New Book about Polish-Jewish Relations during WW II in Ciechanowiec area #poland


Those of you who attended the IAJGS Warsaw Conference in 2018, and especially
the JRI-Poland luncheon, will remember Ciechanowiec Mayor Miroslaw Reczko,
who spoke at the luncheon on "Time for Serious Research into What Occurred in
Polish Shtetlach During WWI," and additionally, on Jewish-Polish Relations from
1939-41 in the Southern Bialystok Region."

Dr. Reczko has clearly done that serious research about which he spoke, and has
just published the English translation of his book, “How the Devil Enlarged His
Kingdom: Polish-Jewish Relations in One of the Polish Shtetlach During World
War II,” which focuses mostly on Ciechanowiec but also contains information
about what happened in many of the towns and villages during that period. This
important book will be of interest to people with connections to Ciechanowiec and
the surrounding area.

In his tireless research preparing this work, Dr. Reczko was able to obtain previously
unavailable documents, which provided new information for his book.

The book is available at

Judy Baston
San Francisco, CA, USA

Susan Stone
Stamford, CT, USA

Using the Jewish Encyclopedia as a Source for Further Info #rabbinic #hungary

Adam Cherson

Earlier today I was reading an article in the freely available Jewish Encyclopedia ( and at the end of the article I saw this as the source of the information in the article:

  • Frumkin, Eben Shemuel, pp. 111 et seq.;
I would like to try to access this book, which I take to be called Eben Shemuel (or perhaps published by Eben Shemuel) by a person named Frumkin. I've tried some general online searches using this string but didn't find such a book. Is there a way to get a more complete citation in the Jewish Encyclopedia? Since the online version is presented only as a group of searchable articles, I cannot seem to access a section of the Encyclopedia where all the bibliographical references might be listed, perhaps more expansively with the name of the publisher, year, and place of publication, etc. Has anyone been able to delve further into books listed at the end of Jewish Encyclopedia articles? How may I proceed?

Adam Cherson
Adam Cherson

Offering to take photos in Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn #photographs #usa

Yehuda Rubin

I am available on a short term basis to photograph graves of your choice in Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn. (Willing to do multiple graves of the same name, if you're not sure which one is your relative.) I will require plot numbers in order to find the grave, as there is no database online.
While I will do this for free should I be there for other purposes, a pay-what-you-wish fee is appreciated.
I can be emailed at yehudazevrubin@..., should you have any questions.

Yehuda Rubin

Re: Info on Jewish refugees in Central Asia during the War #ukraine

I was not able to obtain the article mentioned by Sherri Bobish using the link she provided, but if you enter the title Paradise Lost? Postwar Memory of Polish Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union into Google Scholar, the result has a link on the right to a downloadable PDF.  This worked for me.

Vicky Furstenberg Ferraresi
Belmont, CA, USA

Bruno Surname #names


Hello, My name is Enrique Ramos. I am adopted and I am researching my biological family in Puerto Rico. The Brunos in Puerto Rico are one surname and live in the towns of Toa Baja, Toa Alta, Vega Baja, Vega Baja, all in Puerto Rico. They seem to have arrived from Italy, Portugal or Spain. Can somebody help me on information on any Bruno who travelled to Puerto Rico in the 1400 to the 1800? If anyone can help me I will truly appreciate it.
Enrique R. Ramos

Invitation to Zoom meeting: "Town Counsel: Finding Your Ancestor's European Town of Origin" with Emily Garber #events #jgs-iajgs #announcements

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, April 18: "Town Counsel: Finding Your Ancestor's European Town of Origin" with Emily Garber


To request a Zoom link, please complete this short form: Zoom Link Request.


Members of JGSSN can attend for free.  Non-members can either pay $5.00 on the Donate page. Or you can pay $20 for a subscription to the 2021 series of outstanding speakers (see below).  More detail can be found on our Meetings page.  To become a member and sign up for the 2021 series, go to the Membership page.


