Jews of Cairo

There has been some interest in this subject on JGSGB Discuss.

One of our members is looking into the background of some cousins who were Egyptian Jews living in Cairo and were directly descended from the famous chief rabbi of Baghdad, Rabbi Eliyahu Mani (died 1899). 

 

Our member is at present trying to find the ketubah of the marriage of Dr. Baruch Mani (personal physician to the King of Egypt), and his first wife, Fortunee Mani. This marriage took place in Cairo probably in The Great Synagogue in 1919.

 

Would anybody know where the Jewish marriage records, including ketubah records, of Cairo Jewry of that period were kept? And where would one find such records today if indeed they still exist?

The advice so far received is that unfortunately the marriage records in Cairo are now considered the property of the Egyptian state and Jews are not permitted access.  A very sore point…. Yves Fedida <fedida@mac.com> is the expert on this subject. Also Alain Farhi alain@farhi.orgwho has an extensive genealogical records of Jews from Egypt (Les Fleurs d’Orient website)

The URL for this post is http://www.jgsgb.org.uk/blog/?p=430  

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

OSTROFF Family

As has been mentioned before in our blog, one of the many benefits of membership of the JGSGB is JGSGB Discuss. This discussion group is only open to members.

JSGB Discuss was approached by one of our members for help in his research of the Ostroff Family. Martin Korn is trying to fill in some gaps in the Ostroff Family Tree (which had started with Isaac Ostroff who lived in Birzhi, Lithuaniaand now commences with Isaac’s father Judel).

Any information at all that you can give Martin would really be much appreciated. If you are able to assist, please contact him at martin.korn@btinternet.com.

Starting from the lower part of the tree and working upwards these are the queries:

1     Rivke OSTROFF (known as ‘Annie’), daughter of Tzvi Hersch Bainish (Benjamin) OSTROFF and Etta BORUCHOWITSCH, was born on 26 March 1889 in Bauska,Latvia. On 2 April 1911 she was resident inMileEndOldTown. She was a Cigarette Maker.  She would have been Martin’s great aunt. He knew all the other 4 siblings of his grandmother (not Rev Isaac OSTROFF who died in 1933). Martin asks for details of marriage, children and further descendants.

2     Tzvi Hersch Bainish (Benjamin) OSTROFF, son of Isaac OSTROFF, was born in 1854 in Birzhi, Ponevezh district, Kovno province,Lithuania. He married Etta BORUCHOWITSCH on 26 March 1875 in Bauska, Latvia.In 1910 he was resident in Bauska. He was a Peddler and flax producer. He died inRussia.

His brother was Theodore (Tanchum Leib) OSTROFF son of Isaac OSTROFF, born in 1862 in Bauska.  He was a Rabbi. On 2 April 1911 he was resident in Mile End Old Town, London. He married Gertrude Rifka Gittel FREEDMAN in Bauska. He died on 13 September 1930 in Jerusalem. He was buried on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem.

The Latvian State Archives show that Tzvi Hersch Bainish OSTROFF and Theodore (Tanchum Leib)OSTROFF had a sister, Rocha (Rochel)-Jenta OSTROV, born in 1859 in Birzhi. She married Raphel- Beines OSTROV on 18 September 1879 in Riga,Latvia. They appeared in the census in 1887 in Birzhi.

Raphel-Beines OSTROV, son of Mowscha OSTROV and Shora OSTROV , was born in 1855 (approx) in Ponevezh district, Kovno province, Lithuania. He was a Shoemaker. He and Rocha (Rochel)-Jenta OSTROV had the following children:

Haja ( – ), Hana ( – ), Shimen David (1889-1890), Khana Pere (1879- ), Movsha Itsyk (1881- ), Iankel (1886-1888), Khaia Gode (1895- ), Shmuel (1894- 1894), Ilia Leib (1899- ) and Ber (1903- ).

Only one grandchild of Rocha (Rochel)-Jenta OSTROV and Raphel-Beines OSTROV has been found in the records, Abram, son of Khane Pere OSTROV. He was born on 10 July 1899 in Kaunas,Lithuania. He died of “unripeness “ on 8 August 1899 in Kaunus. 

Martin is asking for further details of Rocha-Jenta OSTROV and her children and further descendents. Also details of any other siblings of Tzvi Hersch Bainish (Benjamin) OSTROFF and Theodore (Tanchum Leib) OSTROFF and their descendents.

