Invitation to JGSSN Zoom meeting: "History and Geography – Tools for Eastern European Research” with Amy Wachs. #events

Ben Kempner

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Nevada (JGSSN) invites you to a Zoom meeting at 1:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on Sunday, August 15: "History and Geography – Tools for Eastern European Research” with Amy Wachs.

 To request a Zoom link, please complete this short form which can also be found on our Meetings webpage.

 Members of JGSSN can attend for free.  Non-members: please complete the short form and pay $5.00 on the Donate page.    

Session Description:

Researching our Eastern European ancestry remains challenging in many countries, where missing records may lead to frustrating “brick walls”. This presentation will offer guidance for using the region’s historical events and geography to help fill in gaps and move past brick walls to determine place of ancestry, trace migration, and identify ancestors.

About Amy Wachs:

Amy Wachs has been involved in Jewish genealogy for over 30 years.   She is Past President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland and served on the Board of LitvakSIG, Inc. from 2014 through 2020.  Amy is a retired attorney and university instructor.  She taught law in Latvia as a Fulbright Scholar and in Moldova as a Fulbright Senior Specialist.   Amy often speaks about Eastern Europe and Jewish genealogy topics at conferences and to local audiences.

Ben Kempner
VP, Programs & Membership
Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Nevada


Re: What nationality is my Grandmother - addition/clarification

Lorraine Minor

You might be interested in reading the book "House of Glass" by Hadley Freeman. She discusses the citizenship status of Jews who immigrated to France after WWI and what happened to them during WWII.

Lorraine Minor

Re: Why St. Louis? #usa

Sherri Bobish

Good afternoon Genners,

Further to Zalman's post regarding Brooklyn and NYC, anyone interested in learning more detail on the January 1st, 1898 consolidation may want to read Steve Morse & Joel Weintraub's detailed history at this page:
A History of the Geography of New York City (revised version)
By Stephen P. Morse & Joel D. Weintraub

Nothing about NYC is, or ever was, easy or simple!


Sherri Bobish

Re: What nationality is my Grandmother - addition/clarification

Eva Lawrence

Until well after World War 2, a woman automatically took the nationality of her husband. While this may not have been the case under French law it was certainly the case under German law. By marrying a Polish husband, your grandmother became a Polish citizen in the eyes of the German authorities, irrespective of where she was born, unlike her children, who were born in France under French rule. 
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

Re: Why St. Louis? #usa

JoAnne Goldberg

As a Jew with no known New York connections -- at least not before WWII!
-- it's not at all uncommon to find clusters of Jews in cities outside
the East Coast. My Lithuanian ancestors (immigrated 1880s/1890s) all
went to places like Chicago, Kansas City, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. I
know that there was a beloved Lithuanian rabbi in Pittsburgh who may
have been the draw for many. The Chicago contingent probably entered the
country near there and found that it was a vibrant, growing city.

I grew up in Kansas City. which, like St Louis, is located on a river,
and must have been a pretty exciting place back in the day. I will say
that it's much easier to track down family, especially those with
relatively common names, in places that aren't New York, and to find
contemporaneously-written histories that mention family members. Seems
that in the 1880s, immigrants didn't have the "just a flyover state"
mentality that is so common now. The cities we see today are not the
cities that attracted our great-grandparents.

JoAnne Goldberg - Menlo Park, California; GEDmatch M131535


Re: Why St. Louis? #usa


It is possible that he didn't go to St. Louis right away, but availed himself of the opportunity when the IRO was established.  He may have gone on his own.  For what it's worth, my great-uncle went to Mississippi for a while around 1908 at age 20 and apparently ran a grocery store, but he returned to NYC after a short time, where he was naturalized in 1913. He was not yet married at the time.  
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Listing as an Alien Trader #poland

Vivienne Kramer

My great great  uncle  was listed as an Alien Trader in the 1870 Warsaw City Directory. Would this mean that he was born elsewhere?
Vivienne Kramer

Re: Naming convention question #names


I have found information about Stefan Uzdansky in Russian and the explanation is that his father had two names Lazar and Tadeush. 

So Tadeushevich is Stefan's second patronymic.

