- Jewish Genealogical Societyof SacramentoJuly 7, 2012Upcoming Meetings:Monday, July 16, 7 p.m. -- Tamara Noe on "Names: What are You Missing?"Monday, August 20, 7 p.m. -- Ron Arons, "Searching for Living People."Monday, September 10, 7 p.m. "Angel Island Immigration," Maria SakovichSunday, October 21, 10 a.m. Patricia Burrow, "Your Family History Legacy -- What Happens to Your Research After You're Gone?"Condolences to the Family of Reva CamielOur deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Reva Camiel, a longtime JGSS member. Reva will be buried at the Davis Cemetery, 820 Pole Line Road, in Davis, tomorrow, July 8, at 3 p.m, in a short graveside service. A reception will follow starting at 4 p.m. at the Nepenthe Clubhouse at Campus Commons1131 Commons Drive in Sacramento. Reva is survived by two daughters and three grandchildren.June 18, 2012 MeetingPresident Victoria Fisch called the meeting to order and shared information on the upcoming meetings. She noted that Ancestry.com has infomratino on the 1905, 1915 and 1925 New York censuses, but more information is included on the Family Search website, so it's suggested you use both sites.Art Yates gave an overview of the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree conference. It was 2 1/2 days -- "every bit as great as one of our conferences." He went to hear several speakers, including Joel Weintraub, who has done much work on the 1940 census. Art also wen through the vendor room, which he found as good as those at our conferences. He signed up for GenealogyBank, a site which has a large digitized newspaper archives.Bo b Wascou talked about RomSig, the Romanian Special Interest Group. They are starting to index more Romanian records and can use translators who know German, Romanian, Russian Cyrillic script, Hebrew. Contact Bob if you're interested in helping.Bob also noted that the director of the Romanian Archives, whom Bob escorted for the week during the Philadelphia conference a few years ago, was fired last Saturday. Bob said he had been instrumental in opening up the state archives.June Program -- Glenda Lloyd on City DirectoriesGlenda returned to present a program on city directories. Glenda helped to organize RootCellar, the local genealogy group, 32 years ago. The group has published a lot of records and also worked on the 1940 census.Glenda said city directories had as their chief purpose to identify customers and potential customers for businesses. "They're a little more careful with the spelling of names than the census takers," she said.City directoreies are useful in locating people in a particular time or place beyond the years of the nearest census. They can give the exact location of a family between census years and also list the name, address and place of employment for every adult in a household. They typically also list spouse's names, home ownership or rental (so you can look for land records) and marital status.Glenda said different publishers included different information. She said they were printed so they were easier to read than the censusThe earliest city directories were around 1850 (or earlier) for San Francisco, 1813 for Albany, NY and 1786 for New York City. Also included in many were names and addresses for cemeteries, fraternal organizations, hospitals, newspapers, schools, orphanages and more.If you don't find what you're looking for, "Always look at the changes, additions, deletions sections," Glenda advised.City directories are available at the National Archives (Library of Congress), the Sutro Library, the Family History Library (microfilm and actual books), Online at CyndisList, the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana (Polk Directories from 1964 to present as well as earlier versions), and more.Glenda said Cyndi's List has lists of city directory inventories at various libraries.The city directories usually include a classified business section similar to the Yellow Pages, Glenda said.Other types of directories include telephone books, business directories, religious listings, and those for various professions such as law, medicine, military service.Glenda noted that in the 1890 Veterans Schedule, one of two men one each page were thought to be using aliases.The city directories may be more accurate in name spellings. "Be sure to include all the people of your surname," Glenda said. "Families often lived in close proximity.""City directories can fill in for missing census records," she said.Glenda said a good resource book on this topic is Kathleen Hinckley's "Locating Lost Family Members and Friends," published by Betterway Books, 1999. "It's a really good book, an excellent reference."From Avotaynu's E-Zine, June 24Webinars
Legacy Family Tree, publisher of Legacy genealogical software, has developed a large number of webinars with topics of general interest. Registration is free and the event is available at no charge for a number of days after it occurs. Thereafter it costs $9.95.
Some general topics are “Staying Safe with Social Media,” “The Genealogy Cloud: Which Online Storage Program Is Right for You?,” “Use Your Digital Camera to Copy Records,” and “A Closer Look at Google+.” More closely related to genealogical research are “Building a Family from Circumstantial Evidence,” “Beyond the Arrival Date: Extracting More from Passenger Lists,” “The Big 4 U.S. Record Sources,” and “Researching Your German Ancestors.”
The complete list can be found at http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/webinars.asp.
