JGSColorado presents: Dr. Alexander Beider, PhD speaking about Name Origins #events #names

Ellen Beller

Speaker:  Dr. Alexander Beider, PhD

Sunday November 13, 2022 

Topic:  Name Origins 

Program 10 AM to 12 PM Mountain Time

9:30 AM to 10 AM Schmear, Schmooze, and Share



Program Description:

A large majority of Jews of the Russian Empire received their family names only about 200 years ago.  The names adopted in the Russian Empire reflect a panorama of Jewish life at the beginning of the 19th century including; languages used and their peculiarities, occupations, given names, and places of settlement.  Some surnames provide information about ancestors who lived well before the 19th century.  You do not want to miss this presentation!



Born in Moscow, Dr. Beider is recognized as the leading authority on Jewish names from Eastern Europe, having worked on the etymology and geographic distribution of Jewish surnames for over 30 years.  He uses onomastics and linguistics as tools to unravel the history of the Jewish people, evolution, migrations and naming traditions.

Dr. Beider has written a series of reference books dealing with the etymology of Ashkenazic and Sephardic surnames in the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Poland, Galicia and Prague, as well as books on Ashkenazic given names, the Origins of Yiddish Names and many more.  His latest work is the Roots of Jews from the Ottoman Empire.  


His papers on Jewish onomastics, methodological principles of search of etymologies of surnames, and the history of Yiddish have been published by scholarly journals in US, France, Israel, Poland, and Russia. He lectures frequently at Jewish genealogical conferences and at scholarly symposiums on Jewish topics. In 2000, he received his PhD in Jewish studies, from Sorbonne. Since 1990, Dr. Beider lives with his family in Paris, France.

Members at no charge 

Non Members are $5

Everyone attending must register at

Ellen Beller President JGSCO

Re: Need help with spelling of 1939 city name in eastern Poland #poland

Even though the alphabet in Polish looks pretty much the same as ours, I like to think of it as a different alphabet. Letters that look familiar to English speakers are pronounced differently, there are combinations of letters such as cz, that give a specific sound, and there are a few letters with attached accent marks that have specific pronunciations, such as the "l" with the line through it.   In addition, some of the sounds in the Slavic languages are not exactly the same sounds that we learn, as children, to produce in English.   

The pronunciation of Gawłuszowice, is a good example.   This is the closest I can get to the letters with the equivalent pronunciations.  
"W" is pronounced like our "v" 
The "ł" with the line through it is pronounced like a "w" i  "way"   (The city of Lodz is pronounced like "Wuj")
"sz" is pronounced like  "sh"   Cz is prounced like "ch" 
"c" is pronounced like "ch"

So the closest pronunciation I can get for Gawluszowice is  Gav-woo-show-viche, with the accent on the third syllable. 
Any corrections or different ideas are welcome.

You can probably google a web site for Polish language and equivalent English pronunciation, as there are other differences in addition to the ones
I listed above. Good luck!

Avivah R. Z. Pinski 
Wynnewood, PA (near Philadelphia)
Researching:  Reznik-Drohiczyn, Poland
Zuchman - Sarnaki, Warsaw, Poland
Sundak - Latvia;  Slonim -  Belarus
Rifczes - Ukraine, Austria; Kopeikin - Belarus
Pinski - Mogilew, Belarus

ViewMate translation request Polish or maybe Russian #translation


I've posted a vital record in Polish or 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.

Luta Goldman


Re: Close DNA relationships - finding the link #dna


As someone who specializes in Ashkenazi genetic genealogy, I can tell you this may just be endogamy.
That 24 cm segment has a 20% chance of being more than twenty -- yes 20 -- generations old. (See Speed and Balding (2015) Relatedness in the post-genomic era: Is it still useful?)
There are no other segments of note, and as someone pointed out, the average segment size is only 11.5. You generally want to aim for an average in the mid teens or higher. And you want to look for a preponderance of large (15-20cM+) segments, the larger the better.
It also matters greatly which platform this is on. If it's Ancestry I might pay it slightly more attention given the location match between your families. If it's any of the others, I'd move on. (Ancestry uses an algorithm that greatly reduces the effects of endogamy.) And if it's on MH I'd be curious which chromosomes the matches are on. There's a known Ashkenazi pileup on 15.

