Miami: World Jewish records, Dec. 2

Jerusalem-based genealogist Michael Goldstein will speak on “A Wealth of World Jewish Records,” at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami

The Sunday, December 2 meeting begins at 9.30am with a networking and brick wall session, followed by the main program at 10am, at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

Jewish genealogists around the globe seek information about their ancestors; few realize that one of the greatest sources for research lies in Israel.

Many people don’t know that Israeli archives and internet sites have amassed collections of historical and contemporary information about Jews around the world, including Poland, Russia, Spain and China. Even those who know that Israeli archives hold these ancestral information keys may not realize recent vast advances made in facilitating data access for worldwide research and finding Israeli family.

Goldstein will offer general guidelines about contacting and accessing Israeli archives. He will share interesting case studies and data on how family mysteries were solved by accessing lesser-known Israeli archives. Tips will be offered on finding Israeli-based shtetl tax rolls, migration records from Galicia to New York , ketubot from around the world, Polish vital records, Yad Vashem resources, and evidence of ancestral assets of those who never left Russia .

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

The Federation building is at 4200 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Picture ID required; for parking information, directions and more, click here.

Future meetings: Genealogy internet expert Steve Morse will speak to the group on Sunday, February 10.

Sephardic March of the Living, May 2008 – DATE CHANGE

The first Sephardic March of the Living will now take place May 12-19, 2008, and not as previously stated, announced historian and Sephardic researcher Yitzchak Kerem of Jerusalem.

Kerem envisions that Sephardic survivors will guide participants as they trace the path of the largest Sephardic Holocaust community – Salonika – to perish in the Holocaust, while future trips would focus on other destroyed Sephardic and Mizrahi Oriental communities.

This trip, he said, will bring together American, French and Israeli youth and university student groups, Greek Second and Third generation groups, and other interested Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews to Salonika (Thessaloniki, Greece), followed by visits to Warsaw, Auschwitz and Krakow to see the fate of the Salonika Jews. Public ceremonies will be held in Greece and Poland.

Anticipating 200-500 participants, Kerem, a noted historian on Greek and Sephardic Jewry in the Holocaust, is coordinating the trip with Inbar Tours of Ramat Gan, Israel. The subsidized price will be $1,200 per person, with funds and subsidies being sought.

The itinerary includes Salonika, followed by Warsaw, Auschwitz, Birkenau, Krakow, Treblinka and Athens.

Interested readers should first contact Kerem for the complete itinerary and other details (ykerem@actcom.co.il or kerems@actcom.co.il). For flight and deposit details, contact Rami Brickman (rami@inbartours.com).

Hooked on maps: Online resources

Ancestry’s new Historic Land Ownership Records database proved very interesting.

As Tracing the Tribe’s regular readers know, my grandparents Sidney (Shayeh) and Bertha (Chaye Feiga Bank) Fink owned a large bungalow colony in Kauneonga Lake, Bethel Township, Sullivan County, New York, about 10 miles from Monticello.

As I checked through the database, I saw that the only map covering White Lake and Bethel Township was from 1875, long before my grandparents’ land purchase. As I tried to figure out the road (it would become 17B) from Monticello to White Lake (where the Lapidus Bungalow Colony and the movie theatre were focal points in my day), I saw the right turn around the lake through Kauneonga, bearing left to West Shore Road.

I immediately recognized one owner’s name – Driscoll. The family had still owned the farm behind our property in the 1950s-60s. And I remembered that fateful day when a herd of cows – from Driscoll’s farm – escaped through a broken fence, across the baseball field and through the colony, scaring New York mothers as these “wild animals” wandered calmly, grazing.

Another name – W. Steen – was on a house approximately where my grandparents’ “big house” was located. I had never heard that name mentioned. But across the road was property belonging to the Van Orden family, an old Sullivan County family.

A visit to the Bethel Township website seemed like a good idea, and I learned that Bethel would celebrate its centennial in 2009. At the Sullivan County Historical Society website, I read the brief Bethel history by town historian Marion Vassmer, whose family I remembered from the old days.

