Ancestor Approved: 10 things about my ancestors

Tracing the Tribe has received the Ancestor Approved award from Pat and Judy, the GenealogyGals.

Their blog is a joint effort.

Award recipients are supposed to report on 10 things learned about our ancestors that have surprised, humbled, or enlightened us, and then pass along the award to 10 more genealogy bloggers who are doing their ancestors proud.

1. Surprised: At the life of my maternal great-grandmother Riva BANK TALALAY – born in a shtetl outside Kovno – who was ran away to the Gypsies – so the story goes – to avoid a disliked marriage. Along the way, she learned herbal healing, midwifery, reading tarot cards and palmistry. When she did marry Aron Peretz Talalay and moved to his agricultural colony Vorotinschtina, some 12 miles southwest of Mogilev, Belarus, she was known for creating the first closet in the shtetl. In Newark, New Jersey, she was also a midwife and healer and well-known for getting her way to make living better for her family.

2. Surprised: That the generation-to-generation one-liner – “This was our name in Spain” – has been corroborated by archival research in Spain and DNA genetic testing.

3. Enlightened: Our TALALAY family’s first immigrant ancestor met an English-speaker on the boat over in 1898 who advised him to change his name as no one would give a job to Mr. Tell-a-lie. Thus TOLLIN, TALLIN, TAYLOR, TOLL, TALL and – of course – those lost Philadelphia FEINSTEINs, came about.

4. Enlightened: My maternal FINK (Suchostaw, Galicia -> Ukraine) grandfather and his brothers had a large building maintenance company in New York City. Once, during a window-cleaners’ strike, a worker was quoted as calling his employers, “those rats, the FINKs.” According to family story, the term “rat-fink” was born.

5. Surprised: On hearing that my mother, as a teen, used to swim across Kauneonga Lake (Catskills, Sullivan County, about 10 miles from Monticello) frequently. It is a very large lake!

6. Humbled: To have found at least one lost branch of the Dardashti family, and thus fulfilling a request of my husband’s eldest aunt Nane-jan – made more than 35 years ago in Teheran – to find the lost branches (descendants of relatives who became Moslem) and tell them that they had cousins who thought about them all the time.

7. Humbled: To think about the difficulties Nane-jan underwent as the first Jewish girl to go to school in Teheran in 1902. The community stopped buying from her father, a butcher, and she endured taunts and attacks on her way to school. All her sisters also went to school, with some of them becoming French teachers. It wasn’t easy being a father with such advanced enlightened thinking in those days.

8. Frequently flabbergasted when thinking of our newly-connected TALALAY-KATSNELSON relatives (from Bobruisk, Belarus) in Melbourne, Australia. Their eldest daughter Nelly is a journalist and her daughter is Miliana. I’m Schelly, a journalist and our daughter is Liana. Do you also hear Twilight Zone music?

9. Surprised at how much cousin Leon in Melbourne and I resemble each other. His mother was a Talalay whose father (Gamshei) had moved (reasons still unknown) from Mogilev to Bobruisk.

10. Still shocked: My late cousin Victor Talalay (Toronto) and I both located information about the family branch in Israel at the same time, decades ago, when we separately visited Israel and found the data in the English phone book. We each dutifully copied the info and held onto the scraps of paper with name, address and phone number for decades. I finally wrote and located the granddaughter as her grandfather, who placed the entry every year, had died only a year or so prior. He had placed the info in the English phone book every year hoping that US relatives would find it and contact him. He had arrived from Berlin (after leaving Mogilev in 1902 and going to London and Germany) to Israel in 1933. Moral: Never procrastinate when it comes to following up on all clues to family history.

Since I am coming into this award late – procrastination still runs in our family – and I believe almost all bloggers have already been tagged, I am awarding this coveted prize to everyone who has not already been noted.

