Skip to Content

News and Information for Members

News and Information for Members is a Members-only page providing details of some recent and some upcoming activities and also useful postings from JGSGB Discuss and other discussion lists and blogs.  This is a temporary Page until the JGSGB Newsletter reappears.  

The content of this page will change on a regular basis - latest update 6 November 2014



International Jewish Genealogy Month 2014

25 October to 22 November

(Cheshvan 5775)

The International Jewish Genealogy Month (IJGM) takes place every year in the Hebrew month of Cheshvan and is used to promote Jewish Genealogy in general. This year the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) has teamed up with JewishGen to undertake an Indexing Challenge throughout IJGM. The Indexing Challenge is to photograph and transcribe Memorial Plaques from Synagougues and other Institutions around the world and add them to JewishGen's Memorial Plaques Database. The Indexing Challenge is open to anyone, whether a Jewish Genealogical Society or an individual. Please take part in this challenge.



Open for Registration and for submission of talks/papers:

"From our venue at the Ramada Hotel – at the entrance to the city - you’re within easy walking distance to the Light Rail (Mount Herzl/Yad VaShem, the City Center/Old City and more), the Knesset, Israel Museum, Bible Lands Museum, Hebrew University Givat Ram campus, Cinema City and other Jerusalem landmarks.

This conference will be unique. Our Shabbaton (Friday-Saturday) program prior to the conference opening will offer special insights and opportunities. Exploration Sunday will offer diverse research and touring options.

Have family in Israel?  We can help arrange your family reunion.

In addition to the event’s lectures, workshops, resource center, networking opportunities and special events - many archives and repositories holding essential genealogical records will be at the conference. Many other one-of-a-kind programs will make this conference memorable.

We hope you will take advantage of this year’s Jerusalem conference to extend your stay - giving you and your family an opportunity to tour and learn about Israel.

We look forward to personally welcoming each of you!"

There will be a UK Special Interest Group meeting at the conference, hopefully with a guest speaker.



UK Naturalisation Certificates 1870-1912 on! have digitised the naturalisation certificates for the UK and they can now be searched on-line.  Click on HERE to learn more.


JGSGB's website has been given the accolade by the Who Do You Think You Are? magazine of best UK website for Jewish genealogical research.  Here is a copy of the item.

copyright 2014 Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine 


JGSGB Members to get a 10% Discount on 34th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy - LIVE!


Over 60 of the best conference programs will be live-streamed over the Internet, enabling you to participate from your room at the hotel or from your home half a continent or half a world away.

Two channels of programs will be available throughout the days of the conference, providing you with a choice of programs.

Registrants for LIVE! will be able to replay any of the LIVE! programming for 90 days after the conference. 

The cost of LIVE! is just $149 or less than $3 per session. If you purchase it along with the conference, your cost for LIVE! is just $99 or less than $2 per session.

JGSGB Member Discount* for LIVE! of 10% when you register using the Discount Code: LIVE421

$134 for JGSGB members, equal to £80 or less than £1.30 a lecture or event.

*Only one discount per member or joint member

Audio Visual Recordings Available

As well as the Live! streaming there are audio recording of most of the talks from the conference, with many having the presentation slides synchronised with them.  Here is what Jay Sage of JGS of Greater Boston had to say about the recordings:

"We just received our flash drive with the recordings from the conference, and I wanted to report that they are a spectacular improvement over what was done in the past. If you have not ordered a copy, I highly recommend that you do so (click here


or follow the link from the conference website). The conference discount is still available through tomorrow, September 5.

A large fraction of the recordings include the slides, which appear on the screen synchronized with the audio. Since most talks rely on PowerPoint slides, hearing the audio alone is often close to worthless.

Watching and listening to these presentations is almost as good as attending the presentation at the conference.

Accessing the material has been made very easy. There is a file called start.html. One opens that file in one's web browser, and the page displayed lists all the talks as links. Click on the talk you're interested in, and it opens right in the web browser. Those with slides show the slides along with the talk; those with audio only play the audio.

