Date   

Re: ZEINGORODZKI and ZWERIG #general

Alexander Sharon
 

"IsraelP" wrote

One of our Pikholz descendants here in Israel asked if I can help find
what happened to his father's sister and two brothers who went to the
US.
The names he gave me were David, Tova and Abraham Zeingorodzki, from
Lebiedin Russia.

I had a look at the Ellis Island database, using Steve Morse's magic
program, and indeed found David who entered the US in 1921, >from Lodz.
The manifest lists a friend as his closest contact in country of origin
and a brother Izidore Zwerig in the Bronx. I don't know if the name
Zwerig is in some way derived >from Zeingorodzki or if it is a different
name entirely.

I have found nothing on either of the surnames.

Does anyone have anything on either of the names ZEINGORODZKI or ZWERIG?

Israel Pickholtz

Israel,

"Ziengordski" is a corrupted version of surname Zvenigrodsky (
(Zwienogrodsky or Zvwnigorodzki).
Clue for the surname is their town of origin - Lebiedin, Russia (today
Ukraine) which is located less than 30 miles >from town Zvenigorodka,
origin of the Zvenigordzki surname.

Ellis Island database shows arrival on June 4, 1905 of:
Svenigorodsky Abram, age 24, married, student, Hebrew, Russia (last
residence - Paris) and Svenigorodsky Isaac, age 22, single, student,
Hebrew, Russia (last residence - Paris)

On July 30, 1905 arrived Zvinigorodsky David, age 30, single, tailor,
Hebrew, Russia (last residence - Paris)

JGFF database contains several entries for variations of this surname.

Best of luck,

Alexander Sharon
Calgary, AB, Canada


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: ZEINGORODZKI and ZWERIG #general

Alexander Sharon
 

"IsraelP" wrote

One of our Pikholz descendants here in Israel asked if I can help find
what happened to his father's sister and two brothers who went to the
US.
The names he gave me were David, Tova and Abraham Zeingorodzki, from
Lebiedin Russia.

I had a look at the Ellis Island database, using Steve Morse's magic
program, and indeed found David who entered the US in 1921, >from Lodz.
The manifest lists a friend as his closest contact in country of origin
and a brother Izidore Zwerig in the Bronx. I don't know if the name
Zwerig is in some way derived >from Zeingorodzki or if it is a different
name entirely.

I have found nothing on either of the surnames.

Does anyone have anything on either of the names ZEINGORODZKI or ZWERIG?

Israel Pickholtz

Israel,

"Ziengordski" is a corrupted version of surname Zvenigrodsky (
(Zwienogrodsky or Zvwnigorodzki).
Clue for the surname is their town of origin - Lebiedin, Russia (today
Ukraine) which is located less than 30 miles >from town Zvenigorodka,
origin of the Zvenigordzki surname.

Ellis Island database shows arrival on June 4, 1905 of:
Svenigorodsky Abram, age 24, married, student, Hebrew, Russia (last
residence - Paris) and Svenigorodsky Isaac, age 22, single, student,
Hebrew, Russia (last residence - Paris)

On July 30, 1905 arrived Zvinigorodsky David, age 30, single, tailor,
Hebrew, Russia (last residence - Paris)

JGFF database contains several entries for variations of this surname.

Best of luck,

Alexander Sharon
Calgary, AB, Canada


Seeking: Rabbi Dr Dawid (David) Ochs #general

Robert Fraser <rwfgjf@...>
 

Dear Genners

I have recently discovered the identity of the Rabbi who married
my Parents in Vienna in 1939 (it was very rushed and they never
knew his name) and am wondering what happened to him. He was
Rabbi Dr David (or Dawid) OCHS, and it seems that he survived the
Holocaust. I have been told that he was born in 1904 at Harbuzow
in Poland and married in 1928 in the Vienna Schiffschul. He seems
to have still been alive in Canada ( ? Toronto ) in 1999.

I have "googled" extensively but cannot find any mention of him,
except a volume of books (out of print) in Hebrew dedicated to
him, and a Chair for research into Torah teaching methods named
for him at.Bar Ilan University in Israel.

I wonder if anyone can anyone tell me some more about him,
please?

Please respond privately.

Shana Tova


Robert W Fraser
Dianella, Western Australia
rwfgjf@iinet.net.au


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Seeking: Rabbi Dr Dawid (David) Ochs #general

Robert Fraser <rwfgjf@...>
 

Dear Genners

I have recently discovered the identity of the Rabbi who married
my Parents in Vienna in 1939 (it was very rushed and they never
knew his name) and am wondering what happened to him. He was
Rabbi Dr David (or Dawid) OCHS, and it seems that he survived the
Holocaust. I have been told that he was born in 1904 at Harbuzow
in Poland and married in 1928 in the Vienna Schiffschul. He seems
to have still been alive in Canada ( ? Toronto ) in 1999.

