Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Announcement – JGS of Conejo Valley and Ventura County

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County* (JGSCV) (*and surrounding areas) will hold a general meeting, co–sponsored with and located at  Temple Adat Elohim, on Sunday, March 3, 2013 1:30 p.m-3:30 p.m.  2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

The Program: Researching Your Jewish Family Roots in Canada

Were your ancestors Canadian immigrants? Did your family immigrate to the US and later decide to settle in Canada? Did your family migrate to the US via a Canadian port? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this program is for you. The speaker will discuss the major sources of Canadian genealogical records and will cover ship manifests, naturalization records, the Canadian census and census substitutes, city directories, voter registration records, 1940 residence records, Jewish sources, vital records and more, using her own research as an example. The focus of the program is on the major years of Jewish immigration to Canada after 1880. The talk will concentrate on the ever-expanding digital resources available to Canadian researchers, and the challenges of Canadian research.

Speaker: Marion Werle, is a board member of JGSCV. Her grandparents, from Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus, all settled in Canada after a brief stay in the US, in most cases to join extended family members already there. She has been researching her family’s history in both the Old Country and Canada for over 17 years. She has discovered Canadian resources revealing data about family members who lived in both the Prairie Provinces and Montreal.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County is dedicated to sharing genealogical information, techniques and research tools with anyone interested in Jewish genealogy and family history.

There is no charge to attend the meeting.  Anyone may join JGSCV.
For more information contact: publicity@jgscv.org
www.jgscv.org 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

JewishGen 2012 Review

Dear Friends,


1 million records. More than 41,000 new users. Nearly 8,000 donors.

These figures demonstrate tremendous accomplishment by JewishGen in 2012. As we wrote a few months ago, we are actively growing our databases to meet the demand of our constantly expanding user base. Second, our users continue to appreciate the free service provided by JewishGen, and are willing to financially support its mission.

There is still so much more to do.

We added more than 1 million records last year (surpassing 21 million records in total!), hundreds of Yizkor Book translations and many other important items of interest to Jewish genealogists – but there remain millions of records throughout the world that have yet to be digitized, indexed, and made searchable on JewishGen. Some for-profit companies seek to obtain these records, and then charge to access them. It is our belief that Jewish family research should be freely accessible, and we are doing everything we can to keep it that way.

With this in mind, we are proud to publish our “2012 Review,” highlighting JewishGen’s accomplishments over the course of the previous year. As you may have noticed, many of our most popular features (such as the Family Finder and Burial Registry) now have distinctively branded logos, making it easier to identify the information you are viewing. A project that has generated particular enthusiasm is our “Memorial Plaques” project, whereby volunteers throughout the world are indexing the names appearing on Memorial (Yizkor) plaques in their synagogues.

As always, major and significant improvements (with the rapid advance of technology, these improvements are always significant) have continued to be made “behind the scenes” to help ensure an easy, powerful, and secure web experience.

This past July, JewishGen's ViewMate project won the "Outstanding Program or Project Award" at the IAJGS conference in Paris.  We'd like to congratulate  the team of JewishGen volunteers who created  and maintain ViewMate:  Sam Eneman, Administrator; Gary Sandler, Programmer; and Bernard Kouchel, who envisioned the original concept.



                                      Bernard Israelite Kouchel

Finally, and most importantly, our loyal users continued to provide us with a strong base of financial support – we received nearly 8,000 donations last year – allowing us to operate within our budget for the third year in a row despite global economic uncertainty.

Running almost 50 pages, the 2012 Review covers these, and other topics as well. Last year’s report was viewed more than 20,000 times, and we are confident that this year’s report will reach an even wider audience.

The report can be viewed below, or by clicking here

Regardless of your level of financial support, we are glad that you are part of the global JewishGen community – the JewishGen family – and we hope you will enjoy reading about about our accomplishments in 2012, along with our plans for what we hope will be an even better 2013.

Sincerely,

Warren Blatt                                     Avraham Groll
Managing Director                              Director of Business Operations


Announcement: JGS of Cleveland

Reminder the Next Meeting of the JGS of Cleveland will take place on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 1:30 PM.