I think it's useful for people from endogamous communities to invert our DNA paradigm. Rather than assuming that all these people on your "match" lists should be connectable to you, realize that the vast majority of the people you're paired with as "matches" are actually not meaningfully related to you; only a small subset are, especially on platforms other than Ancestry. I have assessed hundreds and hundreds of Jewish DNA match lists and I see these types of matches all day long. 
Hope that helps.
Jennifer Mendelsohn
Baltimore, Maryland

Re: Finding Claim Conference Documentation #hungary

Sherri Bobish


Further info on Claims Conference, Hungary database:

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish

Re: Location please, help - where is Jaroszowka Russia, and Faroozowka, Russia #records

Sherri Bobish


The JewishGen Gazetteer
lists three places in Poland called Jaroszówka.
Jaroszówka populated place (-505239) 52°09' N 19°34' E G Poland 61.0 miles W of Warszawa 52°15' N 21°00' E
Jaroszówka populated place (-505238) 51°19' N 15°59' E G Poland 223.8 miles WSW of Warszawa 52°15' N 21°00' E
Jaroszówka populated place (-505237) 49°54' N 20°16' E G Poland 165.2 miles S of Warszawa 52°15' N 21°00' E

I think that "Faroozowka" is just a sloppily written "Jaroszówka." comes up with these three places:
Jaroszówka, Dolnoslaskie, Poland
Jaroszówka, Lodzkie, Poland
Jaroszówka, Malopolskie, Poland

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish

Re: Ritchie Boys to be put up for Congressional Gold Medal #usa

David Cherson

Thank you Josh.  I didn't know that there were as many as 20,000 Ritchie Boys.  I can't stop remembering the wonderful film about them, and that focused on about six Ritchie Boys.  It was very informative and humorous at times (yes it was).  My father-in-law, who immigrated to the US in the 30's was drafted and was in the infantry.  He was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge, and after recovering was sent to Nice to join military intelligence in interrogating German prisoners.  I always said that he would have enjoyed seeing the film (unfortunately he passed away at 68).

I'd say the medal is a bit overdue, eh?

David Cherson

Ancestry Canada Global Military Records Free Access Until November 11 #canada #records #announcements

Jan Meisels Allen



Ancestry CA is making available free through November 11, 2022 their global military records at 11:59 p.m. ET. Only one free access per person. Registration required which includes your name, email address etc. No credit card information is required. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using a paid membership. See:

To see a full list of records in the featured collections please go to:

This list will say free in green for all data collections that are included in the free access offer.

Remember this is being offered by Ancestry Canada. At the time of posting this I did not see a similar offer from Ancestry US, UK or Ancestry Australia.


I have no affiliation with Ancestry or Ancestry CA and this is being posted solely for the information of the reader


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Looking for a researcher in Romania #romania

Marc Friedman

I recently found a citation for my G-grandmother's eldest brother in JOWBR, and I am looking for a researcher (preferably referred by a JewishGen member) who can hunt down information in Bucharest.
Marc Friedman
Irvine, CA
Germany:  APFEL (Bretten & Sinsheim); PFEIFER (Eberbach); KAHN (Reinheim); LAUMAN (Spachbruecken); MAYER (Nierstein)
Hungary/Slovakia: LAZAROVITZ (Maramaros Sziget), SACZ/SCHATZ (Satoralja Ujhely); SCHERMER/SERMER (Satoralja Ujhely & Nagy Mihaly); VAINGARTEN/WEINGARTEN (Satoralja Ujhely)
Romania: HERSHKOVITZ (Onesti and Bucharest); Iuster (Onesti)
United Kingdom (from Poland): COHN/COHEN

Moderator note: Please reply privately.  If you do not know how to reply directly to an individual, please see:



Re: Routes walked from Ukraine to United Kingdom 1917 #russia #unitedkingdom

Emma Kress

Ah, thank you so much! Learning about the Feess-gehers (Brian Westerman) and reading the excerpt from your father's biography, Debra, were particularly enlightening. My grandfather was only 11 when he left with only his two sisters. It's remarkable to read all of these journeys. The more research I do the more amazed I am by our shared history and perseverance. Thanks for all of your help!
Emma Kress

Re: NY Marriages #usa

Brian Kerr

I just wanted to share the following (verbatim) email I had just received earlier today in response to my previous post here...


The searchable index used on the site was created by the Long Island Genealogy Federation by transcribing original hard-copy indexes (which may have been inaccurately transcribed from original certificates). Future phases of the Historical Vital Records of NYC project may include opportunities for crowd-sourcing to improve and correct the index.

The certifiate is found under certificate 35459, was of by one number.


The NYC Municipal Archives Staff"

... I'm hoping that this response will be helpful in some way for others in a same/similar situation.