True Confessions of a Jewish Genealogist

Randy Seaver at Geneamusings often challenges us with interesting topics on his Saturday Night challenge. The assignment is to answer these questions about our genealogy life:

1. When did you start genealogy research? 1989.

2. Why did you start doing research? As most readers know by now, my daughter brought home a one-page Hebrew School assignment asking her to write the names of several generations of family: “Even your great-grandparents.” That weekend, we attended a lifecycle celebration in my husband’s huge Persian family in Los Angeles. We began asking questions and before we knew it, we came home with several hundred cocktail napkins covered with family information back to the 1800s, supplied by some of the family’s “walking encyclopedias.” Our daughter turned to me and said that now we had to do my side of the family.

3. What was your first big success in research? With my daughter, I visited the Santa Monica (California) Family History Center and went through reels of microfilm. We found the first written evidence of our Talalay family in the New York arrival record of my great-grandmother. That made the quest very real for me, and also very important, because there were few people to ask.

4. What is your biggest genealogy regret? A small one: While doing research for a high school history project at the New York Public Library, I found a postcard stuck in a book (name forgotten) written by my grandfather to his sister. Instead of taking the postcard, which was not library property, I replaced it, and merely told my family about it when I came home. Everyone said I should have brought it home.

The regret category winner is this one: A long, long time ago (way before the Internet, before email, before cellphones), when we were living in Teheran and I had never heard of genealogy, I visited Israel, as we frequently did in those days.

On a whim, I checked the English language phone book for what I had always heard was our original name, Talalay. Shockingly, there was a listing for Avram Talalay, a carpenter/furniture maker – the same profession that ran in our family. I took down all the details and the phone number but never called.

For some reason, I thought he would only speak Hebrew or Yiddish, neither of which I knew. The idea of asking the hotel’s front desk to run interference simply never occured to me. Yes, yes, I know – you’re shaking your heads, muttering that youth is wasted on the young. I agree.

The scrap of paper was put away, only to be discovered decades later while we were moving from Los Angeles to Nevada (after I had recently discovered genealogy).

Fast forward another huge chunk of time, when I was working with a new-found cousin in Toronto, the late Victor Talalay, on putting together the pieces of our family. I mentioned my scrap of paper, Victor said “hold on.” I heard rustling of papers, drawers opening and closing. “Is this the information you found?” he asked, reading me the same exact information. Victor had been in Israel around the same time and found the same information. He hadn’t called either.

As soon as I got off the phone with Victor, I wrote to the address in Israel. Very soon I received a letter from the granddaughter saying that her grandfather had died very recently, but that other relatives were there.

I sat on an important family connection for decades, as had Victor. It never occurred to us that it was strange that in a Hebrew-speaking country, our relative had chosen the option to place his name and details in the English directory. The granddaughter told me that her grandfather had always hoped relatives would come looking for him so that’s why he made sure to list the information. Two of us were there and found the listing, neither of us called. Her grandfather died without hearing from anyone. I cried for weeks.

The moral of this sad tale: Never procrastinate, never wait. Always follow up on the smallest details as soon as is humanly possible. What this story proved: Our family, despite being separated by time and geography, share the procrastination and packrat genes.

5. What are you best known for in the genealogy world? Blogging Jewish genealogy, beginning a discussion about the Sephardic origins of an increasing number of Ashkenazi families, writing about Jewish genealogy in general audience newspapers and magazines.

6. What is your professional status in genealogy? Not certified, but thinking about it – if there is ever enough time. I don’t take clients, but refer people to friends working in those particular fields.

7. What is your biggest genealogy achievement? Two major achievements: 1. Genealogy columnist at the Jerusalem Post (1999-2005, “It’s All Relative”) which garnered an international readership for the twice-monthly column in print and online, bringing genealogy to a wide general readership, most of whom had never heard the term. 2. Being asked by JTA (thank you, Andy Neusner!) to start blogging with Tracing the Tribe, which has racked up (since August 2006) 1,822 published posts (average about two per day, but actually sometimes as many as five or six!), with many more in draft.

8. What is the most FUN you’ve had doing genealogy? Meeting geneablogger colleagues at the Southern California Genealogical Society 2008 Jamboree. Genealogically speaking, two events qualify. 1. Discovering the “lost” Bombay branch of the Dardashti family here in Israel, and 2. Finding a 1353 document (thank you, Maria Jose!) in a Spanish archive for our Sephardic-rooted Talalay family.

