November 2006

Logo-dark blue


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

November 2006

· Program for Thursday, November 16, 2006·
7:30 p.m. – Skirball Cultural Center

The Genealogist as a Detective: Mining the Records of HIAS & YIVO

Valery Bazarov, Family History Specialist, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

From the first flood of Eastern European Jewry in the 1880s to the rescue of the remaining Jews of Iraq during the last conflict, The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society has been instrumental in bringing about four million Jews to the U.S. During the Holocaust, HIAS played a major role in an organized rescue operation, working in territories occupied by the Nazis, and after the war, it was instrumental in bringing thousands of displaced Jews to the States. In the 1970s it facilitated the massive exodus of Jews from the Soviet Union. But how can a genealogical researcher make use of these records to learn more about relatives who might have been helped by HIAS? Mr. Bazarov will show how genealogy and detective investigation have more than a superficial similarity, and how, with the help of archival documents, one can fill in the blanks and reconnect with missing family. In addition to offering case studies he will demonstrate the scope of HIAS and YIVO archives so researchers can learn the best methods for beginning their own research.

Valery Bazarov was born in Russia in 1942 and immigrated to the United States in 1988. He holds two graduate degrees from Odessa State University (1969) and Hunter College of the City University of New York (1994). He joined the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in 1988 and over the next decade assisted the arrival of more than 200,000 Jewish refugees who came to the United States under HIAS auspices. He is currently responsible for the HIAS Location and Family History Service, helping immigrants of different generations find family members and friends – often in other countries – with whom they have lost contact over the years…sometimes, decades. He is especially committed to finding and honoring the heroes who rescued European Jews during the Holocaust. Mr. Bazarov also researches HIAS history, presents his findings in lectures and publications, and is a frequent lecturer at the international seminars on Jewish genealogy. He travels frequently to Eastern Europe (Poland and Ukraine) where he works in various archives to locate documents related directly to HIAS activities, spanning the last 100 years.

7:30 p.m. – JGSLA Nominations for Board of Directors
Directors are elected to three-year terms, with the terms of 1/3rd of the directors expiring each year. The Nominating Committee will present a slate of recommended candidates for election to the JGSLA Board of Directors. Additional nominations may be made from the floor during the November membership meeting. Elections will be held at the December meeting, with newly elected directors assuming office effective January 1, 2007. If you are interested in a floor nomination, please refer to the JGSLA Bylaws, which you can find posted at [] or contact Sonia Hoffman or Nancy Biederman.

Location: Skirball Cultural Center, Magnin Auditorium, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles 90049
Exit the San Diego Fwy. at Skirball Center Dr. Turn right onto Sepulveda Blvd. and right again into Skirball parking, opposite Center entrance; or turn left on Herscher Drive, north of the Center, to the underground parking lot.

Please Note: The Skirball’s exhibitions are open and free of charge from 12:00 noon to 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays. So, come early to tour the galleries and to enjoy a light dinner from the Skirball food cart prior to the JGSLA program. The current exhibit is, “On the Couch: Cartoons From the New York” and “Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America.” For more details go to:

Attendance Fees: No fee for JGSLA members; $5.00 for guests, which can be applied to annual membership dues. New memberships will extend through December 31, 2007.

2006 IAJGS Achievement Awards
Hal Bookbinder []
Each year, the IAJGS makes a series of awards recognizing excellence within the Jewish genealogical community. The 2006 awards were presented during the banquet at the recent Conference in New York City.

IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award – to Stephen P. Morse for his versatile ‘One-Step’ programs which have become essential tools for thousands of Jewish genealogists.

Outstanding Contribution to Jewish Genealogy via the Internet, Print or Electronic Product – to Ada Green for her devoted and meticulous efforts to record burials in Jewish cemeteries in the New York City area and beyond.

Outstanding Programming or Project that Advances the Objectives of Jewish Genealogy – to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia for creating searchable online databases of Philadelphia’s Blitzstein and Lipshutz “ethnic bank” records.

Outstanding Publication by a Member Organization of IAJGS – to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston for the excellence of its quarterly journal MASS-POCHA.

For a complete history of the honorees over the years, please go to [] and click on “IAJGS Awards.”

JewishGen InfoFiles
Bobby Furst

If you haven’t explored JewishGen’s InfoFiles you will find that they provide valuable information on a wide variety of topics:

Basics, Books & Periodicals, Cemeteries, Genealogical Techniques, Genealogists, Genetics, Holocaust, Immigration, Internet Sources, JewishGen Resources, Libraries & Archives, Military, Miscellaneous, LDS (Mormon) Resources, Names, Postal Matters, Preservation, Rabbinic, Seminars, Sephardim, Social Security, Special Interest Groups, Translation, Travel and Vital Records.

Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latin America, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russian Empire, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.