I have "googled" extensively but cannot find any mention of him,
except a volume of books (out of print) in Hebrew dedicated to
him, and a Chair for research into Torah teaching methods named
for him at.Bar Ilan University in Israel.

I wonder if anyone can anyone tell me some more about him,
please?

Please respond privately.

Shana Tova


Robert W Fraser
Dianella, Western Australia
rwfgjf@iinet.net.au


Family Business through business? MELTZER Family #general

Robert Dodell <RADodell@...>
 

Working on the maternal side of the family tree.
Last name: Meltzer. Difficutlt with such a common name to find lose
relations.

Used to own Aetna Iron and Steel in Pottsville PA and Hudson Paper
Company in Hudson NY. Can't find companys. Probably long sold / changed
names.
Maybe I can find a connection that way. Any suggestions

Robert A. Dodell
E-Mail: RADodell@Worldnet.att.net


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Family Business through business? MELTZER Family #general

Robert Dodell <RADodell@...>
 

Working on the maternal side of the family tree.
Last name: Meltzer. Difficutlt with such a common name to find lose
relations.

Used to own Aetna Iron and Steel in Pottsville PA and Hudson Paper
Company in Hudson NY. Can't find companys. Probably long sold / changed
names.
Maybe I can find a connection that way. Any suggestions

Robert A. Dodell
E-Mail: RADodell@Worldnet.att.net


SIG Helps Someone to Return to Their Roots #belarus

David M. Fox <davefox73@...>
 

Dear SIG Members,

Just a few days before the start of Rosh Hashanah, I received a very
touching note >from one of our fellow SIG members. She gave me her permission
to share it with the SIG, as long as her name was keep confidential. I hope
her message makes all of you feel that the time and efforts you devote to
the SIG are worthwhile and appreciated.

I just had to take the time to write you and say thank you and your
members/staff for this site. After much soul-searching, I decided to study
study for conversion to Judaism, unaware that I had Jewish relatives on both
sides. Your site encouraged me to explore my family tree further and I
discovered my Jewish heritage that had been lost and/or hidden for
generations.

Just wanted to say thank you
This message certainly made me start the New Year on a high note and
inspired me to work harder for the SIG. I hope it does the same for all of you.

Dave
--
David Fox
Mail to: davefox@jewishgen.org
Belarus SIG Coordinator
Arnold, MD USA
http://www.jewishgen.org/belarus


Belarus SIG #Belarus SIG Helps Someone to Return to Their Roots #belarus

David M. Fox <davefox73@...>
 

Dear SIG Members,

Just a few days before the start of Rosh Hashanah, I received a very
touching note >from one of our fellow SIG members. She gave me her permission
to share it with the SIG, as long as her name was keep confidential. I hope
her message makes all of you feel that the time and efforts you devote to
the SIG are worthwhile and appreciated.

I just had to take the time to write you and say thank you and your
members/staff for this site. After much soul-searching, I decided to study
study for conversion to Judaism, unaware that I had Jewish relatives on both
sides. Your site encouraged me to explore my family tree further and I
discovered my Jewish heritage that had been lost and/or hidden for
generations.

Just wanted to say thank you
This message certainly made me start the New Year on a high note and
inspired me to work harder for the SIG. I hope it does the same for all of you.

Dave
--
David Fox
Mail to: davefox@jewishgen.org
Belarus SIG Coordinator
Arnold, MD USA
http://www.jewishgen.org/belarus


Re: Cemetery; Berlin #germany

werner S. Zimmt <wsz@...>
 

Not mentioned in the correspondence so far is the Jewish cemetery of the
orthodox congregation Adath Jisroel, also in Weissensee, but not near the
big one at Herbert Baum, but at Wittlicher. Strasse 2. Their address is
Tucholskystrasse 40, D-10117, Berlin

Werner Zimmt Tucson, AZ wsz@Ag.arizona.edu


German SIG #Germany Re: Cemetery; Berlin #germany

werner S. Zimmt <wsz@...>
 

Not mentioned in the correspondence so far is the Jewish cemetery of the
orthodox congregation Adath Jisroel, also in Weissensee, but not near the
big one at Herbert Baum, but at Wittlicher. Strasse 2. Their address is
Tucholskystrasse 40, D-10117, Berlin

Werner Zimmt Tucson, AZ wsz@Ag.arizona.edu


Levites, Genetics, and Mathematics #dna

MBernet@...
 