9. What is your favorite genealogy how-to book? All books hinging on either Ashkenazi or Sephardi genealogy, ancestry and how-to, such as Dr. Jeffrey S. Malka’s “Sephardic Genealogy.”

10. What notable genealogist would you like to meet someday? I would have liked to meet Rabbi Malcolm Stern, who is called the father of modern Jewish genealogy and whose research on early American Jewish families is essential material.

Thanks, Randy, for this suggestion!

True Confessions of a Jewish Genealogist

Randy Seaver at Geneamusings often challenges us with interesting topics on his Saturday Night challenge. The assignment is to answer these questions about our genealogy life:

1. When did you start genealogy research? 1989.

2. Why did you start doing research? As most readers know by now, my daughter brought home a one-page Hebrew School assignment asking her to write the names of several generations of family: “Even your great-grandparents.” That weekend, we attended a lifecycle celebration in my husband’s huge Persian family in Los Angeles. We began asking questions and before we knew it, we came home with several hundred cocktail napkins covered with family information back to the 1800s, supplied by some of the family’s “walking encyclopedias.” Our daughter turned to me and said that now we had to do my side of the family.

3. What was your first big success in research? With my daughter, I visited the Santa Monica (California) Family History Center and went through reels of microfilm. We found the first written evidence of our Talalay family in the New York arrival record of my great-grandmother. That made the quest very real for me, and also very important, because there were few people to ask.

4. What is your biggest genealogy regret? A small one: While doing research for a high school history project at the New York Public Library, I found a postcard stuck in a book (name forgotten) written by my grandfather to his sister. Instead of taking the postcard, which was not library property, I replaced it, and merely told my family about it when I came home. Everyone said I should have brought it home.

The regret category winner is this one: A long, long time ago (way before the Internet, before email, before cellphones), when we were living in Teheran and I had never heard of genealogy, I visited Israel, as we frequently did in those days.

On a whim, I checked the English language phone book for what I had always heard was our original name, Talalay. Shockingly, there was a listing for Avram Talalay, a carpenter/furniture maker – the same profession that ran in our family. I took down all the details and the phone number but never called.

For some reason, I thought he would only speak Hebrew or Yiddish, neither of which I knew. The idea of asking the hotel’s front desk to run interference simply never occured to me. Yes, yes, I know – you’re shaking your heads, muttering that youth is wasted on the young. I agree.

The scrap of paper was put away, only to be discovered decades later while we were moving from Los Angeles to Nevada (after I had recently discovered genealogy).

Fast forward another huge chunk of time, when I was working with a new-found cousin in Toronto, the late Victor Talalay, on putting together the pieces of our family. I mentioned my scrap of paper, Victor said “hold on.” I heard rustling of papers, drawers opening and closing. “Is this the information you found?” he asked, reading me the same exact information. Victor had been in Israel around the same time and found the same information. He hadn’t called either.

As soon as I got off the phone with Victor, I wrote to the address in Israel. Very soon I received a letter from the granddaughter saying that her grandfather had died very recently, but that other relatives were there.

I sat on an important family connection for decades, as had Victor. It never occurred to us that it was strange that in a Hebrew-speaking country, our relative had chosen the option to place his name and details in the English directory. The granddaughter told me that her grandfather had always hoped relatives would come looking for him so that’s why he made sure to list the information. Two of us were there and found the listing, neither of us called. Her grandfather died without hearing from anyone. I cried for weeks.

The moral of this sad tale: Never procrastinate, never wait. Always follow up on the smallest details as soon as is humanly possible. What this story proved: Our family, despite being separated by time and geography, share the procrastination and packrat genes.

5. What are you best known for in the genealogy world? Blogging Jewish genealogy, beginning a discussion about the Sephardic origins of an increasing number of Ashkenazi families, writing about Jewish genealogy in general audience newspapers and magazines.

6. What is your professional status in genealogy? Not certified, but thinking about it – if there is ever enough time. I don’t take clients, but refer people to friends working in those particular fields.