Rebuilding a Wooden Synagogue
A great architectural tragedy of the Holocaust was the destruction of virtually every wooden synagogue in Eastern Europe. Once there were more than 1,000; today the remnants of only six exist in Lithuania.
A group of students from Israel, Poland and the U.S. are rebuilding a portion of the wooden synagogue that once existed in Gwozdziec, Poland, using photographs of the original structure as a guide. For an excellent article about the project, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/15287081/filming-the-replication-of-a-17th-century-wooden-s. Their efforts will be on permanent exhibit at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, scheduled to open in 2013 in Warsaw. There are a large number of project photos at http://www.facebook.com/gwozdziec/photos.
JewishData.com Adds More Records
JewishData.com, a fee-for-service organization, has added the following tombstone images to its site:
• 4,500 images from Beth Olam Cemetery in the Ridgewood section of New York City.
• The site now contains all tombstone images for Mt. Zion Cemetery in Los Angeles; approximately 2,000 images.
• Additional images from Mt. Lebanon Cemetery in the Glendale section of New York City. There are now 46,000 indexed images from this location.
JewishData.com has more 500,000 Jewish genealogy records including images of tombstones, school yearbook pages and citizen declaration documents from various locations. A number of Mokotoff family members are buried in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery; therefore, I was able to get copies of their tombstones.
New Records and Indexes at FamilySearch
With so much focus on the 1940 U.S. census, one would think FamilySearch has temporarily suspended work on other projects. This could not be further from the truth. Millions of new records have been added in recent weeks from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, England, Georgia, Indonesia, Italy, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. Many have potential of being valuable to persons tracing their Jewish family history.
Below highlights some of the items added. Check the complete list at https://familysearch.org/node/1714.
Austria, Vienna, Jewish Registers of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1784–1911. New image collection.
Belgium, Antwerp, Police Immigration, 1840–1930. New image collection.
BillionGraves Index. One million indexed records and images.
Czech Republic, Censuses, 1843–1921. Added images to existing collection.
Czech Republic, Land Records, 1450–1889. Added images to existing collection.
Russia Tver Poll Tax Census (Revision lists), 1744–1874. New image collection.
U.S., Illinois, Probate Records, 1819–1970. Added images to existing collection.
U.S., New York, Orange County Probate Records, 1787–1938. Added images to existing collection.
U.S., New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1899–1924. Added images to existing collection.
U.S., Washington, County Marriages, 1855–2008. Added images to existing collection.
U.S., Washington, County Probate Records, 1853–1929. Added images to existing collection.
Southern California Jamboree WebinarsThe Southern California Genealogical Society announces the return of the popular Jamboree Extension Webinar Series, which provides web-based family history and genealogy educational sessions for genealogists around the world.Jamboree Extension Series webinars are conducted the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month. Saturday sessions will be held at 10am Pacific time; Wednesday sessions will be scheduled at 6pm Pacific time.Upcoming sessions for the last half of 2012 include:
Wednesday, July 18 (evening schedule)
Neither Filmed or Scanned: NARA Treasurers Await
This session will discuss examples of original records with great genealogical value in the National Archives that exist only in their original format. Most of these records are rarely used by genealogists and some have never been used for genealogy. The discussion will also provide information about obtaining copies of the records.
George G. Morgan
Saturday, August 4 (morning/afternoon schedule)
The Genealogist as CSI
Modern genealogists are much like the crime scene investigators - CSIs - that we see on television. They must be skilled investigators. They must use all available tools to locate clues and evidence. And they must employ proven methodologies and their critical thinking skills to document and evaluate every type of resource they find. They must be able to communicate their findings. This seminar analogizes genealogists with CSIs and describes the genealogical research and evaluation process. It provides a methodological framework for all types of research.
Wednesday, August 15 (evening schedule)
There's no doubt that tracing female ancestors can be difficult. We make a lot of assumptions about the lives of women, some of which may not be true. In this presentation we will look at the occupations, including volunteer work, women held in 19th century America and what records they left behind. Whether your ancestress was employed or not, the repositories and collections we discuss will help you research your female ancestor.
Saturday, September 1 (morning/afternoon schedule)
Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker. Researching Your Ancestors' Occupations
Labor Day Special: It's likely not all your ancestors were farmers. This session will explore strategies for researching how your ancestors made a living: what they did, where, why, and for whom.
Wednesday, September 19 (evening schedule)
Playground Rules for Genealogy on the Internet
The internet creates an exciting gathering place where we can find distant cousins and fast friends to help us research our family tree. It's never too late to play by the rules and have fun. Be sure to follow these three basic safety rules and you'll have a great time.