-- Jay"

The recordings website is also available through


JGSGB 21st Annual London Conference Pictures

Displaying PA263441.JPG

Displaying PA263445.JPG

Getting ready for the start. ------------------------ Hazel Atlass - Principal conference organiser

Displaying PA263449.JPG

Displaying PA263451.JPG

Doreen Berger - JGSGB Chairman ----------------------- Dr Sharman Kadish


Displaying PA263455.JPG

Displaying PA263474.JPG

Martin D Lee ----------------------------------------------- Martin Sugarman

Displaying PA263468.JPGDisplaying Pamela 2.JPG

Pamela Weisberger

Displaying PA263476.JPG

Displaying PA263483.JPG

Myko Clelland ------------------------------ The audience

Displaying PA263479.JPG

President Emeritus Dr Anthony Joseph Closes the Conference


Programmed Events

Library Openings

Sunday 30 November 2014 at 33 Seymour Place: Library Open for Research 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.;

SIG Meetings

Sunday 23rd November 2014 2.30 p.m. – 6.00 p.m. - Eastern European Special Interest Group - 33 Seymour Place, London W1H 5AU

Sunday 30th November 2014 - Dutch and Sephardi Special Interest Group Meeting - Council Room at 33 Seymour Place, London W1 from 2.30 to 6.00 pm.  Speaker:  Margery Cohen “Genesis: An Indian Childhood – a beginning and an ending.” This is a very interesting and unusual subject and even if this is not your own particular field of research, please try to come along and support us. Other areas of research can be very interesting in their own right and having seen some of Margery's wonderful family photos, we highly recommend this talk. 

Regional Meetings

Leeds Regional Group

The Leeds Group is still in existence and the Committee hopes to be meeting shortly to discuss possible events for the rest of the year. The Committee would very much welcome new members with enthusiasm and fresh ideas! Please contact Judith at if you would like to get involved.

Sunday 16th November 2014 2.30 p.m. - 5.00 p.m. - South East Essex Group: Jeanette Rosenberg on Using Newspapers for Genealogy - Balmoral Community Centre, Westcliff on Sea

Tuesday 18th November 2014 7.30 p.m. -10 p.m. - Chilterns & Home Counties Group: Genealogical Workshop and how the speakers have helped - Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue

Sunday 23rd November 2014 2.30 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. - North Herts Regional Group: Workshop with Jeanette Rosenberg - Welwyn Garden City Synagogue

Cemetery Visits

Nothing planned for the coming few months.

Other Events


The next webinar is on Thursday 20 November at 7.30 p.m. the subject being Holocaust Research - Register through the following URL:

Recordings of previous education webinars, slides and handouts can now be found on the JGSGB website at:

Take a look at these to see what can be learned through our webinars as JGSGB Member Ilona Southerst wrote about the recent Breaking Down Brickwalls webinar:

"Just a few notes to say how much I enjoyed attending the webinar on Thursday.

It was my first foray into "things webinar" and I really was quite unsure about it all.  In the event, I found it to be very straightforward to dial in ( another new experience!) and then to follow the very clear instructions, for example to click on the raised hand symbol to signify that I could hear clearly- something I had felt unsure about.

The content of the webinar was excellent and, although I jotted down some notes, it is fantastic to have been sent the references/ website addresses by e-mail.  I am looking forward to visiting many of these
websites to further my research.

Please pass on my thanks to Jeanette and her colleague for a thoroughly enjoyable and informative webinar!

With best wishes,

Ilona Southerst"

Full details of each event are available in the JGSGB Current Programme.


Visits of Interest by Members

Report of A Visit by Anita Benson to the Montefiore Synagogue and Mausoleum

In June, a day trip to Ramsgate was organized by a local NW London Synagogue led by a Blue Badge Guide for the group to visit the Montefiore Synagogue and Mausoleum. I jumped at this rare opportunity and booked straight away.

There was a lot to see and take in. I will try and give you a taste of how the day went. The Synagogue was opened for the group by special arrangement. A little bit of history behind this "Estate Synagogue" situated not too near the Main House but not too far away: It was built to commemorate the visit to Jerusalem by Sir Moses and Lady Judith Montefiore to express their gratitude for a safe journey. David Mocatta was hired as the architect - he was also a cousin to Sir Moses Montefiore. The Synagogue was dedicated in June 1833. It is a Grade 2 building in a late Regency style. Inside there was a chair solely for the use of Sir Moses. One interesting aspect - the synagogue has a chiming clock which is the only example seen in an English Synagogue.

The Mausoleum is a replica of Rachel's tomb near Bethlehem. Lady Montefiore was buried there in 1862 and her husband Sir Moses in 1885.