At Anshe Chesed-Fairmount Temple Lelyveld Library


This will be a Question and Answer work session led by members of the group.


Submit questions ahead of time to info@clevelandjgs.org or bring them to the meeting
-----------
Reminder:
1. Membership dues and family updates are being collected now. If you have not sent in your membership renewal, don’t put it off any longer. The Directory will be published with the names and information of our members as of February 28, 2013.
2. If you would like help using Genealogy Library collection, come at 1:00 pm and one of the Board Members will be available to work with you.

                       

Friday, February 22, 2013

Announcement: JewishGen Canada Database


JewishGen is pleased to announce the "JewishGen Canada Database", a multi-database search facility containing nearly a quarter of a million records of Jews living in Canada.

The "JewishGen Canada Database" searches all of JewishGen's records for Canada, as well as external databases from the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network (CJHN).  The database is a work in progress, and new entries will being added regularly.  The database is located at: http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Canada

Components of the "JewishGen Canada Database" include:

* The JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) --
     More than 3,800 surnames and towns of Jewish families of interest to genealogists researching Canadian Jewry.

* The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) --
     168,000 records of Jewish burials in cemeteries in Canada.
       + Alberta (5 cemeteries, 3,722 burials)
       + British Columbia (7 cemeteries, 6,788 burials)
       + Manitoba (8 cemeteries, 15,235 burials)
       + New Brunswick (1 cemetery, 947 burials)
       + Ontario (274 cemeteries, 85,048 burials)
       + Québec (132 cemeteries, 55,898 burials)
       + Saskatchewan (1 cemetery, 741 burials)

* The JewishGen Memorial Plaques Database --
     Information from synagogue yahrzeit plaques.

 * The Canadian Jewish Heritage Network (CJHN) --
     More than 67,000 records from Canadian Jewish archival sources,
     currently including:
       + Jewish Colonization Association (JCA) -
            settler reports from western Canada and Québec (1906-1951).
       + Obituaries from the "Keneder Adler" (Montreal, 1908-1932)
            full text, translated from the Yiddish.
       + Hebrew Sick Benefit Association of Montreal -
            membership listings from 1897-1945.
       + Canadian Jewish Casualties in the Canadian Armed Forces -
            World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.
       + Saint John, New Brunswick -
            Jewish Residents, Businesses, Burials & Obituaries.
       + Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) -
            client name lists from 1922-1952.

 * Montreal Jewish General Hospital Archives --
     More than 4,000 records, such as contribution cards from 1929.

Our appreciation goes to The Canadian Jewish Heritage Network, for
allowing JewishGen to access their data, to the Jewish Genealogical
Societies of Montreal and Toronto, for the donation of Jewish cemetery
data to JOWBR, and to the Montreal Jewish General Hospital Archives. 

In conjunction with the new "JewishGen Canada Database", I'm also
happy to announce a major update to the JewishGen InfoFile
"Guide to Canadian Jewish Genealogical Research", compiled by
Bruce Brown, at: http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/Canada.html

The "JewishGen Canada Database" can be found at:
http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Canada

Warren

Warren Blatt
Managing Director, JewishGen

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Announcment from Ann Rabinowitz

To those of you who have been following my postings on the various JewishGen digests, I am now back to writing new articles for the JewishGen Blog.  I hope you will visit the Blog at: http://jewishgen.blogspot.com, to reacquaint yourselves with it and the many interesting and helpful items written by our many volunteers such as:

Ask JewishGen, Announcements, Articles by Ann Rabinowitz, Book Reviews, JewishGen News, Success Stories, Volunteer Profiles, News from the Web, Videos from JewishGen and the Web

You can also go directly to all of my articles from time immemorial (2008) at the following link: http://jewishgen.blogspot.com/search/label/Ann%20Rabinowitz

Visit the Blog, read and enjoy!   

Ann Rabinowitz
annrab@bellsouth.net

Announcment - New ROM-SIG Project Bucharest Records Project

We are happy to announce the Bucharest Records project. The objective of the Bucharest Records Project is to acquire legible images of birth, marriage, and death records of Jewish families from Bucharest in Romania. The transcribed records will be then be incorporated into the “JewishGen Romania Database” at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Romania  These records are from the Bucharest Municipal Archives branch of the National Archives of Romania.

