December 2007

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P.O. Box 55443 , Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
JGSLA.ORG – (818) 771-5554

December 2007


· Monday, December 17, 2007, 7:30 p.m. ·

7:30 p.m. – Annual election of Directors, Announcements, and other Society business

8:00 p.m. PROGRAM: State of the Art: Restitution and Resolutions

2007_dec_01Karen S. Franklin will give an overview of Nazi Era Looted Art issues in Jewish Museums in the US and Europe, and discuss how Jewish genealogical research has been utilized to help solve ongoing cases in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Ms. Franklin has been researching major cases for the Origins Unknown Agency and the Looted Art Commission and will explain how determining the provenance of art pieces, newly-discovered collectibles, and personal possessions of former Jewish owners, is akin to genealogical sleuthing, offering as many twists, turns and surprises. She is the author of the Resolution on Nazi Era Looted Art, which was approved by the Council of American Jewish Museums in January 2007, and will describe how this resolution affects claimants and the Jewish community. Recent lectures on this topic have resulted in several new cases coming to light, and Franklin will also give an update on these cases.

2007_dec_03SPEAKER: Karen Franklin is director of the Family Research Program at the Leo Baeck Institute and the former director of The Judaica Museum of The Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale. She is a past chair of the Council of American Jewish Museums and a past president of IAJGS. She has served on the board of the American Association of Museums (AAM) and presently serves on AAM/International Council of Museums. Mrs. Franklin is a GERSIG coordinator, juror for the Obermayer Award, serves on many boards of national and international organizations, and speaks frequently throughout the world.

Karen will be introduced by E. Randol Schoenberg who litigated the case of the Republic of Austria v. Altmann, in which he sought return of six famous Klimt paintings to his client. After persuading the U S. Supreme Court that Maria Altmann could sue Austria for return of the paintings, he agreed to arbitrate the dispute in Austria. In January 2006 the arbitration panel decided that the paintings, valued at over $325 million, should be returned to Mrs. Altmann.

This program is co-sponsored by the German American Cultural Society

Location: Skirball Cultural Center, Magnin Auditorium, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA
Exit the San Diego Freeway at Skirball Center Dr. Right onto Sepulveda Blvd. and right again into Skirball parking, opposite Center entrance; or turn left on Herscher Dr., north of the Center, to the underground parking lot.

Library : The JGSLA’s Spiszman Traveling Library, with its collection of genealogical books and member volunteers to assist you, will be on the Magnin Auditorium mezzanine from 7 p.m.   Attendance Fees: Free to JGSLA and GACS members. $5 Guest Fee for others. No reservations necessary and parking is free.

Editor’s Note
Hal Bookbinder, Dates & Updates Editor
I would like to acknowledge and express my thanks to the following individuals who have contributed articles to Dates & Updates during 2007 and encourage all JGSLA Members to share your discoveries with fellow members through Dates & Updates. Please also let us know of major family events so that they can be acknowledged.
Barbara Algaze
Jan Meisels Allen
Nancy Biederman
Bobby Furst
Mark Halpern
Ann Harris
Gordon Hillman
Sonia Hoffman
David Hoffman
Logan J. Kleinwaks
Hadassah Lipsius
Sandy Malek
Joy Rich
Charlotte Rutta
Arnold Schwartz
Barry Shay
Alan H. Simon
Dee Whiting
Susan Wichter

Welcome New Members!

Jeanette and Stephen Truppe, Barbara Silver and Renee Algazy, and to returning member, Sima Rae Stanley.

Two UK Newspapers Now Available Online
Bobby Furst

The UK daily newspaper “The Guardian,” and its sister newspaper, “The Observer,” the world’s first Sunday newspaper, are going digital. So far, issues of the “Guardian” from 1821 to 1975 and the “Observer” from 1900 to 1975 are available. In early 2008, both of the newspapers will be online in their entirety (from 1821 to the present for the former and from 1791 for the latter). Both newspapers are searchable. Searching is free, but you must buy a timed access pass to view entire articles. For more information, check [].

Facts From the Stacks
Barbara Algaze, JGSLA Librarian

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain continues to publish an outstanding series of booklets, “Jewish Ancestors?” We have the following booklets in the series in our permanent collection located at the LAFHL:

  • Jewish Ancestors? Genealogical Resources within the Jewish Home and Family by Rosemary Wenzerul 929.1 W489jh
  • Jewish Ancestors? A Guide to Organising Your Family History Records by Rosemary Wenzerul 929.1 W489of
  • Jewish Ancestors? A Guide to Reading Hebrew Inscriptions and Documents by Rosemary Wenzerul 929.1 W 489 rh
  • Jewish Ancestors? A Beginners Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Great Britain, Contributing Editor: Rosemary Wenzerul 942 D27j 2000
  • Jewish Ancestors? A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in the United Kingdom, Contributing Editor: Rosemary Wenzerul 942 D27j 2006
  • Jewish Ancestors? A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Germany and Austriaby Thea Skyte and Randol Schoenberg. Series Editor: Rosemary Wenzerul D27sth
  • Jewish Ancestors? A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Poland, by Susan Fifer 943.8 D27f
  • Jewish Ancestors? A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Latvia & Estonia, by Arlene Beare 947.4 D27ba
  • Jewish Ancestors? A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Lithuania, by Sam Aaron 947.5 D27as

Check them out the next time you are at the Family History Center.