Linda Woodward Geiger, CG
Saturday, October 6 (morning/afternoon schedule)
Hark! That Tombstone is Talking to Me!
You CAN get blood from a stone. Learn about wringing the tombstone dry and learning more about your ancestors.
Lisa A. Alzo
Wednesday, October 17 (evening schedule)
Family History Writing Made Easier: Cloud-based Tools Every Genealogist Can UseTelling your family's story just got a whole lot easier thanks to a number of cloud-based note taking and writing tools and apps you can access from home, your netbook or iPad, and even your smartphone. Learn about the latest tech tools and writing apps for bringing your family's story to life!D. Joshua "Josh" Taylor
Saturday, November 3 (morning/afternoon schedule)
Thanksgiving Special: Online Resources for Colonial America
Discover web sites, online databases, university projects, online archives, and other resources for researching your Colonial American ancestors online. Learn how to use Early American Imprints, JSTOR, and other resources.
Saturday, December 1 (morning/afternoon schedule)
Sharing and Preserving Memories in a Digital Era
Today you have a lot of options to store and share all your research material, including text, images, videos, documents or sound. Options start from the capture tools (audio recorders, cameras, cellular and scanners) and extend to sharing physical products (CD's, DVD's, portable disc, electronic photo frames) or the Internet, which is the perfect place to share and preserve all your memories. You have the option to publish your material from a completely private to a completely public way, and all the levels in between. You can ask for collaboration or simply display the information, people can only see or download a copy of your material; you can control every aspect. There are all kind of easy-to-use tools and resources that facilitates the work of setting up websites, blogs, wikis or any other way you decide to publish the information.
Schelly Talalay Dardashti
Wednesday, November 19 (evening schedule)Jewish Genealogy 101
Learn the fundamentals of researching your Jewish ancestors.The live webcast is offered free of charge and open to the public. "We offer these webinars as part of our educational mission," said SCGS president Alice Fairhurst, "but are always grateful for contributions to offset our costs."From Avotaynu's June 17 E-zine:
A Guide to Canadian Jewish Genealogical Research Published
JewishGen has a new InfoFile: A Guide to Canadian Jewish Genealogical Research. It is located at http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/Canada.html. Judging by its length—more than 7,000 words—it is a rigorous description of the resources available to do Canadian (Jewish) family history research. Census Records, Passenger Manifests, Border Crossing Records, Naturalization, Vital Records, Cemetery Records, Newspaper Articles, City Directories are just a few of the topics covered.Website Identifies More Than 3 Million Persons from Russian Empire
The (Russian) Genealogical Research Center has a website located at http://www.rosgenea.ru that lists more then 3.3 million persons from the pre-1918 Russian Empire era with biographical information. The site is in Russian.
A sample entry translated using Goggle Translate is:Tartakovskii Yakim Victor (1860–1923, St. Petersburg., Tihvinsk.kl-School), singer (lyrical and dramatic baritone) and director. The soloist, and later (1894–1923) directed by the chief Mariinsk.teatra in St. Petersburg. Popular of his concert performances, especially the performance of Tchaikovsky's romances. 1920-1923 years. - Professor of the Petrograd Conservatory.
The home page implies that the database has not been updated since 2008 when it had 3,372,820 entries; however, a posting to the Ukraine SIG Discussion Group indicates the current count is closer to six million.
Kaunas Gubernia Vital Records Extracted
Litvak SIG has completed the translation of all known pre-1912 vital records for Kovno (Kaunas) gubernia. They include towns in the present-day districts of Kaunas, Panevezys, Raseiniai, Sauliai, Telsiai, Ukmerge and Zarasai. More recent records come under Lithuanian privacy laws.
Not all are currently searchable in the All-Lithuania Database (ALD) located at http://www.jewishgen.org/Litvak/all.htm. The balance will be available in about 18 months time according to Eden Joachim, Litvak SIG President. Researchers can access spreadsheets for the records not yet in the ALD by contributing to the relevant District Research Group. More information may be found on http://www.litvaksig.org/projects.
Sephardic Heritage Project Joins IAJGS
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies has a new member: Sephardic Heritage Project. The new member was founded in 2004 to identify and preserve the marriage and brit milah records of the Syrian Jewish community. Some of their projects include Aleppo (Syria) circumcisions 1868–1945, Aleppo marriages 1847–1934 with some intervening years missing, and Eulogies covering sporadic entries from 1716–1946. All are available on JewishGen at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/#Syria. Additional information about Sephardic Heritage Project can be found at http://sephardicheritageproject.org/.
