Re: Buenos Aires Cemeteries #general

Susan Steeble

You can try or the obituaries at
Susan Kahan Steeble
Baltimore, MD, USA
Researching: FRIDGANT/FRIEDHAND and variants from Bershad, Ukraine
                      KESSELMAN from Chorna/Okna, Ukraine
                      BUDIANSKY/BUDINOFF and SLUTSKY from Korsun and Zolotonosha, Ukraine
                      KAHANOWITZ/KAGANOVICH from Grodno and Masty, Belarus
                      STUCHINSKY from Jurbarkas/Yurburg, Lithuania

Re: Did you go to a Jewish summer camp? #usa

Adar Belinkoff

I attended (and was a madrich) at Habonim Camp Kvutza in Southern California in the 1940s.  My daughters also attended Habonim camps in the 1960s.  It was a life-changing experience.

Adar Belinkoff
Claremont, CA

Re: Did you go to a Jewish summer camp? #usa

Alan Reische

Myra: Young Judea still operates. As for the morning swims - IIRC, Lake Baboosic had occasional leeches, so perhaps you were wise to skip the dips.

Myra's email surfaced a question: Does Carol want responses only for camps with a specific Jewish focus and content - for instance, Young Judea has a kosher food program and conducts Friday night services, amongst others - or does she want to include also Jewish owned camps whose summer programs are otherwise indistinguishable from their non-Jewish peers? 

Alan Reische
Manchester NH

Re: Inhabitants Alt Schotland around 1891 #poland

Logan Kleinwaks

Thank you, Ron Peeters, for sharing this list of poor inhabitants of Altschottland c. 1891. I will be in contact with you privately about it.

For anyone interested in Altschottland residents from a little earlier time, note that census-like records ("Familienbuch") from Altschottland for 1880-1882 and 1850-1879 are searchable on JewishGen via the Unified Search, Germany Database, or Poland Database. These include entire families and were updated whenever major events occured during the indicated time period, such as births, marriages, deaths, or emigration. For more details, see the description of the "Danzig Database" at

For a list of censuses from Altschottland or other Danzig communities, and their indexing status (green = finished/online, yellow = in progress, cyan = partial name index online), scroll down to the Census section at Note especially the link to Danzig census-like records for 1843-1918 (APG 14/5), the residential registration cards, which are fairly easy to browse, as they are essentially alphabetized by surname (according to German alphabetization rules). The residential registration cards are quite extensive, but not 100% comprehensive, at least in their surviving state. We would like to add these to the searchable JewishGen databases, too, but such a task would require significant additional volunteer labor (skilled in reading old German writing).

For birth, marriage, and death records from c. 1891:

1) All civil marriage records including at least one Jewish partner have been transcribed and are currently being proofread before being added to JewishGen's searchable database. Additional proofreading volunteers who can read old German writing (Kurrent) would be welcome to speed this process.

2) Death records from the Jewish community have been transcribed and are currently being proofread before being added to JewishGen's searchable database. Additional volunteers who can read Hebrew would be welcome.

3) There is a finding aid to help you locate online scans of civil births, marriages, and deaths at This includes surnames for the marriages (useful before the proofreading in 1, above, is complete). However, note that the instructions and links are currently incorrect due to one of the external websites recently shutting down. There will be an announcement here when the instructions and links have been updated.

For any other questions about Danzig, or if you might like to volunteer as a transcriber or proofreader (German or Hebrew), feel free to contact me privately.

