Aug 26, 2015

Can You Inherit Trauma?

This article claims that the children of Holocaust survivors are known to have increased likelihood of stress disorders.

The team was specifically interested in one region of a gene associated with the regulation of stress hormones, which is known to be affected by trauma.

“It makes sense to look at this gene,” said Yehuda. “If there’s a transmitted effect of trauma, it would be in a stress-related gene that shapes the way we cope with our environment.”

They found epigenetic tags on the very same part of this gene in both the Holocaust survivors and their offspring, the same correlation was not found in any of the control group and their children.

The team ruled out the possibility that the epigenetic changes were a result of trauma that the children had experienced themselves.

“This provides the first demonstration of transmission of pre-conception stress effects resulting in epigenetic changes in both the exposed parents and their offspring in humans.”

Other studies have proposed a connection between one generation’s experience and the next.

For example, girls born to Dutch women who were pregnant during a severe famine at the end of the second world war had an above-average risk of developing schizophrenia.

Likewise, another study has showed that men who smoked before puberty fathered heavier sons than those who smoked after.

And scientists at Emory University in Atlanta trained male mice to fear the smell of cherry blossom by pairing the smell with a small electric shock. Eventually the mice shuddered at the smell even when it was delivered on its own.

Despite never having encountered the smell of cherry blossom, the offspring of these mice had the same fearful response to the smell - shuddering when they came in contact with it. So too did some of their own offspring.

On the other hand, offspring of mice that had been conditioned to fear another smell, or mice who’d had no such conditioning had no fear of cherry blossom.

See also: Can you inherit trauma?

Jane Seymour on Genealogy TV

Actress Jane Seymour is the genealogy show, Who Do You Think You Are.

She focuses on her Jewish father’s family of two great-aunts and their experiences during Nazi occupation – Poland and France.

There are vintage videos of the Warsaw Ghetto, Warsaw Uprising, Warsaw in 1940 and post 1945, Belsen and more on France and WW ll.

She went to Paris to research her great aunt and her family-  which took her to Marseilles and Switzerland.

You can find it on YouTube:

Aug 3, 2015

Meeting: My Trip to Lithuania and Latvia

My Trip to Lithuania and Latvia
Presented by Jo Ann Goldwater

Temple Sinai, 210 Wilson Avenue
Wednesday, September 30th at 8:00 p.m.
Doors open at 7:30 pm

Jo Ann Goldwater is a physiotherapist by profession who, since her retirement, has become involved in genealogy, photography and environmental causes.  About 12 years ago, she started to research her family from Latvia/Lithuania.

In her talk, Jo Ann will describe how she planned a genealogical trip to Latvia and Lithuania to visit her ancestral towns.  She will also talk about her trip to Zhager, Lithuania (where her grandparents were born) and Riga, Latvia, including her visits to the cities’ archives. Her presentation will be enhanced by the photos she took during her trip and by historical information about the places she visited. ●  ● 647-247-6414

Jul 7, 2015

Not all your relatives are worth knowing

For instance, my friend's cousin is a Nazi.

Doug Pearson, formerly Aaron Pearlston, has struggled with autism all his life.   He is also the son of Jewish parents and the grandson of a Holocaust survivor.

The Holocaust claimed the lives of his great-grandparents. Only two sons survived, one of them his kindly Polish-born Toronto grandfather, Howard Chandler, who came to Canada in 1947.

Now in his 80s, Chandler has long been active in Holocaust education. He has spoken at Toronto-area schools and taken part in the March of the Living, an annual walk through the Auschwitz and Birkenau sites with youths from around the world.

Chandler said he had not spoken to his grandson for some time but recalled them arguing over the Holocaust after Pearson claimed it never happened. Chandler pointed out that his parents and siblings had died in the Holocaust. Pearson responded that they might be in Argentina. “How can you argue with that?”

Well, he's still better than this guy:

Adam Yahiya Gadahn, also known as Azzam al-Amriki, was born Adam Pearlman in Oregon in 1978. His father had a Jewish father but converted to Christianity. He himself converted from Christianity to Islam as a teenager in 1995. He joined al-Qaeda as a translator and media adviser and appeared in several of the terror group’s videos since 2004.

The Americans killed him with a drone. (It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy).

Here's his full story.

Jul 2, 2015

Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter - Exhibit

A Journey Through The Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter: From Antiquity to 1914

Vladimir Institute, 620 Spadina Ave
July 8-19, 2015.

Launch and Reception: Wednesday, July 8
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The evening will include remarks, live music and a kosher sampling of Ukrainian and Jewish cuisine and drink.


Jul 1, 2015 Free for July 4

In celebration of July 4th, is offering free access to their records collection from the original 13 colonies (US) through July 5, 11:59 PM EDT.

This includes over 160 million birth, marriage, death, and divorce records—plus their just-released Virginia collection.

To access this free offer go to:

For those who may not remember all of the original 13 Colonies they are: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

You will be required to register with name, email address and password.  No credit card information is required.

Be aware that on some searches you may get an index only if that is the only documentation Ancestry has such as  the NYC birth, marriage and death indices.

After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using an Ancestry paid membership.

For a list of the databases in this Original 13 Colonies Collection see:

Whether your search results in the actual document or an index on the left side of the screen a pop-screen comes up “sign up to save this record” which takes you to a subscription page.

This is not the free access window so unless you want a paid subscription try another search, or save or print the document to your computer found in your search.

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Jun 29, 2015

Streaming Jerusalem Conference Online

Registration for IAJGS On-Demand 2015 is now open.

The 35th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be held in Jerusalem, July 6 – 10 2015

Over 50 of the best programs will be streamed to you ON-DEMAND for viewing over the Internet within a few hours of presentation.

This service is being presented in co-operation with FamilySearch.

Click anywhere on the On-Demand Banner at to learn more and register.