Lara Tsinman

Seeking the descendants of Volf VOLFSON in Dnipro #ukraine

Sidney Myers <sidney_m@...>

I am trying to trace any direct descendants of Volf VOLFSON, who was born around 1879 in Bobruysk. He was the son of my great-grandparents, Levi Isaac and Krane Volfson. By 1900, Volf was living in Ekaterinoslav (now Dnipro) where he married Beljua KATSLER in 1908 and had at least two children, Dina (born 1909) and Benjamin (born 1910). I am keen to make contact with their children or grandchildren.
Many thanks
Sidney MYERS
London, England

Re: Gravestone info #austria-czech

Valentin Lupu

You're  probably searching info from Vaslui, a Moldavian town in Romania. This town, with a large Jewish population before WWII, has nothing to do with Austria or Czech Republic. The Jewish cemetery address is 102 Calugareni st., Vaslui.
You may contact the Romanian JCC (Federatia Comunitatilor Evreiesti) in Bucharest Tel. 021-315.50.90F AX : 021-313.10.28
Valentin Lupu

Re: Digital book #general


Try to do it in LaTeX ( it is an open source collection of programs used by major publishers as well; and it it a potent tool, much better suited for publication purposes than Word. It allows you also to structure your workflow, and it produces pdf as an output (or html, XML). You will find (under the  webpage ) als the necessary tutorials (for whatever platform you work with (Windows, Mac, Linux). 

LaTeX is not (like Word) a Wysiwyg program. It works with an editor (various), and it uses commands and style sheets to typeset the text. This double text (commands plus text) is than processed (quickly). You can get the knack of it within few hours: it pays off well, producing beautiful text!

I work on a Mac platform, use TeXShop as my editor, as well as XeLaTeX as my typesetting processor.

Marcel Herbst
Zürich, Switzerland

The need for a Sephardic Genealogical Society #sephardic

David Mendoza

Sephardic genealogy has taken great steps forward over recent years.
Following the pioneering work of Jeff Malka and others, the Sephardic
Diaspora Facebook group launched in 2014 to provide a home for serious
discussion of Iberian Jewish genealogy. Over the last eighteen months the
Sephardic World meetings have made a useful contribution. This Sunday we
announce the creation of the Sephardic Genealogical Society.

Why the need for a specifically Sephardic society? This week we shall
discuss the main differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardi genealogy, and
some of the rabbit-holes that exist within the world of Sephardic genealogy.
These can include the crypto-Jewish movement, ideas around Sephardic
settlement in eastern Europe, and fantasies built around 'secret signs',
surnames and 'fleeing the Inquisition'.

The Portuguese and Spanish nationality laws have spawned a whole unregulated
industry. The Sephardic Genealogical Society plans to introduce a voluntary
Code of Conduct for those working in the field. Join us to discuss the
exciting future of Sephardic genealogy.

The meeting is on Sunday 25 July 2021 at 11am in LA, 2pm NYC, 7pm London,
8pm Amsterdam and 9pm Jerusalem. Patrons can join us on Zoom. 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 live!

Best wishes,

David Mendoza and Ton Tielen
Sephardic World

Re: Why St. Louis? #usa

Peggy Mosinger Freedman

There is an excellent history of the Jewish Community of St Louis called Zion in the Valley by Walter Ehrlich.  According to Ehrlich, there was an active United Hebrew Relief Association (UHRA) founded in 1871.  This group provided direct and immediate relief to Jewish immigrants, was instrumental in the founding of Jewish Hospital in St Louis and establishing a Home for Aged and Infirm Israelites.  They were in contact with relief organizations in New York and arranged to help settle many Jewish immigrants in St Louis and elsewhere in the Midwest in the 1880s and 1890s.

Ehrlich's book is well footnoted and lists many organizations that helped with these projects.

Peggy Mosinger Freedman

Re: Why St. Louis? #usa

Judith Singer

There was definitely a community of people from Zaslav in St. Louis. You can go to and search for people who lived in St. Louis, not using anyone's name, but adding Zaslav as an exact key word, and get a starting point for your research. Among other mentions, there are a couple of obituaries online that will furnish names in addition to just the name of the deceased. 