In order to make this project a success we need your donations for this project. Please donate today at http://www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen-erosity/v_projectslist.asp?project_cat=20

We also need people who can translate these records from Romanian. If you are able to help us, volunteer by filling out the form at http://tinyurl.com/vol-transcriber

ROM-SIG is on a roll - watch us go!!

Bob Wascou ROM-SIG Research Coordinator
Rosanne Leeson & Jeni Armandez ROM-SIG Co-cordinators

Ed Koch’s Tombstone


(hat tip: Phyllis Kramer)

By Rabbi Benjamin Blech

With the words he chose to be inscribed on his tombstone, Ed Koch, the iconic New York Mayor who passed away last Friday, made it very clear how he wanted most to be remembered.
And they reminded me of a family disagreement in which I had to acknowledge that I was wrong and my daughter was right.
Click here to read the entire article from Aish.com

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Above and Beyond


By Ann Rabinowitz
 
Machalniks
B-17 Heavy Bomber Crew, 1948

The forthcoming ducumentary feature “Above and Beyond:  The Birth of the Israeli Air Force” is presently in production under the auspices of Playmount Productions.  It is the inspiring and adventurous story of the American Machal volunteers during Israel’s War of Independence who helped to build the Israeli Air Force and win the war.  The contact for the production is Steven Spielberg’s sister, Nancy Spielberg, who can be reached at nancyspielberg@gmail.com

A sample reel of the documentary is available at the following link:  http://vimeo.com/54400569
Further info on the American as well as other volunteers can be found on the following sites:

·         Aliyah Bet and Machal Virtual Museum which is located at the University of Florida Hillel Building:  http://israelvets.com/hist_air_forces.html.
·         World Machal organization:  http://www.machal.org.il/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=413&Itemid=708&lang=en
·         Israeli Air Force:  http://www.iaf.org.il/2557-30104-en/IAF.aspx
·         American Veterans of Israel:  http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~sklausne/NeWin06.pdf

There are many other resources too numerous to mention, but the above should provide an initial foray into this fascinating and exciting topic.

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Musings While Tracking a Family

By Ann Rabinowitz

 
It all started when a fellow researcher sent me a Declaration of Intention (DOI) for Aaron Feldser, originally of Kupiskis, Lithuania (see above document).  Challenged by the newly found information about a person I had never heard of being associated with my ancestral shtetl of Kupiskis, I decided to see if I could find out whom his family was and what had happened to them.  In this regard, my online research led me on a winding and adventurous trail through the American Southland.

Evidently, according to Aaron Feldser's DOI, dated May 3, 1911, he was born in Kupiskis on February 15, 1877.  Since there are no Kupiskis birth records prior to 1900, finding this vital fact was a terrific discovery which was not otherwise available anywhere else.  Another invaluable fact was that he was listed as having blue eyes . . . this was a possible indicator that he was a Kupishoker or a descendant as I had found in the past that a good proportion of our Jews from there had blue eyes.

Further, the DOI and available manifests stated that Aaron Feldser sailed from Lithuania with his wife Sarah and his son Benjamin, to Liverpool and thence to Quebec, Canada.  From Quebec, he took a train to New York City and arrived there on December 28, 1905.  

After arriving in America, Aaron and his family settled in the small town of Vienna, Georgia.  It was a strange choice and one that I would follow up later in my research.  Once there, their family expanded to include children Fannie, Joseph, Dina, Esther and Bessie. 

A dry goods merchant, Aaron became one of the many Jews who were the lifeblood of the small town southern economy.  In addition to Aaron Feldser, the town of Vienna was also the home to one other Jewish family, that of Harry and Winnie Orovitz.  Mr. Orovitz was a dry goods salesman and merchant too.  His son, Abe, later became the well-known director and actor Vincent Sherman (1906-2006). 
 

Abe Orovitz aka Vincent Sherman

Orovitz was known for his relationships with such Hollywood superstars as Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and Rita Hayworth which he detailed in his biography entitled “Studio Affairs, My Life as a Film Director”.
 