On 2003.10.1, Jacob D. Goldstein <jake@computer.org> writes:

There are a myriad possibilities that fit better the historical and
sociological record than the Khazar investiture hypothesis. Here is
one. In the year 1075, the Seljuqs, a group of Turkmen tribes from
Central Asia led by Malik Shah, entered Jerusalem. By 1092 they had
conquered Palestine, Syria, all of Mesopotamia and most of Iran.
[This event signaled the beginning of Turkish power in the Middle
East.] It is not difficult to construct scenarios according to which
the wife of a Levite residing in or visiting Jerusalem becomes
impregnated by one of the assailants and later emigrates/returns to
Europe, re/joining the nascent Ashkenazi community.
There are some difficulties with possible explanations.

Let's assume that not one, as you suggest, but fifty (high figure)
wives of Levites were raped and impregnated by members of the
Central Asian people that had this particular genetic marker. Let's
assume that all fifty wives eventually settled in Europe, (the
original Ashkenaz, Eastern Europe, and the still-Ashkenazi Italy).
Let's say that between them they had 25 sons of Central Asian
ancestry who were given the status of Levi'im.

In all of Europe north of the Pyreness and the Danube basin (i.e.
the lands that were then inhabited by today's Ashkenazim), there
were, (low figure), 40,000 Jews in the year 1100. Of these, 20,000
were males. Of these 20,000, eight hundred (low figure) were
Levites.

Were the offspring of the Central Asian so-called Levites so much
more fecund, so much more powerful, in such greater health, that
these 25 (high figure, remember) "Central Asian" Levites and their
descendants were able to numerically equal the descendants of the
800 (low figure) "Jewish" Levites of Ashkenaz?

Anyone who defends this theory has to come up with a good
explanation of how these few "Central Asian" Levites attained parity
in numbers with the "true" Levites in only 1000 years. And while
you're about it, how come the Persian, Iraqi, Caucasus and
Turk-many-stans Levites, all more directly in the path of the
Khazars or the Turkmen or whatever, did not have the same or greater
ratio of Central-Asian DNA.

The same may be said, mutatis mutandis, of the claims that East
European Jews are largely of Khazar descent or that Yiddish came to
us largely through the Khazars. How many words in Yiddish are of
Khazar origins, even by Mozensonian standards? How much of Khazar
culture has been imbedded in East European Jewish culture? How come
we have virtually no record of Khazari Jews in Eastern Europe?

The New York Times report on the Levites and their DNA is faulty on
many grounds. The author of the article appears to be somewhat
ignorant of Jewish History, Bible and Judaism, and appears to have
pulled together bits and pieces >from a number of authors (articles)
without awareness of the contradictions these selections have
introduced.

Has anyone here actually read any of the underlying articles (or
written one of them)? What happens when DNA evidence flies totally
in the face of logic and well-recorded facts? [I know nothing at all
about genetics or DNA, except that I got one unit through a long
line of direct ancestors of my father, and that my daughter got one
unit through a long line of direct ancestors of her mother.] Is it
fair to assume that we have not yet solved all puzzles relating to
DNA? That there may be another explanation for this apparent
genetic anomaly that still requires research?

I'll admit, I did once hear a theory that at the return from
Babylonian exile, there was a shortage of Levites to carry out the
Levitical duties, and non-Levites had to be recruited. [My guess is
that the majority of the deracinated and "unemployable" Kohanim were
happy to return to the Holy Land >from their exile, to once again
benefit >from all the tithes, and Temple offerings, while the
Levites--scribes, teachers, musicians--were doing very well
economically in Babylon and many prefered to stay there.]

Is it possible that when the Jerusalem recruiters came to Babylon to
get those Levites back where they belonged, sundry unemployed
riff-raff of Central-Asian ancestry jumped at the chance and claimed
the Levitic status and with it the right to better their lives in
Jerusalem? It would make some sense. The Babylonian Levites kept
their ancestral purity; and, after all, the Yerushalmi Levites,
genetically diluted by the "new" Levites, were among those who
settled in the Ashkenazi lands during the next 1000 years. Perhaps
that is how the Central European DNA got to the Ashkenazi Levites?

Or is there some part of genetics that still hasn't been solved?

Michael Bernet, New York


The Black Death #dna

Jacob D. Goldstein <jake@...>
 

Does anyone know if there is anything known about genetic-based
susceptibility to infection by the bubonic plague? Specifically,
is the rate of incidence of the Bubonic Plague statistically
invariant among different genetic groups in a common environment?

Jake Goldstein
Boston, MA, USA


DNA Research #DNA Levites, Genetics, and Mathematics #dna

MBernet@...
 

