March 2007

Logo-dark blue


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

March 2007


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Where Once We Walked: Traveling Back in Time
(Four adventurous genealogists discuss, and show video and photographic highlights of,
their recent trips to ancestral shtetls in Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, “Galicia” and Poland)

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., University Synagogue

Mark Heckman, of the Sacramento JGS, attended a summer 2006 symposium of more than 60 former Czernowitzers in Ukraine. Most Jews from Czernovitz who survived World War II emigrated to Israel and the West. The “reunion” gave then a chance to find their old homes and reconnect with a town they left long ago. Footage of the reunion will be shown, along with highlights from the towns of Sadagora, Zastavna, Zaleshchiki, Tluste and Horodenka. Mark, who lives in Sacramento, has been studying his family history for over ten years. He had always thought about visiting Ukraine. The 2006 Czernowitz Reunion gave him the push he needed.In August 2006, JGSLA member, Lois Rosen, researching the Rozinko family, traveled to Latvia, with stops in Riga and Daugavpils, and Pasvalys, Lithuania. She visited the Latvian Archives with a local researcher and in Daugavpils she met members of the Jewish community, visiting the restored synagogue and active Jewish Community Center. Lois is trained as an English teacher and lawyer, but is currently busy raising three children and working part-time as Opera Chorus Manager for the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. Her husband, Paul Rosen’s family (from Latvia and Lithuania) has been the focus of her genealogical passion.

Karen Roekard, MBA, of Berkeley, will speak on the pleasures, treasures, value and ‘OY!’ of archival research. She will also share video of her singing in the Zolkiew shul and explain a planned synagogue restoration project. She has published “The Santa Cruz Haggadah.” In 2005 she spent ten days walking the streets of her ancestors in Lviv, Rawa Ruska, Belz, Zolkiew and Wolka Mazowieka. In September 2006 she went back to research Tabula registers general indexes, and cadastral maps in the Lviv archives. She is in preliminary discussions with the town of Rawa Ruska to retrieve gravestones used to pave their roads and expects to go back later this year.

In May 2005, JGSLA member, Andrea Massion traveled with her cousin to Ukraine, spending four days in the Massion shtel of Ananiev, along with Odessa, Balta and Uman. She met a cousin for the first time in Kiev and together they went in search of answers to a few Massion mysteries lurking in Southern Ukraine. Andrea, a native of Los Angeles, has been researching her family genealogy as a hobby for the last 12 years. She found a living branch of her family, and in 2005, traveled to the Ukraine to visit. Andrea is a performer and Jewish Arts educator and also works in a middle school library where she reads to and inspires young readers.

Location: University Synagogue, 11960 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles – From the San Fernando Valley, take the 405 south and exit at Sunset. Turn left from the off-ramp, then right on Sunset. From the south, take the 405 north, exit on Sunset. Turn left on Sunset. Drive one mile west and turn left on Saltair. From Saltair, turn left into the parking lot.

Attendance/Parking Fees: Free for JGSLA members, $5 for others. Parking is free.

Family Websites
David Hoffman []
JGSLA members are invited to include links to their personal family websites on the JGSLA website []. Please provide us with the website’s title and URL. If your family website deals with a particular ancestral geographic area or period of history, please include this information. Send your input to David Hoffman, website editor [].Member NewsIn order to acknowledge major life events among our members, such as births, marriages, illnesses and passings, we need your help. Please tell us about these events. Send your email to Hal Bookbinder, D&U editor []
A Few Signed Copies of “The Lost” are Available
Nancy Biederman []
JGSLA has a limited number of “The Lost” signed by Daniel Mendelsohn, who provided a great lecture at our December 11th meeting. If you would like a signed copy, please contact Nancy. Available on a first requested, first served basis. Just $20.Share Your Tips through Dates & UpdatesPlease share your discoveries with fellow JGSLA members. Let us know of successful research techniques, outstanding resources or valuable websites that you discover have discovered. Articles should generally be under 150 words so that we can cover as much as possible in Dates & Updates. Send your input to Hal Bookbinder, D&U editor [].

Non-board JGSLA Positions

The February D&U listed the JGSLA Officers and Directors for 2007. In addition, a number of volunteers also provide significant support for the society. We want to acknowledge them as well.

Barbara Algaze, Librarian
Hal Bookbinder, Dates & Updates Editor
Nancy Holden, Roots-Key Editor
Ronna Katz, Dates & Updates Mailing
Allen Kwawer, Webmaster
Stephanie Nordlinger, Traveling Library
Charlotte Rutta, Dates & Updates Mailing

Welcome to New and Rejoining JGSLA Members

Welcome back to Jerome & Sandy Helman, Michael Kerstein and Mary Ryan who have recently rejoined. We also welcome the following who have newly joined.