Logan Kleinwaks
JewishGen Research Director for Danzig/Gdańsk

Re: Did you go to a Jewish summer camp? #usa

Myra Fournier

Hi, Carol: I replied to you privately, but thought I'd share. My sister and I went to Camp Young Judaea in Amherst, NH in the mid to late 1950s. All the bunks were named after Jewish towns.  Mine was Petah Tikvah. We wore blue and white outfits on the Sabbath. I was a momma's girl, so didn't like being at camp, but did love taking archery and riflery and volleyball.  I always feigned a sore throat to get out of morning swim....brrrrr. For many years my mother kept my postcard home saying the camp was too cheap to give us milk with our meals.  I knew nothing about kosher!!!!  :-)
My sister will dig out photos to send to you. Can't wait to attend the program.
Myra Fournier (nee Woods)
Bedford, MA

"Deep in the hills of New Hampshire, under a moonlit sky.  Stands a Camp Young Judaea whose spirit will never die!..."  This song I still remember, but not what I had for breakfast. :-)

Re: What to do on Ancestry when the names change but the places don't? #general

Jill Whitehead

Emily, you list your families as coming from Suwalki gubernia. This was and still is a border area. All eight of my great grandparents were born there in the 1840s and 1850s. Then, it was all part of Poland (Russian Poland). In 1919 after WW1, the three northern Suwalki gminas went into Lithuania leaving the three southern ones in Poland. However, there were some other boundary changes, as a small part of Suwalki went into Belarus in the Lida/Olita area.  There may also have been some small changes on Suwalki's boundary with Konigsberg in East Prussia now the Russian Enclave of Kaliningrad. 

Many place names in Suwalki have German/Polish/Lithuanian/Yiddish versions due to the many different empires ruling over them over time. Suwalki was Lithuanian for centuries, then it became Polish, then it was ruled by Napoleon and so on through the Russian Tsarist empire and German incursions in 20th century, plus post war communist rule.

it was not until post 1945 that the idea of the Nation State took hold. You need to understand European history to understand family name changes, place name changes, migration patterns etc. 

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Buenos Aires Cemeteries #general

Shlomo Melchior

Locating German Passports that were surrendered to the British in Eretz-Yisrael (Palestine) #germany


Jan 9  

Hi fellow researchers, 

My grandfather, Siegfried (later Elieser) GOTTLIEB, surrendered his German passport when applying for naturalisation in Mandate Palestine in Nov 1934.
I have the request found in the Israeli Archive (גנזך המדינה).

I'm looking for the actual passport and information on what would have happened to it.
Would this have been sent back to Germany? If so where would it be (Lauterback or the state archive of Hesse)?
Held in the German embassy/Consulate in Mandate Palestine?
I did write to Lauterbach in Germany where it was issued in Aug 1934 but did not receive a reply.
I also had a reply that Germany destroys all passports older than 30 years.

I would welcome any insights on this matter.
Thank you. 

PS - I do have a copy of his mother's Reisepass issued 16 March 1937 also in Lauterbach.
She did not request naturalisation so did not need to hand it over.
Tamar AMIT

Re: Did you go to a Jewish summer camp? #usa

Mary D. Taffet

I never went to one as I converted as an adult, but my husband did. He
lived on Long Island at the time and went to Camp B'nai B'rith in
Starlight, PA for a number of years, and worked in the kitchen for a
while.  That experience is why he's the cook of our family.

-- Mary D. Taffet
     Syracuse, NY

Re: Ukraine-based genealogy, family trees and translation? #ukraine


I have also worked with Alex and was thoroughly impressed by the quality of his research. I would also recommend him unreservedly! 
David Zeidman
United Kingdom


Utah JGS Meeting - Deep Genetic Genealogy: A Survey for Researchers of All Levels by Adam Cherson #dna #events #rabbinic

Joshua Perlman

Utah Jewish Genealogical Society (UJGS) invites you to our May meeting, on May 23rd at 7pm MST
Title: Deep Genetic Genealogy: A Survey For Researchers of All Levels
Speaker: Adam Cherson, Author of Historicity of the Tribe of Levi: A Genetic Perspective (in print)

Part 1: Cultural Genography
Part 2: Rabbinical yDNA Lineages
Part 3: Levi-Cohen Tribal Tree
Part 4: Q & A

Description: In this first-ever presentation Adam will give an overview with illustrations of various unique approaches to genealogical research, including everything one needs to know to get started.