Session Description:


One of the most important building blocks of Jewish genealogy research is determining our ancestors’ communities of origin, especially where those places are on today’s maps. Because records were (and are) often kept at local, municipal level or regional levels, successful genealogical research depends upon knowing our ancestors’ correct communities of residence. One cannot successfully jump the pond to Eastern Europe with one’s research until one has established location information from immigrant ancestors’ and relatives’ records in their adopted countries.


About Emily Garber:


An archaeologist by training (B.A., Vassar College; M.A., University of New Mexico), Emily Garber is a professional genealogy researcher, writer and speaker who specializes in Jewish genealogical research.  She has researched both Eastern European and German Jewish communities and immigrants to the United States and Great Britain. She has toured family shtetlach (communities) and explored archives in Ukraine.
After retiring from her 30+ year career in natural resources management, Emily earned a certificate from Boston University's Genealogical Research program. She has spoken at eight International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies conferences and at the National Genealogical Society’s virtual conference. She has presented talks and seminars throughout the United States, and in Israel and Poland. In the summer of 2020, she coordinated the week-long seminar at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, “Introduction to Jewish Genealogy.” She has authored three articles published in Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy and, for a client, completed two privately published volumes chronicling the 300-year history of a German Jewish family. She writes a family history blog, The Extra Yad (
Emily serves on the board of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. She is also Chair of the Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group and is on the boards of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society as well as JewishGen’s Ukraine and Romania Research Groups. She was one of the moderators of the JewishGen Discussion Group for about 10 years.

JGSSN 2021 Lecture Series:


Become a member for $20 and attend any or all of the upcoming lectures -



Ben Kempner

Vice President, JGSSN

What’s in a name#names

Herman Salmenson

1:One of my assumed relatives is Levi Yitchak Bunim Zalmanson. Is Bunim a recognized name or does it have another meaning?
2: What is a patronymic name?
3: Was it standard for sons to take on the surname of the father and for daughters to take the surname of the mother?

Thanks in advance.
Herman Salmenson

ViewMate translation request - Russian/Ukrainian #translation #ukraine


I've posted a record in Russian (or possibly Ukrainian) for which I need a translation. I'm looking for a literal translation of the entire document, if possible. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.

Michael Serber
Plymouth, Minnesota

Re: Does DNA prove that Jews are a race? #dna


Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.  Ayn Rand

Information on Maiden Names, Thank You #ukraine


On Thu, Feb 4, 1999 at 01:53 PM, "molly gordy" <mgordy@...> wrote:
RASKIN (Ekaterinaslav).
Have you found information about RASKIN in Ekaterinaslav.

salmo raskin

JGSLI Virtual meeting on Sunday April 25 at 2:00 PM Eastern – Randy Schoenberg #announcements #education #events

Bonnie Birns

Hello all! The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island is delighted to invite you to our April monthly meeting featuring our guest speaker, Randy Schoenberg.


JGSLI is extending the invitation to the broader genealogy community. We ask that you register in advance (see below). Please share with your friends!

Sunday, April 25th, 2:00 PM, via Zoom

Speaker: Randy Schoenberg
Topic: Woman in Gold

E. Randol Schoenberg is the lawyer who successfully sued the Austrian government for the return of Gustav Klimt's Woman in Gold to its rightful owner. He will tell the remarkable story of Maria Altmann's battle for five Klimt paintings that the Nazis seized from her Viennese family during World War II. Randy ultimately brought the case to the U.S. Supreme Court and prevailed. The legal battle was the subject of a successful Hollywood film starring Helen Mirren. Woman in Gold – a portrait of Maria’s aunt, Adele Bloch Bauer -- now hangs in the Neue Gallerie on Fifth Avenue.

An avid genealogist since he was 8, Randy maintains huge family trees on JewishGen and on Geni, where he is a curator. He founded the Jewish Genealogy Portal on Facebook, which has over 20,000 members. A board member of JewishGen, he is co-founder and director of its Austria-Czech Research Division.

There are two ways to join our meeting:
Register for our Zoom meeting: this will allow you to join in so you can chat with others before and after the meeting (this will be limited to the first 100 people to join)


When: Apr 25, 2021 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Our meeting will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel. Please visit at the meeting start time and the meeting's video should be listed. No YouTube or other login is required, but if you are signed in you can ask questions in writing via the comment section under the video.


