographs

Nicole Heymans

Ma Grandma Mrs Chon?

Any other samples of same handwriting?

Nicole Heymans, near Brussels, Belgium

Re: Searching for Lewis STEIN, husband of the late Marie Lena STEIN #general #usa


Try the website   There is a Lewis Stein listed there that fits your description.  

Susan Schlichting

Researching FEINSTEIN, RAKHMELIUK, FURMAN and KRASEWICZ in Krivoye Ozero, Starokonstantinov, Volkovysk and Bialystok 

Marriage document date doesn't match other records #records #poland


Does anyone know why the date on a Polish marriage record would be in January 1897, while the marriage date recorded on the couple's children's birth certificates is in March 1897?
My great grandparents marriage record says they were married in Szrensk, Plock Gubernia on 22 January 1897.It's definitely the right record, the place and all the names  match.
My grandfather was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1901 and his birth certificate has his parents' marriage as being on 8 March 1897. His brother's birth certificate has the same marriage date on it. The informant was my great grandfather in both cases.

Many thanks.
Shoshanah Glickman
Gateshead, UK

Re: Subject: Did individuals ever use names other than their own in Lithuania #lithuania #names

Laurence Broun

Regarding the second option, name changes are not uncommon. My grandfather's name was Sharff, but changed it to Broun after he survived a shipwreck coming to America. We understand it was tradition to change your name in recognition of G-d performing such a miracle, or alternately, to prevent the evil eye from finding you again. (Bruun was the name of a Swedish sailor on the same lifeboat; Broun is the Scottish spelling as the survivors were brought to Stornoway. 

We have other cousins who took names of deceased friends or cousins to avoid military service in the Tsar's army. 

Larry (Itzik Leib) Broun
Washington, DC | USA
e-mail: Laurencebroun@...

Re: Are we cousins? #dna #ukraine

Dahn Cukier


There is no way to know without contacting the "match" and
attempting to trace a connection.

I have a number of second cousins at Ancestry that are not
even listed as matches to my sister, mother, uncle (father's brother).

The same for my sister, a number of people listed as close cousins but
not mine.

Yes, my sister and I share many many genes.

You need to contact the "match" and attempt to
trace the connection.

Dan Zucker

When you start to read readin,
how do you know the fellow that
wrote the readin,
wrote the readin right?

Festus Hagen
Long Branch Saloon
Dodge City, Kansas

On Saturday, December 11, 2021, 03:51:58 AM GMT+2, Lee Jaffe <leejaffe54@...> wrote:

I'm appealing to the collective wisdom of the group to help determine whether I'm reading the evidence correctly about a potential relation.  If I am on the right path, I hope to get advice about next steps to pursue.

About a year ago, I discovered a DNA match at FTDNA to someone sharing my maternal ancestral surname Koskkin.  (Let's call him "K".)   While not a significant match (70cM), the common surname prompted me to write to him.  We had an interesting but inconclusive exchange. 

K's great-grandparents were Moshe and Chaya Koshkin.  His grandfather Mark Koshkin was born in Snovsk Ukraine in 1910 but moved to Moscow, where he married, had a son, and died during WWII.  The son eventually married and had a family in the USSR, but managed to emigrate during the 1970s, bringing his son – K – to the US.  Because of the move from Snovsk to Moscow, the early death of the grandfather and other considerations, K knows very little about his family origins.  However, with the information supplied, I was able to track down a 1908 Ukraine marriage record for Moshe Koshkin and Khaya Yofe.  Moshe was 34  (i.e., born 1874) and his father's name is recorded as Leib.  

My maternal great-grandmother Dora Koshkin Joroff was born in Snovsk about 1878.  She was one of 7 children of Leib Koshkin and Stische (Chila) Rappaport.  Four of the children emigrated to the US and brought over their parents between 1905-6.  The 3 siblings who we believe remained in Europe were Hannah, Mayna and Munya.

The alignment of our family narratives, of the town Snovsk, the 2x great-grandfather Leib, the birth years in the following generation, and the possible identification of the missing Munya with Moshe were certainly suggestive.  But the DNA match was significantly weaker that what I'd expect for 3rd cousins and there were no shared matches with other known Koshkin descendants at FTDNA to test that connection.  

Then a couple of things happened last fall.  For one, I was able to upload my mother's DNA test results to FTDNA, where she was matched to K at 181cM, about double K's match to me.  This was consistent with what I'd expect with a relation on my maternal line.  (Right?)   I also tested at 23ndme where I found myself matched with K again, only this time it reported overlap of 125cM (9 segments/largest 55.26cM), more consistent with a 3rd cousin relationship.  Further, 23andme found a shared match between me, K, and another known Koshkin cousin (2c1r).  To my untrained eye, the 3-way match shown in the attachment looks significant (K is shown in purple)  Is this triangulation?

I think the scattered pieces of the puzzle come together sufficiently to establish we share common ancestors.  I feel that the circumstantial evidence suggests there is a better than 0% chance that those common ancestors are Leib and Stiche.   And that my great-grandmother's missing brother Munya is K's great-grandfather Moshe.  Without additional records from Snovsk – my understanding is that they were destroyed – the historical record appears to be a dead end.  One potentially useful avenue for DNA research would be to look for Rappaport DNA matches, but these have been rarer than Koshkins.  

Since what I've outlined may be all I will ever find, I'd like to know whether it is sufficient.  Would you add K to your family tree as the great-grandson of Moshe/Munya?  If not, what more – if anything – do I need to do?

Thank you for any insights you can share,

Lee David Jaffe


Surnames / Towns:  Jaffe / Suchowola, Poland ; Stein (Sztejnsapir) / Bialystok and Rajgrod, Poland ; Joroff (Jaroff, Zarov) / Chernigov, Ukraine ; Schwartz (Schwarzman?, Schwarzstein?) / ? ;  Koshkin / Snovsk, Ukraine ; Rappoport / ? ; Braun / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland,  Ludwinowski / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland


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