7. What is your biggest genealogy achievement? Two major achievements: 1. Genealogy columnist at the Jerusalem Post (1999-2005, “It’s All Relative”) which garnered an international readership for the twice-monthly column in print and online, bringing genealogy to a wide general readership, most of whom had never heard the term. 2. Being asked by JTA (thank you, Andy Neusner!) to start blogging with Tracing the Tribe, which has racked up (since August 2006) 1,822 published posts (average about two per day, but actually sometimes as many as five or six!), with many more in draft.

8. What is the most FUN you’ve had doing genealogy? Meeting geneablogger colleagues at the Southern California Genealogical Society 2008 Jamboree. Genealogically speaking, two events qualify. 1. Discovering the “lost” Bombay branch of the Dardashti family here in Israel, and 2. Finding a 1353 document (thank you, Maria Jose!) in a Spanish archive for our Sephardic-rooted Talalay family.

9. What is your favorite genealogy how-to book? All books hinging on either Ashkenazi or Sephardi genealogy, ancestry and how-to, such as Dr. Jeffrey S. Malka’s “Sephardic Genealogy.”

10. What notable genealogist would you like to meet someday? I would have liked to meet Rabbi Malcolm Stern, who is called the father of modern Jewish genealogy and whose research on early American Jewish families is essential material.

Thanks, Randy, for this suggestion!

Meme: 99 – now 104 – genealogy items

Becky at Kinnexions has created a genealogy meme, now expanded from the basic 99 to 104 items with the help of other geneablogger colleagues.

The rules say each item should be annotated:
Things already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (color optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

1 Belong to a genealogical society.
2 Researched records onsite at a court house.
3 Transcribed records.
4 Uploaded tombstone pictures to Find-A-Grave.
5 Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents) .
6
Joined Facebook.
7 Helped to clean up a run-down cemetery.
8 Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group on Facebook.
9 Attended a genealogy conference.


10 Lectured at a genealogy conference.
11 Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society.
12 Been the editor of a genealogy society newsletter.
13 Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
14 Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.

15 Got lost on the way to a cemetery.
16 Talked to dead ancestors.
17 Researched outside the state in which I live.

18 Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants.
19 Cold-called a distant relative.

20 Posted messages on a surname message board.
21 Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
22 Googled my name.
23 Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.

24 Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
25 Have been paid to do genealogical research.
26 Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
27 Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
28 Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
29 Responded to messages on a message board or forum.

30 Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
31 Participated in a genealogy meme.
32 Created family history gift items (calendars, cookbooks, etc.).
33 Performed a record lookup for someone else.
34 Went on a genealogy seminar cruise.
35 Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
36 Found a disturbing family secret.
37 Told others about a disturbing family secret.
38 Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking). Needlework.
39 Think genealogy is a passion not a hobby.

40 Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person (Unclaimed Persons).
41 Taught someone else how to find their roots.
42 Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure.
43 Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
44 Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.
45 Disproved a family myth through research.
Proved!
46 Got a family member to let you copy photos.
47 Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records.
48 Translated a record from a foreign language.
49 Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.

50 Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
51 Used microfiche.
52 Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
53 Visited more than one LDS Family History Center.
54 Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.

55 Taught a class in genealogy.
56 Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
57 Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
58 Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century. Found archival documents in Spain dating to 1353 and 1394!!! Does that count?
59 Can name all of your great-great-grandparents.
Still missing key names.

60 Found an ancestor’s Social Security application.
61 Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
62 Used Steve Morse’s One-Step searches.

63 Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
64 Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
65 Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC.
66 Visited the Library of Congress.
67 Have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower.
68 Have an ancestor who fought in the Civil War.
69 Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.

70 Became a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.
71 Can read (sort of) church record in Latin. Much better at Jewish records in Hebrew and Farsi!!
72 Have an ancestor who changed their name.

73 Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
74 Created a family website. But nothing much there as I’m too busy with other stuff (like blogging!)
75 Have more than one “genealogy” blog.
76 Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone. 77 Have broken through at least one brick wall.

78 Visited the DAR Library in Washington D.C.
79 Borrowed a microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Center.


