Did my maternal grandmother convert to Judaism? #general


Madeleine Isenberg
 

Hi Joan,
I decided to check cemeteries and found this strange situation.  JewishGen's JOWBR, has one entry for Klara BALTES-LIFESHTIZ, who died in 1975, saying she is buried in Canada.  Here is her record: https://www.jewishgen.org/databases/jgdetail_2.php.  Clicking on the cemetery, it explains that this cemetery is not a completely Jewish cemetery, but doe shave a section: their link: https://www.jewishgen.org/databases/cemetery/jowbrshow.php?id=CAN-04769

Curiously, another website for burials is Jewishdata.com, that has exactly the same stone, but claims to be in Chicago's Waldheim cemetery!!  https://jewishdata.com/secure/record_detail.php?id=576256

Puzzling...

Regards,
--
Madeleine Isenberg
madeleine.isenberg@...
Beverly Hills, CA
 
Researching: GOLDMAN, STEINER, LANGER, GLÜCKSMAN, STOTTER in various parts of Galicia, Poland
(Nowy Targ, Nowy Sanz, Wachsmund, Dembno, Lapuszna, Krakow, Ochotnica) who migrated into Kezmarok or
nearby towns in northern Slovakia and Czech Republic (i.e., those who lived/had businesses in Moravska Ostrava);
GOLDSTEIN in Sena or Szina, Szkaros and Kosice, Slovakia; Tolcsva and Tokaj, Hungary.
GOLDBERG, TARNOWSKI in Chmielnik and KHANISHKEVITCH in Kielce, Poland


michele shari
 

Joan, I agree that this is something you should pursue. Although your children and you may consider yourselves Jewish, according to Jewish law you would not be if your grandmother did not convert according to Jewish law and what is universally accepted is an Orthodox conversion. While it may not be an issue to you, it may very well be an issue to whoever your children marry and their families and this information should be conveyed accurately.
Please let us know what you find out in your research.
Michele Farkas
Boynton Beach, FL


Joan Jacobson
 

The issue in my case is that, while I was raised in the Reform tradition, my husband was raied Conservative/Traditional, so when I raised the possibility that my maternal grandmother may not have converted, he was upset.  I just assumed she had converted, as my gradfather’s parents were observant.  However, when I was investigating my geneology and found out she was buried in a Catholic cemetery, I became uncertain. Both of our children were Bar and Bat Mitvahed.  To me, being less traditional than my husband, that is all I care about.  Thanks for your response.
Joan Jacobson


jbonline1111@...
 

Yes, that's probably true.  On the other hand, if the child of a non-Jewish mother and a Jewish father is raised Jewish, then Reform considers them to be Jewish. That is the case for my three grandsons, all of whom have been Bar Mitzvahed.

"It is my understanding that in Reform the child of a gentile mother who is raised as a Christian, e.g. confirmed in the Catholic Church, still must undergo a Reform-style conversion ceremony.  The child raised as a Christian, to be exact."
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


Jules Levin
 

It is my understanding that in Reform the child of a gentile mother who is raised as a Christian, e.g. confirmed in the Catholic Church, still must undergo a Reform-style conversion ceremony.  The child raised as a Christian, to be exact.

Jules Levin


On 11/24/21 11:12 AM, jbonline1111@... wrote:
A few avenues to consider.  1. Did your grandparents attend a synagogue? If so, you might find conversion records there or at a nearby synagogue that has/had a mikvah.  2. What do census records from the times say?  3. Does the Catholic cemetery have records that show religion at time of death?  

FWIW, you, your sister and your mother can convert at any time.  Also, Reform Judaism considers the child of a parent who is Jewish to be Jewish, whether it's the mother or the father. 
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


jbonline1111@...
 

A few avenues to consider.  1. Did your grandparents attend a synagogue? If so, you might find conversion records there or at a nearby synagogue that has/had a mikvah.  2. What do census records from the times say?  3. Does the Catholic cemetery have records that show religion at time of death?  

FWIW, you, your sister and your mother can convert at any time.  Also, Reform Judaism considers the child of a parent who is Jewish to be Jewish, whether it's the mother or the father. 
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


Michele Lock
 

You can try to get your grandparents' marriage certificate; it should have the name of the rabbi who officiated at the ceremony, if they were married in a synagogue. That could at least be a starting point to try and figure out what the religious status was for your grandmother at that time.

Alternatively, you could try and find a wedding announcement in a local newspaper for the couple, to see where they were married. You could then check to see if the synagogue still might have records from that time period.
--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Rabinowitz in Papile, Lithuania and Riga, Latvia
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus


Joan Jacobson
 

I was born and raised in Chicago, as was my mother and grandother, Barbara Baltes, who was married to my Grandfather, David Rosenfeld, who was Jewish. It is significant, for if Barbara Baltes never converted, then my mother, Evelyn Rosenfeld Schiller and my sister and I are not considered Jewish. Barbara Baltes, who died in her 20’s, is buried in St. Marys Catholic cemetery in Chicago. I do not know if her parents did not know of her conversion (if it occurred), or if my grandfather did not object. Everyone in my family who might know is dead. Is there any way to find this information out. Thank you.
Joan Jacobson