moderated "Unorthodox" - 2015 film about a college year spent in Israel and another, 2020 a wife, 19, flees to Berlin from Satmar Williamsburg #israel #germany #usa

Jeff at SG

The film 'Unorthodox' (free on Amazon Prime) might be of interest to those whose children will be spending their first college year in Israel. An eyeopener, at least to me.

PS  It seems there are several films with that same title.
The one I was referring to about the college year in Israel is on Amazon Prime by Anna Wexler, 2015.
Not the 2020 Netflix one with the same name or several others.
Sorry for the confusion.

Jeff Malka,

Re: Selecting, scanning, identifying and desicarding old paper photographs #general

Marjorie Geiser

Growing up, I wasn't that interested in family photos. I was aware of one that was packed away, but NEVER knew who it was!
I have NO photos of my grandfather (Jacob LEVINE) before he and my grandmother (Flora EPSTEIN) married, and I can't find any living relatives on his side, either. So I have nothing. Nothing.
When I started my family tree, just over a year ago, I found a second cousin who had TONS of old photos (not of my grandfather, though), and she gave me some precious ones.
Today I scan all the photos I have, stored on an external hard drive, and many now are framed, with who they are on the back. My daughter wasn't interested in any of this until I started working on the family trees, but now she loves seeing these old photos. But all original photos are way too precious to discard.
Margie Geiser
Northern Arizona, USA


Re: Selecting, scanning, identifying and desicarding old paper photographs #general

Shelley Corwin

As for how to scan: while I agree with scanning at minimal 300dpi and as a jpeg because it's common format, but remember floppy discs? can you read those now? Be aware that the higher the dpi beyond that, the more detail and defects you’ll have. Remove dust  before, and take a moment to read a bit of how to scan. if the photo is tiny it will reproduce larger better if at least 300 or 600. A jpeg is a compressed file, meant to be seen online, and often if you plan, for example, to print as a book or fine print, and if you have the ability to save as a TIFF, then do that as well. There is more “information” in a TIFF. DO NOT make only one scan of any cherished photo and DO NOT store it on ONLY one gadget such as a DVD or a flash. Best to put it on 2 things, and/or an external drive you attach by USB and put one away in a vault or let others know where, or in another home altogether. Print what you know in a list and # the photo’s. make a hard copie for each family person interested and in your files with the drives and also in your general papers. You never know when you’ll discover another relative who has similar photo’s and knows who they are, and this may not happen for a couple of generations. If you know any anecdotes or knew them personally, write those down too. We’re all quarantined now and it’s a good time to do this!  
I had my 8mm and super 8 mm put on DVD and also small specific tapes-i forget the type- because the film is deteriorating. it takes a professional, and while costco will do this, Jeff watched each inch  of my hundreds of rolls, and managed to save some that I think costco couldn’t have saved. Jeff Gall,,  New York, NY 10001   Phone# 212-643-1042. 

Re: Re: Bobr, Belarus #belarus


No, Bobr is not Bobruisk

Re: Re: Bobr, Belarus #belarus

Martha Forsyth

Oops, NOW I see that there really IS a town/shtetl Bobr (how WOULD that be pronounced?  I know Slavic pronunciation pretty well, and few of the languages have the sounds B+R with nothing between them!

Re: Selecting, scanning, identifying and desicarding old paper photographs #general

Barbara Ellman

My grandmother had two beautiful photo albums.  They were leather bound and had many photos of people I did not know.  I remember several photos of men in military uniforms.  When my grandmother died, my mother took the volumes apart and discarded the photos of those she did not know.   When I started researching the family, at my mother's behest, I asked about the photos.  I never let her off for having discarded those valuable family memories.
So first, I suggest that no images should be discarded without having digitized them.
I suggest scanning as a jpg at 600 dpi.  You want to get the most detail which is often difficult with older photos, so the higher dpi. 300 dpi is often sufficient.
To organize the photos, Google photos has lots of options including facial recognition, keywords and tags.  Free storage online.
I would contact the Center for Jewish History in New York City about donating the images.  I've referred others to this institution and all donations were received.
Stay safe, everyone!