JewishGen Adds SubCarpathian Interest Group
JewishGen has added a new Special Interest Group (SIG) named the SubCarpathian SIG. It focuses on parts of the pre-WWI Hungarian megyek (counties) of Bereg, Maramaros, Ugocsa and Ung, today located in Ukraine. The group has a website at http://www.jewishgen.org/Sub-Carpathia/. There is also a Discussion Group which can be subscribed to at http://www.jewishgen.org/ListManager. Marshall Katz is the SIG Coordinator.
New app takes sting out of cemetery searchesBy SHARON TATE MOODY | Special correspondent
Published: June 17, 2012 Updated: June 17, 2012 - 12:00 AMA traditional summertime rite for genealogists means fighting weeds, mosquitoes, snakes and an array of other undesirables.I'm talking about tramping through cemeteries, of course.Immediately behind the critter issue is the frustration of finding the right cemetery only to discover there is no sexton or other office to assist a researcher in finding the desired graves.One good thing about today's technology is that sooner or later someone is going to develop a mobile app for what ails us. In this case, it's the BillionGraves Project.Using a mobile app — this one is free —volunteers can walk through any cemetery and click GPS-tagged photographs of every tombstone there. The next steps include uploading the images to the website and transcribing them so others can search by names.BillionGraves has partnered with FamilySearch, the LDS Church website, which most genealogists use regularly. In the near future when someone conducts a name search on FamilySearch.org, they will get a hit from BillionGraves if a tombstone with that name has been photographed and entered into that system.I treasure the memories of all the old country cemeteries I've explored — never sure I'd find an actual tombstone and feeling exhilarated when I did. Then there were the trips where I wondered why I couldn't find a tombstone a distant cousin told me he found "25 steps from the left rear corner of the main old church building." As BillionGraves says on its website: "No more counting trees, memorizing certain fence posts, or documenting the number of paces to find your loved one."If you find the tombstone on BillionGraves.com you'll find GPS information that you can take to the cemetery. Using the GPS on your smart phone you'll be able to walk right to the tombstone.If you're like me, though, you won't look at the GPS until you've surveyed the cemetery the old-fashioned way and tried your cousin's directions. I don't want to take the fun out of exploring and the sense of adventure.On the other hand, I guess there are enough other mysteries out there for us genealogists to solve.This system isn't a perfect set-up, and time will tell if designers get the bugs out and address concerns users have. Like so many genealogy projects, this one will succeed only if site creators stay on their toes and if volunteers contribute. Before you head out for your summer trips, check it out at Billiongraves.com. You'll see what a powerful tool your smart phone can be and what a contribution you might make to the research world.****36 Hours in Kiev, UkraineJoseph Sywenkyj for The New York TimesClockwise, from top left, the Dormition Cathedral, swimming in the Dnieper River, Arena, a war museum, soccer fans. More Photos »By FINN OLAF-JONESPublished: June 21, 2012 New York TimesAFTER seven decades of Soviet dominance, Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, has emerged as one of Europe’s most vibrant 21st-century cities. With a thriving contemporary art scene, a new generation of chefs taking innovative approaches to Ukrainian cuisine, and a delirious dance-til-dawn night life, Kiev — currently a co-host of the 2012 European Soccer Championship — is a weekend magnet for European and Russian fashionistas. But new cuisine and clubs are only the latest cultural attributes of a city that has more than its share of ancient catacombs, churches and monuments. Don’t let Kiev’s reputation as “the birthplace of the Slavs” conjure up stereotypes of Slavic dourness. For starters, the city looks as if it was painted like a Ukrainian Easter egg, with brightly colored buildings and gold domes glittering on the hills above the Dnieper River. And then there are the Kievans themselves — a resilient lot whose hearty sense of humor and a seemingly boundless hunger for fun are reflected in the city’s bustling cafes, thronged beaches and bars that never close.Friday2 p.m.
1. STADIUM SEAT TO HISTORYA glance around stadium-shaped Independence Square, the city’s traditional nerve center, encapsulates much of Kiev’s history. Czarist, Beaux-Arts and Stalinist buildings represent the old, while the glass-enclosed Globus luxury mall (and McDonald’s) assert the new. The Slavic goddess Berehynia stands atop a towering column that replaced a Lenin monument. Grab a mug of the local brew, Obolon, at one of the sidewalk cafes and soak in the atmosphere. Street performers, students, vendors and political demonstrators all gravitate here. This was, after all, the setting for the Orange Revolution that brought democratic change to the country in 2004.3 p.m.