3       Judel OSTROFF was the father of Isaac Ostroff and grandfather of Tzvi Hersch Bainish (Benjamin)OSTROFF, Theodore (Tanchum Leib) OSTROFF and Rocha (Rochel)-Jenta OSTROV.  Martin is asking for further details of any siblings of Judel OSTROFF and their descendants.

Martin and his family would appreciate any information at all which anyone can give them on the three queries raised and also generally with regard to this Ostroff family.

The URL for this post is http://www.jgsgb.org.uk/blog/?p=420

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

International Jewish Genealogy Month

I know it’s a long time away, but I thought that I would give it a plug, since our very own Jeanette Rosenberg is involved.

Get ready for International Jewish Genealogy Month (IJGM) during the month of Heshvan which is also known as October 17, 2012 to November 14, 2012!

IJGM is your JGS/Historical Society/SIG/JCC opportunity to have your community focus on Jewish Genealogy and your organization.

This year’s dynamic International Jewish Genealogy Month Committee includes all the members from last year and new additions. Here are the 2012 IJGM Committee members: Carol Shkolnik of Columbus, Ohio; Diane Wainwood or Thousand Oaks, California; Garri Regev of Jerusalem, Israel; Rabbi Garry Gans of Marlton, New Jersey, Howard Morris of Boston, Massachusetts; Janice Sellers of Oakland, California; Jeanette Rosenberg of Edgware Middlesex, United Kingdom and Joanne Clements of Phoenix, Arizona.

If you’re interested in joining the IJGM committee, please contact Nancy Adelson nancyadelson@comcast.net  They are always looking for more great ideas and volunteers who want to help increase community involvement and improve IJGM publicity.

To help promote International Jewish Genealogy Month, IAJGS is continuing the IJGM Poster Contest which has a June 3, 2012 submission due date. More details will be coming in a month. Until then, please visit the IJGM home page at http://www.iajgs.org/jgmonth.html. The website will be completely revised soon. However, it still provides a brief introduction to International Jewish Genealogy Month and shows all the past poster winners including the outstanding 2011 winning poster.  

So start thinking of International Jewish Genealogy Month!!! Your autumn programmes are right around the corner.

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

 

JGSGB in the wider Community

The JGSGB is taking it’s message out to the wider community by taking part in a number of events.

February 24-26
Who Do You Think You Are (WDYTYA) Live takes place at Olympia, London. This is the biggest family history event in the world. Once again the JGSGB will be there. You can find us on stands 141 & 142. For more information go to: www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com

 

March 18

Jewish Living Expo takes place at Wembley Stadium. This will be a very large communal exhibition with “Everything for everyone Jewish”.  The Expo will cover many different aspects of Jewish life, and will include educational workshops.  JGSGB will be giving a brief talk on genealogy at 5.00 p.m. in one of the Wembley Boxes. 

July 28

Buckinghamshire Family History Society will be holding its Annual Open Day at The Grange School,Wendover Way,Aylesbury,HP21 7NH. This is a free event with something for everyone. The Chiltern Regional Group of the JGSGB has again been invited to take part and is seeking support from three or four more JGSGB members for this entirely enjoyable day. It is an opportunity to gain valuable exposure for the Society and for the Chilterns Regional Group in particular. Anyone willing to help should contact Stan Rose via stan@stanrosefamily.com

Remembering victims of the Holocaust

I’d like to make this personal plea to the Jewish community:

 

Many of us had relatives who were killed in the Holocaust, and if they were closely related to our parents or grandparents, it’s likely that we always knew the victims’ names and something about them. But our parents and grandparents did not always know the names or fates of their more distant relatives — their second or third cousins, for example. Some of us, through our genealogical searches, have managed to find information about these relatives that our elders never knew.

 

This is important, because, as most of us know, Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum and Memorial, has been collecting Pages of Testimony about the victims for decades (since 1955), and currently, according to its own website, has about 2.5 million of them. This means that there are several million victims who are still uncommemorated. Some of us who know that our parents or grandparents wrote Pages of Testimony for relatives may not realize that they probably wrote these Pages for their closest relatives only, and not for the more distant ones they didn’t know well or have information about.

 

I believe that any of us who have found solid information about a Holocaust victim, especially someone only distantly related to us or perhaps not related at all, should check Yad Vashem’s website to see if there is a Page of Testimony for him or her. And if there is not, to write one. We may be rescuing an entire family from fading into oblivion.