Barbara Ellman
Secaucus, NJ USA

Barbara Ellman
Secaucus NJ USA
ELLMAN, COIRA, MAIDMAN - Minkovtsy, Ukraine
KAGLE, FASS - Ulanow, Poland

Re: Re: Bobr, Belarus #belarus

Martha Forsyth

I guess that's different from Bobruisk?  I have a photo of a couple people who I believe are from Bobruisk: Boris and Hasya Bobruskin (both b. around 1885 iin "Homel, Mohilev" and arrived 1905 or so - have a manifest for Hasya but not Boris).  They're not - as far as I know! - related to me, but their portraits (taken in NY, where they lived for a long time) were among a group of 7 photos that my paternal GF (and GM) had.  Can send if you like, or contact me directly, <theforsyths@...>

Re: New York State Death Index #usa

Susan Beecher <s_beecher@...>

I have gotten very frustrated with the NY State Death index as it shows
up on Ancestry! Most of the time it doesn't even have the death date! So
I can't even really know if it is the right person. I had my friend (for
whom I am researching her family) get the death certificates. This can
also be a challenge as there are multiple places to order them.  This is
the site from which you can order PDFs of the death certificate (only
for genealogical not legal purposes) for $15. I
complained to the site that they didn't tell you what the fees are
anywhere.  However, they sent me the PDF the next day.  They are working
from home so a paper copy will not be available (indefinitely) and is
significantly more expensive.

The actual death certificates have useful information.

Susan Beecher

identify cemetery from statues in photo? #romania

V Silver

I believe this photo was taken at a Jewish cemetery in Romania and I’m wondering if anyone might be able to identify it from the large statues?
If I had to guess at a city/location, I might guess Bucharest, Barlad, or Botosani.
Thank you if you have any ideas about where to look.  I did try a Google images search but no luck so far.
V Silver
Miami, FL, USA

V Silver

Re: Searching: NADWORNY and KRUGLYAK #poland #ukraine


Hi my name is Mikhail Kruglyak, about your friend due to my father dying when I was young I can only trace myself to Mordechai Kruglyak who made his way to Astrakhan region in late 1800's from Ukraine... Let me know if he is aware of any connections... But I am jewish.

Re: Re: Bobr, Belarus #belarus


Hi, Wendy!
Very interesting
Do you know about his relatives who stayed in Bobr? Surnames of wifes?

Seeking SEIDE from Rogasen, Prussia > Poland > Birmingham, England > USA #germany #poland

Bruce Seide

Searching for information on my family (Seide) immigrated from Rogasen (Prussia) Poland to Birmingham, England around 1850 and then onto the United States around 1860.  Finding it difficult to uncovered much information from Rogasen.

The Film: "We Shall Not Die Now" available from Amazon Prime #holocaust #announcements

Tony Hausner

"We Shall Not Die Now" available on Amazon Prime.  Features Michael Berenbaum who I know from his work at USHMM. The film chronicles the Holocaust, when, between 1939 and 1945, six million Jews and millions of others were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime. Seventy-five years after the conclusion of the war, the film explores not only the horrific human tragedy and what we can learn from it - but also the resilience of those that rebuilt their lives in spite of the unimaginable.

Tony Hausner Silver Spring, MD 20901 301--587-6943 (primary email address: thausner@...)
Tony Hausner

Re: Selecting, scanning, identifying and desicarding old paper photographs #general

Ava (Sherlock) Cohn

I understand that you have a lot of photographs but PLEASE do not discard any of them. I know from personal experience the pain of knowing that someone has thrown away images of my family and that there are people in my tree that I will never know what they looked like. It's a tragedy. There is no substitute for an original photograph and just because you don't see any value in keeping them now because you don't know who is in the photographs, how do you know that a future genealogist in your family might someday be curious about the photographs? Many people do not become interested in their family origins until they are much older. Please do scan the photographs but know that the technology we have now may not be available in the future. That's another good reason to keep the originals. As for scanning, use the highest resolution you can but know that the higher the resolution, the larger the file. Generally I work with scans that are 300dpi in jpg format. That is only because I have so many photographs sent to me that I don't have enough storage space.  But for your purposes you may want to go with 600 or 1200 or even 2400 dpi. As for hoping to "donate" the photographs to museums etc. please understand that these organizations have limited staff and most do not have the time to catalog your photographs. Unless the photographs are of historical interest, the chances are that an institution may not want your pictures. Most of our photographs have personal interest to us but may be not be of long-term historical interest to a greater Jewish community. There are always sellers on eBay and other places who would seek to profit from your photographs and the collection will get split up, thus losing the provenance and the connections between the individuals in the photographs. All context will be lost. My advice would be to obtain acid-free materials to store the originals once you have made scans of all of them. Write down what you know about each photograph, who is in it etc. and keep that information with the originals. Keep the scans on a hard drive and, as has been said already, with a backup. Ava (Sherlock) Cohn

Re: #General Selecting, scanning, identifying and desicarding old paper photographs #general

Stanley H. Lipson

Assume anything you use will be obsolete within 20 years, but the
National Archives recommendations can be found at:
Stan Lipson

Re: New York State Death Index #usa

Morton Rumberg

Adelphi is a small section in Brooklyn (Kings County), NY, zip code 11238.
Mort Rumberg
JGS Sacramento 

Ukraine plans to sell Jewish cemeteries and massacre sites #ukraine

Tony Hausner

I have been informed by folks in Ukraine that the Parliamnet has just approved the following. To sell the land on which Jewish cemeteries and the mass grave massacre sites are located.  At the following link are 3 files: 1) a letter shared with me, 2) a posting on facebook, and 3) U.S. PUBLIC LAW 113–154—passed in AUG. 8, 2014 that might be relevant.  I would appreciate any advice and assistance on this.  

Ukraine cemeteries and massacre sites - Google Drive

Ukraine cemeteries and massacre sites - Google Drive


Tony Hausner Silver Spring, MD 20901 301--587-6943 (primary email address: thausner@...)
Tony Hausner

Prohibition Bootleggers and Sacramental Wine photo #usa

Bruce Drake

Prohibition-era photo on Lower East Side

Re: Selecting, scanning, identifying and desicarding old paper photographs #general


here are just a few thoughts:
1. jpg is the most common format now, so use it.  it's the most likely "retro" format that future software will be able to read, just because it's so widely used now.  and scan at the highest physical dpi that your scanner has - the higher resolutions are interpolated and can create false details.  don't expect software to enhance information that isn't there, so store and preserve originals wherever possible.
2. you get the greatest flexibility, and the most likelihood that someone in the future will be able to read the files, from using just the windows (or mac) file structure, because it's the most basic.  you can group them by time, place or surname, and also add text files with the names of the people for group pictures.  it's a very basic form of organization, but it works.
3. as far as i know, both yad vashem and the us holocaust memorial museum want photographs.  and the beit hatefutzot museum in israel might also want them.  or your local community in argentina, if they have their own archives.  and all archivists want originals, not scans.                   
....... tom klein, toronto

At 8:00 -0700 1/4/20, main@... wrote:
Dear Genners
This quarantine time has kept me busy doing some order at home.
I do not think the next generation will pay much attention to old paper family photographs, specially if they dont know the persons in them.
I have (as most of us) several shoe boxes with pictures and this special time seems adequate for a bit of thinking on them
My basic idea is to 1. select those relevant for any reason 2. scan those selected 3. create folder with adequate titles 4. keep only very special ones 5. discard the rest.
I imagine ther will be a whirlwind of opinions and I thank for them in advance.
Besides general suggestions, I pose a couple of specific questions:
1. do I scan in jpg ? How many dpi  considering they are for keeps not for inmediate viewing and probably technology will get better soon and enhance poor pictures.
2. is there any program to order these scans in files and give them a name (other than the simple Windows commands) ?
3. are there institutions that would receive the originall pictures as a donation ? I live in Argentina, where I can not think of any, but maybe you can give me a hint.
Thanks all and STAY AT HOME.
Alberto Guido Chester
Buenos Aires, Argentina

New York State Death Index #usa

Robert Avner

Thank you to all who responded to my question about the New York State Death Index. The response from Renee Steinig with the New York State Gazetteer was the most helpful. Even though I live in Queens, NYC & I know Queens is the only borough that still uses the old town system such as Flushing rather than Queens in its’ addresses rather than the borough or county I did not know that the counties in NYC are further broken down into hamlets, villages & towns as is the rest of the state. Adelphi is considered a hamlet in Brooklyn. If the place of residence was also the place of death should I assume that the NYC Dept of Health would have the death certificate since Adelphi is in Brooklyn?
One of the responders wrote that they didn’t have any problem obtaining genealogical death certificates from the New York State Dept. of Health. I sent an application for a death certificate in June 2018 & have still not received it. When you could still contact them by phone & speak to a person in 2019 I was told that the change to Real ID Drivers License caused a glut of applications for birth certificates & they only have one person handling genealogy applications for the entire state & it will take about 2 years to receive. What have others experienced?
Robert Avner