Joshua S. Perlman
Salt Lake City, Utah

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh Presents: “Jewish Given Names” with Warren Blatt #jgs-iajgs #education #events

Steve Jaron

Do you have questions about Jewish Given Names and the traditions behind them - then this is the presentation you MUST SEE!

Warren Blatt is the former Managing Director of JewishGen (, the primary Internet site for Jewish genealogy. Blatt has over 40 years of research experience with Russian and Polish Jewish records, and is the author of the JewishGen FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Jewish Genealogy, and many other JewishGen InfoFiles. He is the author of Resources for Jewish Genealogy in the Boston Area; and co-author (with Gary Mokotoff) of Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy. He was the Chair of the 15th International Seminar on Jewish Genealogy. In 2004, he was awarded the IAJGS’ Lifetime Achievement Award in Jerusalem.

Learn why “Mordechai Yehuda” is also “Mortka Leib” is also “Max.” An introduction to Jewish given names (first names), focusing on practical issues for genealogical research. Our ancestors each had many different given names and nicknames, in various languages and alphabets— this can make Jewish genealogical research difficult. This presentation will teach you about the history and patterns of Jewish first names, and how to recognize your ancestors’ names in genealogical sources.

Topics include: Religious and secular names; origins of given names; variants, nicknames and diminutives; double names (unrelated pairs, kinnui, Hebrew/Yiddish translations); patronymics; name equivalents; Ashkenazic naming traditions (naming of children); statistics on the distribution and popularity of given names in various regions and times; spelling issues; Polish and Russian declensions; interpretation of names in documents; and the Americanization of immigrant Jewish names: adaptations and transformations.

To register visit -

Date: May 22, 2022
Time: 1:00pm (US Eastern)

The cost for this program is $5 for the general public.
All programs are free for members of the JGS of Pittsburgh.
This virtual program will be presented via Zoom and recorded. After the program, the recording will be made available to JGS of Pittsburgh members who are current with their dues.

For information on membership and future programs please visit our website at

Steven Jaron
JGS President


Re: Any sources/people on the Ruzhiner Rebbe? #rabbinic

Adam Cherson

Looks like the word editor may have grabbed the comma as part of the URLs, here they are with out the commas
All four are maternal aunts and uncles of the Ruzhiner Rebbe and their children would also be the Rebbe's cousins.

Adam Cherson

Register for this week's free JewishGen Webinar: Jewish Surnames and Patronymics #JewishGenUpdates

Avraham Groll

The entire community is invited to join us for our next free JewishGen Talks webinar:

Topic: Jewish Surnames and Patronymics: Tracing Your Ancestors Before They Had Surnames
Date: Wednesday, May 18th, 2022
Time: 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Registration: Free with a suggested donation. Please click here to register now

About the Talk
Anyone researching their Jewish ancestry prior to the 18th century encounters the challenge of identifying Ashkenazi relatives with no family surnames. In this presentation, Dr. Thomas Fürth will demonstrate, using case studies, how these obstacles can be overcome.


About the Speaker
Dr. Thomas Fürth lives in Stockholm, Sweden and is the Associate Professor of History at Stockholm University. He serves as President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sweden (Judiska släktforskningsföreningen i Sverige) and the Genealogical Society of Sweden (Genealogiska föreningen) and is the Avotaynu Contributing Editor for Sweden.

Re: Unusual style of writing dates #ukraine


Just realized that the "2" at the end of both dates is really an "r," which stands for года" ("of the year" in Russian). So the first one is [19]69, and the second is [19]71.

Yehuda Altein
Brooklyn, NY

David Brill to explain Russian Empire revision lists for JGS of Illinois in May 22, 2022, free live webinar #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Martin Fischer

“Getting the Most from Revision Lists” will be the topic of a genealogy presentation by David R. Brill for the 2 p.m. CDT, Sunday, May 22, 2022, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. (A separate, members-only online genealogy discussion will take place at 1 p.m.) Register/RSVP at

Revision lists (revizskie skazki) are among the most important genealogical resources from the Russian Empire and are often the only available confirmation that an ancestor actually lived in a particular shtetl. With the growing number of revision list translations on JewishGen and elsewhere, it is easier than ever to expand one’s research beyond U.S.-based sources and discover previously unknown genealogical connections. 