Check it out at: []

Immigration to Canada
Charlotte Rutta
Information about Canadian passenger lists and how to access them can be found on the Canadian Genealogy Centre Web site [] under Sources by Topic: Immigration. Microfilm reel numbers are provided. Reels may be borrowed by any library or institution, within and outside Canada, equipped with a microfilm reader. Requests for loan must be submitted by the borrowing institution and must include the Library and Archives Canada microfilm reel numbers. Details about the Interlibrary Loan service can be found at: []

Missouri Death Certificates
Jan Meisels Allen

The Missouri Death Certificate Database, containing death records created after 1910 and over 50 years old, makes that information available online through a searchable index that links to a digitized image of the original death certificate. The index can be searched by first name and last name, county, and by year and month. Once a name is selected, a digitized image of the original certificate can be retrieved. This is an ongoing project and additional records will be added as they are transcribed and imaged. Images for certificates from 1910-1926 are already available online. The Missouri State Archives anticipates having images up to 1930 available in November 2006. If the image of the certificate is not yet available researchers can request a photocopy of the certificate by contacting the Archives Reference Desk. For death certificates less than 50 years old please contact the Missouri Bureau of Vital Records. If you have questions or comments about these records, please contact the Missouri State Archives at For more information, please go to: []

Massachusetts Deaths
Nancy Biederman

The Massachusetts Archives recently published a searchable index to Massachusetts’ deaths between 1841-1910. Each index entry may include the person’s first and last name, the town or city where the event occurred, the year, volume number, and page number. The database is searchable by first and last names, year, and location. Check it out at: []

Volunteers to assist with the JGSLA website
David Hoffman []

We are in the process of reorganizing the JGSLA website, including incorporating much of the information gathered under the leadership of Nancy Holden for the Roots-Key companion website on Jewish LA. We need help to update information on Los Angeles genealogical resources and check information. No web writing experience necessary. If you would be willing to help in this effort, please contact me for more specific information.

Unique Channukah Gift

Consider giving a membership in the JGSLA. For a nominal cost, the recipient will receive our award winning journal, RootsKey for a full year, be invited to informative meetings throughout the year, and be able to participate in the many projects and activities that make the JGSLA a very special organization. Give the gift of discovering oneself by discovering one’s family history.

Consider Serving the JGSLA and Yourself

The JGSLA Board consists of 12 elected directors. Each year, one-third of their terms expire. Each September, a nominating committee is formed to develop a slate of recommended candidates to join, or continue to serve, on the board. Nominations are then determined at the November general meeting and elections are conducted in December. New board members begin their three-year term on January 1st.

As a member of the board, you will be helping others pursue their Jewish roots by deciding on the programming, projects, library and resource acquisitions, community participation and other activities of the JGSLA.

Board members meet on a monthly basis. Each board member assumes a role on behalf of the society, including such things as publicity, programming, projects, newsletter, librarian, etc. These roles are critically important for the successful continuity of the organization. It also places the board member in a great position to be aware of what is going on in the world of Jewish Genealogy, its latest resources and its challenges.

If you are interested in serving, please drop a note to Sonia Hoffman [] or Nancy Beiderman [].

Facts From the Stacks
Barbara Algaze []

We have three new items on our shelves:
* San Francisco Bay Area Resource Guide
* Lithuanian Jewish Culture by David Katz
* Syllabus of the 26th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, New York ,2006

The first two items were purchased through the JGSLA Library fund. Sonia and David Hoffman donated the third. If you have any questions or recommendations regarding our library collection, feel free to contact me by email, or drop by the Family History Center any Tuesday from 1 p.m – 5 p.m.

Share Your Hints and News

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, Dates & Updates Editor [].

Boston Passenger Manifests
Bobby Furst
Boston passenger manifests, 1848-1891 can be searched at: [ festSearch.asp]. There is no soundex support at this time.

Colorado State Archives
From RootsWeb Review

The Colorado State Archives include unique items, such as voter registrations, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Enrollment Index, inheritance tax, and old-age pensions: []

Pennsylvania State Archives – Military Records
From RootsWeb Review

The Pennsylvania State Archives include various military records, including the Pennsylvania National Guard Veterans’ Card File, 1867-1921; World War I Service Medal Application Cards and Mexican Border Campaign Veterans’ Card File: [ /overview.htm]

Google archives old newspapers
As posted to JewishGen Discussion Group

Google has just added a news archive (hundreds of US newspapers dating back 80 years that have been optically scanned). Over 43 million pages have been scanned and are searchable by keyword. One has to pay $5/month to print out the PDF file of the optically scanned newspaper. []. The search section is free. The coverage is not full and the OCR (optical character recognition) isn’t perfect but this could be a valuable resource.

5th Cemetery in New York City Area Goes Online
From Nu, What’s New

Mt. Ararat Cemetery, located in Lindenhurst, New York, has placed its 45,000 burials online. This is the fifth New York-area Jewish cemetery to make their burials available on the Internet. See []. Previous listings are Mt. Carmel Cemetery at []; Mt. Hebron Cemetery at [] and Mt. Zion Cemetery at [] (all in Queens, NY), and Mt. Moriah Cemetery (Fairview, NJ) at [].

Member News

Our best wishes to Robert and Marlene Sherins on the birth of their second granddaughter, Kyra Muriel Hofinger, who arrived in Vienna on August 30, 2006.

JGSLA welcomes the following new members:

Grant A. Gochin
Laura Herzbrun Stotler
Susan T. Wolfson
Ethel McClatchey
Thomas Rogers
Arlene Winkler