Re: Can two brothers--alive at the same time--be named Abram and Abraham? #names

R Jaffer

In the 1910 US census and in the birth records for his first four children, my grandfather, whose Yiddish name was Boruch, was recorded as Benjamin. The only problem was that he had an older brother living in the same small city whose given name at birth was Benjamin. Two Benjamin Weinberg brothers lived less than a mile from each other. At some point he was probably told to pick a new name or had learned enough English to do so, and started calling himself Barnet which also began with the letter "B". I couldn't find him in the 1910 census until I searched for his wife. When I found the birth records for my mother's siblings, I realized he had been a Yiddish-speaking man struggling to find an English name for himself when he fist immigrated.

Roberta Jaffer

Trying to find the connection and solve a mystery #belarus

Dror Bereznitsky


As part of researching my father's side of the family - Bereznitsky - I learned about Chaim Zelig Kantorowich my 3rd-great grandparent who lived in Grodno province during the 19th century (Seltz, Bereza).
I barely had any information about him until I made aware of a book he wrote. In this book I found out the names of his children, including Luba Bereznitsky my great-great-grandmother from Ruzhany.
Besides Lube I had no information about any other descendants until I got information about a possible descendant called Chaim Zelig Shkolnik, son of Mordechai and Miriam, born 1899 in Ruzhany and emigrated to Israel around 1923.
I have been trying to find the connection, assuming that Miriam was Chaim Zelig Kantorowich daughter (he mentioned a daughter named Mirel in his book).

Recently I found two birth certificates of Lejb (1901) and Chaim Shkolnik (1899) who were born in Pavlovo Ruzhany (Jewish agricultural colony, 2 miles SE of Ruzhany) to Shmuel son of Froim Shkolnik, wife Mirlya, daughter of Chaim Kantorovich.
It could be a match, only the father name does not fit what I know. Looking for more information I found out about Froim Shkolnik who is one of the 11 settlers who emigrated from Pavolovo to Israel to found Ekron (Mazkeret Batya).

Froim did have a son named Shmuel but his wife name was Sura and he had no son named Chaim.
Now, I might be trying to force things to connect but what are the odds that in a small village like Pavolovo there are 2 Froim Shkolniks that have a son name Shmuel?

Any help you can offer with solving this question will be blessed.

Dror Bereznitsky

Seeking survivors from the MIR YESHIVA IN SHANGHAI #holocaust

Jaocb Bagley

Seeking survivors of the MIR YESHIVA IN SHANGHAI  who can provide me information about my father  who was there during 1939 - 1945.  Urgently need information about him
 Please respond  if you might have been there  His name was Shmuel Dovid Balgley... later known as Cantor David Bagley, a renowned Chazzan. Please respond if you might have known  him. My cell number is (856) 261 2661     email is 
Any information is GREATLY appreciated

 Thank you 

 Jacob ( Yaakov ) Bagley  

FamilySearch Family History Library Re-opening #announcements #records

Jan Meisels Allen


The FamilySearch  History Library in Salt Lake City announced a phased in reopening starting 6 July 2021. Initially, hours will be from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with plans to extend to additional days and hours soon. 


FamilySearch family history centers and libraries will open based on the direction of their local ecclesiastical leaders and government guidelines. If you plan to visit a FamilySearch center soon, please call ahead to ensure it is open and its hours of operation.  During the pandemic closure the library took advantage to make needed renovations to the facility. New features include state-of-the-art patron workstations with multiple monitors and adjustable height desks to accommodate sitting or standing preferences, enhanced workflow throughout, and nearly 40,000 books from new acquisition and long-term storage.