The Orovitz family moved onto the larger metropolis of Atlanta, Georgia.  It provided the needed amenities for growing Jewish families.  It was from there that Abe Orovitz made the transition to Broadway and Hollywood and the persona of Vincent Sherman.

By 1923, according to existing City Directories, the Feldser family had also left Vienna, Georgia, and was now found in the larger city of Birmingham, Alabama.  It afforded many more commercial, educational, religious and social opportunities for the family and they settled harmoniously into life there where they flourished and grew.  Later, I was able to access the records of the Beth Knesseth Cemetery (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ssjdb/KIBirmingham.htm) where I found the tombstones of Aaron (died 1956), his wife Sarah (died 1961), and their son Benjamin (died 1990). 

It was the cemetery information that enabled me to note that Aaron's father was Meir Shimon Feldser.  I could now go back to the Kupiskis records to see what Feldser records I had and if there were any relationships to the family in Birmingham.

What I found was that Meir Shimon Feldser and his wife had two prior children, Gena (1880-1884) and Zalman-Meier (1882-1886), who had died as toddlers. However, there was nothing more in the records about the family.  It occurred to me, at this point, that I should look at another resource that I had at hand which was the 1892-1894 Ukmerge Family List.  This was a list from the Ukmerge District in which Kupiskis resided. 

Happily, I found that in 1875, Meir-Shimon ben Iosel Feldser left Skapiskis, Lithuania, and came to Kupiskis, Lithuania.  There were many connections between Skapiskis and Kupiskis and it wasn’t unusual to see movement of Jews from one shtetl to the other which was occasioned by marriages between Jews of both shtetls.

Since Meir-Shimon’s oldest recorded child, Aaron (Orel in the records), was born in 1877, it seems likely that perhaps Meir-Shimon came to Kupiskis to marry Mera-Rivka (maiden name unknown).  Their other children, who were listed, were Iosel, Sora-Leyka, and Chana.  

Still interested in the Skapiskis roots of Meir-Shimon Feldser, I peeked at some records from that shtetl which resided in the Zarasai District and did not find anything further in regard to the family.  I was disappointed, but sometimes that is the case where few records are available or are not for the relevant years when the family lived there.

Deciding now to see what had happened to Meir-Shimon Feldser, I looked in Ancestry.com thinking that he might have left Lithuania as his children had.  I found that indeed, he and his wife Mera-Rivka Feldser, departed from Lithuania in 1923 and settled in Massachusetts.  According to the 1930 Census, they were living with their daughter Minnie and her husband Louis Adelson in Springfield, MA.

Who was Minnie as there wasn’t anyone listed by that name in the 1892-1894 Ukmerge Family List?  Fortunately, there was an arrival record for a Chana-Mina who had arrived in Worcester, MA, in 1913, to join her sister, who was married to H. Griff. 

This meant that in the aforementioned 1930 Census, Sarah, the wife of Harry Griff, was actually Sora-Leyka, the second youngest daughter of Meir-Shimon.  It also meant that Minnie, the wife of Louis Adelson, also in the 1930 Census, was actually Chana-Mina or Chana, the youngest daughter of Meir-Shimon.  In addition, according to JOWBR cemetery records, Meir-Shimon died in Massachusetts on June 25, 1933, and his wife died the year before.  

It was an interesting migration pattern for the Feldser family, who originated in Skapiskis, going then to Kupiskis for marital purposes and then the sons moving to the southern United States whilst the daughters and their husbands moved to the New England states.  Lastly, it was the parents too who left Lithuania and settled where their daughters were residing.     

Moving along in my further research into the Feldser family, I decided to return to records for Vienna, Georgia, where Aaron Feldser settled and happened upon a Max Feldser.  Looking in the 1910 Census, I found that Aaron, listed as married, was living without his family, but only with Max and his two children Samuel and Robert.  It stated that Max and Aaron were brothers and that Aaron had arrived in America in 1905.  

It appeared that Aaron had gone to Vienna due to his brother's earlier presence there.  The 1920 Census provided the information that Aaron had not brought his wife and child Benjamin to the United States until 1913.  This was why he was living by himself in the 1910 Census despite being listed as married.    