November 2006
Leonard & Rebecca Friedman, Judy Karta, Jeffrey Leeds, Robert Pachner, Catherine Pens, Helene Rosen & Judee Wells.

December 2006
Bonnie Copeland, Vivian Linderman & Kathy Wolf.

January 2007
Amy Leserman & Terry Karsh.

Dues Reminder

If you have already paid your 2007 dues, thanks. If not, please send your check in now. If you have misplaced your renewal notice, go to [], print off a membership application, complete it, and send it in with your check. Thanks!

Be sure we can reach you

JGSLA regularly uses email for meeting reminders and other late breaking items. Be sure we have your latest email. If it changes, send your current email to Bobby Furst [].

Mt. Zion Cemetery Support
Nancy Biederman []

Thank you to JGSLA member Shelley Davis. Shelley responded to the appeal for donations that appeared in the December issue of Dates and Updates. To encourage donations, JGSLA offered to match the first $100 received from our membership.

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 fell into disrepair over the years. The Jewish Federation Council [] now operates the cemetery, which has no endowment fund. Each year the Federation appeals to its member organizations for contributions to help with maintenance and repair.

Shelley’s gift honors the memory of her family members buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery. JGSLA matched Shelley’s donation, and a total of $200 was contributed to the Federation’s Mt. Zion Cemetery Fund. The Federation expresses its gratitude to JGSLA for participating in this special mitzvah, and JGSLA in turn is grateful to Shelley Davis.

Additional contributions for Mt. Zion Cemetery from our members are welcome. Make a notation that the donation is for Mt. Zion, and mail your contribution to: JGSLA, PO Box 55443, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413.

JGSLA Positions Available / Help Wanted!

Roots-Key Editor

JGSLA is looking for a creative, organized, inspirational, dedicated, eager, and genealogically driven person to be editor of our award-winning quarterly journal, Roots-Key. Our editor is retiring and we need an individual to set the tone for the journal, determine its content, and encourage authors. Once articles are obtained, the editor ensures their professional editing and layout, and that publication is completed on schedule.

Audio-Visual Coordinator

We need a person or a team to set up and run the audio-visual equipment when needed at meetings. The person should be one who attends meetings and who would be able to come early to set up and test the equipment. A-V coordinator, Arnie Schwartz, is unable to continue in this capacity because of new work commitments. He will train the new A-V person as necessary.

Roots-Key Mailer

We need a person to help with the mailing of Roots-Key, to pick up the bags of mail from the location where the journals are prepared and bring them to the Van Nuys Post Office. The individual would ideally live or work someplace in the vicinity of the Van Nuys Post Office, have a vehicle to transport the mail bags and be strong enough to lift the bags.

Hospitality Committee

We hope you enjoyed the bagels and lox brunch at the meeting on January 28. We would like to have more such events where we can eat, talk and get to know each other. We need a group of 3 to 5 people who would constitute the Hospitality Committee, and be responsible for arranging the food and/or beverage portion of various events.

If you have interest in helping out with these very important positions, please email to Sandy Malek [] or call at (818) 771-5554.

Another Great One-Step Tool
Hal Bookbinder []

Trying to find relatives with relatively common names can be a real challenge. But, if you know the given name of another member of the household Steve Morse has a tool that may be of help. I was looking for Steven McConnell, with no idea in what state he might be located. Searching [] found more than 100, and it will only show the first 100. But by including the name of his wife, Mindy, in the “Finding Couples” search at [], I was quickly able to find them in Olympia, Washington.

Help Grow the Shoah Victims’ Names Database
Ann Harris []

Yad Vashem wants volunteers who are willing to contact local institutions and individuals to grow the Shoah Victims Database whose principal documents are Pages of Testimony. Yad Vashem is providing promotional material to volunteers to will reach out to survivors and their families and assist them in registering the names of Jews who they know were murdered in the Shoah. To volunteer, send your name, address, phone # and e-mail to [] with the subject “Names Volunteer.” Alternatively, contact Ann Harris []. To submit a Page of Testimony, go to []. Click “Submit Additional Names.”

Early Southern California Burials
Barbara Algaze []
In 1974, Questing Heirs Genealogy Society published “Some Early Southern California Burials.” It proved so popular that a second printing was published in 1978. For several years it has been out-of-print. It has recently been converted in its entirety to PDF format, and is now available as a free download at []. The book covers burials in the Wilmington, Sunnyside and Long Beach Municipal Cemeteries to 1920, in alphabetical order. A few later burials are listed in the same family plot. An Abstract of Records from the Funeral Register of the B. W. Coon Co. Funeral Home, Long Beach, California (covering 1922-1926) is also available as a free download.Checking out Internet Rumors
Hal Bookbinder []
We have all heard or read information and wonder if it is true or not. This is especially an issue on the Internet, where it is so easy to spread and repeat rumors. Here are a few resources you can use to check out the veracity of what you have read.