 

This Holocaust Remembrance Day, I urge you to check your research notes on any Holocaust victims, and then check Yad Vashem’s website, and, if necessary, make the effort to write a Page of Testimony for an otherwise unremembered person. It’s the least any of us can do.

 

The Yad Vashem Central Database of Holocaust Victims’ Names is on:

http://www.yadvashem.org/wps/portal/!ut/p/.cmd/cl/.l/en

 

Guest Blogger – Miriam Bulwar David-Hay,Raanana,Israel.

Genealogy Quality Code

The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the JGSGB.

If youve looked at the 1851 Database recently, you may have noticed that its acquired a little logo that refers to the Genealogy Quality Code. Whats this, you may wonder? The link takes you to the Codes own website, http://genealogyqualitycode.org/, and if youre interested in databases, or just data quality, its worth taking a look.

The GQC site takes a clear, but commonsense, position on the standards that people should follow when compiling databases, or copying data from someone elses. Its all about maintaining quality and reliability, they argue. A lot of JGSGB members will have seen wrong data on the web that circulates forever, never to be corrected. Thats the kind of thing the GQC has in its sights.

At the same time, a lot of people would argue that, even if a big genealogy website has a lot of errors on it, this is more than compensated for by the huge amount of good data thats there also. Thats a valid point of view too.

Which side of the line to you come down? Visit the GQC website and offer your views. Its a debate we should all be joining in.

Petra Laidlaw – Guest Blogger

It’s not all Caballeros and Castanets

The JGSGB (Jewish Genealogy Society of Great Britain) is hosting a specially-convened meeting on Thursday 23rd February 2012 – the evening before Who Do You Think You Are Live! – to hear Daniel Horowitz speak on genealogical resources in Latin America (Jewish or not). His review will cover institutions, temples, burial societies, cemeteries, citizenship records, immigration and computer databases that can be used online. The talk will start at 7.30pm at 33 Seymour Place W1 and is free to members. Non-members, who are warmly welcomed, will pay £5 at the door. Entry will be by   advance reservation only, which can be made by email to education@JGSGB.org.uk.

Daniel Horowitz is a very experienced genealogist, researcher and lecturer with over twenty years’ experience in the field and whose work has received many awards in Venezuela and in Israel. Now Chief Genealogist at MyHeritage.com, the online webware and software specialist, his deep understanding of the needs of today’s family history enthusiasts serves the company, its customers, and his audiences well. He also holds a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering.

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

 

How to prove a fallen soldier is Jewish – an update

I took up the challenge of trying to prove that 10 Jewish soldiers who fell in WW1 were Jewish. For some reason, though they had not proved they were any other denomination, they put crosses on their graves.  My researches have been intensive for the last 4 weeks and ranged from one country to another from military records, censuses, BMDs researching Jewish Communities, and learning how too use my new computer! . I have written hundreds of letters worldwide. I learnt about records I had not realised existed and had the most wonderful help from JGSGB members and their families  throughout the world.  I have now almost completed the first three.

George Norris, I found was Joseph Nossek. After a great deal of genealogical research, I selected the information that as his brother Rueben married before he died and a Marriage Authorisation from the Beth Din, showed his name as a brother.  So I am working on that and trying to contact his relatives who I traced down to the present.

 

I have sent for the birth certificate for Isaac Coster who was buried in the St. Lazar Cemetery. This should prove he is the son of Benjamin and Sarah Coster who married in Sandys Row Synagogue and whose Marriage Authorisation I got from the London Beth Din.  I also have him in the Census living with his parents and a brother Hyman who was killed a few months before he did. Miraculously there is an Army Enrolment card for his brother on which is handwritten the word “Jewish”. 

With Hubert “Bert” Solomon I have built up a fantastic story ranging fromNew ZealandtoAustraliaand toEnglandwhere he is buried in theRainborooughCemetery.  I am now waiting for the Archivist in the Wellington Synagogue to return from his holiday for a marriage certificate for Hubert’s brother who is named as next of kin on one of his military records and to find out where his parents were married inWellington. I would be delighted if some kind person inWellingtoncould purchase the birth certificate of Hubert and his brother’s marriage certificate. I hope to write an article in greater detail as this has been a wonderful “learning curve”.  The most difficult thing for me, is the accurate keeping of records and sorting out as I get so exited that I scribble things down quickly.  I need a computer literate secretary!

Louise Goldschmidt – Guest Blogger

Lunatics and Imbeciles ???

