Assisted Research Afternoon at the Los Angeles Family History Library


JGSLA members, is your research stuck in a rut? Brick walls to scale?
Searching for that elusive missing link on your family tree?
The JGSLA can help!  Join us for the JGSLA spring members-only


Sunday, April 7, 2013
1:00 PM – 6:00 PM

L.A. Family History Library
10741 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Los Angeles, CA 90025

Join us for an afternoon of mentor-guided research using the microfilms, books and records at the Family History Library.  Free document translations in Russian, Polish, Yiddish and Hebrew!

Knowledgeable JGSLA members will guide you at the computers and in the microfilm room. Use the abundant resources, including,, Fold3 (military records), FindMyPast (UK records), JewishGen and more. Bring your research notes, family trees, copies of documents and written questions so we can serve you better.

Join us for free classes and a Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) film screening:

1:45PM – 2:00PM: “IAJGS Boston Conference Preview”
Learn about the headline speakers and programs for this summer’s IAJGS Conference from August 4 -9.

2:00PM – 2:40PM: “Using the new JGSLA Members-only Databases”
Your JGSLA membership now provides access to Newspaper Archive, Jewish Data, Fold3, and the Godfrey Library. Learn about the riches of these databases, including cemetery photographs from many states, naturalization records, newspaper finds and how they can add to your research.
Speaker:  Pamela Weisberger is the program chair for the JGSLA and president and research coordinator for Gesher Galicia, a special interest group for people researching roots in the former Austrian Province of Galicia.

2:45PM – 3:45PM: “Finding & Using Records in Southern California”
Learn about the history of Southern California record-keeping at the state and county level, and how to acquire CA records and documents. Mara will discuss different resources and the best approaches to your California research.
Speaker:  Mara Fein, Ph.D., CG, earned her doctorate in English from the University of Southern California, has served as a grader for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) American Genealogy Home Study course. She is a member of the NGS, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles. She may be reached at:

4:00PM – 5:45PM: Yom HaShoah Screening: “Lala: Legacy of Silence”
In this poignant documentary film, filmmaker Catherine Galodé retraces her mother’s steps from growing up in Dobrzayn nad Drweca (Pomerania district of Poland) to her life in a concentration camp, escape from the train to Treblinka, and eventual flight to France. Buoyed by a set of old photographs carried by her mother, Galodé tries to understand the mystery surrounding her mother’s suicide and the role the Shoah played in it.
Speaker:  Samuel Prum has been pursuing genealogy since his retirement from a career in aerospace, where he worked on the development of satellites such as GPS, mobile communications systems, air traffic management, and large data management systems.  He is actively researching his family history, which includes Polish, Ukrainian, and Spanish (Sefardic) roots.  Sam’s father’s family comes from Dobrzyn nad Drweca, Poland, where Catherine’s mother, Lala was also born and raised.  Dobrzyn is a small town about 100 miles northwest of Warsaw in the Pomerania District of Polish Prussia.  Prior to the start of WWII, Dobrzyn had about 5000 inhabitants and was about fifty percent Jewish.  Today there are no Jews in Dobrzyn.


If you want to book a 30 minute translation appointment (from 1:00P – 5:00P) with Miriam Koral (Yiddish), Judith Springer (Polish & Russian) and/or Bracha Rappaport (Hebrew & headstones) please contact Pamela with your time preferences: BY Friday, April 5th!

You can bring food to eat in the lunchroom (there is a refrigerator and a microwave) and there are vending machines.


Back by popular demand, the JGSLA is offering decorative tins of the famous Barton’s kisses for a donation of $15.00. (These are kosher and each tin had 21 individually-wrapped pieces in them.) Limited supply, so if you wish to pre-order, please contact me. They will be available at the FHL on the 7th and the procedes go to support the JGSLA.


We hope that many of you will schedule your work to conclude by 4PM so you can view our special Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) screening  of “Lala: Legacy of Silence.”  Below is a bit more biographical information about JGSLA member, Sam Prum, and his relationship to those who made this film:

All of my family, except for two uncles and my father perished in the Holocaust.  My father immigrated to Mexico in December 1938, to join one brother already there.  A second brother, Stefan, survived the Holocaust in the underground, after escaping the Warsaw ghetto.  He was reunited with the remaining family in Mexico in 1947.

As part of my genealogical research into my family, I got to know Frank Dobia, another Holocaust survivor and former “Dobrzyner,” now living in Australia.  We struck a very close friendship; Frank actually had known my family and had also met my uncle Stefan in Dobrzyn after the war, when they both returned to Dobrzyn, seeking to find other survivors.

Frank is a cousin of Lala, Catherine’s mother. He is also seen in the film. Frank flew to Poland in 2010 as a guest of the German government to speak at the Commemoration of 65 years since the liberation of Buchenwald.  On his way back to Australia, he stopped in France and met with Catherine, who had just completed this film.  Frank offered to help her share this beautiful film with other interested people.  Frank asked me if I was interested in also sharing this film.  After watching it, it touched me very deeply; I felt it was a beautiful and meaningful work that deserved recognition.

It also turns out, though I did not know it at the time, that I had a connection with Lala’s brother, Idek, who is mentioned in the film. As it turns out, Idek and my father were good friends in Dobrzyn.  I recently found an exchange of letters between my father and Idek dated 1973; my father had actually visited Idek in Paris and they were elated to reconnect.  Sadly, Idek passed away a few years later, and my father passed away in 1994, before I knew any of this.

This meeting is for current JGSLA members, but you can join or renew at the door. This is fun, popular afternoon…and the perfect opportunity to get expert help or to begin your family research. Encourage your friends to join up and try us out.