The site of East Cliff Lodge was the home of the Montefiores and used by royalty. Sir Moses purchased the house in 1830. In 1835 Princess Victoria and her mother visited Ramsgate, the grounds were opened for her and a golden key was presented to her to a private door to the estate. Sadly the house no longer exits. It was demolished in 1954 and the beautiful George VI Memorial Park was created in the grounds.

We visited the Montefiore Woodlands, site of the former Theological College or Yeshiva in Hebrew. The college was built in memory of Judith Lady Montefiore - the foundation stone was laid in 1865. Around the central block of the college were five residences for the scholars which included a Mikvah (ritual bath) Alas, it was demolished in 1961.

Of interest to those researching Kent Jewish Ancestors might be Augusta Road. This was on the western border of the Estate and was developed around 1845. Until the early 20th century when Jewish visitors increased, there was a need for boarding houses serving Kosher food. Augusta Road was one of the streets where several Jewish boarding houses existed.

We stopped for a picnic lunch and numerous cups of tea were enjoyed along the Royal Harbour. It was once a fashionable resort, our guide informed us and it is undergoing a revival amongst the Artist community.

Of some interest is The Custom House, which is now the Mayor's Parlour and you can see the Mayoral gold chain made of the Hebrew letter 'mem'.

After lunch, the coach took us to The Italianate Greenhouse which is on the Montefiore Trail. This is an early 19th century Grade 2 listed building, a formal Italian Garden with an ornate Italian Fountain. We viewed the Italianate Greenhouse from the outside. Enquiries would have to be made regarding entering the actual structure. There is the Stable Block where the Montefiore carriage was kept. I understand that the carriage can be seen in Jerusalem.

I hope I have whetted your appetite to visit Ramsgate and visit the Synagogue & Mausoleum and grounds of the former home of the Montefiores. There is a Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage trail which can be followed. Apparently the trail should take one and a half to two hours. It was mentioned by our Blue Badge guide that The Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue Authorities might not allow group visits in the future because of health and safety concerns to the Synagogue and Mausoleum. This would be such a shame.

An organized trip would obviously be the best way to visit this historic site. However, the next best mode of transport is by car. The Synagogue and Mausoleum can easily be viewed from the outside.

For those wishing to travel by public transport (living in the London area) the quickest route would be by train from London St Pancras. I would suggest ringing National Rail Enquiries for other routes. I understand National Express also runs a service to Ramsgate from London Victoria.

Anita Benson


  (L to R)  Montefiore Synagogue Interior, Sir Moses Montefiore's Chair and the Montefiore Mausoleum


Sandys Row Hidden Histories

It all started with a call put out by Tower Hamlets Community Housing in April 2013 for ‘an enthusiastic project manager with oral history and archive expertise to help plan, manage and deliver an ‘Our HHidden Histories Hi Hidden Histories Project’ on Sandys Row Synagogue.  The call was answered by Rachel Lichtenstein, writer, artist and archivist, author of Rodinsky’s Room, and this resulted in a very enjoyable, entertaining and informative evening.   The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the launch event took place at Sandys Row Synagogue on Thursday 23rd October 2014.

Until recently very little was known about the history of Sandys Row but with the help of Stefan Dickers from the Bishopsgate Institute, and their collection of artefacts, photographs, etc. many hidden treasures have now been uncovered. And fragile documents from Sandys Row have been removed to the Bishopsgate Institute for safe keeping and indexing. There is a comprehensive history of Sandys Row on the Institute website blog:

The event was opened by Harvey Rivkind, President of the Synagogue, followed by a reading by legendary East End poet, Stephen Watts.  Rachel Lichtenstein then introduced a film showing the work by volunteers to get the project up and running, including our own Rosemary Hoffman, and was interspersed by oral memories of Sandys Row residents, whose memories brought to life a picture of the Jewish East End in the early years.  Life wasn’t easy in those days but there was a community spirit unequalled since.  

There is an exhibition also showing photographs and recalling memories of a bygone age. The exhibition will be open on the following Sundays in November from 12 -3 pm (2nd, 9th, 23rd and 30th).  Refreshments were served and judging by the buzz in the room the evening was a great success. 

Shirley Collier and Gina Marks

Displaying P1010208.JPG

Displaying P1010202.JPG___________________________________________________________

JGSGB Discuss

Recent postings from JGSGB Discuss can be read by clicking on the following link: DISCUSS POSTINGS (revised 8 November 2014)



The JewishGen Discussion List

3 October 2014

Gesher Galicia's Cadastral Map room has just added a map for Bukaczowce ( Bukachivtsi, Bukachevtsy, Bukashevitz,) formerly Galicia, today in Ukraine.