“Thank you to Amy Sell of Findmypast for the following press release.

PICTURE OF LIFE IN 1911 IS COMPLETED AS REMAINING 1911 CENSUS RECORDS GO ONLINE

The ‘infirmities’ column is released online for the first time, detailing people’s health conditions ‘Lunatic’ and ‘imbecile’ popularly used, reflecting a different kind of society Unusual entries: ‘old age’, ‘voteless’, ‘bald’ and ‘short of cash’

The final, missing column of data from the 1911 census, which details individuals’ infirmities is today released for the very first time atwww.findmypast.co.uk and www.1911census.co.uk,the family history websites which first launched the 1911 census three years ago in 2009in association with The National Archives.

The infirmity column details wide-ranging descriptions of peoples’ health conditions as perceived and hand-written by the head of the household on the night of Sunday 2 April 1911. Under data protection regulations, this sensitive information has remained closed until now.

A less ‘politically correct’ society

‘Lunatic’, ‘imbecile’ and ‘feeble-minded’ are some of the most commonly used entries reflecting an era before such terminology was deemed unacceptable. The census in fact prompts the respondent to record if a person is ‘totally deaf’, ‘deaf and dumb’, ‘totally blind’, ‘lunatic’, ‘imbecile’ or ‘feeble-minded.’

5 most common ‘infirmities’ recorded in 1911:
1.    Lunatic
2     Feeble-minded
3.    Imbecile
4.    Deaf and dumb
5.    Blind

1911 humour
However, not all the entries are negative or insensitive. The 1911 records also reflect the humour and curious family dynamics from a century ago – not too dissimilar to what we know now in 2012. One extraordinary record details a Mr John Underwood from Hastings recording his children as ‘quarrelsome’, ‘stubborn’, ‘greedy’, ‘vain’ and ‘noisy’. He even records himself as ‘bad-tempered’ and his wife as suffering from a ‘long tongue’.

Another unusual entry is from Thomas Wallace Young, who was described as being ‘bald and toothless’, helping us picture exactly what he looked like. William Robert Arnold from Yorkshire commented on his
financial status in 1911 by recording his infirmity as being ‘short of cash’.

Suffragette labels ‘voteless’ as her infirmity

The cause of the suffragettes is also illustrated within the new records, with some women listing their infirmities as not having the vote or not being enfranchised. For example, four women living in the same household recorded their infirmities as ‘voteless, therefore classed with idiots and children’.

Infirmities’ ‘None, thank God’
Some chose to make a note of their good health instead of the health problems the form enquired about, such as ‘well’, ‘healthy’, ‘sane’,'alright’ and even ‘perfect’. Evelyn Baker and her family from Leeds were recorded in the census by their father Addiman Parkin Barker as simply being ‘alive’. Seventy-two entries simply say ‘none, thank
God’.

10 unusual infirmities in the records:
Voteless, Greedy, Bald and toothless, Vain, Short of cash, Noisy,
Quarrelsome, Bad tempered, Stubborn and Long tongue

Connections between infirmity and profession
A correlation between infirmity and occupation can also be identified in some cases. The biggest source of employment for blind men and women was basket-weaving. Other trades for blind men were musicians or musical instrument makers. Women who were ‘deaf and dumb’ were often employed within the textile or garment trades, or in domestic service, while men were most likely to be labourers.

Debra Chatfield, family historian at findmypast.co.uk, said:’ The infirmities column is the last piece of the jigsaw completing the 1911 census. This column alone provides a fascinating insight into life a hundred years ago. It not only reflects health conditions, but also a time before society became aware of political-correctness and certain
terminology was deemed acceptable. In the more unusual entries we also get a wonderful sense of post-Edwardian humour, society and family dynamics at this time.

‘Researching your family history is a fascinating way to learn about your ancestors. The 1911 census records include detail about occupations, housing arrangements and social status and you are also able to see a copy of the handwritten record itself.’

Audrey Collins, Family History records specialist at The National Archives, said: ‘The information in the ‘infirmities’ column being released today helps add an extra dimension to the picture of our ancestors’ lives in 1911.We have to remember that the census returns were completed by relatives living in the same house who for the most
part had no specialist medical knowledge. Their descriptions provide us with a clue as to how each individual was viewed by other family members, although many would have been reluctant to admit that their relatives suffered from any defect.’

Please note that neither I nor the JGSGB have any financial interest in Find My Past or the parent company Brightsolid.