This talk will help both the novice and the experienced genealogist learn to navigate the world of revision lists. David Brill will cover: 

  • What are revision lists? When and why were they created? 
  • What are the differences between censuses and revision lists? 
  • What can revision lists tell me about my family and about shtetl life in general? 
  • Where can I find revision lists for my town? Are they online? 


The speaker will explore examples of original revision lists in Russian and show how they can be used to trace Jewish families. The prospect of reading 19th-century handwritten records may seem daunting at first. But as more and more images of the original Russian-language documents become available to genealogists on the internet, the value of being able to read those records for oneself is undeniable. David will explain how even with no initial knowledge of Russian one can, with a bit of practice, become a “maven” at recognizing key words, names and phrases. 

David R. Brill is a longtime member of the Jewish Genealogical and Archival Society of Greater Philadelphia, and the coordinator of its Russian Interest Group. 

For over 25 years, David has researched his family history in the countries of the former Russian Empire (especially Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russian Poland). Over the years, his interest in this area led him to become a self-taught translator of pre-revolutionary Russian-language genealogical records. Currently, he manages the Rovno District Jewish Records Project for JewishGen’s Ukraine Research Division and is the JewishGen town leader for his ancestral shtetl of Tuchin (Ukraine). 

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

 Temple bulletin or calendar listing: “Getting the Most from Revision Lists” will be the topic of a genealogy presentation by family historian David R. Brill for the 2 p.m. CDT, Sunday, May 22, 2022, virtual meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. The speaker will explain what revision lists are and where they can be found, explore examples of original revision lists in Russian and show how they can be used to trace Jewish families. Register/RSVP at:

Shorter listing: “Getting the Most from Revision Lists” will be the topic of a genealogy talk by family historian David R. Brill for the 2 p.m. CDT, Sunday, May 22, 2022, virtual meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. Register/RSVP at:

Martin Fischer
Vice President-Publicity
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

JGSI website:

JGS of Greater Orlando. Virtual meeting (free). How to Use the JewishGen Discussion Group Effectively. #announcements #jgs-iajgs


MAY 24, 2022, 7:00 EDT





BY:  Phil Goldfarb


The JewishGen Discussion Group is a lively online forum for JewishGen researchers of all levels, whether beginners or experts, to share information, receive answers to questions, and participate in the JewishGen Community. Also, all postings back to 1998 have been archived and are searchable, creating an excellent resource for research. Phil Goldfarb is a member of the Leadership Team for JewishGen as well as the Lead Moderator for the JewishGen Discussion Group. He will tell us what this platform can do to help us with our family history research and share some success stories.  The Agenda for the meeting will include instructions for use as well as:


·         What the JGDG is all about

·         Ways the JDDG can help you

·         Advantages of the new JGDG platform

·         Hashtags: how/why important to use them

·         Ways to post a message

·         How to reply to a message individually or to the group

·         Success stories from the JGDG

·         Who to contact if confused

Registration is required for this meeting. 

here to register. 

A link to access the Zoom meeting will be sent to registrants a few days before the meeting.

Diane M. Jacobs
Winter Park, Florida

Ukraine-based genealogy, family trees and translation? #ukraine

Writing Racketeer

Hi all,

I’ve been working on and off with a Greater Kharkov-based Ukrainian genealogist named Alex Belous since January, and I just wanted to put in another plug for him here. 

He is smart, diligent, trustworthy and knowledgeable about genealogyHis services include: Assistance with ancestor searches, genogram and family tree creation (including wall posters), and document translation from either Ukrainian or Russian to English. 

Like many Ukrainians, his life has changed since the war began and he is undoubtedly spending more time than he’d like in a bomb shelter. But he has the experience and know-how to help you find your ancestors and, like most of us, he still needs to work for a living.