-- ~Brian D. Kerr, Esq | SSG, U.S. Army (Retired) | SSA, Brigade G1, U.S. Army (Retired) |>>Known Family Surnames (Researching): Dessler, Walk(Valk), Mahler (Maler), Paradisgarten (Paradisegarten), Tomasy (Thomashy), Gluck, Preisz (Priess), Steinhardt (Steinhart), Grossman (Grosman), Sholtz (Shultz), Kaplan, Bloom, Fischer (Fisher), Levy, Baum, Duwidewic, Meisal (Maisel)<<|>>Known Family Locations/Regions (of Surnames): Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Lithuania<<|

"Shul Records America" Launches on JewishGen #announcements #usa #JewishGenUpdates

Ellen Shindelman Kowitt

The JewishGen USA Research Division introduces Shul Records America (SRA) <> a new finding aid pointing to the location of American synagogue records. Launching with over 450 collections held at 47 repositories or websites, about 20% include URLS for digitized materials


Synagogue records are created by congregations, their staff including rabbis and administrators, other ritual leaders such as mohels, educators, and board members. The records that are preserved can contain a broad variety of materials including some that are of more value to community historians than family historians, but the real gems to genealogists include birth, marriage, and death registers, mohel or circumcision lists, ketubot, burials, and yahrzeit memorial plaques. Additionally, there are other types of synagogue materials that may be helpful such as membership lists, congregational bulletins or newsletters, board meeting minutes, donor lists, bar or bat mitzvot lists, photographs, eulogies, and more.


Finding synagogue records is problematic and time consuming. They can be housed at an active synagogue or at an archive. You can certainly research where defunct or historical congregational records may have been deposited by searching for the congregational name, rabbi, or mohel on WorldCat, ArchiveGrid, or Google possibly finding the location of preserved material hidden away at hundreds of small historical societies, museums, archives, or within commercial genealogy company catalogs.  


The reality is that the archival world does not catalog all collections with the same terminology or use the same transcriptions from foreign languages. There are also boxes at archives that are not described in finding aids and never make their way to WorldCat or Google, so when searching with a phrase such as "synagogue records" a collection that is simply catalogued as a "congregation register" or "rabbinical papers" or not described at all, may not point you to where the records exist and are housed or even what they contain.


There are also many errors in catalogs, and the only way to verify contents is to see the records in person or by digitizing them for broader access.


To make it easier, and in one place to identify where congregational records are housed, the JewishGen USA Research Division has partnered with the American Jewish Archives, the Center for Jewish History, Yeshiva University, and The Jewish Theological Seminary to start the search for you with Shul Records America.


The details:

  • Most are in English, but there are also Hebrew, German, and Yiddish collections.
  • Most of the collections listed are not digitized. When they are, there is a hyperlink. These are the easiest projects to tackle indexing first.
  • Some collections are duplicated and housed in more than one repository.
  • Others are split up with portions of records in different repositories.
  • If you find errors, which we know there will be, please contact us with corrections to keep this list as useful to everyone as possible.
  • If you know of U.S. synagogue records housed in repositories not included here yet, please tell us, so we can add them.

We need you! Help us to identify where American synagogue records are located both online and offline, and grow this finding aid! Inspire individuals, Jewish Genealogy Societies, and congregations to create indexing projects from these records for placement on JewishGen. And if you don’t find a congregation you are interested in on SRA, perhaps motivate an active congregation to collect and share their records with archives such as AJA, JTS and YU.


To add additional collections, volunteer to index digitized synagogue records, or for more information about Shul Records America, visit or contact USA-RD Director, Ellen Kowitt at ekowitt@....

Visit today!

Ellen Shindelman Kowitt
Director, JewishGen USA Research Division

Re: Close DNA relationships - finding the link #dna


I wouldn't characterize this is a close match. IAverage segment size is only 11.5cM (92cM divided by 8 segments) and there's only one large segment (I usually define "large" as 15cM or more). Most matches I encounter that are like this are endogamous matches, small bits from many distant ancestors, not traceable to a single recent relative.

There's not hard and fast rules but in general, multiple large segments are the best indicator of a strong Jewish DNA match. Matches where average segment size is 15cM or larger are promising and matches where average segment size is less than 12cm are usually endogamy.


Steve Toub

US Census history summary #usa #records

Lee Jaffe

I thought this item reviewing the contents of the US Census decade-by-decade would interest other list members.  There is a "Research Guide" providing more details connected to each short decade's summary and a list of "genealogically important questions" at the end.

Lee Jaffe
Surnames / Towns:  Jaffe / Suchowola, Poland ; Stein (Sztejnsapir) / Bialystok and Rajgrod ; Roterozen / Rajgrod ; Joroff (Jaroff, Zarov) / Chernigov, Ukraine ; Schwartz (Schwarzstein) / Ternivka, Ukraine ;  Weinblatt / Brooklyn, Perth Amboy, NJ ; Koshkin / Snovsk, Ukraine ; Rappoport / ? ; Braun / Wizajny, Suwalki,  Ludwinowski / Wizajny, Suwalki


ViewMate Translation Request-Polish #translation

Kenneth Berger

I've posted a JRI-Poland vital record in Polish 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.
Ken Berger

ViewMate translation request - Yiddish #translation

Roger Lampert

Can someone please translate the Yiddish on Viewmate at

It was on what appears to be a wedding photo from 1946


Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.

