Dear JewishGen,

I'm a new member, researching my husband's family, who were from Kishineff and settled in America in the early twentieth century.  On the JewishGen site I came across another member query listing Kishineff and a surname my husband had learned only recently had been the original family name.  The member who was posting had the same last name as my husband's mother's maiden name.  I thought there might be a connection, and it turned, when the two of us emailed, that there is family connection.  

The member's grandfather was cousin to my husband's mother.  A lovely phone conversation took place between my husband and the grandfather's widow, who at 92 remembers my husband's mother clearly... One interesting piece of information from this wonderful woman:  her recollection is that the family changed their Eastern European name to a Germanic name when one immigrant daughter married very early on--the whole family changed over to her married name.  I am very grateful to JewishGen for facilitating our connection and our increasing knowledge.  

All the best, 

An Inviting Chicago Jewish Resource

By Ann Rabinowitz

Abraham Slimmer, Philanthropist

I happened upon a very interesting book by Philip Pollack Bregstone (1866-1934), who was a prominent Chicago Jew, born in Veiveriai, Lithuania, which is 11 miles southwest of Kaunas (see his family tree which stretches back to 1799 at: .  His family’s geographic origination in Panemune, Lithuania, and other places is also discussed by Rabbi Jeffrey A. Marx on the following site:  

 The part history, part memoire, which Bregstone published in 1933, was entitled "Chicago and Its Jews: A Cultural History".  It has been digitized and can be found at the following site:  .  While there are quite a number of publications about Chicago Jews, this book has fascinating true-to-life descriptions of personalities of the day.

One of the items I found was a mention of Dr. Abraham M. Margolin, the husband of Clara Bleichmann, star of the Yiddish stage (her sister and brother-in-law were Minna Bleichmann and Morris Axelrad, also Yiddish theater personalities, who I have written about in the past).  It was wonderful to find a detailed description of Dr. Margolin's career as both a doctor and a Yiddish journalist and also to read that he was also known by the pseudonym of "Avreml" which led me to further references to his writing and theater career.  What was most intriguing was mention of his intention to write a history of the Yiddish theater.  This I have not managed to track down yet.


Dr. Abraham M. Margolin

Despite the two chapters on the Yiddish theater in the book, I was disappointed to note that there was nothing about Margolin's wife Clara and her career.  Margolin (and his wife) were also mentioned in the book "Leksikon Fun Yidishn Teater" by Zalmen Zylbercweig which can be found on the Museum of Family History web site:  (see Margolin’s photo from there below).  Further interest in the Yiddish theater can also be stoked by subscribing to the Yiddish Theater and Vaudeville Research Group on JewishGen at

Apart from my own personal family finds in the Bregstone book, I located an unusual discussion of Abraham Slimmer (1835-1917), a wealthy philanthropist, farmer and banker, who lived in Iowa and was one of the wealthiest men in the state.  Despite his Iowa residency, he was known to have contributed substantially to Chicago charities.   See more about his career at the following site:

 The description of Slimmer, who was somewhat eccentric and a recluse, was priceless as it pictured him looking like a bum with his shabby and worn out clothing and his hearing trumpet for his deafness.  Further, his home was described as a slovenly hovel (actually it was the woodshed in back of his old mansion which he had donated to become a hospital).  It belied his wealth which was estimated at approximately $500,000 at his death according to court records and, at other times, as high as $3 -$10 million.

A photo of Slimmer in his later years can be found in "The Jews of Chicago:
From Shtetl to Suburb" by Irving Cutler:,+dubuque,+iowa&source=b l&ots=OwPG1_MEzn&sig=gLxMzlF35ow2PshCt0DeIAor-cA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Ecb3UN6uLInB2wW22YD4Dg&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBjgK#v=onepage&q=abraham%20slimmer%2C%20dubuque%2C%20iowa&f=false
[or shortened URL ]

One can also find much more about this singularly remarkable man who lived on $3.00 a week and his theories for benefiting mankind in a number of other resources.  One is the New York Times:
[or shortened URL ] 

This site also gives an historical timeline of his life from his birth on September 14, 1835, in Obersitzko, Posen, Prussia (now Obrzycko, Poland), to his immigration to America in 1850 as one of nine children, his arrival in Little Rock, Arkansas, then move to Jesup, Iowa, in 1860, and finally his settling in Waverly, Iowa in 1863.  It includes the construction of a mansion on 14 acres in Waverly that was valued at $50,000 which he eventually gave away to charity.  He never married, although he brought his childhood sweetheart to America. The relationship did not work out and he sent her back home.  