According to his World War I Draft Registration, Max Feldser, the oldest brother, was born October 4, 1874.  He had not appeared in the 1892-1894 Ukmerge Family List, where the Feldser family was listed, as he had already left home in 1887 for America as recorded in the 1920 Census. 

Further, Max was listed as a widower in the 1920 Census as his wife Katie
Kopelowitz Feldser had passed away on November 1, 1919.  In addition, there was a death record for their eldest son, Joseph Feldser, who had passed away in 1911, when he was seven.  His brother Aaron also had a son named Joseph and both cousins were probably named for their great grandfather Iosel Feldser who had been born circa 1810 or so in Skapiskis.


Apparently, Aaron's and Max’s other sons did not marry.  However, Aaron’s daughters did, all of which brought additional surnames into the family circle.  In addition, as I looked further through various Census data, I found that Max and Aaron had both gone to Birmingham to settle, although Max had later moved with his children to Atlanta, GA.  Various City Directories now online confirmed this movement between cities.

Very often, researchers will neglect to look for family trees on JewishGen, Ancestry.com and other places which will provide just the information needed to either get you started on your research or knock down the brick walls you have been experiencing. Not only that, the family trees are often accompanied by the name and contact information for the person, who put the tree together, which can be invaluable in expanding your knowledge of your family.

In this regard, going back to Aaron and Max's sister Chana-Mina, who had married Louis ben David Adelson, I found a record for Louis that stated he was originally from "Nemajuni, Trokai, Lithuania".  Never having heard of this small place, I looked it up and found that there was a site (
http://www.zeislerfamily.com/) on the Internet which included the family of David Adelson and his wife Zlota Gordon, the parents of Louis Adelson.  The site included quite a bit of interesting information and photos and added substantially to what was known about the Adelsons.

Another such instance is that of Aaron Feldser's daughter Fannie, who married Nathan ben Moshe Aizik ben Yehuda Leib Kulpe in Birmingham, AL.  When looking up Nathan on the Internet, I was able to pull up a family tree from Ancestry.com on the Kulpe family.  This showed that Nathan's father was one of fourteen children which amounted to a very large extended family, who all lived in Birmingham, AL.  Their exact origins were not generally mentioned, although there were many Kulpe’s who originated in Siauliai, Lithuania, and some World War I Draft Registration Cards for Kulpe family members stated Siauliai as a birthplace.

 
Oswald Kulpe

In fact, Kulpe is the name for a type of carp (fish), in addition, to being a well-known name in psychological circles.  It belongs to Oswald Kulpe (1862-1915), who was originally from Kandava, Latvia.  He co-founded what was called the Wurzburg School in Germany and he became the father of the concept of “imageless thought” and mentored many Jewish psychologists.  As to whether Oswald was Jewish or not, I did not find any references to confirm that fact at all.  It may just be a case of the name being taken by both Jewish and non-Jewish families and there being no relationship involved.


At this point in my research, having gone much astray with musings about Oswald Kulpe, I received an e-mail from another researcher in Atlanta who had seen my postings about the Feldser family on the JewishGen digest.  She told me that the Feldser family was distantly related to her via marriage.  In fact, she knew one of the few Feldser grandchildren who were still around. 

This was a remarkable result of what can happen when one is persistent.  It all started with just one record, the DOI, given to me by another alert researcher.  I was then able to track down the family, no matter where they wandered, and ended up with a living descendant due to the vigilance of another JewishGenner. 

It now meant that I had come full circle and would indeed be able to add the Feldser family to the Kupiskis SIG KehilaLink site.  My time could now be devoted to further studies of other previously unknown Kupiskis family whose names I had been given.

Yizkor Book Update - January 2013

Shalom,

With the first month of 2013 passed (where did it evaporate to? <g>), I have an optimistic feeling that the Yizkor Book Project can look forward to a great deal of activity over this year and beyond.

First signs of this, apart from a respectable quantity of new books, new entries and updates in January, is the fact that three new Translation Funds were set up last month and more are brewing. The projects that were added in

January:
- Akkerman (Bilhorod-Dnistrovs'kyy), Ukraine Yizkor Book
- Klobuck, Poland Yizkor Book
- Wyszkow, Poland Yizkor Book

These join the 60 odd Translation Funds currently running. These funds have been set up to allow those people interested in seeing Yizkor Books translated, to help out with donations going towards the professional translation of these books. The Yizkor Books do contain a wealth of information about the communities and people that were wiped from the face of the earth during the Holocaust and making this information freely available in English and other languages is what the Yizkor Book Project is all about.