JGSLA will match donations to Mount Zion Cemetery
Nancy Biederman

Mount Zion Cemetery, established in 1916 by the Jewish Free Burial Society, is located at 1030 S. Downey Road, adjacent to the Home of Peace Cemetery in East Los Angeles. It was not connected to a synagogue and unfortunately fell into disrepair over the years. Mt. Zion Cemetery is now operated by the Jewish Federation Council ( The Federation makes an annual appeal to its member organizations for contributions to help maintain and repair the cemetery which has no endowment fund. If you have family and friends of family buried at Mt. Zion, or would like to help maintain one of our oldest landmarks, please consider a contribution at this time. JGSLA will match up to the first $100 received for Mt. Zion Cemetery. Include a notation that the donation is for Mt. Zion, and mail your contribution to: JGSLA, PO Box 55443, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

TS (Bad Arolsen) is now taking Internet requests
Bobby FurstFor additional information, and to request an online application, click on the International Tracing Service (ITS) website, [], which is available in English and German. The ITS says on its new site that it aims to process requests within eight weeks and have the backlog whittled down by mid-2008. But it warns that some more complex cases may take longer. (Pamela Wiesberger reports that several SIG postings have stated that dates must be entered using European notation, “” or the form will not be accepted. Please let us know of your experience in requesting documents from Bad Arolsen so we can share in D&U – Ed.) Access to available at the LA FHC
Barbara AlgazeThe November Dates & Updates reported that “…the Family History Center no longer provides access to Ancestry…” However, the situation has recently changed. The LA FHC now has three computers permanently connected to the full list of databases. There is a sign-up sheet for access to these computers, but the wait is usually no longer than five or ten minutes. More Facts From the Stacks
Barbara Algaze, JGSLA LibrarianMany thanks to all those who donated books and resources to our JGSLA Library in the last few months. This is a list of the most recent books acquired for our library collection. We are always looking for additional donations. Clean out your shelves and get a tax deduction in the process.

  • The Unbroken Chain; Biographical Sketches and the Genealogy of Illustrious Jewish Families from the 15th-20th Century, rev. ed. (2 vols.). Donated by Wendy Lang
  • A Bintel Brief (“Sixty Years of Letters From The Lower East Side to the Jewish Daily Forward”) . Donated by Susan Wichter
  • 11 back issues of AVOTAYNU and 22 issues of HERITAGE QUEST. Donated by the estate of the late Mel Hanberg
  • Four issues of the Leo Baeck Yearbook (for the years of 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998). Donated by Ellen G. and Roger J. Lowe
  • Finding guide to the 1890 police census in NYC . Donated by Sandy Malek
  • Register of Jewish Survivors: List of Jews in Poland , Frank Barnes made a copy of the complete book so that we could bind and display it on our shelves.
  • German Post Card Collection . Donated by Arnold Unger

Historical Photos of Los Angeles
Nancy Biederman

There is a wonderful collection of digitized historic photos of L.A. (1920-1990) at [].

You can browse by subject or search by keyword through photos from the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News photographic archives. My search for ‘Jewish’ resulted in 34 thumbnails covering subjects such as Jewish children’s camps in the 1950s, Eleanor Roosevelt at the Jewish Home for the Aged in 1946, and Jews dancing on Fairfax Ave. to show solidarity with Soviet Jews in 1978. See what photos of interest you can find!

Each thumbnail result has a larger version of the photo with details of the published caption, the publication date, and the periodical where it was published.

Member News

We extend our condolences to Andrea Massion on the passing of her mother, Rivi Massion who passed away Oct. 16, 2007.

Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street
Nancy Biederman

A new and unique resource for genealogical research in Great Britain, the Great Ormond Street Historical Patient Database Project, launched a web site containing over 50 years of patient records [].

The database contains details of over 84,000 child patients which have been transcribed from In-Patient Admission Registers for the period 1852 to 1891. It is free and fully searchable. I searched for surnames starting with Rosen and got 20 results that included date of admission, sex, name, registration district, age, and disease. Clicking on a name provided more details such as admitting doctor, ward, and length of stay. By registering on the site (free) I was able to get even more information on some cases that included case notes, residence of the patient, and outcome of the disease.