80 Have done indexing for Family Search Indexing or another genealogy project.
81 Visited the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
82 Had an amazing serendipitous find of the “Psychic Roots” variety.
83 Have an ancestor who was a Patriot in the American Revolutionary War.
84 Have an ancestor who was a Loyalist in the American Revolutionary War.
85 Have both Patriot & Loyalist ancestors.
86 Have used Border Crossing records to locate an ancestor.
87 Use maps in my genealogy research.
88 Have a convict ancestor who was transported from the UK.
89 Found a bigamist amongst the ancestors.

90 Visited the National Archives in Kew.
91 Visited St. Catherine’s House in London to find family records.
92 Found a cousin in Australia (or other foreign country).
93 Consistently cite my sources. Try to!
94 Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don’t live in) in search of ancestors.
95 Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes. I wish!
96 Have an ancestor who was married four times (or more).
97 Made a rubbing of an ancestors gravestone.
98 Organized a family reunion.
99 Published a family history book (on one of my families). Eventually.

100 Learned of the death of a fairly close relative through research.
101 Have done the genealogy happy dance.

102 Sustained an injury doing the genealogy happy dance.
103 Offended a family member with my research. But a family member posted my research data to an inappropriate website, after agreeing not to do that, and I was extremely angry.
104 Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.

This meme is making the rounds of your favorite genealogy bloggers.

And another meme: 99 things

And here’s another meme making the rounds of geneabloggers, with a list of 99 things you’ve done (bolded), things you haven’t done but want to (italicized) and those you don’t want to do (plain):

1. Started your own blog: Two: Tracing the Tribe and International Jewish Graveyard Rabbit.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band. I’m assuming orchestras and string ensembles count. (New York’s All-City HS Orchestra, HS of Music & Art orchestras/ensembles, music camp orchestra, etc. The viola was my weapon of choice)
4. Visited Hawaii.

5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland/world. Yes (California and Florida).

8. Climbed a mountain. Do ski-lifts count? Engelberg, Switzerland; Tahoe, Nevada; Taos, New Mexico; Deer Valley/Park City, Utah; Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.
9. Held a praying mantis.

10. Sang a solo.
11. Bungee jumped. Not enough money in the world.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. Lightning phobia after some dangerous and scary Catskills storms.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. Needlepoint?

15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning. Never, not even when traveling to strange places.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. When I was 6. Lots of steps!
18. Grown your own vegetables. Once.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.


20. Slept on an overnight train. Los Angeles-Santa Fe, New York-Miami, Seattle-Chicago.

21. Had a pillow fight. Pillows lost.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort. Built a miniature snowtown every year as a little kid in the Bronx.
25. Held a lamb. Cooked? 🙂
26. Gone skinny dipping. You’ve got to be kidding.
27. Run a marathon. Yeah, right.
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. Sunrise at Masada in Israel. Sunsets many places.

31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person. Trip with parents, age 5 or 6.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language. Learned to read Cyrillic working the Mogilev, Belarus Rabbinical Records

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
See 27.

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
41. Sung Karaoke. Better description is “attempted.”
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance. As companion, not as patient.

47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing. Little boat? Deep water? See 65.
49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business. Is gen blogging a business?

58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia. Next on my list.

60. Served at a soup kitchen. Christmas Day duty with our Los Angeles .
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood.

65. Gone sky diving. No way, Jose.
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter. See 65.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. Kept Wolfie the Wolf for a long time, now disappeared.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar. Love it.

72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.
77. Broken a bone. Ouch.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. See 65.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person. Grand.

80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.

83. Walked in Jerusalem. And Tel Aviv and other cities.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House. First time: JHS 127 (Bronx) class trip.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.

88. Had chickenpox. Major attack. Don’t wish it on anyone.
89. Saved someone’s life.

90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.

94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.

96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.

99. Been stung by a bee. Do wasps count?

Meme: Blog Year in Review

John Newmark of TransylvanianDutch started a new meme. For “Blog Year in Review in Twelve Sentences,” bloggers are to post the first sentence of the first blog of each month for 2008.

OK, Tracing the Tribe will play along (with links to the posts), with these from the 800 posts of 2008:

January 2008
San Francisco: Grandmother’s Suitcase, Jan. 8
The search for identity is pervasive.