 The site also has a lot to offer about Abraham Slimmer including quite a number of newspaper articles which celebrate his lifetime of philanthropy and good works.  In addition, ( provides a copy of his obit which gives us a final look at his life as it states that he died of ptomaine poisoning on August 15, 1917, services were held by Rabbi Isaac L. Rypins (son of Israel Rypins and born in Poland) and that he was taken to St. Paul, MN, where he was cremated.

Another interesting contemporary from Abraham Slimmer’s birthplace of Obersitzko, was Abraham Berliner (May 2, 1833 – April 21, 1915).  He was an historian, religious leader and scientist, who remained in Germany rather than emigrating as Abraham Slimmer had done.  Further info on Obersitzko can also be found in the Yeshiva University Mendel Gottesman Library which houses the Mohelbuch aus Obersitzko, 1799-1859, encompassing 369 entries.

While Abraham M. Margolin and Abraham Slimmer are only two examples of what can be found in Bregstone’s book, there is so much more as I am finding out as I read through it.  Researchers will find that the information provided will certainly lead you onto other resources as it did for me.  It is well worth a read.


German team unveils plaque for Holocaust victims

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) -- German soccer team Schalke has unveiled a plaque outside its stadium with a ceremony to commemorate nine Jewish members and supporters who perished in the Holocaust.
Israeli singer Yael Izkovich opened the ceremony Wednesday, 80 years to the day after Adolf Hitler assumed power in Germany.
In front of about 200 guests, Schalke financial director Peter Peters said ''it is our obligation to keep the memories alive. Schalke did not protect its Jewish members, sponsors, officials and athletes during the time of National Socialism.''
The ceremony was also attended by Schalke general manager Horst Heldt, coach Jens Keller, and players Benedikt Hoewedes, Julian Draxler and Christoph Metzelder.
It was concluded by Rabbi Chaim Kornblum with a memorial prayer for the murdered Jews of Europe and a hymn of mourning.

Announcement: JGS of New York

Next Meeting
January 20, 2013

2:00 pm


Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, Manhattan


Searching for Living Relatives on the Internet

Ron Arons
For more details, see the JGS website:

Announcement: JGS of Cleveland

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

The featured speaker is Richard Spector. His topic will be "The Tale of How I Found Willie"

Enter through the 2nd entrance to the building (the school door).  Make a right turn at
the school office.  The Library is on the left side of the corridor.

NEW FEATURE:  Before the meeting, from 1:00-1:30 p.m.  there will be Jewish Genealogy
Society Board members available to help you with any research questions or assist you using
the Genealogy collection in the Library.

Reminder:  The 2013 membership dues should be paid now.  For Membership information
and the application, go to our website at:

All new members need to complete the membership application form for our records
and the Directory

The meeting is free and guests are welcome.
The meeting takes place at:
Anshe Chesed-Fairmount Temple Lelyveld Library

Jewish Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County, Worlds of Our Ancestors: the ALL SIG Meeting II

SUBJECT: Membership Meeting Jewish Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County, Worlds of Our Ancestors: the ALL SIG Meeting II
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
TIME: 10:00 am–3:00 pm
PLACE: South County Civic Center, 16700 Jog Road, Delray Beach, FL
FEE: non member guests--$5

A full day program “Worlds of Our Ancestors: the ALL SIG Meeting II, ” sponsored by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County, FL (JGSPBCI ) is scheduled for  Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 10:00 am–3:00 pm  at the South County Civic Center, 16700 Jog Road, Delray Beach, FL.

Chairperson Mona Morris, in discussing the expanded program, stated, “We are repeating, by popular request, ‘Worlds of Our Ancestors.’  We plan to have additional stations representing most of the countries our members are researching. Enlarged maps and a computer station will be available to locate ancestral towns.”

Display tables for most European countries, including - Belarus- Galicia- Hungary- Lithuania- Poland,  will be manned by SIG leaders who will be available to answer questions and assist members in their research.  This all day program, which begins at 10 am, will continue until 4:00 pm.  A power point presentation in two parts by the various SIG leaders will begin at 11:00.  A second power point presentation will follow at 1:00. 