2. NEW CONSTANTINOPLEThe bulbous green and gold domes of St. Sophia (24 Vladimirskaya Street; 380-44-228-2083), on the high ground of the old town, dominate Kiev’s skyline. Dating from the 11th century, the church was built to rival Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and echoes its name. Inside, it feels like a medieval man cave, with incense hanging thickly in the air, dramatic rays of light coming in through tiny windows, and monks, priests and novices scurrying back and forth in black frocks. Stick around long enough and you may hear prayer accompanied by the a cappella choral music for which the Ukrainians are renowned.8 p.m.
3. FEED YOUR INNER PEASANTThough the fake chickens, straw roof and wandering singers might seem over the top, the delicious Slavic dishes at Tsarske Selo (42/1 Ivan Mazepa Street, 380-44-288-9775; tsarske.kiev.ua) are the real deal — as evidenced by the locals who come here for a fancy night out. The restaurant is a celebration of hearty Ukrainian fare including pickled almost-anythings, borscht, the traditional grilled meats called shashlik and yes, if your cardiologist will let you, chicken Kiev. There’s also an extraordinary assortment of gorilka — Ukrainian vodka. A three-course dinner without drinks is 390 hryvnia about $50 at 7.80 hryvnia to the dollar.11 p.m.
4. RAVES, TECHNO, HIP-HOPKiev’s nightclubs attract an international crowd of jet-setters for weekend bacchanals. At Arena (2A Basseynaya Street; 380-44-492-0000; arena-kiev.com), a vast techno spot, rich Russians mingle with local celebrities and trendsetters with cheekbones as high as the drink prices. The hip-hop at Patipa (Muzeyniy Pereulok 10; 380-44-252-0150; patipa.com) draws a younger crowd. At the Hydropark, open-air summer raves run by the likes of UA Beach Club (drive or take the metro to Hydropark Station and walk across the Venetian Bridge; beach-club.at.ua) keep the hordes dancing to house music as the sun rises over the Dnieper.Saturday10 a.m.
5. THEM BONESDress respectfully and start early to beat the weekend crowds to the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra (9 Lavrska Street; 380-44-280-3071; kplavra.kiev.ua), a Unesco World Heritage site. Pilgrims approach this sprawling monastery wearing icons and pictures of saints around their necks. Buy candles (2 hryvnia) at the entrances to the upper and lower catacombs, and follow the twisty subterranean tunnels past ancient glass-encased tombs of monks, many of them Orthodox saints, whose hands and feet occasionally stick out from their richly textured burial clothes. All is dramatically lighted by colorful hanging lanterns. After re-emerging into daylight, check out the elaborately gilded 11th-century Dormition Cathedral, reconstructed after its destruction in World War II.Noon
6. IT’S A SMALL WORLDA full chessboard on the head of a pin, a sand-grain-size working mechanical engine, a flea wearing golden shoes — these are some of the small miracles created by Mykola Syadristy, a self-taught master famed throughout the former Soviet Union. His miniatures are exhibited under microscopes at the Museum of Microminiatures (21 Ivan Mazepa Street; microart.kiev.ua; admission 10 hryvnia) on the monastery grounds next to the cathedral. The dapper Mr. Syadristy is often on hand himself to give tours of his unique museum and to describe how he created these micron-size projects “between heartbeats.”1 p.m.
7. THE WAR AT HOMEFrom the monastery, take a 10-minute stroll on a park path through a grotto decorated with sculptures of muscular World War II fighters, to the base of the 203-foot-tall stainless steel Motherland statue. Designed by Yevgeny Vuchetich, it towers above the National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War (24 Lavrska Street; 380-44-285-9452; warmuseum.kiev.ua). The museum galleries circle the statue’s base, displaying gruesome and heroic relics — gloves and soap made from concentration camp victims, captured weapons and banners — and detailing the epic toll the war took on Ukraine. Recent additions include a Christian cross made from gun parts dramatically juxtaposed against a giant dome decorated with Soviet Communist motifs.2 p.m.
8. FOOD SHRINEThe Ukrainians are the Italians of Eastern Europe when it comes to the love of good food and a passion for the national cuisine. The venerable central food market Besarabsky Rynok (2 Besarabska Ploscha) is the source of ingredients for some of Kiev’s best dishes. The market, built in 1912, resembles a cavernous Victorian train station engulfing stands bursting with local cheeses, red and black caviar, pickles, wild boar and other game, borscht, vodka and other local treats. Vendors proffer enough samples to make a stroll through the market akin to a pass through an all-you-can-eat buffet.Multimedia7 p.m.
