Jewish Genealogy Society of Sacramento
January 23, 2005 Meeting Notes
President Mark Heckman discussed the upcoming International Association of
Jewish Genealogy Societies conference in Las Vegas, July 10-15 and the need to
get room reservations. More details are available at www.JewishGen.org/iajgs.
Mark will be among those making presentations at the conference.
Treasurer’s Report: Allan Bonderoff noted we have $1,841.18 in our account.
Lester Smith reported on new acquisitions for the library:
“Holocaust Chronicles,” donated by Gerry Ross in the name of Bob Wascou.
Bob had earlier told several members of finding their names on a state
unclaimed money site. Gerry claimed hers and purchased a book for the library.
Other acquisitions: “A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames of Galicia,” “In Their
Words,” relating to Russian terms, and several other books.
Mark told members the books are easy to check out. To make our library
system even better, we’re seeking the donation of an old laptop computer to help us
set up a scanning system.
Upcoming meetings will include the Sunday, February 27 presentation by the
internationally known Steve Morse, whose One-Step Method of retrieving
information from Web sites, such as the Ellis Island site, has greatly eased genealogy
In March, Pamela Dallas will discuss “Genealogical Records -- Determining the
Ones We Want, Where They Are and How to Use Them.” In April, Jason Lindo
will talk about the Sephardic Conversos and their return to Judaism. In May,
Mark Heckman will present a program on making your own Ken Burns-style video on
your PC, and In June, Lester Smith will focus on immigration tools.
Art Yates attended a recent Sacramento area genealogy council meeting and
reported that Family History Day will be held in October but no date yet.
And check out our JGS Web site, hosted by JewishGen:
January Program: Yad Vashem Online Database, Teven Laxer
Our focus in January was the new Holocaust database placed online by Yad
Vashem November 22. Teven Laxer noted that there are some three million names
included in the database.
Teven talked about the Pages of Testimony, many of which were collected in
the 1950s, most in Hebrew. Since that time, another million pages have been
added, along with documents from the camps.
Searching for Victims’ Names -- Teven said the form is very fast to use and
you can put in the exact name or a fuzzy or soundex version. “I find the less
info the better,” he said, “you don’t want to be too limiting.” He
encouraged people to try multiple versions of the same name. Teven said it’s the same
with places -- the more precise your search, the fewer results you may get.
(Lester Smith noted that the person submitting the material may know less than
you regarding the spelling of a particular town.)
In terms of dates, you can search plus or minus 2 years or plus or minus 5
Teven then related a database success story involving the Stern family. Ida
Hertz Stern was one of his father-in-law’s aunts. She was deported from
Germany in 1942 to Terezinstadt, then Auschwitz. Through her information online
new relatives were found. Teven said Henry Stern, a cousin, whom his
father-in-law hadn’t seen since 1937, found his father-in-law the day after the new Yad
Vashem database went online. Henry now lives in North Carolina and in fact
today, January 23, there’s a reunion of family members in North Carolina. (See
newspaper story attached which recounts the family history in more detail).
Teven noted there is no online database of survivors, but a registry is
accessible through the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. There are copies in
other places, including the UC Berkeley library and probably the Holocaust
Center in San Francisco.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]