Research books from the JGSPBCI Library will be featured.   Information is available for Eastern European, Western Europe, South Africa, Australia, Latin America, the Middle Eastern countries, and Greece and Turkey. 

For further information contact
Sylvia Nusinov, (561) 483-1060
Marilyn Newman, (561) 775-4920

Tree of Life Society

Dear Friends,

The seeds for the perpetuation of our collective Jewish family history and heritage were planted in 1987 by a group of individuals who founded JewishGen as an online bulletin board.
From this humble beginning, few could have imagined that JewishGen would transform into the premier online resource for Jewish genealogy, utilized by thousands of people on a daily basis.
The JewishGen Tree of Life Society recognizes those who support JewishGen's important work by including us in their will. If you have already included JewishGen in your will, or you intend to, please consider letting us know so that we can honor you appropriately.
Members of the Society are recognized through a special section on our website, in our annual reports, and at the annual IAJGS conferences. 
We do not require any official documentation of your intention. 
To become a member of the Society, please contact Avraham Groll, Director of Business Operations, at 646-437-4326 or email 
Thank you in advance for your meaningful and continued support. 
Warren Blatt
Managing Director,

Announcement: JGS of Cleveland

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

The featured speaker is Richard Spector. His topic will be "The Tale of How I Found Willie"

The meeting takes place at:
Anshe Chesed-Fairmount Temple Lelyveld Library

New Content Added to JewishGen's Burial Registry

Dear Friend,

JewishGen is proud to announce its 2012 year-end update to the JOWBR (JewishGen’s Online Worldwide Burial Registry) database. The JOWBR database can be accessed at  If you’re a new JOWBR user, we recommend that you take a look at the first two explanatory screencasts at

This update adds approximately 94,000 new records and 40,000 new photos.  The database is adding 216 new cemeteries along with updates or additions to an additional 129 cemeteries.  This update brings JOWBR’s holdings to 1.95 millionrecords from more than 3,800 cemeteries / cemetery sections from 81 countries!  (Cemetery Description files, maps and overview photos will be processed by the end of the month.)

I want to particularly thank Eric Feinstein who has been helping me to find and gain permission to add many data sets from around the world.  In addition, without our volunteer transliterators, led by Gilberto Jugend, we would not be able to add the information from some very difficult to read photos.

Of particular note in this update are the following additions:

Hamburg, Germany. Thanks to Herr Gerold Helmts of the Jüdische Gemeinde Hamburg ( for more than 14,500 records from the Hamburg cemetery.  More records will be added to this collection in the future

Berlin, Germany.  Thanks to Bert de Jong who has been working on photographing and indexing the stones at the Weissensee Cemetery in Berlin.  This update includes 7,200 records and photos.  Bert also submitted records for other smaller German and Dutch cemeteries

Brody, Ukraine.
Thanks to Ami Elyasaf, Project Leader, Pam Weisberger, Gesher Galicia Project Coordinator, and their team of volunteers for submitting 6,200 photos and records from Brody’s new cemetery.  An entire list of volunteers can be found from the Cemetery Description field within JOWBR

Miskolc, Hungary.
Thanks to John Kovacs, Project Leader, and his team of volunteer data entry and translators for submitting 6,100 records from the Miskolc Chevra Kadisha register.  An entire list of volunteers can be found from the Cemetery Description field within JOWBR

Ontario, Canada
Thanks to Allen Halberstadt, coordinator for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada, Toronto’s Cemetery Project, for submitting and updating approximately 4,200 records from various cemeteries along with 850 photos.  We also than Robert Lubinski and 
Kevin Hanit for their help with Ontario cemeteries

Magdeburg and Halle, Germany
Thanks to Max Privorozki head of the Jewish community of Halle/Salle who submitted approximately 3,800 records from 3 cemeteries in the towns of Halle and Magdeburg

Thessaloniki, Greece and Jamaica
Thanks to Michael Glatzer of the Ben Zvi Institute in Jerusalem, publishers of two volumes whose records are in this update.  Isaac Samuel Emmanuel’s, book "Matzevot Saloniki adding approximately 1,900 records from Thessaloniki and Richard D. Barnett and Philip Wright’s book (edited by Oron Yoffe),  "The Jews of Jamaica, Tombstone inscriptions 1663 - 1880" added more than 1,450 records from 19 cemeteries throughout the island of Jamaica