I did remember large empty fields, which would become the White Lake Homes development in the 1960s – and a “haunted house” – on the Van Orden property, and the small Mud Lake (on the early map) had become Amber Lake in my time. We were admonished never to go near that place, allegedly because of the poisonous water moccasin snakes. I never saw one, but I also never went to find out – just the thought of snakes kept me far away.

Following many links I found, I discovered TopoZone, a detailed (complete with houses) map of the area, showing both my grandparents’ property (sold long ago) across the road from the subdivision. Comparing early and contemporary maps allowed me to pinpoint locations. Topo Zone offers a variety of resolutions and views that can be very useful.

I don’t know the history of my grandfather’s land purchase. Perhaps he bought his large piece of land directly from the Driscolls or from the Steen family, or had it already changed hands before his time? It’s something to research further.

Max Yasgur’s farm – the future site of Woodstock – up the road a bit wasn’t there as Max hadn’t arrived yet.

Enjoying this game of following the links, even though I had a number of pressing projects to address, I went downstate to Brooklyn, where my grandparents lived before moving permanently to Florida.

The most recent atlas listed at Ancestry was for 1929. I went first to Index 1 to see if I could find their East Flabush home on East 52nd Street, between Avenue D and Clarendon, a few blocks from Utica Avenue. I went first to Index 1, where a quick look showed I needed Index 2.

In the map that came up, I quickly located the names Utica Avenue and Avenue D on the Section 15 Flatbush map, but realized that East 52nd was in Section 24, the Canarsie map.

Unfortunately, section 24 is in Volume 4, and that’s not yet online.

I questioned Suzanne Russo Adams of Ancestry’s Professional Desk who referred me to Historic Map Works which is a great site for those enamoured of maps, and it is where Ancestry obtains their maps. If volume 4 were listed, I was told, it would eventually be in the database.

Full of hope, I clicked on the map site. Unfortunately, volumes 3 and 4 aren’t listed. There were other maps that might have contained useful information for this quest, but the particular pages needed were also missing from the online series.

Oh well.

As I always tell those searching for information online: If it isn’t there today, check tomorrow, next week or next month. While this particular map is not essential, it would have been nice to see and piece of the big picture to add to the file.

Miami: World Jewish records, Dec. 2

Jerusalem-based genealogist Michael Goldstein will speak on “A Wealth of World Jewish Records,” at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami

The Sunday, December 2 meeting begins at 9.30am with a networking and brick wall session, followed by the main program at 10am, at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

Jewish genealogists around the globe seek information about their ancestors; few realize that one of the greatest sources for research lies in Israel.

Many people don’t know that Israeli archives and internet sites have amassed collections of historical and contemporary information about Jews around the world, including Poland, Russia, Spain and China. Even those who know that Israeli archives hold these ancestral information keys may not realize recent vast advances made in facilitating data access for worldwide research and finding Israeli family.

Goldstein will offer general guidelines about contacting and accessing Israeli archives. He will share interesting case studies and data on how family mysteries were solved by accessing lesser-known Israeli archives. Tips will be offered on finding Israeli-based shtetl tax rolls, migration records from Galicia to New York , ketubot from around the world, Polish vital records, Yad Vashem resources, and evidence of ancestral assets of those who never left Russia .

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

The Federation building is at 4200 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Picture ID required; for parking information, directions and more, click here.

Future meetings: Genealogy internet expert Steve Morse will speak to the group on Sunday, February 10.

Sephardic March of the Living, May 2008 – DATE CHANGE

The first Sephardic March of the Living will now take place May 12-19, 2008, and not as previously stated, announced historian and Sephardic researcher Yitzchak Kerem of Jerusalem.

Kerem envisions that Sephardic survivors will guide participants as they trace the path of the largest Sephardic Holocaust community – Salonika – to perish in the Holocaust, while future trips would focus on other destroyed Sephardic and Mizrahi Oriental communities.

This trip, he said, will bring together American, French and Israeli youth and university student groups, Greek Second and Third generation groups, and other interested Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews to Salonika (Thessaloniki, Greece), followed by visits to Warsaw, Auschwitz and Krakow to see the fate of the Salonika Jews. Public ceremonies will be held in Greece and Poland.