February 2008
New York: CJH extends genealogy hours
Thanks to a grant from the Jewish Genealogical Society of New York, the Ackman and Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History will now be open on Mondays until 7.30pm.

March 2008
Italy: Inquisition documents displayed
The Vatican has placed Inquisition documents on display through March 16, at Rome’s Central Risorgimento Museum.

April 2008
JewishGen: End of an era?
All of us are JewishGenners – or should be.

May 2008
DNA: Czar’s children’s remains confirmed
Another of history’s mysteries has been solved – this time using DNA technology to determine family relationships and identity.

June 2008
Crystal Skulls with a ‘kipa’ ?
Even the movies are getting into Jewish genealogy.

July 2008
Jamboree: Afterthoughts
I apologize for the dearth in Tracing the Tribe’s posts – even bloggers need to kick back for a few days once in awhile.

August 2008
China: Harbin’s Jewish Community
The Beijing Review has just posted a story here about Harbin’s Jewish community.

September 2008
Back now in Tel Aviv
Hello, readers! New York was lovely and relatively cool last week.

October 2008
Illinois: 250 Holocaust documents to go on display
More than 250 World War II postal documents — cards, letters and stamps — have been acquired by an Illinois foundation from a private collector and will soon be on permanent display in a museum in suburban Chicago, according to this AP story on Fox News.

November 2008
The Phoenician Footprint and more
There’s a fascinating New York Times story today about the genetic mark left by the Phoenicians.

December 2008
Boston: Two dramatic stories, Dec. 7
Two dramatic stories of digging into lost histories and reuniting long separated families will be featured by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston (JGSGB) at its December 7 meeting at Temple Emanuel in Newton.

Enjoy! Thanks, John, for this interesting exercise!

Tagged: Fives and Tens

The newest meme is out, and I was tagged by both the Genealogy Insider’s Diane Haddad here and The Chart Chick’s Janet Hovorka here.

10 years ago I:

1. was living in Southern Nevada.
2. chaired the Jewish Genealogical Society of Southern Nevada-East, based at Midbar Kodesh.
3. was slogging through – in Cyrillic – the seven microfilm rolls of 19th century rabbinical records for Mogilev, Belarus at the Clark Street FHL in Las Vegas.
4. was getting over bronchitis.
5. was the mother of a Brown University junior.

5 things on today’s “to-do” list:

1. Catch up on blogging.
2. What to make for dinner.
3. Work on a story for a major publication.
4. Decide if we’re doing a Persian barbecue for the Sukkot holiday.
5. Find my mini-digital recorder for my husband.

5 snacks I enjoy:

1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – frozen.
2. M&Ms – peanut.
3. Chocolate anything.
4. Toasted onion bagels – Tal’s Bagels are the best in Israel!
5. Tiny tomatoes (grape or tear-drop), by the handful.

5 Places I have lived:

1. Four of the five New York City boroughs
2. Teheran
3. Miami
4. Los Angeles
5. Southern Nevada

5 Jobs I have had:

1. Day Camp organizer, American Women’s Club, Teheran, Iran
2. Country library organizer, major international company
3. Freelance writer/journalist
4. Genealogy columnist
5. Assistant editor

Some colleagues have added two more categories.

5 places to visit again:

1. Barcelona, Spain
2. Vancouver, BC, Canada
3. Zurich, Switzerland
4. Santa Fe, New Mexico
5. Seattle, Washington

5 places I want to visit for the first time:

1. Mogilev, Belarus
2. Melbourne/Sydney, Australia
3. Skalat/Suchastaw, Ukraine (was Galicia, Austro-Hungary)
4. Prague, Czech Republic
5. St. Petersburg, Russia

This meme is being passed on to these genea-bloggers:

1. Renee Zamora, Renee’s Genealogy Blog
2. Craig Manson, Geneablogie
3. Kathryn M. Doyle, CA Gen Society Blog
4. Terry Thornton, Hill Country of Monroe County
5. Steve Danko, Steve’s Genealogy Blog