Leeds, England
We wish to thank the Leeds UHC, BHH and Eitz Chaim Synagogues for permitting us to include approximately 3,000 records and photos from the Gelderd Road cemetery.  An entire list of volunteers can be found from the Cemetery Description field within JOWBR

Thanks to Bernard Haddad for submitting approximately 2,800 records from 4 Algerian cemeteries.  Mr. Haddad is the president and founder of Mémoire Active d'Algérie (Active Memory of Algeria,) the association to safeguard and preserve Jewish cemeteries in Algeria

Bender, Moldova
Thanks to Yefim Kogan, Cemetery Project Coordinator for the Bessarabia SIG for submitting more than 2,600 records and photos from the Zagorodnaya Street cemetery.

Passaic Cemetery, New Jersey
Thanks to Mark Pollack for adding an additional 2,400 records from the Passaic Junction cemetery in Saddle Brook, New Jersey

Trebic, Czech Republic
Thanks to Lubor Herzan of the municipality of Trebic and the Mayor of Trebic, Mr. Pavel Herman.  More than 2,300 records were submitted from information on headstones and from the burial register from the town

Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Thanks to Jakob Finci, President of the Jewish Community of Sarajevo for access to more than 2,000 records from the Sarajevo Cemetery

King David Cemetery, Putnam, New York
Thanks to Gene Baumwoll CSW for adding an additional 1,800 records and photos from various sections of the King David Cemetery (Beth David Cemetery) which is part of the Rose Hills Memorial Park

Mishawaka, Indiana
Thanks to Mike Kring for submitting 1,600 records and photos from the Hebrew Orthodox Cemetery

Harrisburg, PA
Thanks to Rabbi Akiva Males of Kesher Israel Congregation in Harrisburg for submitting more than 1,500 records from the Kesher Israel Cemetery on 34th Street.

Whether your name or records are listed above, we appreciate all your submissions!  Thank you to all the donors that submitted information for this update.

We appreciate all the work our donors have done and encourage you to make additional submissions.  Whether you work on a cemetery / cemetery section individually or consider a group project for your local Society, temple or other group, it’s your submissions that help grow the JOWBR database and make it possible for researchers and family members to find answers they otherwise might not.  Please also consider other organizations you may be affiliated with that may already have done cemetery indexing that would consider having their records included in the JOWBR database.

We will update JewishGen’s Memorial Plaque project before the summer conference.  We currently have approximately 10,000 records online with an additional 10,000 to add.  We’re still actively looking for additional files for the launch.  Please contact me to find out more about this project and how you or your JGS can help.

Wishing you all the best of luck with your research,

Nolan Altman
VP, Data Acquisition

This may be what you wished for!

Without any doubt, whether we know it or not as yet, every Jewish family has at least distant relatives in Israel. Haven't you always  wished that somehow you could just light upon them without bureaucratic delays or language obstacles? This might be the answer to your wishes!

The Israel Genealogy Research Association [IGRA] has recently developed  a new search engine that can search in both in  English and in Hebrew the many new All Israel Databases [AID] that IGRA has created and put up on its website [] These databases cover administrations from the Ottoman, British and modern Israeli periods, and range to communities and various fields of endeavor over the entire area. Each database is presented in the language of the original material, so that most are in Hebrew, some are in English and a few in other languages as well. The new search engine is able to comprehend both English and Hebrew and will bring up matches in both languages, even if a name was entered in only one language. There is also a virtual keyboard available for those who do not have a Hebrew keyboard available but who want to search in Hebrew. On the right side of the page, there are additional filters to help you fine tune your search. 

The databases and search engine page are available to all registered users. Registration is free. You must be sure to log in to use the databases. Should you not have permission to access information, you will be so informed. Due to sets of restrictions from various archives, accessibility to the data is layered: There are unrestricted databases; there are those that permit a search but limit some details; other databases are open only for paid IGRA members. The same holds true for database images. There are presently more than 100,000 records from 85 databases, with more being added as they are completed. If you would like to volunteer to help database these important records,  your joining the team would be a blessing! Please contact:

Remember, registration for the site is free, but you are encouraged to support the work by becoming a member.