On 2003.10.1, Jacob D. Goldstein <jake@computer.org> writes:

There are a myriad possibilities that fit better the historical and
sociological record than the Khazar investiture hypothesis. Here is
one. In the year 1075, the Seljuqs, a group of Turkmen tribes from
Central Asia led by Malik Shah, entered Jerusalem. By 1092 they had
conquered Palestine, Syria, all of Mesopotamia and most of Iran.
[This event signaled the beginning of Turkish power in the Middle
East.] It is not difficult to construct scenarios according to which
the wife of a Levite residing in or visiting Jerusalem becomes
impregnated by one of the assailants and later emigrates/returns to
Europe, re/joining the nascent Ashkenazi community.
There are some difficulties with possible explanations.

Let's assume that not one, as you suggest, but fifty (high figure)
wives of Levites were raped and impregnated by members of the
Central Asian people that had this particular genetic marker. Let's
assume that all fifty wives eventually settled in Europe, (the
original Ashkenaz, Eastern Europe, and the still-Ashkenazi Italy).
Let's say that between them they had 25 sons of Central Asian
ancestry who were given the status of Levi'im.

In all of Europe north of the Pyreness and the Danube basin (i.e.
the lands that were then inhabited by today's Ashkenazim), there
were, (low figure), 40,000 Jews in the year 1100. Of these, 20,000
were males. Of these 20,000, eight hundred (low figure) were
Levites.

Were the offspring of the Central Asian so-called Levites so much
more fecund, so much more powerful, in such greater health, that
these 25 (high figure, remember) "Central Asian" Levites and their
descendants were able to numerically equal the descendants of the
800 (low figure) "Jewish" Levites of Ashkenaz?

Anyone who defends this theory has to come up with a good
explanation of how these few "Central Asian" Levites attained parity
in numbers with the "true" Levites in only 1000 years. And while
you're about it, how come the Persian, Iraqi, Caucasus and
Turk-many-stans Levites, all more directly in the path of the
Khazars or the Turkmen or whatever, did not have the same or greater
ratio of Central-Asian DNA.

The same may be said, mutatis mutandis, of the claims that East
European Jews are largely of Khazar descent or that Yiddish came to
us largely through the Khazars. How many words in Yiddish are of
Khazar origins, even by Mozensonian standards? How much of Khazar
culture has been imbedded in East European Jewish culture? How come
we have virtually no record of Khazari Jews in Eastern Europe?

The New York Times report on the Levites and their DNA is faulty on
many grounds. The author of the article appears to be somewhat
ignorant of Jewish History, Bible and Judaism, and appears to have
pulled together bits and pieces >from a number of authors (articles)
without awareness of the contradictions these selections have
introduced.

Has anyone here actually read any of the underlying articles (or
written one of them)? What happens when DNA evidence flies totally
in the face of logic and well-recorded facts? [I know nothing at all
about genetics or DNA, except that I got one unit through a long
line of direct ancestors of my father, and that my daughter got one
unit through a long line of direct ancestors of her mother.] Is it
fair to assume that we have not yet solved all puzzles relating to
DNA? That there may be another explanation for this apparent
genetic anomaly that still requires research?

I'll admit, I did once hear a theory that at the return from
Babylonian exile, there was a shortage of Levites to carry out the
Levitical duties, and non-Levites had to be recruited. [My guess is
that the majority of the deracinated and "unemployable" Kohanim were
happy to return to the Holy Land >from their exile, to once again
benefit >from all the tithes, and Temple offerings, while the
Levites--scribes, teachers, musicians--were doing very well
economically in Babylon and many prefered to stay there.]

Is it possible that when the Jerusalem recruiters came to Babylon to
get those Levites back where they belonged, sundry unemployed
riff-raff of Central-Asian ancestry jumped at the chance and claimed
the Levitic status and with it the right to better their lives in
Jerusalem? It would make some sense. The Babylonian Levites kept
their ancestral purity; and, after all, the Yerushalmi Levites,
genetically diluted by the "new" Levites, were among those who
settled in the Ashkenazi lands during the next 1000 years. Perhaps
that is how the Central European DNA got to the Ashkenazi Levites?

Or is there some part of genetics that still hasn't been solved?

Michael Bernet, New York


DNA Research #DNA The Black Death #dna

Jacob D. Goldstein <jake@...>
 

Does anyone know if there is anything known about genetic-based
susceptibility to infection by the bubonic plague? Specifically,
is the rate of incidence of the Bubonic Plague statistically
invariant among different genetic groups in a common environment?