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

 

 

How to prove a fallen soldier is Jewish

The JGSGB receives many requests for assistance. Some are made directly to the Society and many more are made through JGSGB Discuss which is a members only discussion group.

The JGSGB was recently approached by the Archivist of the AJEX Museum. For those that don’t know, AJEX stands for Association of Jewish Ex Servicemen. He has had a continual struggle on behalf of AJEX trying to persuade the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to change war grave headstones with crosses, to Stars of David.

Recently he had a blow delivered regarding a number of soldiers, who it is known are Jewish from Jewish Chronicle insertions, but have been refused by the CWGC under the heading of “insufficient evidence” - even though many similar cases have been accepted by them in the past.

So if anyone out there I able to look into these cases to find more evidence such as parents’ marriage certificates, their army records at TNA if they survive, or even if they are related to them and can prove Jewish descent, etc., it would be very much appreciated. If you are able to help, please reply through the blog in the first instance.

1. 13052 Pte H. or Zeph Orman / aka Normand – 4th Middx. – kia 14/10/14 son of Simon Orman, Cross Keys Monmouthshire.

2. 7449 Pte Maxwell or I. Solomon 1st Scots Guards kia 14/9/14, from Upper Accomodation Rd, Leeds – JC 9/10/14 p.15 – former police officer in Bradford

3. 8068 Sgt W V Mackowsty, 2nd Staffs – kia 22/7/18 – JC 18/9/14 listed as Mackowsky, William Charles –  won DCM 1/1/17 – London Gazette 12/2/17

4. 352158 Pte S. Swedloff, 7th London – kia 24/2/17 – from Greenfield St Stepney – son of Abraham from Russia and in Norwood Jewish Orphanage as  Samuel Swedloff 1911 aged 13

5. 9389  Sgt W Mack, 2nd Seaforths kia 30/5/17 – JC 29/6/17 p. 14 – aka KURTZMAN – son of Barnett Morris and Esther nee Sender.

6.  2nd Lt Hubert ‘Bert’  P Solomon  RFC, kia 20/10/17 – family in Australia and mentioned in Australian/NZ Jewish Book of Honour p 88.

7. 38421 Pte Jack ‘Isaac’ Coster   2/8 Worc reg – kia 2/10/18 – JC18/10/18 p 2  has his death as son of Esther and the late Benjamin , 22, Eckstein Rd Clapham.

8. 359486 Pte Abraham Bernstein  2/10 Liverpool Reg – kia 10/5/17 son of Barnett Bernstein, 19 Clarence St, Mount Plessant, Liverpool, 8 – JC 25/5/17

9. 491966 Pte  Emmanuel  Isaacs, 2/13 London – kia 25/5/17 – JC 8/6/17 – buried Salonika -  son of E Isaacs, 91 Lordship Park, London N

10 .  20670  Cpl G Nossek aka Norris , 2nd Royal Scots – kia 23/7/16 – son of Israel and Leah – - JC 25/8/16 p. 2

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

 

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Apologies to all our loyal readers. Due to a variety of problems, I have not been able to devote any time to the blog over the past 6 weeks.

It started with my laptop suffering a power loss and then the screen going blank. I am now back on line but have lost everything in Outlook Express including all my contacts and saved emails.

This was followed by my wife having back problems and with the associated treatment, which is still ongoing.

Then two weeks ago we had a family bereavement.

So now I am back and raring to go

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

 

JGSGB Annual Conference

Well Conference time is coming up very soon, so don’t forget to book your place.

It’s the 18th Annual JGSGB London Conference and Genealogical Fair which is being held on Sunday 30th October 2011 at 33 Seymour Place, London, W1H 5AU. 

The Conference runs from 10.00am until 4.30pm and includes morning refreshments, lunch and afternoon tea with 5 sessions and time to look round the exhibitors. All this for the very small sum of £30.00.

Sessions at the Conference include:

  • The London Gazette 1665 – 2011
  • The changing face of Genealogical Research in Lithuania
  • The Knowles Collection and other ways to find your ancestors through Family Search
  • Jewish patients in Colney Hatch Asylum and the National Hospital
  • An Jewish East End journey – from the East London Christian Mission to the Hebrews to the Jewish East End Celebration Society 

Once you have booked your place, you will be automatically entered into a draw for a FREE one-year Ancestry Worldwide subscription.

So, if you are going to be in London on 30th October, then there is only one place to be – The JGSGB Conference

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

Free Genealogy Access

Now that Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat are over, I have been going through my in box.