If you’re interested in exploring his services, he works freelance through Fiverr and can be reached here:

Lydia Zabarsky
New York 

Researching the ancestry of early 20th c. immigrants to Worcester, MA
🇺🇦 ZABARSKY | MAZER Belaya Tserkva, Kiev Gubernia
🇱🇹 GLAZER | PESKIN Somewhere, Lithuania


Re: Did you go to a Jewish summer camp? #usa

Rick Saffran

I went to Berkshire Hills Camp from 1962 through 1966. It was located on the Twin Lakes in the Northwest corner of Connecticut in Salisbury, CT.
It was owned by the Reich family and most of the campers were relatives or friends (or friends of friends). Although the camp closed in the 1970’s or early 80’s we have a FB page. I personally am still in frequent contact with the guys who were my bunkmates for those five years.

Rick Saffran
15881 Meadow King Ct
Alpharetta, GA 30004

Name changes #names


People who have been reading these messages for more than two years may recall that just before the Covid pandemic began, I had made a request to NARA to locate a document, RG 85, 52.271/6.  NARA is now sufficiently open to have responded to my request; the document is still missing and they believe the various searches I suggested would be futile, i.e., they weren't about to undertake them.
That said, in the last two years, I have come to believe this document is a response from the Immigration Bureau's Washington headquarters to what Ellis Island did in the MaryJohnson/Frank Woodhull situation.  The missing document is dated Nov., 1908, mere weeks after Mary/Frank's arrival in early October, and it directs Ellis Island not to repeat what they did in that case: replace Frank's listing with Mary's name.  That much I suspect will be uncontroversial.
However, we should recognize that this directive will result in Inspectors telling any immigrant who reports that the name in the listing isn't his/hers that the error cannot be corrected.  That means the listing will continue to match any documents derived from it, including the landing tag and medical inspection card -- it's possible the reason for the directive was to make unnecessary any work involved in correcting these derivative documents as well.  I find it eminently credible that an immigrant who has been told that the name (s)he has seen on his/her medical inspection card, and on his/her landing tag, and that cannot be changed on the manifest will describe this as "We were told at Ellis Island that our name is ...," thereby giving rise to the belief that their name had been changed against their will.  There is no barrier, even theoretically, to errors being made in the writing of the manifests.
This regulation would have been in effect from 1908 to sometime before 1923 (The end date comes from the manifest for the ship that brought my father to New York, which had 51 listings corrected.  The actual end date may be as early as 1917.), years accounting for a significant fraction of all immigrants.  Educated guesses as to the ages of these arrivals suggest this generation would have died off during the 1960s and 1970s, when NARA reported receiving requests for documentary evidence for the name-change narratives.  In turn, these requests prompted a question to Marian Smith at a training event she conducted for NARA in the 1990s, to which she responded that no such documents existed.  I have queried her through various channels about whether her belief in the meme is based on researching the issue, but she has never replied.  I can't come up with a reason not to if she had actual evidence that the meme is correct.
The "no involuntary name-changes" meme appears to be derived from this answer, but that is the logical error known as an argument from ignorance, whose best-known form is "Absence of evidence is evidence of absence."  In our context, that would read, "Absence of documentary evidence of involuntary name-changes is evidence that such changes did not occur."  None of the other dozen or so "proofs" for the meme holds up any better.  What I call the "Demonicus Snotgrubber" argument, that the mechanism behind the involuntary name-change narratives was that inspectors looked at immigrants and arbitrarily changed names on the spot, giving people they liked nice names, while those they didn't became "Demonicus Snotgrubber," has never been more than a straw man.  That this mechanism is a crock doesn't mean other mechanisms don't exist.
There is no case supporting the meme that involuntary name-changes could not happen, and now we have a second mechanism for how they could.  (The first appeared in a flow-chart in my article in Avotaynu, Vol.~34, \#1, Spring, 2018, p.~34.)   I hope readers appreciate the irony that a missing document on which Edward David Luft relies to substantiate his belief in the meme turned out to be the key to demonstrating that it is wrong.  The emperor is naked after all.
Yale Zussman

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