Jake Goldstein
Boston, MA, USA


All Cohanim are also Leviim #dna

Marc M. Cohen <marccohen@...>
 

On 2003.09.30, H. Elliott Lipschultz
<adoniram@taxhistoryfoundation.org> writes:

The Torah tells us Aaron's descendents were Cohanim and Moses's
descendents were Levinim. Is this an occupational division of
labor amongst the sons of Levi ben ya'akov? What of Sephardic
Levinim? Were the original Levinim neither Ashkenazic or Sephardic?
Elliott,

Both brothers Moshe and Aron were descended >from Levi, and so
belonged to the tribe of Levi. Therefore their descendents are
Leviim. Descendents of Aron are Cohanim *and* Leviim. The two are
not mutually exclusive. You can observe the dual role in shul when
a Cohen is called up for an aliyah but there is no Levi present to
take the second aliyah. Then the Cohen stays on the bimah where he
can do the second aliyah because he is also a Levi.

During the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and the Bet HaMikdash (Temple)
times, the division of labor between Cohanim and Leviim was that the
Cohanic priests presided and performed all the korbanot (sacrifices
to draw closer to HaShem), as well as various prayer and religious
rituals. The Leviim were charged with the care, provisioning and
maintenance of the entire temple, and in the case of the mishkan, of
carrying it >from place to place and setting it up. The Leviim also
carried the Ark of the covenant.

The Askenazic and Sephardic minhagim (traditions) began long after
the Torah times of Moshe and Aron -- roughly perhaps about 1500 to
2000 years later.

The Sephardic "movement" probably began first, when Romitic Jews
moved to Spain during the waning years of the Roman Empire. These
Jews became the Sephardim, who lived in Spain for about 1000 to 1200
years until the expulsion in 1492. Then, Sephardim fled all over the
Mediterranean, throughout the Turkish empire,to the Netherlands and
even to Brazil and eventually to New Amsterdam (New York).

The Ashkenazic "movement" began in the seventh and eighth centuries,
when mainly Italian Jews moved to the Rhine valley and began
establishing thriving communities in Mainz (Mayence), Worms, and
Speyer. These Askenazim lived there until the crusader massacres
from the 11th through the 13th centuries, when they began to
disperse to Southern France and mainly eastward to Austria, Poland,
North Germany, Lithuania and later to Russia.

Shonah Tovah Tikatevu

Marc M. Cohen
Palo Alto, CA
mailto:marccohen@mindspring.com


The October 2003 Issue of Sharsheret Hadorot. #general

Yocheved Klausner
 

This issue is rather diverse. In the area of genealogical research of
one's family, we have an article of Mr. Ilan Borovic, discussing his
family during World War II, the item by Mr. Eli Samson telling of a
combination of peculiar events and experiences during his research and
the piece by Mr. Joseph Covo focusing on the origin of his family name
and its metamorphosis.

In Mathilde Tagger's well-detailed and organized article, we are presented
with another aspect in the study of names - the family names of the Jews
of Bulgaria. Ms. Tagger skillfully leads us through the various types of
family names according to their origins and shows us how they reflect the
history of the Jews of the country.

Three essays deal with what we can call 'genealogical aids.' Ms. Carol
Edan recommends that we record family trees on CDs and explains how to do
it; Ms. Zippi Rosenne discusses the "Visual Documentation Center" at the
Diaspora Museum and Dr. Yehuda Klausner continues his series of short
chapters on ways to record genealogical data.

The area of history, the longstanding companion of genealogy, is
represented in this issue by the comprehensive article by Dr. Martha Lev-
Zion on Jewish life in central Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Dr.
Lev-Zion spreads out a wide scope in which she covers the daily life
including customs of marriage and brit mila, as well as the education of
children and their study of Torah. She also discusses local customs - all
of this on the background of frequent expulsions and the Thirty Years War.

Mathilde Tagger relates a short story on the names of two of her
forbearers. I am sure that in every family, legends, anecdotes, humorous
stories and proverbs, pass >from generation to generation. We ask our
members to share their stories with us. A new contributor to Sharsheret
Hadorot is Mr. Shlomo David >from our Haifa branch. He shows us, how
according to Rashi's interpretation of a verse in the Book of Numbers,
even in ancient times our ancestors maintained family trees and when the
census was taken in the desert, they presented them before all of the
people.

Our librarian, Harriet Kasow, continues her reports on new books, which
have been added to our library, on the continuing activity of IGS and on
conferences and meetings that have taken place in Israel over the past few

months.

A summary of foreign journals has been provided, as always, by Ms.
Mathilde Tagger (Hebrew) and Mr. Harold Lewin (English).


We are pleased to announce that beginning with next year, 2004, Sharsheret
Hadorot will become a quarterly, appearing four times a year. In
anticipation of this change, this copy is expanded and its issue number
appears as 17/3-4, 2003.

With the beginning of the new Jewish year of 5764, I wish to extend, in
the name of the editorial board, heartfelt greetings to all, with the
hope that it be an interesting year with success in genealogical research.