I found the following message from Ancestry.com which may be of interest to readers:

“You’re invited to discover more of your story October 1st–15th.*  We’re giving you FREE access to one of our favorite collections each day for 15 days as part of our anniversary celebration.

Come back daily to search the collection of the day and to enter to win the prize of the day in our 15 Days of Discovery Sweepstakes. Plus, each daily entry will enter you to win our Grand Prize—a trip to California to go behind the scenes of NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? with producer Lisa Kudrow

*Each day starting October 1, 2011 we’ll reveal a collection you can search for free through midnight ET on October 15, 2011. ”

Not sure how useful this “free” offer will be, but it must be worth a look.

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Lithuania

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain has recently revised and reprinted its publication “A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Lithuania” and this is now available for purchase through the JGSGB website.  To order a copy of this up to date guide to researching family in Lithuania simply go to: http://www.jgsgb.org.uk/catalog/shop and add the Guide to your shopping basket.

The author of the Guide is Sam Aaron, a long-standing JGSGB member and a leading light in Lithuanian Jewish Genealogy.  Sam will be speaking about Lithuanian research at the JGSGB London conference on 30 October.

The Lithuanian Guide provides clear information about how records were organised and what levels of government the records were collected at and where they can now be found.  There are details of the way various first and last names worked in Lithuania, which is an invaluable piece of information when trying to reconcile the names that people used in different situations – in Hebrew, in official records, as nicknames and so on.

So if you have Lithuanian ancestors this is a must to have.

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

Benefits of JGSGB Membership – Part 6

Continuing with a look at the of Benefits of Membership, we cannot ignore JGSGB – Discuss.

The objectives of the Discussion Group are to:
* help one another to learn and discover more about Jewish genealogy, research methods and resources.
* share information and resources amongst Members.
* facilitate establishing contact with Members researching the same families or the same geographical areas.
* promote the activities of the JGSGB.

This Group is run for the benefit of the Members of JGSGB.  Only members of JGSGB may join the Group.  There is no separate charge to participate in this Group. The Group is appropriate for both beginner and experienced genealogist alike. The scope of this Discussion Group is global to support the global research interests of our members.

The list is “moderated” by a Moderator whose role is to keep the discussions on track and not let them get cluttered with irrelevant, inappropriate or personal messages of no interest to the general readership.

There is no obligation to post any messages and members are welcome to just read and enjoy the messages. However, by actively participating and posting messages, you may get one of your problems solved or perhaps help a fellow Member to solve one of their problems.

Tony Benson – Blog Editor


 

The JGSGB at work

I feel the time has come to let everyone know about the unsung work that the JGSGB and its members provide.

I would like to congratulate, member and Past Chairman, Laurence Harris for his
part in the WDYTYA programme on Larry Lamb and his grandmother’s conversion to Judaism.  I should also add some congratulations to another JGSGB member, Miriam Rodrigues-Pereira for her part in the first programme of the current series.  Miriam appeared in the June Brown (Dot from Eastenders) episode in her role as archivist to Bevis Marks synagogue.

Some other praise should also be given to those who helped Wall to Wall Productions in the background.  Not least, JGSGB’s Genealogical Enquiries officer, Rosemary Hoffman, who spent two hours at the end of last year talking to the company’s researchers about the conversion process and other issues featured in the Larry Lamb episode.

JGSGB receives several requests for help with researching television programmes each year and we help them by providing background information, finding out facts or by recommending researchers.

Once again congratulations to everyone involved in these endeavours.

Tony Benson – Editor

Benefits of JGSGB Membership – Part 5

In Part 4 of Benefits of Membership, we dealt with the various Special Interest Groups (SIG). We will now deal with the Regional Groups (RG).  Meetings of these groups are free to members of JGSGB but a charge will be made to non members which will be offset against any future subscription to the Society.

There are seven Regional Groups, which cater for those who are unable to get to our Central London location.

The Chilterns Regional Group, serving the Home counties to the North and West of London, covers members residing in the counties of Herts, Middlesex, Bucks, Beds and Berks. Regular genealogical meetings are held in the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, in Oaklands Gate, Northwood, on five weekday evenings and two Sunday afternoons during the year. All areas of Jewish Family Research are covered including a series of 30 minute Tutorials on Jewish Internet Research preceding the main evening programme.The events vary from genealogical workshops, to give attendees the opportunity to discuss their own researches, to PowerPoint Presentations with expert speakers from both within and outside the Society.