There are new free patron services with at research specialist that are listed on the new website:


You can also sign up for free, online one on one virtual consultations with a research specialist at:

For those who are unable to come to Salt Lake City a staff member can retrieve a book from its shelves and help you find what you are seeking at:


To read more see:


Thankyou to David Oseas, JGSCV webmaster, for informing us about the reopening and services.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


This week's featured collections in Miriam Weiner's new Surname Database at the Routes to Roots Foundation website ( include documents from the towns of: Chernovtsy, Ukraine and Hrubieszow, Poland. #poland #ukraine

Miriam Weiner

The Routes to Roots Foundation is offering Weekly Featured Collections from the new Surname Databases on its website at


This week, we are highlighting the following: 


1.     Chernovtsy (aka Cernauti, Chernovitsy, Czernowitz), Ukraine

·         1941-1944   "Nazi Gold" in Ukraine (confiscated valuables, indexed by surname)

·         1860/1940   Birth records    

·         1901/1971   Cemetery records

·         1858/1942   Death Records

·         1871/1939   Marriage records


2.     Hrubieszow, Poland

·         1898/1936   Birth Records

·         1898/1942   Death Records

·         1898/1939   Marriage Records


Also check the Image Database for:

            10 images of Hrubieszow, Poland

            25 images of Chernovtsy, Ukraine



Miriam Weiner

Secaucus, NJ

Re: Ancient Ashkenazic DNA Admixture #announcements #israel #dna

Adam Cherson

A follow-up on the matrilineal discussion for those with an interest in the scientific literature on the subject: there are two classic studies on the mtDNA groupings of Ashekanizic and non-Ashkenazic Jews: 1): 'The Matrilineal Ancestry of Ashkenazi Jewry: Portrait of a Recent Founder Event' (2005):   and 2) 'Counting the Founders: The Matrilineal Genetic Ancestry of the Jewish Diaspora' (2008):       

The second of these papers concludes as follows:

"The phylogenetic approach taken in the current study of most non-Ashkenazi Jewish communities, coupled with a previous study on Ashkenazi Jews, reveals the mechanisms involved in the formation of the various extant patterns of mtDNA haplotype variation of the Jewish Diasporas, and taken together provides a nearly comprehensive picture of the maternal genetic landscape of the entire Jewish population. Some of the communities reveal strong founder effects, while in others an abundance of maternal lineages is evident. Mechanisms, such as recruitment of maternal lineages from host populations, including their occasional historic long-distance transfer to new settlements, have been likely operative. Taken together, these studies show that while the founding event for each community may have had an important role in shaping their current genetic structure, other factors related to migration and survival of founding lineages, are responsible for the assembled list of remnant lineages, stressing once again the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in the reconstruction of demographic histories of extant populations." p13 [Emphasis added]

Another more recent paper takes a contrary view, suggesting a European origin for the predominant Ashkenazim matrilneal lines: 'A Substantial Prehistoric European Ancestry Amongst Ashkenazi Maternal Lineages' (2014): DOI: stating: "Overall, we estimate that most (>80%) Ashkenazi mtDNAs were assimilated within Europe. Few derive from a Near Eastern source, and despite the recent revival of the ‘Khazar hypothesis’, virtually none are likely to have ancestry in the North Caucasus. Therefore, whereas on the male side there may have been a significant Near Eastern (and possibly east European/ Caucasian) component in Ashkenazi ancestry, the maternal lineages mainly trace back to prehistoric Western Europe. These results emphasize the importance of recruitment of local women and conversion in the formation of Ashkenazi communities, and represent a significant step in the detailed reconstruction of Ashkenazi genealogical history." p.2. [Emphasis added]

The earlier paper from 2005 had concluded that these Ashkenazic maternal lineages were Near Eastern in origin. How should we in the lay, general public interpret this apparent conflict as to the origins of these maternal lineages?

I believe there is a substantial risk in using modern samples to imply pre-historic origins. In my view it is not possible to look at modern populations and infer their geographic origins from 10-20 thousand years ago: to do so convincingly requires in my view DNA samples from 10-20 thousand years ago. Furthermore, our contemporary bias is to draw a solid line between the Near East and Europe, whereas in Mesolothc times, this entire region seems to have been more of a cline, both genetically and culturally. For these reasons I choose to hold my conclusions in abeyance regarding the ancient origins of the Ashkenazic matrilineages, until such time as more ancient DNA can shed light on the subject. As to the other finding, that there has been a significant amount of 'recruitment' of local women in the formation of the Ashkenazic population, there is no disagreement between the papers, and I believe the modern dna evidence can and does support this finding.