Anticipating 200-500 participants, Kerem, a noted historian on Greek and Sephardic Jewry in the Holocaust, is coordinating the trip with Inbar Tours of Ramat Gan, Israel. The subsidized price will be $1,200 per person, with funds and subsidies being sought.

The itinerary includes Salonika, followed by Warsaw, Auschwitz, Birkenau, Krakow, Treblinka and Athens.

Interested readers should first contact Kerem for the complete itinerary and other details (ykerem@actcom.co.il or kerems@actcom.co.il). For flight and deposit details, contact Rami Brickman (rami@inbartours.com).

Hooked on maps: Online resources

Ancestry’s new Historic Land Ownership Records database proved very interesting.

As Tracing the Tribe’s regular readers know, my grandparents Sidney (Shayeh) and Bertha (Chaye Feiga Bank) Fink owned a large bungalow colony in Kauneonga Lake, Bethel Township, Sullivan County, New York, about 10 miles from Monticello.

As I checked through the database, I saw that the only map covering White Lake and Bethel Township was from 1875, long before my grandparents’ land purchase. As I tried to figure out the road (it would become 17B) from Monticello to White Lake (where the Lapidus Bungalow Colony and the movie theatre were focal points in my day), I saw the right turn around the lake through Kauneonga, bearing left to West Shore Road.

I immediately recognized one owner’s name – Driscoll. The family had still owned the farm behind our property in the 1950s-60s. And I remembered that fateful day when a herd of cows – from Driscoll’s farm – escaped through a broken fence, across the baseball field and through the colony, scaring New York mothers as these “wild animals” wandered calmly, grazing.

Another name – W. Steen – was on a house approximately where my grandparents’ “big house” was located. I had never heard that name mentioned. But across the road was property belonging to the Van Orden family, an old Sullivan County family.

A visit to the Bethel Township website seemed like a good idea, and I learned that Bethel would celebrate its centennial in 2009. At the Sullivan County Historical Society website, I read the brief Bethel history by town historian Marion Vassmer, whose family I remembered from the old days.

I did remember large empty fields, which would become the White Lake Homes development in the 1960s – and a “haunted house” – on the Van Orden property, and the small Mud Lake (on the early map) had become Amber Lake in my time. We were admonished never to go near that place, allegedly because of the poisonous water moccasin snakes. I never saw one, but I also never went to find out – just the thought of snakes kept me far away.

Following many links I found, I discovered TopoZone, a detailed (complete with houses) map of the area, showing both my grandparents’ property (sold long ago) across the road from the subdivision. Comparing early and contemporary maps allowed me to pinpoint locations. Topo Zone offers a variety of resolutions and views that can be very useful.

I don’t know the history of my grandfather’s land purchase. Perhaps he bought his large piece of land directly from the Driscolls or from the Steen family, or had it already changed hands before his time? It’s something to research further.

Max Yasgur’s farm – the future site of Woodstock – up the road a bit wasn’t there as Max hadn’t arrived yet.

Enjoying this game of following the links, even though I had a number of pressing projects to address, I went downstate to Brooklyn, where my grandparents lived before moving permanently to Florida.

The most recent atlas listed at Ancestry was for 1929. I went first to Index 1 to see if I could find their East Flabush home on East 52nd Street, between Avenue D and Clarendon, a few blocks from Utica Avenue. I went first to Index 1, where a quick look showed I needed Index 2.

In the map that came up, I quickly located the names Utica Avenue and Avenue D on the Section 15 Flatbush map, but realized that East 52nd was in Section 24, the Canarsie map.

Unfortunately, section 24 is in Volume 4, and that’s not yet online.

I questioned Suzanne Russo Adams of Ancestry’s Professional Desk who referred me to Historic Map Works which is a great site for those enamoured of maps, and it is where Ancestry obtains their maps. If volume 4 were listed, I was told, it would eventually be in the database.

Full of hope, I clicked on the map site. Unfortunately, volumes 3 and 4 aren’t listed. There were other maps that might have contained useful information for this quest, but the particular pages needed were also missing from the online series.

Oh well.

As I always tell those searching for information online: If it isn’t there today, check tomorrow, next week or next month. While this particular map is not essential, it would have been nice to see and piece of the big picture to add to the file.