Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Volunteer Spotlight – Marshall Katz

 
Marshall and his family
at his daughter's College Graduation
 
This month’s volunteer spotlight focuses on KehilaLinks contributor Marshall Katz, a retired GS-13 of the U.S. Government, a retired USAF Reserve Chief Master Sergeant (E-9), and recipient of both the U.S. Civilian and the USAF Meritorious Service medals. He is married to Helen E. Fields of Pittsburgh, and has a daughter, Lena.
 
His involvement in JewishGen started when he decided to research his family history in Sub-Carpathia. Through JewishGen, he was able to make a connection with a man in Michigan whose family was from the same shtetl in Ukraine---Klyucharki (Várkulcsa)---and, coincidentally, also from the same hometown in Pennsylvania. This man has a relative who still lives in Klyucharki and with whom Marshall visits.
 
Since his retirement, Marshall, who is self-taught creating web sites, has applied his talents to creating KehilaLinks pages for the villages and towns in which our ancestors once lived. Working 12-15 hours a day, he has created 120 KehilaLinks web sites, focusing on Sub-Carpathia, Ukraine, Hungary, USA, Slovakia and Romania.
 
He also spearheaded the effort to establish JewishGen’s newest Special Interest Group – Sub-Carpathia SIG – in 2011, by creating a web site "portal" for the JewishGen Sub-Carpathia SIG which routinely receives visitors from around the world, currently from 84 countries and all 50 U.S. states.
 
As an active member of the Sub-Carpathia expat community, Marshall attends picnics and events both in the USA and in Israel, helping to promote JewishGen and the JewishGen Sub-Carpathia SIG.
 
Marshall makes himself available to help people in their Jewish genealogy research. This past spring, he was able to help a Holocaust survivor determine the birth-date of her recently deceased husband. A different time, he received an email from a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, who, for various reasons, never saw her grandparents' tombstones in Berehove (Beregszász). Marshall was able to locate the grave, and send a photo to the survivor.
 
It is not surprising that Marshall routinely receives emails from researchers who had success as a direct result of Marshall’s efforts.
 
He has visited the Sub-Carpathia, Ukraine region frequently and has been instrumental in collecting information about its numerous villages and towns, in order to create KehilaLink web sites to benefit all researchers with an ancestral connection to Sub-Carpathia. He documents his trips and, once back home, sends out a trip report to subscribers to the Sub-Carpathia SIG (and other) mail lists. Links to his most recent trip reports (2011 & 2012) can be found here.  SEE "Travel Planning," then "Trip Reports."
 
Marshall is also a board member of "The Shalom Foundation," is active in the Zembo Shrine Antique Car unit, and has spearheaded The Packard Automobile Club (PAC) web site presence on the Internet. His 1940 Packard Limousine took "Best of Show" in 1997.  Marshall commented, "In retirement, despite the amount of time and work involved, I derive great pleasure in creating Kehilalinks for researchers today and for future generations to come."
 
Susana Leistner Bloch, JewishGen VP for KehilaLinks said it best: "It is a pleasure to work with Marshall and I wish there were more people like him dedicated to memorializing and commemorating Jewish Communities."
 
We agree.

17 comments:

  1. Marshall, my hat is off to you. You have done a great thing which benefits many people. Congratulations on this honor, which you deserve so much.

    Sam Schleman

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to JewishGen for this honor of being selected for a volunteer spotlight. Through my KehilaLink work, it is hoped that the once flourishing Jewish communities, decimated by the Shoah, are never forgotten. My success is largely due to descendents world-wide, and other interested people, providing content to make the web sites meaningful for researchers today and for future researchers.

    Special thanks to Warren Blatt, Susana Bloch and Avraham Groll for their support and encouragement.

    Happy Pesach to all.

    Very respectfully, Marshall...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Pesach to you too.
      I am new at this and I have a official document from Nov-sad Yugoslavia. My Grandparents were Hungarian but I believe it is in German. The file is too large to post on view mate and if reduce the size it will not be readable. Any suggestions?

      Delete
    2. How big is it? How about dividing it into two or three sections and posting it that way?

      Delete
  3. Are there list of Rabbis from Regéc
    in‎ Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén Hungary

    ReplyDelete
  4. He is the BEST, never too busy to answer my emails, and he also has a sense of humor, which is a gift. Have a wonderful Pesach Marshall with family and friends, and continue your work in good health
    Helen Ganz Kastenbaum

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  5. Marshall was extremely helpful in my initial efforts to set up a KehilaLinks page for Kezmarok, Slovakia. His honor is well deserved and I wish him more years of productive efforts!
    Regards,
    Madeleine Isenberg

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have e-mailed Marshall personally numerous times to thank him for his wonderful work in setting up the Kehila links and am happy to have this opportunity to thank him publicly. Also, Marshall's reports of his trips are thorough, descriptive, and very helpful to us all. Thank you again, Marshall. You're a hero!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Try using a different format to reduce the size of the file, e.g., .GIF. If that doesn't work, try cutting up the document, at its logical points, and posting multiple parts to Viewmate.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Marshall thank you for the help you offered me and my cousin who still plan one day to visit our mother's ancestral home town, Rachiv.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Enjoy your Pesach and visit Antwerp on your way to/from the Carpathians,

    Best Regards from Gershon from Antwerp
    (we met last year in Paris)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Many thanks for your great work. Regards from another USAF Vet!
    Vic

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  11. Marshall, congratulations for this well-deserved recognition. You are doing wonderful work, helping all of us. Ronnie

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  12. Marshall - -
    Mazal Tov on this well deserved honor. Thank you for constantly being available to help whenever you are asked.

    Happy Pesach to you and your family.
    Avrami

    ReplyDelete
  13. Congratulations on being acknowledged for all of your valuable volunteer work! A well-deserved award.

    Nolan

    ReplyDelete
  14. Susana Leistner BlochMarch 20, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Congratulations Marshall on being recognised for all you do.

    Through your efforts in creating webpages dedicated to Sub-Carpathian Jewish communities, their lives and all information available about them will serve as a memorial and a valuable resource for their descendants, now and in the future.

    Susana Leistner Bloch
    VP, KehilaLinks, JewishGen, Inc.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Marshall --

    My congratulations to you for an honor well-deserved. You have been so helpful to me in my planning my trip to Carpathia last year, in helping me to get my ancestral town cemetery cleared of vegetation, and in a variety of other ways. And partly because of you, I've gotten the Carpathia "bug" and am now planning my 2nd trip there in the past year.

    ReplyDelete

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