Thank you very much.


Roger Lampert


Re: Need help with spelling of 1939 city name in eastern Poland #poland

David Brostoff

On Nov 2, 2022, at 11:05 AM, Renee Steinig <genmaven@...> wrote:

o Go to YouTube and enter the words "How to Pronounce Przemysl." Similar videos are available for other cities, but unfortunately, there's none for my mother's birthplace -- Gawłuszowice, Poland, a village whose pronunciation I've never mastered.
Forvo has pronunciation for Gawłuszowice:

David Brostoff

Re: Need help with spelling of 1939 city name in eastern Poland #poland

Renee Steinig

I fully agree that the Polish town that Allan Gilbert heard pronounced as "Sheh-mish" is Przemysl. In fact, when Shelley Pollero and I give our "Galicia Basics" talk at conferences, we regularly mention Przemysl as an example of a town whose spelling/pronunciation might challenge researchers.

Two additions to this discussion: 

o The New York Times published this article about Przemysl in March 2022:
A Town on Ukraine's Edge, Determined to Escape It's Past
You'll need a NY Times account to open the article but googling its title might locate it on another site.

o Go to YouTube and enter the words "How to Pronounce Przemysl." Similar videos are available for other cities, but unfortunately, there's none for my mother's birthplace -- Gawłuszowice, Poland, a village whose pronunciation I've never mastered.


Renee Stern Steinig
Dix Hills NY

Allan Gilbert <allan.gilbert@...> wrote:

<<I am trying to obtain the spelling of an eastern Polish city, the name of which I've only heard in audio form. It was mentioned in a description of Jewish Polish families going there in August of 1939, in order to escape the expected German invasion of Poland. The reasoning was, that the city would end up in Russian control, rather than German control, because it had once been part of Russia, which is exactly what happened. The Germans took over the city, but left after a month, at which time, the Russians took control. Jewish families who did not wish to become Russian citizens were sent to Siberia and other parts of Eastern Russian. In 1941, when Hitler broke the non-aggression pact he'd made with Stalin, the city, along with the rest of Poland, came under Nazi rule. Other cities mentioned, likely (but not necessarily) to be in the same general area, are Krakow, Lvov, and Kalwaria.  One family of which I'm aware ran a gasoline business in the city.  Phonetically speaking, I've heard the city pronounced as, either “Share-misk”, “Share-mish”, “Sheh-misk”, or “Sheh-mish”. I've played around with the "sounds like" search engine on this site, but am not familiar with the phonetic systems in place, nor with which combination of Polish consonants and vowels, would produce the best search results. I'd greatly appreciate any assistance with help in learning the spelling of my mystery city.>>

Allan later added:

<<Unfortunately, the audio is not available for sharing. The first syllable seems to either be "share", or "sheh". And the second, "isk", or "ish". Actually, I got a good lead from another poster, who suggested the city of Przemyśl, whose pronunciation is very close to that which I'm hearing. The city's location and history match as well. I forgot to mention an important clue (well, didn't realize that it could be important at time, ha), namely, that as the Germans were leaving the city in question, they set a synagogue on fire. After researching Przemysl, I found that its "Old synagogue" was indeed set ablaze by the Germans, just before they left. In any case, thanks for your input!>>

Finding Claim Conference Documentation #hungary


Dear Colleagues,

I am searing for Hungarian Claims Conference Documents for my family.

This found an index listing from a search on Jewish Gen

Name: Barany, Elemerne
Code: 128615 
DocCode: 362.10
Page 41

I am a bit lost in the databases.
Thank you for helping me,
Deborah Barany


Deborah Barany

Re: British Military Rabbi in Alexandria Egypt WW2 #unitedkingdom #sephardic


I can't fully answer the question but wanted to thank you for sharing the photo as my grandmother (Sephardim from Cairo) married a British Army officer 18th December 1941 in Cairo.

I can point you towards some academic research on Rabbis in both the British and American Armies during WW2:
Slomovitz, Albert Isaac, "The Fighting Rabbis: A History of Jewish Military Chaplains, 1860-1945" (1995). Dissertations. 3544. 

Another suggestion might be the Royal Army Chaplains' Museum and Archive as there certainly were British Rabbis and if you have a date for the photo there may be some associated overseas marriage records either there on in the British Public Records Office. I know from my grandmother that the marriage is registered as an overseas marriage in the British PRO.  The marriage certificate should give the celebrant, although the index won't. (
Elizabeth Gardner
Seattle, USA