This webinar is free and open to the public.


I look forward to "seeing" you all then!


Bonnie Birns


President, Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island
Jericho, Long Island, NY researcher #59766

Re: Elin #belarus


Hi Neal
I found it very interesting your information on  that;
Re surname Elin, saw web reference some time ago (and now maddeningly unable
to find) linking surname Elin to village/shtetl of Elna (spelling variants
Yelna, Jelna
Because my great grand father was born in village/shtetl of Elna,, and I found adoçamento of the family saying ELIN. and I thought it was related to patronymic,,,,!,,
Could you please tell me where did you get this important information from?
Looking forward to hear from you,
Salmo Raskin
email s.raskin@...

Re: Does DNA prove that Jews are a race? #dna

Lee Jaffe

I found this question more disturbing than I anticipated.  I don't mean to imply anything about the author or her intentions – they could be entirely  innocent – but her question touches on some of the most sensitive and fraught points about Jewish identity I've come across.  Skirting the earlier points about race being a social and/or artificial construct, which should provide a baseline understanding for our discussion, I want to highlight the particularly thorny question of Jewish identity.  By Jewish law, tradition and practice, a Jew is a Jew is a Jew, whether their nearer relations lived in Ethiopia or China or Brooklyn or Aleppo.  We are all one people (Yes, there are distinctions, divisions, biases and social advantages / disadvantages within the Jewish world but for our purposes I'm just addressing whether someone is or isn't a Jew.) 

The notion that Ashkenazi Jews might be a race, and therefore distinct from the rest of the Jewish people is dismaying, to say the least.  And I think that notion goes along with a trend where other people try to determine what defines a Jew.  As already mentioned, these efforts haven't gone that well for us.   Further, I can't think of a time where defining Jews as a race has resulted in any protections: yes, as religious adherents, an ethnic group, a nationality, we have sometimes been considered part of a protected class where those identities could not be used to deny us access to housing, education, employment ...   

And therein lies my main point, that Jewish identity as understood by Jews does not fit neatly into any category(ies) understood by others.  And Jews as a race is the pigeonhole we should avoid most vigorously.  I think this is important to keep in mind at a time when Nazis (nothing "neo" about them) march with signs "Jews won't replace us," and progressive organizations ban "white Jews" from their boards because they see us a privileged, and even some Jewish organizations begin to internalize that view, worrying whether we are diverse enough.  (Representing 1% of the world's people, I bring diversity with me wherever I go.)    We are all one people, sharing a single origin and tradition and I think that's a perspective we need to assert at every turn.  Just because history has forced us into exile for thousands of years, living in every corner of world, where we've taken on different languages, dress, food, customs and even physical characteristics, we shouldn't forget that we are one people.

To put this in the genealogical context, looking at what my family has undergone over the past 2 to 3 centuries, what they have done to survive, hunkering down through oppression and taking enormous risks to escape to a better life – sometimes successfully, sometimes not – and, even after reaching "the land of the free," finding ourselves barred from jobs, housing, education until my generation, I don't and won't accept being relegated to some arbitrary label by someone with a limited understanding of what being Jewish means.


Lee David Jaffe

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


Moving Frequently Among Ukraine Towns #ukraine

Herbert Lazerow

   Some Jews in that part of Galicia were shenkers.  They ran inns or taverns and, under lease from the local noble, had a monopoly of the making and selling of alcoholic beverages. It was common for these leases to be for the calendar year. The shenker might choose to move to another town because he received better lease terms there, or because the noble refused to renew the lease. Given what the weather was like at that time of year, there was a strong disincentive to move in the 19th century, that was often overcome by either opportunity or necessity.
Herbert Lazerow
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego CA 92110 U.S.A.
(619)260-4597 office, (858)453-2388 cell, lazer@...
Author: Mastering Art Law (2d ed. Carolina Academic Press 2020)

Herbert Lazerow
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego CA 92110
Author: Mastering Art Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2d ed. 2020)

Re: Rabbis in Belarus #belarus


Could you please search for my great grand grandfather Naftali Gertz Raskin, who lived between 1840-1920 in Hotimsk, mogilev?

salmo raskin

Bessarabia New project - immigration to South America #bessarabia


My ancestors came from Ekaterinoslav and Teleshti to Brazil, through JCA.
is it possible to search for their names in the archives?