9. NIGHT IN THE MUSEUMThe Pinchuk Art Center (1/3-2, Block A, Velyka Vasylkivska; 380-44-590-0858; pinchukartcentre.org; free), a world-class center for contemporary art created by the Ukrainian steel billionaire Victor Pinchuk, stays open until 9 p.m. The collection of art by local and international superstars is astounding, but perhaps the most provocative installation is the fifth-floor bathroom, a neon-lighted funhouse with mirrors and windows providing sly glances between the men’s and women’s rooms. For dinner, head for the all-white, “Clockwork Orange”-like setting of the SkyArtCafe (380-44-561-7841) on the sixth floor, with its views over the city. Dinner without drinks is around 210 hryvnia. When the museum closes, SkyArtCafe become BarSky, a chic nightclub.Sunday11 a.m.
10. SLAVIC-CUBAN BRUNCHIf you’ve overindulged this weekend, Arbequina (4 Grinchenko Street; 380-44-223-9618), a pierogi’s throw from Independence Square, is the antidote. Its Cuban and Ukrainian chefs put a light touch to Slavic brunch with homemade pastries, pancakes made with cottage cheese, baked pumpkin, a mélange of imaginatively mixed fresh juices and, for an effective head-clearer, a miraculous concoction of fresh mint tea with lemon and honey. Take a seat on the terrace if the weather is good. Breakfast is around 95 hryvnia.12:30 p.m.
11. RIO ON THE DNIEPERAbout halfway across the scenic Parkovy pedestrian bridge from downtown to Trukhanov Island, you should begin to pick up the seductive aromas from dozens of barbecues. With its lovely beach and fine views of the city, the island is a favorite Kiev weekend spot. Swimming in the Dnieper has its hazards, given fluctuating levels of pollution. But the verdant island looks like a spot on the Mississippi, and the glamorously skimpy swimwear on some of the well-conditioned locals brings to mind Rio or Miami.IF YOU GOFor over a century the centrally located Premier Palace (5-7/29 T. Shevchenka Boulevard; 380-44-244-1201; premier-palace.com) has been Kiev’s grand hotel. It has recently been immaculately renovated without sacrificing its Art Nouveau charm or its outstanding Russian and Ukrainian art collection. Doubles from $284.A boutique hotel that opened five years ago on a quiet street near the opera, the Opera Hotel (53, B. Khmelnitskogo Street; 380-44-581-7070; opera-hotel.com) has elegant, theatrically themed rooms. Doubles from 2,250 hryvnia ($287).~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~See you at our Monday, July 16th meeting!
July 15, 2017Upcoming Meetings --No July MeetingGetting Started in Genealogy --- August 20, 9 a.m. to noonSeptember 17, 9 a.m. to noon
Meeting Notes -- June 11, 2017Mort Rumberg called the meeting to order and welcomed members and guests.Mort mentioned that the numbered parking spaces are for Einstein residents and we should park elsewhere.There will be no meeting next month, when the IAJGS conference will be held in Orlando.The California Museum will have a film program through August 6 --“Light and Noir,” exiles and Emigres in Hollywood, 1933-1950.Librarian Teven Laxer showed several books we have in our library, including “The History of the Jews in Milwaukee” and “The History of the Jews in Los Angeles” – both have cross-references to newspaper articles. We also have a Legacy Family Tree 8.0 Manual.Teven said we have close to 500 volumes in our library, most targeting Jewish genealogy. The library is one of the benefits of membership.The Tikva group will have its next program June 25 on Anti-Semitism. It will take place at B’Nai Israel from 1 to 4 p.m. The guest speaker will be Nancy Appel from the ADL in San Francisco.Judy Persin is organizing the August and September meetings which will focus on Beginning Genealogy Workshops, from 9 a.m. to noon on August 20 and September 17. There will be two sessions each Sunday. “We’ll provide the basics for those who are just beginning and it’s also a great review for old-timers,” Judy said.The cost is $10 for members, $15 for non-members, covering both August and September workshops.Registration form for the August/September workshops attached. Please reserve now to secure a space.June Speaker – Maryellen Burns “The Power of Story”Why do we tell stories? What is revealed, what is hidden in the story.“Growing up, I was really isolated,” Maryellen said. “I didn’t discover I was Jewish until I was 10, when my parents invited a friend who had been in Auschwitz. I went from knowing nothing to now having 586 pages of relatives on my maternal grandmother’s side."She said her father was on the road from ages 7 to 9 – the only reason he could survive was that he could read the hobos’ symbols and find Jewish families in the South.Maryellen noted that while Jews don’t have godparents, two friends of her family, Nate and Laura, filled that role. She also recalls one day when Woody Guthrie, Andre Segovia and Arthur Fieldler’s sister were at her house.