“Snopes” and “TruthorFiction” are great sites for checking on rumors that you have heard. They contain information on the truth or falsity of hundreds of rumors floating across the Internet. For example, we have all received emails purportedly from Paypal, letting us know that we need to update our account information. Is this valid? Both sites will let you know that this is a “phishing” scam, trying to get your personal financial information. [] and []

Sometimes, we get emails about computer viruses, providing instructions as to precautions that are needed for protection. Often, these are bogus and the steps suggested will cause actual harm to your computer. So, how do you check these out? Along with the rumor verification websites cited above, check out the websites of major anti-virus vendors. Each will provide the latest information on the newest viruses and on virus hoaxes running across the Internet. [], [] or [].

Tips to Avoid Spam
From McAfee []

Listed below are a number of suggestions that can help prevent your email address from becoming a target to spammers.

• Do not post your e-mail address in an unobfuscated form on the Internet. If you need to post your e-mail address, obfuscate it so it cannot be easily harvested such as “name –at- hotmail – dot- com,” Or if you need to include your e-mail address in your signature, include a small graphic image containing your e-mail address.

• Check to see if your e-mail address is visible to spammers by typing it into a Web search engine such as []. If your e-mail address is posted to any Web sites or newsgroups, remove it if possible to help reduce how much spam you receive.

• Lots of ISPs provide free e-mail addresses. Set up two e-mail addresses, one for personal e-mail to friends and colleagues, and use the other for subscribing to newsletters or posting on forums and other public locations. If you have a more complex e-mail address, it is less likely to receive spam than one that could be easily dictionary-attacked.

• Many ISPs also offer free spam filtering. If this is available, enable it. Report missed spam to your ISP, as it helps reduce how much spam you and other members of the same ISP receive. If your ISP does not offer spam filtering, use anti-spam software to reduce the amount of spam delivered to your inbox.

• When replying to newsgroup postings, do not include your e-mail address.

• When filling in Web forms, check the site’s privacy policy to ensure it will not be sold or passed on to other companies. There may be a checkbox to opt out of third party mailings. Consider opting out to receive less opt-in e-mail.

• Never respond to spam. If you reply, even to request removing your e-mail address from the mailing list, you are confirming that your e-mail address is valid and the spam has been successfully delivered to your inbox, not filtered by a spam filter, that you opened the message, read the contents, and responded to the spammer. Lists of confirmed e-mail addresses are more valuable to spammers than unconfirmed lists, and they are frequently bought and sold by spammers.

• Do not open spam messages wherever possible. Frequently spam messages include “Web beacons” enabling the spammer to determine how many, or which e-mail addresses have received and opened the message. Or use an e-mail client that does not automatically load remote graphic images, such as the most recent versions of Microsoft® Outlook® and Mozilla Thunderbird.

• Do not click on the links in spam messages, including unsubscribe links. These frequently contain a code that identifies the e-mail address of the recipient, and can confirm the spam has been delivered and that you responded.

• Never buy any goods from spammers. The spammers rely on very small percentages of people responding to spam and buying goods. If spamming becomes unprofitable and takes lots of effort for little return, spammers have less incentive to continue spamming. Would you risk giving your credit card details to an unknown, unreputable source?

• If you have an e-mail address that receives a very large amount of spam, consider replacing it with a new address and informing your contacts of the new address. Once you are on lots of spammers’ mailing lists, it is likely that the address will receive more and more spam.

• Make sure that your anti-virus software is up to date. Many viruses and Trojans scan the hard disk for e-mail addresses to send spam and viruses. Avoid spamming your colleagues by keeping your anti-virus software up to date.

• Use the firewall included with your operating system, or use a firewall from a reputable company, to avoid your computer being hacked or infected with a worm and used as a spam-sending zombie.

• Do not respond to e-mail requests to validate or confirm any of your account details. Your bank, credit card company, eBay, Paypal, etc., already have your account details, so would not need you to validate them. If you are unsure if a request for personal information from a company is legitimate, contact the company directly or type the Web site URL directly into your browser. Do not click on the links in the e-mail, as they may be fake links to phishing Web sites.

• Do not click on unusual links. Confirm the sender did send the e-mail if it looks suspicious.

• Never give out your login details to anyone.