Salmo Raskin

What language are these two letters, posted on ViewMate written in? #translation


Please let me know what language these letters are written in. If you are able to translate them, I would be incredibly thankful!

page one

page two


Rachel Park

KESSLER - Starokonstantinov, LURIE - Buckah, Belarus, Latvia, Vilnius, Minsk; 

ALPERT - Minsk, Vilnius; SACHS - Odessa; DUBNICK - Minsk

KEILES - Vilnius, Lodz; NAGIN(SKY) - Poltava; DUBIN(SKY) - Poltava; TSIGAR - Vilnius; Giguzin - Vilnius; 


ViewMate translation request - YIDISH #belarus


Subj: ViewMate translation request - YIDISH

I've posted a vital record in YDISH 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.


Salmo Raskin

Understanding Lithuanian Revision Lists #lithuania

Steven Granek

I am viewing a record of the All Lithuanian Revision List which contains my Orum family in Rokiskis. The The revision list is dated 1908. And there is a second instance of what looks like the same list but with an additional person (looks to be the female spouse of one of the brothers). For anyone that wants to see the record I simply searched for surname Orum and one of the things that came up was the LitvakSIG All Lithuanian Revision Database with 56 names. My family is the one with first person listed at Perets David Orum (and my grandmother Leah is listed last in the first instance and next to last in the 2nd instance).

I have marriage records from Lodz for one of the people listed - Freyda Orum - and the marriage took place in 1898. And I know she stayed in Pabianice as my Grandmother Leah joined her there (right around 1907 or 1908 - which means Leah was also probably not living is Rokiskis by the time of this ‘1908’ list). I have lots of corroborating evidence for this wedding and that it is the same person.

Additionally, I am ALMOST sure (less sure than about the marriage) thet another of the people had already come to the US in 1906

Given those two things, can someone please help understand the 1908 revision list, what it is (it doesn’t seem it can be a census given what I know).

Thanks in advance for any insights-

Steve Granek

Re: NYC Cemeteries - Offering Mt Hebron #photographs #usa

Jay Paul

You asked if Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn was safe to visit.
I have not been there for a number of years (since 2012), but I certainly found it safe to visit back then.
It is quite cluttered with gravestones, and not always easy to navigate. As it turned out, the office did not have records indicating all the family members who were actually buried in a plot together — I was happily surprised when I got there.
All the best,
Jay Paul
San Francisco, CA 94117
Researching: SUMBERG (Pilvishok/Pilviskiai, Lithuania), LANGERT (Pilviskiai & elsewhere in Suwalki gubernia); KAHN (Ranstadt, Germany), GOTTLIEB (Grebenau, Germany), PAVLOVSKIY / PAVLOVSKY (Mala Antonivka, Bila Tserkiv, Vasyl’kiv, Kyiv gubernia, Ukraine), LEVITSKIY / LEVITZSKY (Yasnohorodka, Vasyl’kiv, Kyiv gubernia), KOTLER (Vistytis, Suwalki gubernia, Lithuania; Traby, Belarus), LEIBSON (Lithuania), WOLF, SCHWARZ and STERN (presumed from Austro-Hungary).

Jay Paul, PhD
San Francisco CA 94117
Researching: SUMBERG (Pilvishok/Pilviskiai, Lithuania), LANGERT (Pilviskiai & elsewhere in Suwalki gubernia); KAHN (Ranstadt, Germany), GOTTLIEB (Grebenau, Germany), PAVLOVSKIY / PAVLOVSKY (Mala Antonivka, Bila Tserkiv, Vasyl’kiv, Kyiv gubernia, Ukraine), LEVITSKIY / LEVITZSKY (Yasnohorodka, Vasyl’kiv, Kyiv gubernia), KOTLER (Vistytis, Suwalki gubernia), WOLF (Austro-Hungary).