Best wishes and Shana Tova,

Yocheved Klausner, Editor

Sharsheret Hadorot


DNA Research #DNA All Cohanim are also Leviim #dna

Marc M. Cohen <marccohen@...>
 

On 2003.09.30, H. Elliott Lipschultz
<adoniram@taxhistoryfoundation.org> writes:

The Torah tells us Aaron's descendents were Cohanim and Moses's
descendents were Levinim. Is this an occupational division of
labor amongst the sons of Levi ben ya'akov? What of Sephardic
Levinim? Were the original Levinim neither Ashkenazic or Sephardic?
Elliott,

Both brothers Moshe and Aron were descended >from Levi, and so
belonged to the tribe of Levi. Therefore their descendents are
Leviim. Descendents of Aron are Cohanim *and* Leviim. The two are
not mutually exclusive. You can observe the dual role in shul when
a Cohen is called up for an aliyah but there is no Levi present to
take the second aliyah. Then the Cohen stays on the bimah where he
can do the second aliyah because he is also a Levi.

During the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and the Bet HaMikdash (Temple)
times, the division of labor between Cohanim and Leviim was that the
Cohanic priests presided and performed all the korbanot (sacrifices
to draw closer to HaShem), as well as various prayer and religious
rituals. The Leviim were charged with the care, provisioning and
maintenance of the entire temple, and in the case of the mishkan, of
carrying it >from place to place and setting it up. The Leviim also
carried the Ark of the covenant.

The Askenazic and Sephardic minhagim (traditions) began long after
the Torah times of Moshe and Aron -- roughly perhaps about 1500 to
2000 years later.

The Sephardic "movement" probably began first, when Romitic Jews
moved to Spain during the waning years of the Roman Empire. These
Jews became the Sephardim, who lived in Spain for about 1000 to 1200
years until the expulsion in 1492. Then, Sephardim fled all over the
Mediterranean, throughout the Turkish empire,to the Netherlands and
even to Brazil and eventually to New Amsterdam (New York).

The Ashkenazic "movement" began in the seventh and eighth centuries,
when mainly Italian Jews moved to the Rhine valley and began
establishing thriving communities in Mainz (Mayence), Worms, and
Speyer. These Askenazim lived there until the crusader massacres
from the 11th through the 13th centuries, when they began to
disperse to Southern France and mainly eastward to Austria, Poland,
North Germany, Lithuania and later to Russia.

Shonah Tovah Tikatevu

Marc M. Cohen
Palo Alto, CA
mailto:marccohen@mindspring.com


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen The October 2003 Issue of Sharsheret Hadorot. #general

Yocheved Klausner
 

This issue is rather diverse. In the area of genealogical research of
one's family, we have an article of Mr. Ilan Borovic, discussing his
family during World War II, the item by Mr. Eli Samson telling of a
combination of peculiar events and experiences during his research and
the piece by Mr. Joseph Covo focusing on the origin of his family name
and its metamorphosis.

In Mathilde Tagger's well-detailed and organized article, we are presented
with another aspect in the study of names - the family names of the Jews
of Bulgaria. Ms. Tagger skillfully leads us through the various types of
family names according to their origins and shows us how they reflect the
history of the Jews of the country.

Three essays deal with what we can call 'genealogical aids.' Ms. Carol
Edan recommends that we record family trees on CDs and explains how to do
it; Ms. Zippi Rosenne discusses the "Visual Documentation Center" at the
Diaspora Museum and Dr. Yehuda Klausner continues his series of short
chapters on ways to record genealogical data.

The area of history, the longstanding companion of genealogy, is
represented in this issue by the comprehensive article by Dr. Martha Lev-
Zion on Jewish life in central Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Dr.
Lev-Zion spreads out a wide scope in which she covers the daily life
including customs of marriage and brit mila, as well as the education of
children and their study of Torah. She also discusses local customs - all
of this on the background of frequent expulsions and the Thirty Years War.

Mathilde Tagger relates a short story on the names of two of her
forbearers. I am sure that in every family, legends, anecdotes, humorous
stories and proverbs, pass >from generation to generation. We ask our
members to share their stories with us. A new contributor to Sharsheret
Hadorot is Mr. Shlomo David >from our Haifa branch. He shows us, how
according to Rashi's interpretation of a verse in the Book of Numbers,
even in ancient times our ancestors maintained family trees and when the
census was taken in the desert, they presented them before all of the
people.

Our librarian, Harriet Kasow, continues her reports on new books, which
have been added to our library, on the continuing activity of IGS and on
conferences and meetings that have taken place in Israel over the past few

months.

A summary of foreign journals has been provided, as always, by Ms.
Mathilde Tagger (Hebrew) and Mr. Harold Lewin (English).


