November 2007

Logo-dark blue


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

November 2007

· Sunday, November 18, 2007, 1:00 pm ·

1:00PM – 1:30PM: Socialize and view the JGSLA Spiszman Traveling Library.
Michael Goldstein will also be available during this time to do limited Yiddish translations and deciphering of Matseva. Sign up will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
1:30PM: A Wealth of World Jewish Records: Researching in Israel
Lecture: Genealogists seek information about their ancestors, yet few realize that one of the places to research is in Israel. It is not well known that over the years Israeli archives and internet sites have developed collections of historical and contemporary information about Jews from around the world, including Poland, Russia, Spain and China. Even those who know that Israeli archives hold the keys to solving family mysteries may not realize that advances have been made in easing access to data for worldwide research and finding Israeli family. This presentation will offer general guidelines about contacting and accessing Israeli archives. We will also share interesting case studies and data on how family mysteries were solved by accessing some lesser-known, wonderful Israeli archives.

Speaker: Michael Goldstein, born in Canada, is a Jerusalem-based genealogist who researches, mentors, lectures, and conducts workshops in Israel and North America. He carries out worldwide Jewish research and guides North Americans in locating and connecting with their Israeli family, facilitating the use of local Israeli research sources. Goldstein holds a BA from Concordia University and an MSW from Yeshiva University. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, The Israel Genealogical Society and Jewish Genealogy Society of Montreal.

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. During construction, use rear entrance. Wheelchair access at side of building. Free for JGSLA members, $5 for others. Parking is free.

Call for Volunteers!
Sonia Hoffman, Nominating Committee ChairOur society is able to provide programming, publications, and to promote the study of Jewish genealogy because of the efforts of many volunteers who participate in a variety of ways. There are twelve elected directors on our board, with three terms expiring each year. This year, we are looking for four new directors. The nominating committee would like to hear from anyone who is interested in helping to plan the direction of the society, and who is willing to take on a specific responsibility, perhaps shared with another member or a committee. The slate of nominees will be announced at our November 18th meeting, and additional nominations from the floor may be made. The election will take place at our December meeting and new terms begin in January.
We would like to hear from you regarding any level of involvement that would interest you. There are specific
tasks that we need to match up with board members. For 2008, we are in need of a secretary. This involves taking notes at board meetings and distributing them to the board members via email. We need one or two people to handle publicity and public relations. We are looking for a website content editor also. Your specific interests, skills, and experience may mesh well with other board member responsibilities. Basic computer skills necessary for communication include email and the ability to send and download documents and spreadsheets (Excel) and access to the Internet. Contact Sonia at News
Our best to Charlotte and Harry Rutta who celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Ethan Banton, son of daughter Lori and son-in-law Brian Banton on September 29, 2007.
Searching Ancestry
Hal Bookbinder, includes 3,755 databases containing an estimated 4.7 billion names. 75% of the names are in the fifteen largest databases.

Database Est’d Names
U.S. Public Records Index 1,019,527,951
U.S. Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002 862,075,365
Ancestry World Tree 467,671,004
British Phone Books, 1880-1984 Releases 1-3 206,694,086
Message Boards 187,478,190
1930 United States Federal Census 124,450,859
1920 United States Federal Census 107,408,901
Canadian Phone and Address Directories, 1995-2002 94,272,273
1910 United States Federal Census 93,399,001
New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 82,859,460
Social Security Death Index 80,123,723
1900 United States Federal Census 76,530,837
England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index: 1837-1983 62,749,156
Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 51,306,945
1880 United States Federal Census 50,475,325

An interesting way to search “U.S. Immigration Collection,” is by the name of your Eastern European shtetls. Try just entering the shtetl’s name in the ‘keyword’ field and then scanning the results for family names. I entered “Dubno” and it returned 723 records. For some it was the surname. But, for many it was the town. I also entered “Dubna,” which is a common alternate spelling and this returned 124 more records. Try it for your town. If you have been having difficulty finding relatives in the “U.S. Federal Census Collection” by their surname, try using the “advanced search options” and entering just the given names of the husband and wife or parent and child, along with whatever location information you can provide. While the Family History Center no longer provides access to Ancestry, the Los Angeles Public Library, UCLA, and the Thousand Oaks Libraries do maintain library subscriptions. They may only be accessed on site at these libraries. The Los Angeles County Library System does not have such a subscription. You can obtain a trial subscription for free. But, be sure to cancel before the trial period ends or your credit card will be charged for the annual subscription.

New Ukrainian Research Service Launched
From Nu? What’s New?The Alberta (Canada) Community Development has announced they have received funding for an Alberta-Ukraine Genealogical Project that, in part, will provide genealogical research services in much of western Ukraine. David Makowsky, office coordinator for the project, has informed me that the service is not limited to persons in Alberta but is available to anyone, worldwide. The project evolved from the signing of Memorandums of Understanding on Cooperation between the Government of Alberta and the Ivano-Frankivsk and L’viv oblasts. Alberta is a region of Canada where many Ukrainians settled. Inquiries may be sent to the Alberta genealogical research office by e-mail, at []. Additional information can be found at [ heritagevillage/gene/Alberta-UkraineLaunch.php].Latvian Cemetery Database Now Online
From Nu? What’s New?