If you feel able to contribute something towards this lofty goal, please go to the following page to see the list of Translation Fund projects.
http://www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen-erosity/v_projectslist.asp?project_cat=23
Note that for those of you who are US citizens, donations to these funds are also tax-deductible.

A further encouraging sign is the fact that the Yizkor-Books-In-Print project is celebrating having sold its 500th book since starting publication in April 2012.  In the past month alone, 82 books have been sold which is very promising news.  Also this month the translation of the Dzialoszyce Memorial Book was issued and there are ten more books currently in the works. If you would like to know more about this project, please go to http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/ybip.html

 Finally, I am encouraged by the fact that several books are rapidly approaching that sort-after goal of being completed translated. Hopefully, in the months to come I will be able to announce the completion of quite a number of books.

Now to facts and figures for January, during this last month we have added these 4 new projects:

- Pustkow, Poland (Pustkow - The Almost Forgotten Death Camp) http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/pustkow/pustkow.html

- Roman, Romania (The Jewish Community of Roman) http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Roman/Roman.html

- Sarvar, Hungary (Scroll of Sarvar)
http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/sarvar/sarvar.html

- Torgovitsa, Ukraine (Memorial Book of Targovica) http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Torgovitsa/Torgovitsa.html

Added in 3 new entries:

- Beroun, Czech Republic (The Jews and Jewish Communities of Bohemia in the past and present) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/bohemia/boh029.html

- Khust, Ukraine (The Marmaros Book;  In Memory of 160 Jewish Communities) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/maramures/mar249.html

- Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania (The Marmaros Book;  In Memory of 160 Jewish
Communities) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/maramures/mar003.html

We have continued to update 21 of our existing projects:

- Brzozow, Poland (A Memorial to the Brzozow Community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/brzozow/brzozow.html

- Czestochowa, Poland (The Jews of Czestochowa) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Czestochowa1/Czestochowa1.html

- Czestochowa, Poland (Resurrection and Destruction in Ghetto Czestochowa) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Czestochowa4/Czestochowa4.html

- Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland (Book of the Jewish community of Dabrowa Gornicza and its destruction)  http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/dabrowa/dabrowa.html

- Dotnuva, Lithuania (Letters from Dotnuva) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Dotnuva/Dotnuva.html

- Garwolin, Poland (The life and decline of a Jewish city) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/garwolin/garp000.html [Polish & English]

 - Gostynin, Poland (Book of Gostynin)
http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Gostynin/Gostynin.html

 - Karelichy, Belarus (Korelitz; the life and destruction of a Jewish
community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/korelicze/korelicze.html

- Kovel, Ukraine (Kowel; Testimony and Memorial Book of Our Destroyed
Community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/kovel1/kovel1.html

- Kurow, Poland (Yiskor book in memoriam of our hometown Kurow) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/kurow/kurow.html

- Lyakhavichy, Belarus (Memorial book of Lachowicze) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/lyakhovichi/Lyakhovichi.html

- Lyubcha, Belarus  (Lubtch and Delatich; in memory of the Jewish community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/lyubcha/lyubcha.html

 - Molchad, Belarus (Molchadz, In Memory of the Jewish Community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Molchadz/Molchadz.html

- Serock, Poland (The book of Serock)
http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/serock/serock.html

 - Sierpc, Poland (The Community of Sierpc; Memorial Book) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Sierpc/Sierpc.html

 - Suwalki, Poland (Memorial book of Suvalk) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Suwalki1/Suwalki1.html

- Szczuczyn, Poland (From the Inferno Back to Life) http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Szczuczyn_pol1/Szczuczyn_pol1.html

- Tarnogrod, Poland (Book of Tarnogrod; in memory of the destroyed Jewish
community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/tarnogrod/tarnogrod.html

 - Tighina, Moldova (Bendery Community Yizkor Book) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Bender/Bender.html

- Vynohradiv, Ukraine (The Book of Remembrance to the Community of Sollus and Vicinity) http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/vinogradov/vinogradov.html

- Zdunska Wola, Poland (The Zdunska-Wola Book) http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Zdunska_Wola/Zdunska_Wola.html

 Please remember that all this month's additions and updates have been flagged at http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/translations.html to make it easy to find them.  Also remember that if you have queries, questions or whims about anything regarding the Yizkor Book Project, I'd be more than happy to hear from you.