“I want to know the character of the person who is part of my history,” Maryellen said, something she learns through conversation. She says she has more than 110 conversations on her phone.She said the stories we tell and the stories we hide tell a lot about us.Maryellen said the family photos she had came from cousins, including many in the last few years. “My parents took a picture and then sent it to relatives.”“Each one of us in our lives has a keeper of stories,” she said. “The oral tradition plays a large part in Jewish culture.”"What we are named, who we are named for – are names chosen to hide our identity, to perhaps look we were Catholic?” That was the case for Maryellen and her brothers.Maryellen asked the group to talk to the person next to them about their names. Who were they named after?"And if you had a nickname, how did that affect your identity?”Seven Reasons Why We Tell Stories--They define who we are – what we choose to tell and what we want to conceal.-- To plant ideas in people – ideas, thoughts and emotions.-- We like stories-- We are born to tell stories.-- We are literally wired to relate to people who tell a storyIt’s our own natural tendency to tell fictional stories as well as true stories.-- Stories inspire action.-- We tell stories to impress.Maryellen asked the group, how many of you plan on recording your story in some way? Most of you. What is the mechanism you will use?Why is it important to you? Do it for your kids? Think about donating a copy to the library. Maybe you can bring something that will spark a story in someone else.Maryellen said we tend to rely on lists of questions. “But get into conversation, let the story lead where the person wants to go. What did the house, Grandma, smell like? What did you hear when you were there?”Maryellen does talks on a number of subjects, including book architecture, whipping up a family cookbook, and (for the Renaissance Society), how every wave of immigration affected the food in the local area.Maryellen can be reached by email at Maryellen_burns@....~~~~~~~~~~~~~International Jewish Genealogy Conference hosts a plethora of talentHeritage -- Florida Jewish Names June 23, 2017Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, host of the popular PBS television show "Finding Your Roots," will address the IAJGS annual awards banquet with a talk on "Genealogy and Genetics in America.
What do Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alexander Hamilton and Aida have to do with discovering your ancestors? To find out, join other genealogists at the 37th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy from July 23–28 at the Disney World Swan Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., host of the PBS hit series "Finding Your Roots," will be the featured speaker on "Genetics and Genealogy in America" on Thursday evening at the conference. Some of the many celebrities that Gates has successfully helped to find their Jewish roots include Barbara Walters, Julianna Margulies, Gloria Steinem, Norman Lear, Tony Kushner, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey, Jr., Carole King, Alan Dershowitz and Dustin Hoffman.
"This is a one of a kind opportunity for the Greater Orlando Jewish community to trace their ancestors-both for those totally new to family history research and those already experienced in genealogy," said Dr. Diane Jacobs, local host conference co-chair.
Sunday evening will feature "Alexander Hamilton, the Jews, and the American Revolution," presented by Dr. Robert Watson, professor, historian, author, and media commentator.
Wednesday evening, there will be a special showing of the 2016 acclaimed documentary "Aida's Secrets" (sponsored by MyHeritage). This documentary is a story about family secrets, lies, high drama and generations of contemporary history. The international story begins with World War II and concludes with an emotional 21st century family reunion. Izak was born inside the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in 1945 and sent for adoption in Israel. Utilizing the resources of Yad Vashem and MyHeritage, secret details of his birth mother, an unknown brother in Canada and his father's true identity slowly emerge in this extremely personal investigative film.
Featured Monday evening, acclaimed expert and author on etymology and geographic distribution of Jewish surnames, Alexander Beider and Harry Ostrer will debate "Setting the Record Straight: What Yiddish and DNA Tell Us About Ashkenazi Origins" (sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA).On Tuesday evening, "1917: A Turning Point in American Jewish History" (sponsored by JGSLA) will be presented by Hasia Diner, author and Paul and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish history at New York University.Professor Robert Watson, a featured speaker at the IAJGS Florida/Caribbean conference, will talk about our Nevis-born founding father "Alexander Hamilton, the Jews, and the American Revolution."
