Jul 30, 2014

Free Book: Children of Dolhinov

From: Barry Rubin

For decades, I wanted to research my own ancestry.  Starting with a single clue, I was able to reconstruct the entire history of my grandparents’ town.

My goal with this book is to appeal to everyone to get to know their own “pre-history.”  Today there are amazing resources available  that make what was previously impossible into something anyone with enough patience can do.

I want to share with you some of the things that brought about this project and the ways it changed me. When I was about ten years old our class was given one of those exercises of making a presentation about our genealogical roots. It made a deep impression on me.

At the time, I only began with two words: Poland and 1908 (the year of my grandparents’ arrival in America. That was it. My parents gave me no names of people or places and I had literally no relatives. But, my parents said, we hadn’t lost anyone in the Holocaust from our family. From what I’ve heard, that isn’t an atypical pattern among American Jews.

A second experience that led to this effort happened in the Paris flea market in 1963, a trip that was my bar mitzvah present. At one of the stalls, a woman who saw me gasped and started crying. She explained that I looked just like the son she had lost twenty years earlier. She held up an old photograph. She was right.

But I want to stress that this isn’t just a book about the Holocaust—which takes up a small part of the book. It is an attempt to explain how a small town interrelated with far grander events and trends in world history.

DOWNLOAD IT HERE: http://www.gloria-center.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Children-of-Dolhinov.pdf

Barry, who died last year, has a lot of books offered for free here: http://www.gloria-center.org/pt_free_books/

Jul 27, 2014

Patrick Seale's Genealogy

From: Martin Kramer

Patrick Seale, journalist and author, best known for his reportage on Syria and his mediation between Hafez Asad and the West, has passed away at the age of 83.

Whenever Seale came up in Israeli discussions, there usually would be a fair bit of winking and nodding about his ancestry. His father, a Russian Jew born (I think) in Jerusalem under the name of Ephraim Sigel, converted to Christianity, changed his name to Morris Seale, studied theology in Belfast (where Patrick was born), and became an ordained minister of the Irish Presbyterian Church.

Sigel-Seale then went out as a missionary to Damascus, where Patrick spent his childhood. Nothing more excites speculation among Israelis than the discovery that a foreign friend or foe is a blood member of the tribe. (Albright, Kerry… it happens all the time.)

Did Hafez Asad and his cronies know that their Patrick wasn’t purely Irish? Did it matter? How could it not? Etcetera—for what it’s worth. (Not much, I think.)

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and speculate that Seale’s mother was also originally Jewish. Her name was Reine Attal, she belonged to a family of Italians settled in Tunisia. Attal was a ubiquitous surname for Sephardic Jews settled in North Africa (usually via Livorno). More: http://bit.ly/reineattal.

Read the whole thing: 

Jul 22, 2014

Do you have photos to lend Baycrest Museum

The Morris and Sally Justein Heritage Museum at Baycrest is planning an exhibition about the history of medicine in Toronto’s Jewish community.

The exhibition will coincide with Ontario Jewish Heritage Month, May 2015.

If you have objects, documents or photographs relating to the history of medicine in Toronto; the early years of the Toronto Jewish Old Folks’ Home, or medical education, that you would be willing to loan to this exhibition, please contact:

Cassandra Zita
Museum Assistant, Culture, Arts & Innovation, Baycrest
P: 416-785-2500 x 5622 -- E: czita@baycrest.org

Jul 21, 2014

Free Webinar

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is offering a free webinar on “Records Found” on July 24, 2014 at 1:00PM EDT.

The focus of the webinar is about women who lost citizenship through marriage, naturalization and repatriation between 1922-1956.

In 1907, the Expatriation Act mandated that all women acquired their husband’s nationality upon marriage—and between 1907 and 1922 many women lost their US citizenship by marring non-US citizens. This webinar examines citizenship records documenting the resumption of US citizenship by these women’s through the naturalization under the 1922 Married Women’s Act and through an expedited repatriation program that started in 1936.

To attend the webinar go to: http://tinyurl.com/okwzds3

Original url:

This webinar will also be held on Thursday, September 25, 2014 1:00 PM.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

One World - One Family Conference

Fifth Annual One World - One Family Conference

Saturday, August 23, 20149:00 am to 4:30 amat the Brampton Ontario Stake Centre of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints10062 Bramalea Road, Brampton ON
Registration is now open.

Contact InformationPhone: (416) 273-8816Email: owof.help@gmail.com

Conference link: http://www.oneworldonefamily-theevent.com/?utm_source=OWOF+Complete&utm_campaign=30fc3b297e-OWOF_2014_Anouncement_July_20&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c922a63535-30fc3b297e-415017805

Jul 10, 2014

South African Jewish BMD Database

For members who have South African connections.
Louis Zetler will be visiting Toronto and is willing to meet with us on Tuesday evening July 22. "

He is prepared to give a lecture on his South African Jewish births, marriages & deaths databases that he created and has worked on since 2001.
He has presented this lecture on a number of occasions in Israel, South Africa & Sydney. Basically, he creates the databases daily from online births, marriage & deaths notices in South African newspapers, Jewish cemetery websites, etc.
He would like to get people in other countries to do the same, e.g. for Canada.

If there is interest in meeting with Louis, please let me know as soon as possible to president@jgstoronto.ca. Also as we have not booked a facility for such a meeting would anyone be willing to host at their home. I anticipate a small group.

Les Kelman,
President, JGS Toronto