All the best,
Lance Ackerfeld
Yizkor Book Project Manager

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Announcement: JGS of Cleveland


The Next Meeting of the JGS of Cleveland will take place on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 1:30 PM.

At Anshe Chesed-Fairmount Temple Lelyveld Library

This will be a Question and Answer work session led by members of the group.

 Submit questions ahead of time to info@clevelandjgs.org or bring them to the meeting
-----------
Reminder: Membership dues and family updates are being collected now. If you have not sent in your membership renewal, don’t put it off any longer. The Directory will be published with the names and information of our members as of February 28, 2013.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Long-Awaited Lithuanian Holocaust Collection


By Ann Rabinowitz

 
 

Leib Koniuchowsky

1947, Rosenheim, Germany

Fascinating is the long-delayed release of the Koniuchowsky collection of 1,680 pages of Lithuanian Holocaust survivor testimonies which has been reviewed in Haaretz in Israel by Dr. Efraim Zuroff: http://www.haaretz.com/culture/books/remembering-the-lithuanian-jews-killed-by-their-neighbors-1.466562 He also mentions several other resources which have become available including Ellen Cassedy's new book.

One of the unique aspects of the collection is how it was put together and how Leyb Koniuchowsky (1910-2003), who was born in Alytus, Lithuania, and survived the Kovno Ghetto, developed the questionnaires that were used. This is discussed in a book that may interest many research which was edited by David Bankier and Dan Michman that is entitled: "Holocaust Historiography in Context, Emergence Challenges Polemics and Achievements": http://books.google.com/books?id=aNzjTUT6jdYC&pg=PA488&lpg=PA488&dq=koniuchowsky&source=bl&ots=U_jG554CdP&sig=ziu_IZ1kxB3P12sMS-31VF9U9W8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xJERUfutM8GjyAGisYDYCg&ved=0CDoQ6AEwAjgK#v=onepage&q=koniuchowsky&f=false

Additionally, researchers can visit the Yad Vashem site for discussion of the testimonies:  http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/about/institute/lithuanian_testimonies.asp as well as

being able to view 96 out of 157 photographs which accompanied some of the testimonies in the Koniuchowsky collection:  http://collections.yadvashem.org/photosarchive/en-us/70058-container.html  One can also purchase the 2011 book about the testimonies by David Bankier which is entitled Expulsion and Extermination, Holocaust Testimonials from Provincial Lithuania.

An example of the sort of photographs which are in the collection are some of the following:

 

Eishishok Cemetery, 1916
 

Alitus, 19, A Street in the Town
 
 

Neustadt, Poland

 

Rose Rakhmil
Kvedarna, June 22, 1948

 
Zagare, A Street Scene, 1925

The 170 Yiddish language testimonies cover interviews with survivors which were conducted from 1945-1949 regarding the following districts:  Alytus, Birzai, Eisiskiai, Keidainiai, Kaunas, Kretinga, Lazdikai, Marijampole, Mazeikiai, Panevezys, Raseiniai, Rokiskis, Sakiai, Siauliai, Svencionys, Taurage, Telsiai, Trakai, Utena, Ukmerge, Vikaviskis, Vilnius and Zarasai.

An example of one testimony is about what transpired in Rumsiskis, Lithuania:  http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Rumsiskes/Koniuchowsky.htm which is found on the JewishGen Rumsiskes Kehilalinks site.

Combined with the photographs, the testimonies are a powerful tool for family research during the Holocaust.  They point out viscerally the integral part played by the Lithuanian neighbors of the Jews in their destruction.  Besides the originals of the testimonies being housed at Yad Vashem, there is a copy of the typescript of the Yiddish with English translation at YIVO and at the New York Public Library.