We are pleased to announce that beginning with next year, 2004, Sharsheret
Hadorot will become a quarterly, appearing four times a year. In
anticipation of this change, this copy is expanded and its issue number
appears as 17/3-4, 2003.

With the beginning of the new Jewish year of 5764, I wish to extend, in
the name of the editorial board, heartfelt greetings to all, with the
hope that it be an interesting year with success in genealogical research.

Best wishes and Shana Tova,

Yocheved Klausner, Editor

Sharsheret Hadorot


Study Links Levite Group to Central Asia #dna

Jacob D. Goldstein <jake@...>
 

On 2003.10.01, Howard Sachs <hfsachs@yahoo.com> writes on a thread
he entitled "Hanky panky (maybe rape) in Jerusalem?":

Mr. Jacob Goldstein's theory is possibly true, but we are all
engaged in rank speculation. As to his problem with the 1000 year
date, I think that is a journalistic simplification. The original
article in the American Journal of Human Genetics (released on
September 17) deals with "an inferred common ancestor within the
past 2,000 years." Since dating is derived for mathematics and
mutation rates, as I understand it, the common ancestor could easily
have lived several hundred years before the year 1003.
The paper presents two estimates corresponding to (two) different
mutation models and a male intergeneration time of 25 years. In one
case, the mean Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor is 663 years,
in the other 1000 years. However, in both cases the 95% confidence
intervals are huge: [244,1570] and [375,2248]. Another (rather
strange) analysis, that does not even consider the observed R1a1
mutation, yields an estimate of "925 years before 1939." No bounds
are given.

The results are summarized with the following comment:

"Taken together, these separate time estimates provide a
timeframe that coincides with the initial formation and
early settlement of the Ashkenazi Jewish population."

So the date may coincide with the Golden Age of Jewish Khazaria.
Yes, it is *possible* (but it is not their best estimate), and the
Behar et al paper speculates on the Kuzari hypothesis! In my
opinion the authors (and the editors) should have limited the
content of the article to Genetics.

This would be the first piece of evidence that links the Ashkenazi
community to Khazaria. There is no historical link. There is no
tradition. There is simply co-habitation in neighboring
geographical locations beginning 300 years after the disappearance
of Khazaria, a disappearance that left little trace of the empire or
its people. In fact, the Kuzaris not only lost an empire, they lost
their identity as a people.

If there were any native Kuzari Jews waiting for the Ashkenazim coming
from the West, they left no tradition, no history, no trace. If there
had been any native Kuzari Jews (all of whom would claim to be Levites!)
waiting for the Ashkenazim coming >from the West, they would have had
a different language and traditions. No record of such an encounter
exists. I do not mean to be facetious, but the only alternative
left is for the Kuzari Jews to have integrated stealthily into
Ashkenazi society, all of them as Levites with (some) special
privileges.

The Kuzari theory does not fit the facts.

The R1a1 marker is *extremely* rare among non-Levite Ashkenazim.
If one individual was invested as a Levi (a totally implausible
event) what happened to the rest of the population? Weren't they
Jews? If so, they disappeared. Why would the only Jewish Kuzari
survivors be the descendants of that one individual?

If the ancestry results >from improper sexual relations in Jerusalem
with the wife of a Levite, I would guess the descendants might
account for a very small proportion of current Askenazi Levite
claimants but 50% is astounding, and suggests something more
notable, resonating for a millenium for the descendants asserting
Levite descent. And the Jerusalem theory would not explain why
Northern Europe is almost exclusively where the descendants
appeared. I do agree this will take a lot of searching for
explanations.
**Any** theory has to explain the basic observation that roughly half
the number of Ashkenazi Levi'im living today (apparently) descend
from a single individual >from Central Asia who lived 1000 (or 1300)
years ago.

Actually, the 50% fraction is not implausible. Today, there is
general consensus on the fact that by the end of the 13th century,
the Crusaders, the Black Death, the pogroms inspired by the Black
Death, etc. had reduced the Ashkenazi population of Europe to about
1500 families. [Hence the genetic homogeneity among Ashkenazim.]
If we assume that the fraction of those Jews represented by Levi'im
was the same as today's (probably not true, but the actual figure is
not critical), about 60 of those families were headed by Levites.
If 30 of them descended >from the R1a1 Levi founder, and if >from then
on that sub-population evolved on the average as the rest of the
Ashkenazim, then we would have the results we observe today.

Why would such family groups survive as a unit? Because of their
wealth, because they lived in close proximity and shared similar
circumstances. Because they maintained close links and acted in
a coordinated manner.

The Jerusalem theory fits the facts.

Here is another theory that fits the facts: one of the invading
Seljuqs decides to change lifestyle. He travels to Europe, joins
the nascent Ashkenazi community and starts calling himself a Levite.