You can also look at the website "Jews in Saint Louis" from the St. Louis Genealogical Society at and the references (but not the article itself) in the Wikipedia article, History of Jewish Americans in St. Louis, at

Judith Singer
studying CHARNE (and variations) in Lithuania

Help finding obituary for MILLIE CIPES (died in Brooklyn, 1979) #general

Maksim Kirtsman


A cousin of my great-grandfather died on November 29, 1979. Her name was MILLIE CIPES (name at birth MILKA KERTSMAN). She lived in Brooklyn. She is buried at the Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, Queens. She was a widow for about 30 years and did not have children. Her tombstone was paid for by her nephews from Montreal, Canada. I cannot find an obituary for her. Would anyone know in which newspaper Jewish obituaries were published at the time? Any other suggestions? Thank you!

Maksim Kirtsman
Toronto, Canada

Re: Researching: family Gunsberger of Papa, Hungary, including Flora/Fradel, who married a Lazar. Bodansky, Hungary. Lafosky, Ukraine, Hackers, Austria-Germany. Anyone else? #hungary #austria-czech #ukraine #holocaust #unitedkingdom


I have on my tree:

Lipot Gunsberger (1828 - 1892) born in Deutschkreutz, died in Gyor, married to Magdolna Stern. They had at least 2 children:

1.Maria (1865 -1913) born in Gyor, died in Papa, married to David Fellner. Their son, Miklos Fellner, married Erzsebet Wollner  in Papa in 1936.

2.Fulop/Yom Tov (1854 - ) born in Bogyoszlo, married to Mari/Miriam Rosenberger of Kapuvar. They had 9 children all born in Kapuvar.

Naomi Atlani

Re: Why St. Louis? #usa


The comments above mine are all correct in general. Please refer to the book "Zion In The Valley" by Ehrlich, hardback, The Jewish Community of St. Louis, Volume 1, 1807-1907. University of Missouri Press, 1997 for more details. The main attraction of St. Louis was easy transportation there on the great rivers to the edge of the frontier. A vibrant Jewish community had existed there for 50 or more years. The first synagogue west of the Mississippi was established there. 

Dan Brockman
Jewish Gen #50584

Please help identify the family who donated a torah mantle now in a German museum collection #germany #general

Karen Franklin

We could use your assistance in solving a provenance mystery. 


I am posting on behalf of the Jewish Museum Westphalia in Dorsten, Germany. They have begun a provenance project “to research our Judaica holdings, to trace the history of our collection and to create transparency in dealing with Jewish cultural property and former Jewish owners in accordance with the "Washington Principles" of 1998 to identify the original Jewish owners of the items.”


In a recent inquiry, the researcher on the project, Sebastian Braun, requested assistance in identifying the family who donated a Torah mantle:


“I am writing you today to enquire about a “Thoracurtain” from our inventory, that our museum originally acquired in 1987 from the antique trade “Pieces of Time” in London. We assume it could be a donation to a Jewish community in Great Britain or the USA.


Maybe you can help us further.
Can you associate the names (Chaim David and Zvia Moskowitz or Leo(pold)
Moskowitz) with a Jewish community?

לזכר נשמת
„In memory of
  חיים דוד מאסקאוּויץ
Chaim David and
  מאסקאוּויץ צביה
Zvia Moskowitz“
„Donated by son Leo“


Initial research of the style of the object suggests that it is early-mid 20th century, and that the English “Donated by son Leo” may have been added later. It could be European or American. There are some stylistic hints to suggest it might have come from the Balkans.


The Moskowitz family may not necessarily be heir to this Torah mantle, which at some point had been donated to a synagogue, but it would surely be of great value to restore a small piece of Jewish history and family history. 


We welcome all assistance. 


Karen S. Franklin

New York, NY





Sebastian Braun M.A.
wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Jüdisches Museum Westfalen


Julius-Ambrunn-Straße 1|46282 Dorsten
Postanschrift: Postfach 100 622
Tel.: 02362-45279


Re: How to find out-of-print books and publications #general #education

Shlomo Katz

If the book you are seeking is a Jewish religious book (which often contained a wealth of genealogy related information), try Hebrew

The site was originally created to preserve the Torah works of early American rabbis, but it has since expanded to tens of thousands of titles.

It is free, and operates based on donations. I have no affiliation with it but have used it hundreds of times.

Shlomo Katz
Silver Spring, MD

Re: Why St. Louis? #usa


My Young,Ying relatives from Zaslov also  went to St. Louis but starting in 1903-1904. I have often wondered the same thing.
Louise Hajdenberg
New York