JGSLA DATES AND UPDATES

JEWISH GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY of LOS ANGELES
P.O. Box 55443 , Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
JGSLA.ORG - (818) 771-5554

June 2006


• Program for Monday, June 19, 2006 •

7:00 p.m.: Breaking Through Genealogical Brick Walls

In this highly interactive session, creative solutions will be discussed for problems that we run into in our genealogical research. For example, how do we find the married name for a female relative? The obvious answer would be to check the bride's registry in the city where the couple married. But what if you do not know which city or state? How do you handle the situation where relatives will not open up and share what they know? What happens when you encounter missing information in on-line databases because of transcription or other errors? During the talk, creative ways to overcome these and other obstacles will be shared by the speaker as well as through audience participation. Please come prepared to share your best methods for overcoming brick walls.

Speaker Hal Bookbinder: Hal Bookbinder has been researching his family for over 20 years, tracing two lines into the mid-18th century and identifying over 3,000 relatives. He has published numerous articles on Jewish genealogy and contributed to several comprehensive volumes on the subject. In the world beyond genealogy, Hal directs computing for UCLA Healthcare and teaches Information Technology at the university level.

Location: Jewish Federation Building, Board Room, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.
Exit the 10 Fwy at La Cienega Blvd. Proceed north two miles to Wilshire Blvd. Turn right and proceed 0.4 miles. Alternatively, exit the 405 Fwy at Wilshire Blvd, east. Proceed five miles. 6505 Wilshire will be on your left. Visitor parking is available immediately west of the building. Please have a picture ID ready to show to security.

Attendance Fees / Reservations: Free of charge, but reservations are required. Please phone (323) 761-8648 or email resource@jclla.org.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles, a department of the Bureau of Jewish Education, a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

 
Research links from the NY Conference Digest

Online New York Death Indexes & Records
   [www.deathindexes.com/newyork]
Online Searchable New York Naturalization Records & Indexes
   [home.att.net/~wee-monster/newyork.html
New York Naturalization & Vital Records Databases
   [www.italiangen.org/databaselist.stm]
New York Genealogy and History Resources - NY GenWeb Site    [www.rootsweb.com/~nygenweb]
Cyndi's List - New York    [www.cyndislist.com/ny.htm]
New York Passenger Lists Quick Guide 1820-1957
   [www.genesearch.com/newyork]
New York Newspapers (current)
   [www.usnpl.com/nynews.html]
New York Newspapers (historical) - scroll to the NY section
   [www.researchguides.net/newspapers.htm]

JGSLA at the IAJGS 2006 Conference
Pamela Weisberger [Pamela@jgsla.org]

The JGSLA will hold a meeting at the IAJGS conference on Thursday, August 17th, 4-5 p.m. in the SOHO conference room for members to discuss which programs for which they would like to provide summaries for our “Highlights of the 2006 IAJGS Conference” program to be held in September.

We will also discuss purchasing taped sessions for the society's library, and speakers of note that we should consider for future JGSLA programs. This meeting is not restricted to members only, so anyone who lives in the Greater Los Angeles area, or has genealogical research in L.A. is invited to attend. Mark your conference calendars!

 
JGSLA Membership pays off!
Mark Halpern

Although a member of JGSLA, I live in Pennsylvania. Last year, I visited a cousin in Florida who provided photos and letters that were proof that a first cousin of my father had survived the Shoah and had lived in LA in the 1960s and 1970s. The surname was APFELBLUM, an unusual surname. I was able to find one APFELBLUM family living in Northern California, but ran into a brick wall as the head of household had passed away and his daughter was not interested in connecting with family. But, this daughter did tell me that her father had four surviving sisters.

Thinking that these sisters may have married in California, I contacted Sonia Hoffman. Sonia discussed my request Bobby Furst who found a 1967 marriage of Rachel APFELBLUM and Robert KESSLER. She also provided the 1953 California birth index of Ian Isaac SPISZMAN -- mother's maiden name APFELBLUM -- and more importantly, the 1949 Minnesota birth index of Margie Adelle SPISZMAN, daughter of Joe Richard SPISZMAN and Lea Alice APFELBLUM.

Sonia knew that founding JGSLA member Bert SPISZMAN had Minnesota roots and contacted Bert's widow, Regina. It turned out that Lea Alice APFELBLUM SPISZMAN is Regina's sister-in-law and also my second cousin. Regina passed along Sonia's message to Lea Alice's daughter, who recently contacted me.

Berl and Feiga APFELBLUM and their 5 children (including Rachel and Lea Alice) all survived the Holocaust in France and most of the family later immigrated to California. This is the first branch of my father's extended paternal HALPERN family that I know survived the Shoah.

Thank you JGSLA and especially Sonia Hoffman, Bobby Furst, and Regina Spiszman.

Requests for assistance
Sandy Malek [SANDYMALEK@aol.com]

Avrohom Krauss [krauss@actcom.co.il], of Telz-Stone Israel, is seeking help in finding information on a Los Angeles relative. Through Yad Vashem's Pages of Testimony, he learned of an unknown cousin, Susan BELL (nee KRAUS), born 17 Mar 1915 in Przemysl, Poland. According to the SSDI, she passed away 14 May 1988. Her last residence was listed at Encino. At the time of the submission of the PoT, she lived at 855 S. Sherbourne Dr., Los Angeles. The PoT was submitted at Star Players Club, Rose Oberne, registrar. Mr. Krauss would like help finding her burial plot and any living relatives.