Adam Cherson

Finding descendants of relatives who died in the Holocaust #holocaust

Avi Lichtenstein

Recently, I found on the Yad Vashem testimonial site the names of relatives who died in the Holocaust (Shapiro family from Starokonstantinov, Ukraine).  The submitter’s relationship to the individuals indicated that he too is a relative.  I contacted Yad Vashem who told me that they had no more information on the submitter other than his address (in Israel) in 2014.  Yad Vashem suggested I use JewishGen, Magen David Adom’s tracing service, or the State of Israel’s Ministry of the Interior.  Because I do not live in Israel, I am not sure if I am able to use the Israel-based agencies.  Has anyone had similar experiences?

Kindest regards, 

Avi Lichtenstein

R' Aryeh Dov Friedman #belarus


Continuing to look for my relatives who lived in Minsk, Belarus in the early 1900s and immigrated to Philadelphia, PA in 1907.  Researching my great great grandfather, Samuel Friedman (, it says he was the son of a R' Aryeh Dov.  Does anyone recognize that name or have any information about an Aryeh Dov Friedman living in Minsk in the 1880s? 

Holly Koppel
Researching Samuel and Rose Friedman (lived in Philadelphia and Camden, NJ)
Schwartz family (David and Mollie Kimmelheim)

Can two brothers--alive at the same time--be named Abram and Abraham? #names

JoAnne Goldberg

The possibilities range from a name change/borrowing a name to
half-brothers or cousins to just a regular mistake.

One of my relatives had five sons, two of whom used variations of their
names (Israel/Isadore, Jack/Jake) during their lifetimes. I have seen
versions of the tree that show seven sons --  unrelated men with those
duplicate names have been grafted on to the tree. I was initially kind
of confused, but because the brothers were born in Chicago around 1900,
I could find actual census records and sort it out.

JoAnne Goldberg - Menlo Park, California; GEDmatch M131535


Re: Return address on postcard #romania

jack nathanson


It looks like the address is: Strada  Noiembrie  No. 4, Cernauti, Romania.

"Noiembrie" is the Romanian word for the month of "November".

Jack Nathanson,

Re: Index of Holocaust testimonies #holocaust

tzipporah batami

I can testify to the kindness and of the ushmm in making these sites as accessible as possible. Some of the smaller sites of local museums are missing the big view and not allowing their testimonies to be seen by those who inquire, even to living survivors of same hometown or for researchers. So the USHMM has extended itself to complete the gap and I definitely recommend it. Feigie Teichman

Re: Index of Holocaust testimonies #holocaust

tzipporah batami

Having an index like this at JewishGen is a great idea. Let me add one major source of testimony that has been left out here: book testimony. Many survivors have decided to put their first person accounts into books. A source would be the Azrieli Foundation for Canadian survivor books, the Israel National Library for Israeli survivor books, Scholastic for some American survivors targeted to young audiences for a start. Also there are brand new testimonies I dont recall exact names of begun in pandemic for fear of death from covid. One of these was done in London a few months ago and one was done in Boro Park and is geared to having survivors lead the interviews more and is much gentler. I would also suggest using the freedom of information act to obtain cia interview records of survivors in DP camps for their testimony. Thank you. Feigie Teichman

Re: Can two brothers--alive at the same time--be named Abram and Abraham? #names


@Israel P
Your examples reflect what I think may have happened--travel under another's papers.  Makes me wonder/worry what happened to "Abraham" and where (back in Poland?) because the family's relocation to England happened in response to pogroms.

I knew they were same name and highly unlikely for brothers alive at same time, which is why I posed this dilemma here.

Yes, thought of cousins, but the survivors who knew relevant folks say they weren't cousins, but their childen were.

Definitely two people, and I agree, some story to be told, if only . . .

Thank you for your ideas.  Yes, gravestone has "Abram Moishe" (because only placed recently, by descendants who've heard same details).