Update: Warszawa Research Group

Posted by Hadassah Lipsius

The Warszawa Research Group began the indexing of Life Cycle events from the Warszawa Newspapers over 10 years ago.  Our first project was indexing the 1937-1939 marriage announcements from the Glos Gminy. Not only is the data indexed but the images are now available from the University of Warszawa website.  For one child survivor, this database contained the only remaining documentation of her deceased parents.  Information on that database came be found at  

Our second project was to index the death notices from the Newspaper Nasz Przeglad, which was published from 1923 through September 1939.  We first began by indexing 1923, 1937-1938 but then the project was dormant for a while.  I am happy to announce that we are once again indexing the death notices and now 1924-1927 has been recently added to Jewishgen's All Poland Database.    More information can be found at

Since much of the Warszawa Post World War I vital records data was destroyed, this information may be the only death information you will find on your family.  Some of the announcements are for former Warszawa residents who at the time of their death resided in places like Tel Aviv or Toronto, Ontario or Buffalo, NY or Baden Baden.

All can be searched from the All Poland Database found at

New Education Class: KehilaLinks

We are delighted to announce our fifth "How to Create KehilaLinks Webpages" course, taught by Mark Heckman and beginning February 1, 2013

This course is designed for those who would like to create a KehilaLinks webpage dedicated to a Jewish Community / Kehila / Town /  Shtetl, but don't know how.

Creating web pages is not difficult. We will use a free, downloadable, simple-to-use web page editor that runs on both PCs and Macs. All you need to participate is some basic computer skills, a computer, and a few spare hours a week for 6 weeks

Course description and how to enroll are described in detail on the JewishGen Education page at


Susana Leistner Bloch, V.P., KehilaLinks, JewishGen, Inc.
Barbara Ellman,KehilaLinks Technical Coordinator Mark Heckman, Instructor

New Project: Jewish settlements in Kherson Province (Ukraine)

Dear Friends,

We are proud and excited to announce a new project. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem) has collected documents relating to selected towns in Ukraine and their Jewish populations. We have identified various documents relating to Novopoltavka and nearby Jewish settlements in Kherson province: Novopoltavka, Beryslav/Bereslav, Dobre/Dobroye, Lvove/Lvovo, Malaya Seydeminukha, and Romanovka

Some of these records are:
o Correspondence regarding the establishment of Jewish Settlements in Kherson, Lists of Jewish settlers, life in the colonies, etc (1843-1849)
o Industrial Department, Police (1881-1904) “Jewish matters” regarding the situation of the Russian Jews.
o In the process - the account of the Jewish colonies in Dobraye and Novopoltavka; verification of the establishment of educational agricultural farm and professional institution in Odessa;
o correspondence of activities in Russia with England Jewish colonial organization, about opening local immigrant committees, about immigration, relocation, etc.1891-1902
o List of ships and immigrants to Argentina.
We will use both professional and volunteer translators to translate these documents from Russian to English. We have created a JewishGen Ukraine SIG Fundraising Project to acquire the documents and to pay for professional translators ( We also need volunteers to translate these records. To volunteer please contact Project Manager Sylvia Walowitz at and help us to help you!

Funds raised for this project will be used to acquire digitized copies of these documents and others for associated towns; to translate the acquired records; and to prepare the datasets for posting to the JewishGen Ukraine Database and the Ukraine SIG Master Name Index. Full translations will be posted on the appropriate KehilaLinks websites. A JewishGen spreadsheet template will be available to contributors well before posting on the JewishGen Ukraine Database

The key audience for this project is people whose ancestors lived in or near these towns, including many whose ancestors emigrated from these towns to Argentina.

Project Importance
The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem is a rich source of archival documents. Acquiring, translating, and making available documents and datasets relating to Jews from these towns will benefit genealogical researchers and will help provide context for the lives of our ancestors. The data also will help us understand patterns of Jewish population growth and migration.

If you have roots in any of these places, this is your opportunity to help yourself, as well as many others, now and in the future! We need to raise money to acquire these documents. Without your support we will be unable to pursue this project. If you are researching family from any of these towns please join in and help!

How to Donate
To donate, please point your browser to the JewishGen-erosity webpage for Ukraine SIG Projects:

Scroll down the page to the project:

Kherson Settlements Document Acquisition and Translation Projects

Fill in the amount of your donation and click the Donate button. Follow the directions on the page that pops up. When you click “Checkout via our secure server”, you will be offered several choices for payment.
Because there is up to a two month delay before we get the financial report and we want to get the documents as soon as possible, please write to Sylvia Walowitz at and tell us how much you have donated. We will send regular progress reports to all donors.
Sylvia Walowitz