Alexandrs Feigmanis, a professional genealogist in Latvia—and Avotaynu Contributing Editor for Latvia—has posted to his web site, [], a Latvian cemetery database. It includes about 70 percent of Latvian Jewish tombstones from the period 1760 to 1950. The database includes more than 4,200 Jewish tombstones from Aizpute, Auce, Balvi, Bauska, Cesis (Wenden), Daugavpils (Dvinsk), Demene, Jaunjelgava (Friedrichstadt), Gostini (Dankere), Griva, Grobin, Ikskile, Jekabpils (Jakobstadt), Karsava, Kraslava, Krustpils, Kuldiga, Piltene, Limbazi (Lemsal), Livani, Ludza (Lutzin), Piltene, Preili, Rezekne, Riebini, Riga, Rujena, Sabile, Saldus, Skaistkalne (Schoenberg), Smiltene, Subate, Talsi, Tukums, Valdemarpils (Sassmaken), Valka, Valmiera, Varaklani, Ventspils (Windau), Vilani and Zilupe. The tombstones from the large Liepaja (Libau) Jewish cemetery are not included in this list, but are available on the website [].

Lodz Ghetto Work ID Cards to Be Indexed
From Nu? What’s New?

JewishGen is looking for volunteers to help index an estimated 23,000 Work Identification Cards from the Lodz ghetto. These cards are on microfilm at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. When completed it will become a part of the JewishGen Holocaust database at [] which currently has more than 1.8 million entries from more than 100 data sets. If you are interested in volunteering for the project, contact Roni Seibel Liebowitz at []. Additional information about the project can be found at [].

The above selections were culled from Nu? What’s New? by Bobby Furst. Thanks, Bobby. To subscribe to Nu? What’s New, go to [].

New York Times Article Archive
Renee Steinig to JewishGen DigestThe New York Times has searchable archives of their 13 million articles from 1851 to the present. Text of articles from 1851 to 1987 is free. See the website for details: []. This development will be welcomed by researchers without access to the ProQuest New York Times Historical Database, which is available at research libraries. Note however that searches on the Times website sometimes produce fewer results than in the ProQuest database. In some trial searches I just did, the Times website search did not bring up such notices as “Real Estate Transfers,” “The Building Department,” “Out of Town,” “Court Calendars,” and “Business Troubles” — all of which can be the source of interesting tidbits about family members. Also, search technique is different in the two databases. On ProQuest, I often search using the expression “w/1;” for example, searching for Sadie w/1 Steinig will bring up only articles in which the name Sadie is found within one word of Steinig — and not the many other articles where Sadie is on one part of the page and Steinig elsewhere (e.g. in two different death notices). On the Times site, searching for my late Aunt Sadie this way yielded zero results; on ProQuest, it brought up five death notices, all of interest.Chicago Area Records soon to be Online

Alan H. Simon Cook County, Illinois (Chicago and suburbs) has finished digitizing 24 million vital records filed since the October 8, 1871 Chicago fire destroyed all previous records. The Cook County Clerk anticipates having them available on-line in January, 2008. For genealogists, records will be searchable on-line by your relative’s name to see if they exist, and then can be downloaded for a fee. These uncertified records will be stamped. “For Genealogical Purposes Only.” To be available through this process, under Illinois law, birth certificates have to be older than 75 years; marriage certificates older than 50 years; and death certificates older than 20 years. Keep checking the Cook County Clerk’s website for the beginning of this service: [ genealogy_requests.asp?VR=2].

Family History Library Website
Barbara Algaze

There is something new on []. Right on the front page is a link to: “Jewish Family History Resources.” When you click on to the link you will find detailed information about “Records and Databases,” “Related Websites,” “Getting Started,” and copies of downloadable forms with an emphasis on Jewish research.

What is a SIG?
Barbara AlgazeSIGs are made up of researchers who share a common interest which could be geographical (i.e. France, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, etc.) or another area of interest (Rabbinic genealogy, Sephardic, or DNA testing). The purpose of a SIG is twofold: 1) To share information. Members of the SIG will post messages to the SIG forum which may include questions, finds and research hints. Each member receives a copy of all messages posted to the SIG forum. Questions are often answered by other members of the SIG; either directly to the individual who posted it or as a posting on the SIG. 2) To research and make available materials and data bases on the JewishGen website that are pertinent to their own area of interest. To this end, members of the SIG donate money and volunteer their services for translation, data input and proof reading.Most SIGs are operated as JewishGen projects. Some, like JRI Poland and Litvak SIG are independent. BOF (Birds of a Feather) usually refers to a smaller group of people researching a particular shtetl or town. You can sign up for most SIGs and BOFs through JewishGen. Go to: [].

To check out what databases and research is available in your area of interest, check out the home page of the SIG that interests you. Go to the Jewish Gen homepage and click on to where it says “SIGs” on the top of the page. To do a search of all archived SIG messages go to: [].

Practicing Safe Computing: Viruses, Worms and Trojan Horses

Hal Bookbinder

All three are considered “malware” (malicious software) and all can create havoc with your computer. The primary difference between viruses and worms is how they travel. Viruses travel as passengers on a host, like an email. Worms are self-replicating and search you out, forwarding themselves to your computer without any action on your part. Trojan horses appear to be harmless. But, while playing a tune or doing something else which appears to be harmless; they install a virus on your computer. So, what can you do to protect yourself?

  1. Maintain current anti-virus protection
  2. Ensure that it regularly checks for updates
  3. Download and install security updates
  4. Establish a hardware or software firewall
  5. Set security to at least “medium,” maybe “high”
  6. Turn off automatic opening of emails
  7. Don’t open unknown emails or attachments
  8. Don’t click on links unless confident about them
  9. Be very selective in accepting free “offers”
  10. Only download software from trusted sources
  11. Buy a Macintosh (no joke, they rarely get infected)