The East of London Regional Group is based in Redbridge, Essex and meetings are held on Monday evenings, every three months, at Ilford Synagogue, 22 Beehive Lane, Gants Hill.   We try to cover every aspect of Jewish genealogy and our meetings are not restricted to local research but worldwide.   Each meeting contains items of interest for both new family researchers and the more experienced genealogists.   This is very much a self-help activity and although so much is now available on the internet we enjoy bringing people together and putting them in touch with each other. We try to provide guest speakers who are able to give informed information regarding source material.

The Leeds Regional Group, has around 30 members, some living in Leeds and the rest spread around the rest of Yorkshire. It aims to hold four events a year, a mixture of talks, workshops and visits. The next meeting will be on Monday 5th Sept., at 8pm at the UHC Synagogue, Shadwell Lane, LS17 8DW. This is jointly hosted by the Leeds Branch of the Jewish Historical Society and is a talk by Dr Nicholas Evans on “Jews at Sea – from the Haim to Luxury Cruises”. The final meeting this year will be in the afternoon of Sunday 27th Nov., at Sinai Synagogue, Roman Ave., LS8 2AN.

The Manchester Regional Group has its own library of about 150 books and a large selection of files, information sheets and booklets for research.. We also have information booklets on adoption, Liverpool Jewish archives, Manchester Jewish archives as well as some information on Leeds Jewry. We have several members who are experienced in a wide field of research. In addition to our wealth of resource material, we have a laptop computer and printer, with a good selection of databases on CDs. A few of our committee members bring their own laptops with internet access, so that websites can be viewed and tutorials take place on how to work your way through the maze of information. We hold regular workshops so that researchers can work on a one-to-one basis with our more experienced members.

The Midland Regional Group is a new venture and so far has held only one meeting on Sunday 13th March 2011. They intend holding their next meeting on Sunday 18th September and a mid-week afternoon meeting later in the year.   All meetings at Birmingham Progressive Synagogue, 1 Roseland Way, Birmingham, B15 1HD. Any JGSGB member is welcome, the Midland title was only chosen because Central England or Mercia might have been misunderstood and none will be turned away.

The South East Essex Regional Group is based in Southend on Sea, Essex and meetings are held at Finchley Road Synagogue Westcliff. Whilst it is a new group the membership covers the range of genealogy from novice to many years of experience.
Members aim to help each other by sharing information and offering ideas to help breakdown brickwalls. We will provide regular meetings where members can network and share information as well as providing interesting guest speakers. We have close links with the Essex Family History Society and will share advice and experience with them whenever needed.

The South West London Regional Group was set up in the summer of 1999 when a trawl was done through the membership list, an invitation went out, and about fourteen strangers met in a very small flat in Richmond. Talk was fast and furious, we delved into a box of books on loan from the JGS library, one or two people with more knowledge of computers than the rest gave some helpful advice and offered some local hands-on-training; some people turned out to be experienced genealogists and others absolute beginners; queries, advice and suggestions were traded — and thus was set the pattern for the meetings which have been held regularly ever since, at roughly 3-monthly intervals.

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

 

Benefits of JGSGB Membership – Part 4

In Part 3 of Benefits of Membership, I mentioned that one of these was Members Corner on our website. Under this, there are two items. The second of these isDetails of the various Special Interest Groups (SIG) Details of the Regional Groups (RG)”.  Meetings of these groups are free to members of JGSGB but a charge will be made to non members which will be offset against any future subscription to the Society.

Starting first with the SIG’s, there are four groups:

Anglo-Jewry SIG – If your interests lie in Anglo-Jewry this Special Interest Group is for you.  Our very enthusiastic members meet three or four times a year, under the chairmanship of Doreen Berger, to discuss their individual researches and to both receive and impart adviAnglo-Jewry SIG ce. The meetings are friendly and informal and it is usual for one of our members to give a short presentation on the progress of their own research.  You will be able to socialise with other members over tea and biscuits and the Library is opened at the end of the meeting.  Beginners are particularly welcome.

German SIG – Are you researching German-speaking ancestors? Would you like to start, but don’t know where to begin or have you reached a ‘brick wall’ or just want to share information? Novices, intermediate and experienced researchers are all welcome at the German Special Interest Group. Our coverage includes other German-speaking areas such as Austria, parts of Switzerland, Alsace, Lorraine, Bohemia and Moravia.
The Group meets quarterly, under the chairmanship of Jeanette Rosenberg, it has over 100 members with a core group of about 20 who attend meetings regularly.