This is a partial feldskizzen (field sketch) map, showing urban concentration wrapping around the marshy reservoir and its outlet creeks. Businesses and residences are numbered; farmlands are numbered and named. If your family lived in this town and owned land in the mid 19th century you may well find their name on this map. On the far left you'll find a list of homeowners (Jewish and Polish) referencing those who lived close the market square and/or may be prominent community members.  The capital letter next to their name will also be found on their house near the square.

The map shows the central market square and the Jewish community square where the synagogue is denoted by a triangle sign, usually found marking Jewish cemeteries. There are also several churches or chapels, governmental buildings (denoted with flag icons,) Christian and Jewish cemeteries, and what appears to be planned acquisition of land for the future Lemberg-Czernowitz line of the Galicia Railway.

If you compare this map to the earlier one (1848) on our site:

You can see the growth of the town over five years: a wonderful example of how maps can illuminate the life of a shtetl and should be considered an integral part of historical and genealogical research. 

If you identify family from these maps or have postcard views of the town or market square you are willing to share, please let me know.

Thanks to Jay Osborn for stitching the map (which was copied by Brian Lenius) and for writing and researching the descriptive text.

Pamela Weisberger

Gesher Galicia


Subject: German post-1874 vital records newly available

From: "Roger Lustig (GerSIG)" <>

Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:44:55 -0400

X-Message-Number: 6

[Expanded version of yesterday's posting to GerSIG] has added several sets of vital registers that will be of interest to almost anyone doing German research.

The largest one is from Berlin: Marriages and Deaths, 1874-1920 and Births, 1874-1899. There is indexing by date, name and often maiden name.

Others include:

Dresden B 1876-1902, M 1876-1922, D 1876-1951.

Mainz M 1876-1920.

...and some smaller towns:

Regen (Bavaria), 1876 to: B 1904; M 1934; D 1983 (i.e., all those available to the public);

Muehldorf am Inn (Bavaria) 

Grafing (Bavaria)

Delmenhorst (Lower Saxony)

Diepholz (Lower Saxony)

Rehna (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)

The Mainz records are complemented by a set of family registers from 1760-1900. They are indexed, but at this time the index is not linked to the images. There are 162 images for 573 families.

An updated version of the "Pomerania Parish Register Transcripts" is also listed. Those with relatives from Stargard/Pommern should consult the "Seelenregister"--family registers for the whole town for much of the 19th century. Not a parish register, but it got included anyway.

Several volumes plus an index.

So much for the weekend...

Roger Lustig  Princeton, NJ USA  research coordinator, GerSIG




Posting messages does work -

Subject: Success in family search and my most sincere thanks
From: a.watson
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2014 19:31:57 +0200

Many thanks to Miriam Margolyes, Simon Srebrny & Sally Walters.  At the beginning of the week, after my post on JCR-UK, Myriam, Simon and Sally passed on information enabling me to find the descendant of Martin Fabian, Eric Elias. This was a puzzle that I hadn't managed to piece together for at least 6 months. Exchanging mails as from Thursday, he told me that all his life he had been convinced that he was the only surviving member of the Fabians of Neuwedell, Berlin, and Hamburg, so he was obviously quite surprised!  The most difficult thing for me now is to distill the information that I have about our family in order to make it comprehensible to him. We are hoping to meet up at some point, and with his permission I will post a photo of us at that time on your site.

With many thanks
Alexander Watson

There have been hundreds and thousands of successes from postings on JCR-UK, JGSGB-Discuss, JewishGen Discussion List and on JewishGen SIG Lists.  If anyone is ever stuck they should try posting a message on one or all of the lists available.



Blogs provide a lot of material for genealogists, ideas for new research, information about resources, discussion about technical and ethical issues.  Here are a few blogs that you might want to check out:

The humorous Black Sheep Blog -

Jewish Gem's -

Blood and Frogs -

Jewish Graveyard Rabbit -

On-line Journal of Genetics and Genealogy -

Your Genetic Genealogist -

DNA Explained -

The Legal Genealogist -

Genealogy's Star for technology -


Page edited by Mark Nicholls, Webmaster JGSGB

Copyright 2014 - Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain