If one's ancestor in Zagare, Lithuania born in mid 1800s had the forename Kalonymus (not the famous tea merchant, Wissotzky!), is it likely that the person was descended from the famous Kalonymus family - or was it a "common" Jewish name akin to Abraha, Moshe or Jacob and nothing special should be read into it?

Marcus S

Re: Kalonymus

Hank Mishkoff

The forename "Kalman" (Coleman) runs in my family (including my Dad), I'm told that's a common derivation of Kalonymus. My family is from northeastern Poland (Grajewo and Przerosl), near today's border with Lithuania.


Steven Turner

The Gesher Galicia Board of Directors welcomes Charlie Katz as our new
Treasurer. After 15 years of dedicated service, Ann Harris has stepped
down. We are grateful for her service as former treasurer and wish her
the very best in future endeavors.

Charlie is an information technology consultant with decades of
experience delivering data management solutions for a global financial
institution. Most recently, he was a Senior Vice President of
Enterprise Operations & Technology leading big data engineering and
advanced analytics initiatives. Charlie holds a BA degree in Liberal
Arts from The New School in New York City.

Charlie has been researching his family history for over 20 years, a
journey spanning roots in Galicia, immigration to New York’s Lower
East Side, and adaptation to life in America in the early 20th
century. His research reconnected family in the US and UK that had
lost contact 60 years earlier.

Please join us in welcoming Charlie to the Board and wishing him
success in his new role.

Dr. Steven Turner
Gesher Galicia

Translation request--RUSSIAN--images on Viewmate

Joseph Walder

I have posted a vital record in Russian for which I need a translation. It is for part of the LUCHANSKIY family of Koshevata, Tarashcha uyezd, Kiev gubernia, and may be found on ViewMate distributed over three images:


This record is from an 1875 census. I am able to make out a few of the names but I cannot actually read Russian so I would love as complete a translation as possible.


Many thanks—


Joseph Walder, Portland, Oregon, USA


Looking for Information on Bronek Strosberg - ?Brazil

Bubbles Segall

I am trying to find information on Bronek Strosberg who was born in
Poland in 1926. His parents were Max (Maximillian) Strosberg and
Leah (Leocadja) Strosberg (nee Kopyto). His siblings were Halina
(Hanna) Strosberg born in Warsaw Poland on 1 February 1933 and Esther
Strosberg born in 1928.

When the Warsaw ghetto opened, the family moved to live with the
Strosberg grandparents whose house was located within the ghetto.
Halina and her sister Esther were smuggled out of the ghetto and their
father arranged for them to live in hiding with a number of families
in the countryside outside of Warsaw.

The family thought that Bronek perished during the Holocaust but now a
letter has come to light at Bad Arolson which states that Bronek
survived the Holocaust and emigrated to Brazil in 1947.

Does anyone have any information on Bronek?
Bubbles Segall

ViewMate - Polish translation request - Arolsen archive


i've posted an image of a record from the Arolsen archive, which is in polish. it's for a survivor of the camps, originally from the island of rhodes. i am interested in the form itself, both the title and the field names, because i would like to know what it was supposed to be used for. (the person eventually travelled via italy to africa.)

please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page (or directly to my email address).

....... tom klein, toronto

Re: ViewMate - Polish translation request - Arolsen archive

David Lewin

I possess "Glossary of ITS Terms & Abbreviations" produced by the staff of the Registry of Holocaust Survivors at the Washington Us Holocaust Museum

It is undated (at a guess 2008) and has a comment from William Connelly that "it is frequently updated

I cannot find it at USHMM today and ill gladly scan its 80 pages or so if wanted as a PDF

David Lewin

At 01:06 10/12/2019, tom wrote:
i've posted an image of a record from the Arolsen archive, which is in polish. it's for a survivor of the camps, originally from the island of rhodes. i am interested in the form itself, both the title and the field names, because i would like to know what it was supposed to be used for. (the person eventually travelled via italy to africa.)

please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page (or directly to my email address).

....... tom klein, toronto

Re: Researcher in Moldova




Alan Cohen

Perle and Daniel Zalberg #USA


Hi I am looking for any relatives of Perle and Daniel Zalberg.  They arrived in the USA in the late 1940s.  I found the SSDI for Daniel who died in August 1972 and looking for his burial in NY with no luck.  He lived in Far Rockaway and would like to find an address.  He did have a cousin Jan John Aldon who died in Florida.  I am not looking for anything more than a death record, burial or last physical address.

Elissa Boyet 
Charlotte, NC 

Re: Kalonymus

David Shapiro

It was not a common name, and it was certainly chosen because an ancestor had that name, and so further back. So I would say that it is indeed likely that he descended from that famous family, but you would had to trace your line back close to a thousand years to prove it,which is almost impossible (unless somewhere along the way you found someone had a prepared family tree).

My gggrandfather was Kalman SHMULEVITZ from Panevezys, Lithuanai, and many relatives were named for him.

David Shapiro


Re: Kalonymus


My wife's greatgrandfather from Plock in Poland had the given name Groniem, a derivative of Heironymous or Kalonymus. It seems relatively common in that area at that time.

Alan Cohen

Re: Kalonymus


My middle name is Kalman. My family’s last name was Rojtkopf. While they were from Poland for at least two generations, I believe my great grandfather Kalman, who was a followerer of the Gerer Rebbe, came from Lithuania or Ukraine and was sometimes called Kalonymus.  Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Re: Looking for Information on Bronek Strosberg - ?Brazil

Lewis, Megan

Family Search has two databases of Brazilian immigration files:

Good luck,

Megan Lewis  Reference Librarian  202.314.7860
National Institute for Holocaust Documentation
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Support the Campaign for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Re: ViewMate - Polish translation request - Arolsen archive

Lewis, Megan


The card is in Czech, not Polish.  It is from the card file of Theresienstadt (Terezin) prisoners.


Megan Lewis  Reference Librarian  202.314.7860
National Institute for Holocaust Documentation
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Support the Campaign for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Urgent question about USCIS fee inscreases

Jeffrey Knisbacher

I would like to "make my voice known" but am confused as to how and where I can do this. Can you do it by email and, if so, at what address? If not, what is the physical address you have to write to?   Glad to know that I still have time to respond.   Jeff Knisbacher

Re: Kalonymus


Hello all,

In my family the name Kalman Kalonimus is not an infrequent name. Also my father was naùmed Kalman Kalonymus.

Here is some information:

According to Rabbi Shmuel Gorr z"l:

Kalonymus קלונימוס

Old Greek.

Kalon - "beautiful;" Nymus - "name". Possibly another attempt at translating the Hebrew name "Shem Tov". The use of this name by Jews is from the Second Temple period.

Kalman (Often used together after the original name form - Kalonymus.

Kalmenka (A branch of the ancient family Yoffe (Yaffe, Joffe, Jaffe, etc.) which means beautiful, had a progenitor called Kalman (beautiful name) Yoffe. They changed their name to Yoffe-Kalmenkes (beautiful, beautiful name). Kalminkes, alone, is also a family name.

According to Alexander Beider:

Kalonymos (Calinymos) was created by the Greek-speaking Jews from the (Judeo-) Greek expression meaning beautiful name. Calonimus is the latinized form. ItsGershon traditional Hebrew spelling is קלונימוס, and despite its non-Hebrew origin it was still considered to be a shem ha-qodesh (Zunz 1876:25). In the Middle Ages, it was a popular name in Italy (cf. for example, the occurrences in the index for Immanuel de Rome 1957, and also in Adler 1907:10, Colorni 1983:70). According to a legend, a family whose head was a bearer of this name migrated from Lucca (northern Italy) to the Rhineland, most likely during the 10th century. Their descendants called Kalonymides were of great importance to the cultural life of the medieval Jewish Rhineland. Numerous religious scholars and poets, primarily from Mainz and Speyer, belonged to that family. Due to the fame of Kalonymides, the given name became popular in Germany. Migrants brought it from the Rhineland to southern Germany. In some cases, it could also be brought to various German-speaking provinces from medieval southern France where it was also found (Gross 2897:709, Seror 1989:57-58, Adler 1907:3) due to earlier migrations of Jews from Italy to that area.
In Germany, the full form never appears in Christian sources after the 11th century. On the other hand, since the early 13th century there are numerous references to derived forms of Caleman (Kaleman) and Calman (Kalman). Jews used them as the vernacular equivalents(kinnuim) for Kalonimos. The use of the phonetic variants of Kalonimos seems to have been completely reduced to religious life, being absent from the vernacular. Zunz (1876:26) suggested that the association between Kal(e)man and Kalonimos was purely phonetic. That idea is unattractive - a genetic association between the two names is much more plausible. Several hypotheses were suggested to explain the derivation of Kal(e)man from Kalonimos/Kalonimus. Fischer (1938:159) stated that it resulted from the confusion between the two nasals, /n/ and /m/. Despite the fact that such phonetic phenomenon actually took place at that period, this hypothesis is not satisfactory since it does not provide any explanation for the transposition of the two consonants. Gold (1977:99) proposed metathesis - the concept in linguistics to designate the permutation between two phonemes that take place in a specific context. However, he never explained the uniqueness of that particular phonetic context. Moreover, both the above hypotheses do not explain the transformation of the vowel present between these two nasals to /a/. Most likely, Kal(e)man was obtained by the addition of the element -man to the truncated stem of Kalonimos (Wexler 1992:91).
Jewish migrants from Germany brought the forms Kalman and Kalmen to the Slavic countries. During the 15th - 16th centuries, Christian sources regularly mention Jewish bearers of the appellation Colman or Kolman. Since these occurrences are numerous, it is likely Jews used the form Kolman among themselves. That variant of Kalman could have been influenced by the existence of the Germanic name Coloman used by German Christians since the 9th century (Förstemann 1900:1088, Necrologia Germaniae 1:40, 75).

And in Hebrew:

From Machzor Hamefurash on Yom Kippur:

רבינו משולם בן רבינו קלונימוס - מגדולי חכמי אשכנז בשנת ד"א תש"ן לערך. אביו רבינו קלונימוס היה מגדולי חכמי אשכנז (על תולדותיו ראה להלן). רש"י בזבחים דף מ"ה אף מזכיר הערה שאמר בעת מתתו, ומכנהו בשם רבי משולם גאון ב"ר קלונימוס. (אך יש לציין שבתוספות זבחים דף קט כתבו דבר זה בשם רבי קלונימוס אביו). תשובות ממנו בעניני הלכה מפוזרים הרבה בספרי התשובות שמגאוני דורו. רבינו גרשום בהיתרו לאמירת הפיוטים באמצע התפלה (שבלי הלקט סימן כח) מסתמך עליו ועל אביו, וכה הוא כותב: "וגם יש לנו ללמוד מן הפייטנים הראשונים, שהיו חכמים גדולים... וגם רבינו קלונימוס זצ"ל שחכם גדול היה... ורבי משולם בנו ידענו שחכם גדול היה, ופייט קרובה לצום כיפור, ובתוך הברכה אמר ענינים הרבה, ובסוף סמוך לחתימה הזכיר מעין הברכה".
בספר חסידים סימן תר"ז מביא שבמקום אחד הורגלו לומר את פיוטו של רבי משולם, ואחד אמר קרוב"ץ אחד ומת בתוך ל' יום. מכל הדברים הללו למדים אנו על גדולתו של רבינו משולם. הפיוטים שלפנינו הם הפיוטים על כל שחרית והם המוזכרים לעיל בתשובתו של רבינו גרשם.

רבינו קלונימוס ב"ר משה - מגדולי חכמי אשכנז, בשנות ד"א ת"ש לערך. יחוסו מוזכר בש"ס מהרש"ל (סימן כט): "וכל החסידים הקדושים הללו ( - רבי יהודה החסיד ומשפחתו) יצאו מזרעו של רבי משולם הגדול בן רבינו קלונימוס בן רבי משה הזקן... ורבינו משה הזקן הוא אשר יסד את אימת נוראותיך". משפחת קלונימוס זו האירה את עיניהם ולבם של ישראל כגדולי הדור, וכן כתבו התוספות (מנחות קט, ב בד"ה "בתחילה") על רבי קלונימוס זה: "ורבינו קלונימוס אביו של רבי משולם הגיה כלשון שני בשעת פטירתו... ושלשה דברים הגיה כמפי נבואה בשעת פטירתו זאת ועוד אחרת"... גם רבינו גרשם מאור הגולה בשעה שהוא רוצה להביא ראיה על ההיתר להפסיק בפיוטים באמצע התפלה הריהו כותב: "וגם יש לנו ללמוד מן הפייטים הראשונים שהיו חכמים גדולים... וגם רבי קלונימוס זצ"ל שחכם גדול היה ופייט קרובות לכל הרגלים והזכיר בם אגדה וענינים הרבה" (שבלי הלקט סימן כח). פיוטיו שלפנינו הם ה"רהיטין" לאחר קדושה של שחרית. ומיוסדים על הפסוק "מי לא יראך מלך הגוים וגו'". על שייכותו של פיוט זה לרבינו קלונימוס אנו למדים מתוך דברי הרא"ש בפירושו למסכת מדות פ"א מ"ג, אשר מביא גם פירוש לפיוטו זה של רבי קלונימוס: "טדי לשון גובה.. וזהו שיסד רבנא קלונימוס בפיוט: טפסרי טוהר בטעם יטידוך". (ועיי"ש בפיוט מה שהבאנו מגדולי המפרשים).

רבינו שמואל החסיד ב"ר קלונימוס - נולד בערך בשנת ד"א תתע"ה. היה מופלג מאוד בקדושה וטהרה עד כדי כי גדולי דורו כתבו עליו: "החסיד הקדוש והנביא" (שו"ת מהרש"ל סימן כ"ט), חיבר פירושים רבים על סידור התפילה, על הש"ס, וכן חיבר גם כן פיוטים, אך רוב דבריו נשאר בתב יד. אחד מתלמידיו היה הראבי"ה אשר מביא שמועות משמו (ראה מטה משה סימן תת"א: "שמעתי ממורינו רבי שמואל החסיד אשר תיבות אבינו מלכנו הינה כמנין עקיבה יסדה"). חיבר כפי הנראה את חלקו הגדול של שיר היחוד כפי המובא בספר "הנצחון" לר' ליפמאן מילהויזן (סימן של"ג) "ובשיר השירים שחיבר רבינו שמואל". וכן נקט הרו"ה על פי חתימתו בשיר ליום רביעי: "שדי מאורי מלכי ואלי".


Gershon S. Lehrer
Antwerp, Belgium

Re: Kalonymus


Kalonimus is a first name that is paired with the slightly more common name Kalman. I don't know the origin of either name but  even if  they originally came about in connection with a certain family I don't think their use  is connected to any surname or family. I wouldn't read much into it in terms  of families.

USCIS fee increases, revised comment

Jeffrey Knisbacher

I did finally figure out how to send my comment, attached below. Apparently  you cannot do it by email but you can do it electronically. Here is a more precise guide:

1. Go to this website:

2. Read that page, but if you already understand the issue and simply want to register your comments, scroll down to the bottom half of the page where it says "Make your voice heard in three easy steps!"

3. Skip steps one and two and click on the Federal Rule Making Portal under Step 3.

4. Register your comment and decide if you want your contact information included (or not) and submit.

5. Collect your tracking number

6. Advice: Do NOT make your comment political (i.e., as a rebuke of the current administration, who, after all, are the people who will render the final decision).

7. Send copies of your comments to the appropriate members of your Congressional district.

My comment:

Your Comment Tracking Number: 1k3-9dsl-epo8

I have been researching and writing about my extended family for the last 25 years and have relied for much of my information on freely available files held by the National Archives and the Library of Congress. As honest taxpayers we already support our government substantially and should not be penalized for requesting copies of information that was collected with money from our taxes. In other words, charging for access to this information is a form of double taxation. One can understand a per page charge for hard copy documents, but only at a normal commercial rate of a few cents per page. Charging hundreds of dollars is unconscionable. Where those documents are already digitized, the cost of emailing them should be near zero!

Our government is supposed to be "of the people, by the people and FOR the people". We recognize that final obligation in many ways, including the maintenance of free museums in our nation's capital. Certainly the upkeep of those museums is an expensive proposition and yet we still provide free access. We do it in part because we recognize that an informed and educated citizenry is essential for our democracy to continue to prosper. I would maintain that providing free access to documents about our own families is just as important as providing free access to the tons of other documents that are readily available at the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the D.C. public museums. This is an urgent matter. Please do not let these proposed fee increases go forward. The present fee schedule is already cumbersome!  

The December Issue of the Galitzianer

Gesher Galicia SIG

We are delighted to announce the release of the December 2019 issue of the Galitzianer, the quarterly research journal of Gesher Galicia.

Spanning centuries, this issue is a smorgasbord of history, politics, and family narratives--and it raises a host of interesting questions. How will a new Polish regulation complicating access to records impact Jewish genealogical research? What can we learn about the Jewish community in Galicia from the first Galician census? How did universal male suffrage impact Jewish political representation during the Habsburg Monarchy? How do you uncover your family’s past when the surviving relative doesn't want to talk about it? What should you consider before interviewing a Holocaust survivor?

The December issue of the journal raises these and other questions through the following articles:
  • "Research Corner: Successes and Hurdles" by Mark Jacobson
  • "The First Habsburg Census" by Andrew Zalewski
  • "Jewish Deputies from Galicia" by Börries Kuzmany
  • "Looking for My Parents" by Reuven Liebes
  • "My Grandmother’s Kitchen” by Peter Bein
  •  “Map Corner: 1850 Cadastral Map of Gorlice” by Jay Osborn
  •  “A Day with Murray” by Barbara Krasner
  •  “Membership News” by Shelley Kellerman Pollero
The Galitzianer is a membership benefit of Gesher Galicia, though anyone is invited to submit articles on Galicia-related themes. For membership information, visit our website at For details on submitting an article, review our submissions policy at, or contact me at submissions@....

Jodi G. Benjamin
Editor, The Galitzianer
Gesher Galicia

Send all inquiries to submissions@...

Re: Kalonymus

Judi Gyory Missel

My 3x great grandfather was Kalonymous Tzvi. He was born in 1793 in what is now Slovakia. However when he lived in Galgocz,  it was part of Hungary in the early 1800's. The Hungarians seem to have regularly used multiple names depending on the purpose - civil, government, or religious. So my Kalonymous Tzvi was also known as Kalman and Salamon.