Stanley Diamond is a leader in Canadian Jewish Research, JRI-PolandMONTREALER RECEIVES MEDAL FROM GOVERNOR GENERALBy Bill Gladstone - July 13, 2017 Canadian Jewish NewsStan Diamond, left, receiving his medal from Gov.Gen David Johnston. SGT. JOHANIE MAHEU RIDEAU HALL PHOTOIn 1986, when Montrealer Stan Diamond sold his decorative-ceiling company after a successful business career, he could not have envisioned that a second career, even more monumental than the first, lay ahead of him. Almost by happenstance, it seems, he became executive director of a large, U.S.-based non-profit organization called JRI-Poland, which would help thousands of people research their family roots – an achievement for which he received a Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on June 23.To date, JRI-Poland (short form for Jewish Records Indexing, Poland) has indexed some five million 19th-century and early 20th-century Jewish birth, marriage, death and other records from more than 550 Polish towns. Not only is the database fully searchable online, but more than two-million records are available for download, with more becoming accessible every few months.Driven by an executive committee of four, a 16-member board and an international network of hundreds of volunteers, JRI-Poland raises about US$100,000 ($133,000) each year, most of which goes to digitizing and indexing records that are mostly hand written in antique Polish script or Russian Cyrillic. Scores of volunteers from the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia, Great Britain, France and elsewhere participate in the project.Diamond has heard countless stories of people achieving remarkable, sometimes even life-changing results from the JRI-Poland database. It has been instrumental, for instance, in uniting long lost family members. Recently, a brother and sister in Jerusalem found a half-brother from their father’s second family, who was previously unknown to them, even though he was living just 90 minutes away. Last year, Diamond used the database to confirm the birth date of 112-year-old Auschwitz survivor Yisrael Kristal of Haifa, who was subsequently proclaimed the world’s oldest man by Guinness World Records.His inbox is filled with stories of research “miracles” and people telling him that JRI-Poland has solved enduring family mysteries. “Two weeks ago, a woman in Toronto wrote us that her grandfather had always said they were related to (the late French actor and mime) Marcel Marceau and she wanted to know how,” he said. Taking on the challenge, he found that Marceau’s family was from the Polish town of Bedzin, where their surname had been Mangel, and was able to make the connection to the woman’s family. The lady was thrilled.While Jewish record books in most towns survived the devastation of fire, flood and war, there are often gaps in the series of available years. In a few towns, the records disappeared entirely. Sometimes it’s a matter of town officials being careless; and some records were lost during the tumultuous Nazi era, when the occupying Germans took over town halls for their headquarters. In Pultusk, Jewish records before 1875 were reportedly destroyed by the Jews themselves, who feared the Nazis would use them to track down the town’s Jewish families.The Warsaw cemetery, Diamond related, once had huge volumes of burial registers that disappeared. “What we were told by the management of the Warsaw cemetery is that they were used as firewood during the war,” he said. “They were huge registers – you’re looking at a cemetery with some 300,000 or more burials.”Diamond’s knowledge of Polish geography, developed over many annual two-week trips, seems remarkable for a non-native. “At the end of one trip, we were talking to the director of the archives about all sorts of things and I was pulling the names (of towns) out of a hat and he remarked, ‘You know, Mr. Diamond, I think you know more about the Polish State Archives (PSA) and about Polish geography than anybody else outside of Poland’,” he said.His knowledge of both Polish geography and Jewish genealogy began innocently enough some 30 years ago, when he wanted to trace the path of a rare genetic condition called beta thalassemia within his own family tree. Travelling to Poland, he received permission to index the Jewish records from his own ancestral town, Ostrow Mazowiecka. When he was done, he paid a visit to Prof. Jerzy Skowronek, then director of the PSA.“When I presented him with the printout of the database, I was not in any way, shape or form thinking about what was going to happen next,” Diamond said. “He said to me, ‘Mr. Diamond, this is very impressive, I wasn’t expecting this.’ And I don’t know what prompted me at that moment, but I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do this for all of Poland?’And he said, ‘Well it’s not our policy, but maybe we’ll start small and do a few more towns’.”When he returned to Canada, Diamond began calling people and raising interest. He attributes the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fortuitous co-operative spirit of the PSA as chief factors – along with the rise of the personal computer and the World Wide Web – behind JRI-Poland’s step-by-step development and growth. “Everything came together, the timing was exquisite,” he said. “It was a continuum of one thing happening after another that made all this possible.”A key step along the way was the agreement that Diamond signed with the PSA in 1997 that officially recognized JRI-Poland as a partner. “After that, we had the credibility to go to each branch of the PSA, having been introduced by headquarters. Back then, of course, we were still buying photographs of the index pages. When digitalization became a reality, that was also a turning point,” said Diamond.Diamond has already received numerous awards for his work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. Last December, he was nominated for the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.Sign Up Now for our August/September Workshops -- Form Attached