Jake Goldstein

[Moderator's Note: A concise demographic history of the Ashkenazi
Jews may be found at http://www.idgene.com/company/ashkenaz.html ]


DNA Research #DNA Study Links Levite Group to Central Asia #dna

Jacob D. Goldstein <jake@...>
 

On 2003.10.01, Howard Sachs <hfsachs@yahoo.com> writes on a thread
he entitled "Hanky panky (maybe rape) in Jerusalem?":

Mr. Jacob Goldstein's theory is possibly true, but we are all
engaged in rank speculation. As to his problem with the 1000 year
date, I think that is a journalistic simplification. The original
article in the American Journal of Human Genetics (released on
September 17) deals with "an inferred common ancestor within the
past 2,000 years." Since dating is derived for mathematics and
mutation rates, as I understand it, the common ancestor could easily
have lived several hundred years before the year 1003.
The paper presents two estimates corresponding to (two) different
mutation models and a male intergeneration time of 25 years. In one
case, the mean Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor is 663 years,
in the other 1000 years. However, in both cases the 95% confidence
intervals are huge: [244,1570] and [375,2248]. Another (rather
strange) analysis, that does not even consider the observed R1a1
mutation, yields an estimate of "925 years before 1939." No bounds
are given.

The results are summarized with the following comment:

"Taken together, these separate time estimates provide a
timeframe that coincides with the initial formation and
early settlement of the Ashkenazi Jewish population."

So the date may coincide with the Golden Age of Jewish Khazaria.
Yes, it is *possible* (but it is not their best estimate), and the
Behar et al paper speculates on the Kuzari hypothesis! In my
opinion the authors (and the editors) should have limited the
content of the article to Genetics.

This would be the first piece of evidence that links the Ashkenazi
community to Khazaria. There is no historical link. There is no
tradition. There is simply co-habitation in neighboring
geographical locations beginning 300 years after the disappearance
of Khazaria, a disappearance that left little trace of the empire or
its people. In fact, the Kuzaris not only lost an empire, they lost
their identity as a people.

If there were any native Kuzari Jews waiting for the Ashkenazim coming
from the West, they left no tradition, no history, no trace. If there
had been any native Kuzari Jews (all of whom would claim to be Levites!)
waiting for the Ashkenazim coming >from the West, they would have had
a different language and traditions. No record of such an encounter
exists. I do not mean to be facetious, but the only alternative
left is for the Kuzari Jews to have integrated stealthily into
Ashkenazi society, all of them as Levites with (some) special
privileges.

The Kuzari theory does not fit the facts.

The R1a1 marker is *extremely* rare among non-Levite Ashkenazim.
If one individual was invested as a Levi (a totally implausible
event) what happened to the rest of the population? Weren't they
Jews? If so, they disappeared. Why would the only Jewish Kuzari
survivors be the descendants of that one individual?

If the ancestry results >from improper sexual relations in Jerusalem
with the wife of a Levite, I would guess the descendants might
account for a very small proportion of current Askenazi Levite
claimants but 50% is astounding, and suggests something more
notable, resonating for a millenium for the descendants asserting
Levite descent. And the Jerusalem theory would not explain why
Northern Europe is almost exclusively where the descendants
appeared. I do agree this will take a lot of searching for
explanations.
**Any** theory has to explain the basic observation that roughly half
the number of Ashkenazi Levi'im living today (apparently) descend
from a single individual >from Central Asia who lived 1000 (or 1300)
years ago.

Actually, the 50% fraction is not implausible. Today, there is
general consensus on the fact that by the end of the 13th century,
the Crusaders, the Black Death, the pogroms inspired by the Black
Death, etc. had reduced the Ashkenazi population of Europe to about
1500 families. [Hence the genetic homogeneity among Ashkenazim.]
If we assume that the fraction of those Jews represented by Levi'im
was the same as today's (probably not true, but the actual figure is
not critical), about 60 of those families were headed by Levites.
If 30 of them descended >from the R1a1 Levi founder, and if >from then
on that sub-population evolved on the average as the rest of the
Ashkenazim, then we would have the results we observe today.

Why would such family groups survive as a unit? Because of their
wealth, because they lived in close proximity and shared similar
circumstances. Because they maintained close links and acted in
a coordinated manner.

The Jerusalem theory fits the facts.

Here is another theory that fits the facts: one of the invading
Seljuqs decides to change lifestyle. He travels to Europe, joins
the nascent Ashkenazi community and starts calling himself a Levite.

Jake Goldstein

[Moderator's Note: A concise demographic history of the Ashkenazi
Jews may be found at http://www.idgene.com/company/ashkenaz.html ]