New IGS Online Databases
Martha Lev-Zion IGS-Negev

The Israel Genealogical Society [IGS] is pleased to announce three new searchable databases now on our internet site. We have captured a large number of records and are preparing to put them online. This is part of a huge project the IGS took upon itself: Eretz Israel Records Indexing [EIRI]. The three searchable databases just put up are:

American Citizens in Eretz Israel – 1917: This is a database gleaned from a 19 page handwritten document made while World War I was raging. It includes the names and birth year for 342 American citizens.

Eretz Israel Jewish Refugees in Alexandria: During World War I, the situation of the Jews in Eretz Israel was desperate. In addition, those with foreign citizenship – i.e. non-Turkish – were expelled to Alexandria, Egypt. Between December 19, 1914 and September 23, 1915, a total of 11,277 refugees reached Alexandria. Informal lists of refugees were made in Hebrew, French and Russian. The information recorded is inconsistent, but might include any or all of the following information: surname, first name, age, birth place, number of family members, and profession of the head of the family. The lists we were able to find contain about 20% of the total number of refugees.

British Protégés and Subjects 1839-1914: As the Ottoman Empire began to totter and collapse, there was a great rush of Western powers to get an imperial foot in the door in order to spread their influence and grasp power as the “sick man of Europe” slowly died. One way to increase influence in the area was to claim to protect sectors of the local citizenry. This database is created from lists of such citizens that Britain claimed to protect. The lists were in English and the spelling of names is as they were listed. That is why there are varied spellings of the same name.

To search these new database, go to []

New Los Angeles Public Library On-line Databases
Michael Kirley, Genealogy Librarian, LA Public LibraryThe Los Angeles Public Library has a new online database which may be of interest to JGSLA members.Selected years of the LA City Directories and LA Street Address Directories are now available on the LA Public Library’s web site. The digitization project was completed with a generous grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation. The database can be found by going to the library’s home page at: [] Once there, click on “Library Resources” at the top of the left hand column. Then click on “Regional History Resources”. Here under the section labeled “The Databases”, you will find the words “ Los Angeles City and Street Directories”. Click on the hypertext link to get to the database. Alternatively, you can get to Regional History Resources directly at: [] When you first go to the database, be sure to click on and read the section labeled “Information on the Directories”. Some of the street address directories are arranged by Telephone Exchange Service Areas which is explained in this information section. The Printing Suggestions section should be read as well.The city directories included are 1929, 1936, 1938, 1939 and 1942. 1942 was the last city directory published for Los Angeles. The street address directories cover, May 1956, March 1960, October 1961, July 1962, July 1963, April 1964, April 1965, July 1965, April 1967, April 1968, January 1969, July 1973, and July 1987. FHL Research Guides Available On-line
Barbara AlgazeMany of the printed guide that are offered for purchase at your local Family History Center are also available for free to read on your own computer and/or print on your own printer. The subjects include research in all the United States and Canada and many countries in Europe, South America, and Asia. Other subjects are Military Research and the “Jewish Genealogy New” guide. Other free items include a “Polish Genealogical Word List” and a “Polish Letter-writing Guide.”

Check them out at [], click the “Search” tab and the “Research Helps” sub-tab. Click on to the first letter of the subject you are researching (e.g. “J” for Jewish or “P” for Poland). Then click on to the [PDF] next to the name in order to download the Research Guide to your computer. (You need to have the free Adobe Acrobat PDF reader installed on your computer in order to access the guides).

The more extensive Research Outlines that are published by the Family History Library are not free, but can be purchased through the [] website. The very extensive “Jewish Genealogy Research Outline” or the “Poland Research Outline”, for example, can be purchased through the website for $3.25 + sales tax apiece. There is no charge for shipping to addresses in the United States and Canada.

To order a Research Outline, click on the “Order/Download Products” sub-tab from the [] home page. Now, type “Jewish” or “ Poland” in the “Quick Search” box and press the enter key. Click on the name of the item and proceed to purchase it.

Upcoming Meetings

Monday, January 7, 7:30 p.m., Documenting Immigrants to America: 1882-1954 – Marian Smith, Historian, USCIS History Office and Library, Skirball Cultural Center

Monday, February 18, 12 noon – 6 p.m., Assisted Research Day at the LA Regional Family History Center

Sunday, March 9, 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Skirball Cultural Center – Half Day Seminar – $20 fee – “It’s All Online! Internet Sleuthing for the Family Historian or Genealogist” – Ron Arons, Beau Sharbrough ( and Suzanne Russo Adams (, free screening at 5:00PM of “Past Lives: The Stanley Diamond Story”.