Please let Sandy know if you are able to successfully assist those listed in this column so we can relate success stories.

Arolsen Records
As reported in “Nu? What’s New?”

Germany announced that they now favor opening the record collection of the International Tracing Service (ITS) located in Arolsen, Germany. The agreement would permit the eleven countries that make up the ITS committee to copy the ITS material and make it available through their national archives. This decision is expected to be formally approved at the May 17 meeting of the ITS Council and then ratified by member countries. The new German position was approved by the German cabinet and announced at a news conference at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum by German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries.

Until now, Germany resisted public access to the records citing privacy considerations. The member countries can now obtain copies of the records and make them available to the public based on each country’s privacy laws.

The holdings of the International Tracing Service are one of the most valuable sources of information about the fate of people, both victims and survivors, caught up in the Holocaust. Their records place an individual at a specific place and time during the Holocaust period. They claim to have 40 million such pieces of information. Their sources, to name a few, are deportation lists, concentration camp death lists, ghetto records and post-war refugee records

NYC Area Cemetery Interment Search Engines
Ada Green [New York Conference Cemetery Liaison]

Cemetery records for Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, Queens, are online at [www.mounthebroncemetery.com]. A similar database, created by Mount Carmel Cemetery in Glendale, Queens, is at [www.mountcarmelcemetery.com], and Mount Moriah Cemetery in New Jersey recently put up a grave locator (searchable by name and organization only) at [www.mountmoriahcemeteryofnewjersey.org].

Several other cemeteries, including Mount Zion Cemetery (Maspeth, Queens), Mount Judah Cemetery (Ridgewood, Queens) and Mount Lebanon Cemetery (Glendale, Queens) are currently developing search engines that may be on line by the time of the upcoming conference. As additional search engines become available, information on them will be posted to [www.jgsny2006.org/ny_cemetery_information.cfm].
Also, be sure to check the landsmanshaft database at [www.jgsny.org/searchcity.htm] as an aid to your New York City area cemetery research.

Jews of Czestochowa
Pamela Weisberger [Pamela@jgsla.org]

There's a new website devoted to the Jews of Czestochowa (Poland). It's at [www.czestochowajews.org]. The website has information about the touring exhibit "The Jews of Czestochowa" and other useful links for researchers.

 
Chicago, Chicago…
Anne Feder Lee [president@iajgs.org]

The 2008 IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be in Chicago. Specific dates and venue are yet to be finalized. More information will be shared as it becomes available. For the trivia buffs, the last Chicago conference was in 1984. Of course, the conference this summer is in New York City and the 2007 conference will be in Salt Lake City.

Speaking of conferences…
Kahlile Mehr [MehrKB@ldschurch.org]

The Annual Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies Conference will be held in Winnipeg, Canada, August 4-6, ‘06. For more information, check [www.feefhs.org].

Practice Safe Computing
Hal Bookbinder [hal@jgsla.org]

We all know that we should periodically back up the data on our computer. But, many of us do not do so until after the crisis hits and we have lost years of information, including results of our genealogical research. Set a goal of backing up your computer’s hard disk(s) monthly.
* Consider purchasing an external hard disk and copying your data files to it periodically. Then, store the hard disk separately from your computer so a disaster does not destroy them both.
* Also, consider separating the data files in your computer from the program files by putting them into a separate logical drive or directory. You can then just back up this drive or directory and not the program files.
* A convenient way to back up your critical files might be to copy them to a USB “thumb” drive, or write them to a CD/ROM or to a DVD. Again, store the backups away from your computer.
* If you do not want to fuss with media, you could consider emailing critical files to a web mailbox, or “FTP’ing” them to a server on which you have space.
* If your computer has two internal physical (not logical) hard drives, you could periodically copy your date from one to the other. This will help if one of the disks “crashes,” but won’t do you much good if the entire computer is destroyed.
* Remember that aside from backups for dealing with disasters, they can be helpful if you simply need to restore a file you mistakenly deleted or changed.

Share Your Hints and News

No member news reached the editor this month. Please let us know of major family events, brief research stories, exciting research successes and research hints so that they can be shared in Dates & Updates. Send your input to Hal Bookbinder, D&U Editor [hal@jgsla.org].

Online Jewish Film Archive
Hal Bookbinder [hal@jgsla.org]

The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive has 300 movies on Israel, Zionism, the Holocaust and Jewish life in the Diaspora available free of charge on its website. The Archive aims to add 100 movies per year. You can view them from the comfort of your home computer at [www.spielbergfilmarchive.org.il].

Five short films show footage from five Polish cities in August 1939 - just one month before the start of World War Two. The cities are Cracow, Warsaw, Bialystock, Lvov and Vilna. An American filmmaker created these for immigrants who used to live in the cities. They then sat undiscovered for years.

The archive seeks to “record life as we know it for our children and their children after them so they will know who they are and where we all came from.” It collects movies made since 1911 that deal with Israel and Jewish communities around the world. The majority of the films are in English.

They are nicely organized by category, making it relatively easy to scan the holdings and find a film that might be of interest to you.

Online sources of Vital Records for New York City
[Posted by Joy Rich on the NY Conference Digest]

  • Contact information for obtaining death dates from wills and letters of administration from the Surrogate's (Probate) Court in each county in New York City
  • [www.jgsny2006.org/research.cfm]
  • New York City groom index, bride index, and death index posted on the Italian Genealogical Group's and German Genealogy Group's websites (listed under "Births, Deaths, and other Vital Records")
  • [www.stevemorse.org]