Thank you all for your thghtful feedback.
Carolynn Duffy

Re: Visits to concentration camps #holocaust

tzipporah batami

There are some concentration camp related sites that are still almost never visited even by birthright march of living despite my attempts to relay importance. Only remains of 14000 Jews were actually at Maidanek death camp. The remaining over 200000 are interred together with Polish resistors and earlier Jew killing in Lublin, at Krepiac Forest which is a mass grave of 300000 with a Polish military cross that includes the Polish word for Jews so nothing else has been done by Jewish organizations due to sensibilities of Poles. There is no Jewish star and no groups of Jews to visit and say Kaddish and to leave pebbles and to take photos of these pebbles to give comfort to still living survivor descendants of these martyrs. This site also has actual complete bodies so it is considered "kever avos". It is a site where honor can be provided to the dead and I encourage people who are going to make the detour there. Please message me if you need more details. There are many others like this often unmarked. There are many sites of mass liquidation of ghettos that became mass death like the site in Ordinary Men: Battalion 101 about Konskowola Ghetto. As far as early associations of the camps and lack of visits I too grew up with the silence because of the urgent need to move on to perpetuate the Jewish nation and not look back. I grew up with the sick laughter at people asking if I was in a camp for the summer. Or whether my parents had gone to camps when they were young. Somehow I loved Amtrak and trains though and never quite absorbed the fear of them leading to death camps perhaps because my father zl ended up working for the mta in realty division and took them everyday. I wonder now how he stood it. Thanks for a good thread to air our feelings and info. Feigie Teichman

Weiner (Vayner) Family from Slutsk, Belarus? #belarus

David Levine


I know for certain my paternal great-grandfather was from Slutsk. I had long thought that his wife, Fannie Weiner (Vayner) was also from Slutsk.
I have discovered that all of my great grandparents from Slutsk were married in arranged marriages at distances of over 100 KM, which was quite surprising to see those distances.
Unsurprisingly, my researchers found no Weiner's in Slutsk. Also, there are no Weiner's (Vayner's) mentioned at all in the Slutsk Pinkas Chevra Kadisha (Burial society) records (17,842 records) via various searches ("Wein" "Vay" etc). 

I am thinking this was another long distance arranged marriage with a man from Slutsk and a woman from somewhere else

I know it's a long shot, does anyone know of or is searching any Weiner / Vayner families from nearby (within 200 KM) miles?

Best Regards,
David Levine
San Francisco, CA, USA
Weinstein -> Solotwina, Galicia | Frisch, Hilman, Jungerman, Schindler -> Rozniatow, Galicia | Golanski, Kramerofsky/Kromerovsky -> Kiev | Lefkowitz -> Petrikov, Belarus | Shub, Rosen Hlusk, Belarus | Levine, Weiner, Zamoshkin -> Slutsk, Belarus 

Re: Kindertransport and beyond 1939-46 #holocaust


Dear Paul

Here are some suggestions where you could do some research and find some more information:


In the UK National Archives: records of the internment camps in the UK.

In the UK Newspapers archives: reports about the internment camps in the UK.

In the National Archives of Australia: passenger lists and records of the camps.

In the Australian Newspapers on Trove: internment camps in Australia

and the ships from Europe to Australia and from Australia to California.

In the Californian Newspapers Archives: ships from Australia to California.


Corinne Iten, Switzerland

Re: Return address on postcard #romania

Ron Laby

The street name is "11 Noemvrie".
The 1936 (not 1939) Cernauti business directory lists a total of 13 people (or businesses) at that address, but not with the name "Suzcher (?)" from the postcard.  See attached.

Directories and other info for Czernowitz can be found at:
Online searches can also find good quality maps of Czernowitz from the timeframe.

Ron Laby

Re: Kindertransport and beyond 1939-46 #holocaust

Renee Steinig

My first cousin Otto Joseph -- later Asher Joseph* -- was a Dunera internee. Born in Gelnhausen, Germany, in 1922, he went to England in 1939. He was subsequently detained as an "enemy alien" and sent to Australia on the infamous HMT Dunera. On his release, in July 1942, he went to what was then Palestine, where he lived until his death in 1986. 

* Not to be confused with Joseph Asher, who was also an internee.

In 2010, I received two of Otto's records from Carol Bunyan, a volunteer researcher at the Dunera Museum in Hay, Australia ( a "Service & Casualty" record and a "Report on Internee." Carol's source for both records: the National Archives of Australia. They were informative but also infuriating -- especially considering that while the English detained Asher, the Germans murdered his mother, my father's sister Bertha.

I also received from the New South Wales State Library a transcript of Asher's 1977 Jerusalem Radio interview about his experiences. This transcript was in the library's Henry Lippmann Dunera Archive (

Asher and other Dunera internees were quoted in the attached newspaper article. lists a number of books about the Dunera.