Dutch & Sephardi SIG – Under the Chairmanship of Raymond Montanjes it was decided to combine the Dutch SIG with the Society’s dormant Sephardi group. As there is only a small Dutch Sephardi interest within the JGS – the majority of the Dutch researchers being Dutch Ashkenazim – the Sephardim were not being catered for at all. 3-4 meetings per annum are held. The ever welcome and very helpful ” ’round the table ” session, follow the talks. This is where we offer our researched names, dates and stories – plus any new research tools and general genealogical know how that is of use to all. Attendees provide their names, contact addresses, and general “wants”. A list is produced for each member. Cousins  – some sitting in the same room – have found each other.

Eastern European SIG -  Under the Chairmanship of Raymond Montanjes This has developed in a similar way to the Dutch & Sephardi group. The only difference is that it splits into 3 main groups. Polish, Lithuania/Estonian Litvak – where the South Africans are catered for  – and Romanian. There is always someone from the membership in attendance, to help out with other smaller Eastern European region researches, such as the Ukraine and other Baltic regions.

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

Benefits of JGSGB Membership – Part 3

In Part 2 of Benefits of Membership, one of the items was Members Corner. Under this there are two items. The first of these isDatabases & Browsable Lists”.

These pages are for the exclusive use of members of the Society and are updated on a continuous basis

They contain many searchable databases including

  • West London Synagogue Birth Register 1 (1842-1905)
  • Central Foundation Girls School
  • Congregation of Jacob Synagogue
  • Jews’ Hospital
  • Death & Stone Setting Announcements from the Jewish Chronicle 1993-2004
  • Rabbi Rabinowitz Memorial Publication Fund
  • US Seatholders Lists
  • Boer War – 1899-1902
  • Society of Hebrew Literature 

and browsable lists including

  • 1933 United Synagogue Seatholders List
  • Palace Gardens / Kensington Palace Gardens. Jewish inhabitants from the 1881/1891/1901/1911 Census
  • Fitzjohns Avenue (Hampstead). Jewish inhabitants from the 1881/1891/1901/1911 Census
  • Bevis Marks (St Katherine Cree & All Hallow on the Wall) Middlesex/London E. Jewish Inhabitants from the 1851/1871/1881/1891 Census
  • Black Lion Yard (Whitechapel) London E. Jewish Inhabitants from the 1901 and 1911 Census
  • Albert Square (Ratcliff) London E. Jewish Inhabitants from the 1901 and 1911 Census
  • Jewish Branch of the Children’s Country Holidays Fund (1921)
  • Tottenham Synagogue Marriage Registers
  • List of Early Jewish Clock and Watchmakers
  • Report of the Jewish Lads Brigade 1900-1901
  • The Jewish Regiment Committee Subscriptions
  • Jewish Board of Guardians’ Book of Remembrance
  • Jewish officers in the Navy, Army and Territorial Forces, 1912
  • Brothers Who Died in Service in the British and Commonwealth Forces in the Second World War
  • List of additions to Roll of Honour in the British Jewry Book of Honour
  • 1888 Liverpool Subscription list
  • Jewish Board of Guardians’ Book of Remembrance

Tony Benson – Blog Editor

Benefits of JGSGB Membership – Part 2

Continuing our look at the benefits of membership

  • Members Corner’ on our website (for Members only)
    • Databases & Browsable Lists  (a variety of Members only databases and searchable lists)
    • Details of the various Special Interest Groups (SIG) Details of the Regional Groups (RG)
  • Shemot Our award winning journal published 3/4 times a year. Shemot contains a variety of articles of interest to genealogists, book reviews, abstracts of overseas genealogical articles, practical research tips and useful addresses
  • Newsletter (published quarterly) giving news about the Society, forthcoming events, international genealogical affairs, computer activities, library notes, and members’ letters and queries
  • Members monthly meetings (where we have specialist speakers, demonstrations or members talking about their projects/research)
  • Access to our panel of experts 
  • Participation in our Online Discussion Group called jgsgb-discuss
  • Family History workshops
  • Training courses in genealogy, and using computers and the Internet for genealogical research
  • An annual all day seminar
  • Mentoring/Buddy system 
  • Genealogical Enquiries Officer

Tony Benson – Blog Editor