BTW, Asher was our family's first genealogist and the person who inspired my interest in family research. His family tree, which traces our Stern and Isenburger family, plus his Joseph and Bodenheimer branches and his wife's Davids, Loebs, and Mayers, can be viewed here: .


Renee Stern Steinig
Dix Hills NY

Paul Ehrmann <ehrmann.paul@...> wrote:

Looking to fill in information on the following on my late father ..either background or family
members that were there
Kurt Ehrmann dob 7.11.1922
Boarded in Berlin kindertransport dec 38-age 16
Arrived at harwich and sent to dovercourt dec 39
huyton internment camp England spring 40 (collar the lot enemy aliens-not really)
hmt dunera hellship
Hay-Tartua internment camp
Unit 8-Australian army (Dunera boys)
Believe fought in New Guinea (wounded)-most did not that were in this Unit
Discharged spring 45-Lived on Church street in Richmond, 5 hours south of Hay for 10 mo before.....
Leaving-Matson steamer Spring 1946 to San Francisco

Re: Can two brothers--alive at the same time--be named Abram and Abraham? #names

Jill Whitehead

Another possibility is that the brothers were half brothers and had one parent who was different, or one son was adopted.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, Uk

Re: Index of Holocaust testimonies #holocaust

Susan H. Sachs

In addition to Yad Vashem's Pages of Testimony, there are Video Testimonies which you can search by Place or Topic

Video Testimonies Resource Center

Places - Select - Amsterdam, Holland Antwerp, Belgium Bardejov, Czechoslovakia Benghazi, Libya Beodra, Yugoslavia Berezhany, Poland Berlin, Germany Biala Rawska, Poland Bielsko-Biala, Poland Botosani, Romania Budapest, Hungary Buehl, Germany Campulung la Tissa, Romania Debrecen, Hungary Djerba, Tunisia Dugalishok, Belarussia Fulda, Germany Grenoble, France Grodno, Poland Hanau, Germany Heiloo, Holland Ilok, Yugoslavia Kalish, Poland Kavnik, Romania Kec, Hungary Kharkov, Ukraine Kishinev, Romania Kisvarda, Hungary Kovno, Lithuania Krakow, Poland Krasne, Belarus Liepaja, Latvia Lodz, Poland Lvov, Poland Malcz, Pruzhany Mir, Poland Monastir, Yugoslavia Munkács, Czechoslovakia Nagyszollos, Hungary Okany, Hungary Oslo, Norway Otwock, Poland Pestszenterzsebet, Hungary Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland Plonsk, Poland Plovdiv, Bulgaria Prague, Czechoslovakia Radom, Poland Rokiskis, Lithuania Rotterdam, Holland Salonika, Greece Satu-Mare, Romania Schermbeck, Germany Sighet, Romania Simleul Silvaniei (Szilagysomlyo), Hungary Sosnowiec, Poland Stanislawow, Poland Suchedniow, Poland Swenciany, Poland Tarnow, Poland Trnava, Czechoslovakia Trzebinia, Poland Uzhorod, Czechoslovakia Vascauti, Romania Vienna, Austria Vilna, Lithuania Warsaw, Poland Wolbrom, Poland Würzburg, Germany Zablocie, Poland Zagreb, Yugoslavia Zarojani, Romania Zhabokrich, Ukraine
Topics - Select - 01. The Jewish World Before World War II 02. Nazi Germany and the Jews - 1933-1939 03. The Outbreak of World War II and Anti-Jewish Violence 04. The Ghettos 05. The Final Solution 06. Transports and Extermination in the Death Camps 07. The World of the Camps 08. Combat and Rescue 09. An Ending and a Beginning 10. Return to Life

Throughout our website the voices of the survivors infuse our online exhibitions, historical narratives, teaching units and ceremonies with content and with meaning. We have gathered many of those testimonies in this section where they can be easily accessed by either topic or location, according to the birthplaces of the survivors. This section will continue to grow as more and more testimonies are added to the website.

"For whoever listens to a witness becomes a witness"

Excerpt from a speech given by Elie Wiesel at Yad Vashem

Susan Sachs
Beit Shemesh, Israel