JEWISH GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA

 

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WINTER 2014 CHRONICLES IS NOW AVAILABLE

VIEW AND DOWNLOAD -- CLICK ABOVE

(PDF version -- Adobe Reader required to view)



Read an article about our president, Fred Blum, run in the Winter 2013 edition of Inside magazine at
http://www.jewishexponent.com/a-top-genealogist-with-true-detective-talent


New on the Website

Thanks to the generosity of the Ginsburg, Platsis, Pressman & Vederman families, we have a diary of a 16-year old with advertisements from the John Wanamaker department store. The diary includes references to Sunday school and Gratz. The advertisements show items of the day available at Wanamaker's and other Philadelphia businesses. There are other small articles that include items of interest, including some of special interest to Jews, such as the article on page 294 about the Shofar.

This is a large PDF file (346MB) with images of 446 pages. It will take time to download and may not be compatible with all devices.

Click on the image of the cover above to view the document.

Pennsylvania Records News

The initial batch of Pennsylvania state death certificates is now online through Ancestry.com (as of April 18th). Remember only birth and death certificates that are open records will be online (50 years for death certificates and 105 years for birth certificates). The overall schedule is:

 • 1906-24 death certificates – April 2014
 • 1925-44 death certificates – June 2014
 • 1945-63 death certificates – November 2014
 • 1906 birth certificates – March 2015

Pennsylvania residents (and only Pennsylvania residents) have free access to this particular database as they do with other Pennsylvania State Archives records already scanned and made available online by Ancestry. Free access for Pennsylvania residents is accomplished by registering online at no cost through this link (please be sure to read the instructions carefully): www.portal.state.pa.us. Pennsylvania residents that already have a subscription to Ancestry do not need to do anything as long as they continue to have a subscription to Ancestry.

Out of state residents do need a subscription to Ancestry to access these records. However, many libraries and research centers everywhere provide free access to Ancestry. After three years the records will be moved to the Pennsylvania State Archives website and be free to all.

Thank you for your help in getting the PA state law changed that made this possible. Without your help we would still be stuck with the old extremely restricted access to Pennsylvania state birth and death certificates and wishing it were different. For more information please visit www.pahr-access.org. Good luck in your searches and keep in mind mistakes in indexing (most especially on Ancestry) and the original certificates are to be expected.


1940 census link

From Recent Meetings...

Click here for Joel Spector's presentation entitled "The Growth of the Russian Jewish Population From Early Historical Data through the 1897 Census".
Click here for Alan Jordan's notes on probate, records, and wills from his talk in November, 2014.

Links From Recent Chronicles...

Click here for ZACHOR – Memories of the Jews of Bialystok by Mark Halpern from Winter 2014 CHRONICLES


FUTURE SOCIETY EVENTS

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS



Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 1:30 pm at Main Line Reform Temple

Speaker: Cassio Tolpolar, Brazilian Film Director and Writer was born and raised in the south of Brazil. He worked for seven years as an Assistant Director on various documentaries, short films, TV shows and commercials. Cassio's debut as a Director and Writer, the short Venus, was screened in a number of film festivals around the world and won several awards, including Best Director and Best Cinematography. It led him to direct for television and, ultimately, to move to the USA and complete the MFA in Film at the San Francisco Art Institute. He has been affiliated with film institutions such as Sundance (Sundance/NHK Award and the Film Festival), Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Upon his arrival in the US, he worked in a number of experimental short films, TV shows and documentaries. Cassio has recently returned to Brazil, where he is promoting Mamaliga Blues and developing All the Other Planets, a fiction feature film.

Topic: Mamaliga Blues: A Family Road Movie into the Past

In 2008 and 2012 Cassio Tolpolar and his family traveled from Brazil to Moldova to investigate their ancestry. Having as a starting point only one remaining photograph of a lost grave, the Tolpolars drove through ancient villages, walked in the bushes of abandoned cemeteries, and met locals, looking for what happened to their relatives who disappeared during the Holocaust. The search reveals the fragility of Moldova's memory, and how its Jewish past is vanishing. www.mamaligablues.com.



Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 1:30 pm at Main Line Reform Temple

Speaker: David Brill, Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia, has been researching his own family history in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and the United States for over 20 years. He is Coordinator of the Russian Interest Group of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia and has been active in transliterating documents, including all existing Jewish and vital records for his ancestral shtetl of Usvyaty, Russia. He also maintains a KehilaLinks page for Tuchin, Ukraine.

Topic: Letters from a Judean

In February 1918, an eighteen-year old American Jew named William Z. Porter left his home in Philadelphia to join the 39th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers – the Jewish Legion. Over the next several years, as he moved with the 39th from Windsor, Canada, to England, Egypt and pre-Mandatory Palestine, William corresponded extensively with Brill's maternal grandmother. Nearly one hundred years later, these collected letters, postcards, photographs and souvenirs form a remarkable record of a young man’s experience fighting with the “Judeans.” They also cast a fascinating light on subjects ranging from relations between Jewish and non-Jewish soldiers, to the vibrant Zionist youth culture of Philadelphia, to ordinary soldiers’ impressions of the Zionist leaders of the day. Brill's grandmother kept these documents her entire life because she recognized their historic significance. In this presentation Mr Brill describes the collection in detail, and also discusses how he used JewishGen’s resources to find William’s descendants.



April Meeting will be:Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm at Adath Israel, 250 N. Highland Avenue, Merion Station, PA 19066

Speaker: Tammy A. Hepps, founder of Treelines.com, a family story sharing website, and a past winner of the RootsTech Developer Challenge. With fifteen years of experience in digital media and more than two decades in genealogy, she brings a fresh perspective on combining creative research, cutting-edge technology, and and meaningful storytelling to make family history more engaging. This past spring she presented her current research into the Jewish community of one of her ancestral towns, documented at  HomesteadHebrews.com, at the Library of Congress.

Topic: Reconstructing Small-Town Jewish Communities in America: A Case Study

While the history of the American Jewish community remains largely an urban one, most of us have at least one branch from a small town. Though these places may seem harder to research for being relatively unknown, they actually pose a unique opportunity for family historians to understand our ancestors in the context of their communities. This talk will review research approaches for understanding your ancestral small town, as well as concrete steps descendants can take to ensure these communities aren't lost to history. Along the way you'll hear lots of memorable and surprising stories of what life was like for the minority of Jewish immigrants who became Americans far from the safety of the urban cultural centers.

36th IAJGS International Conference
on Jewish Genealogy

August 7-12, 2016 Seattle, WA

Brooklyn Bridge 1905

Brooklyn Bridge 1905

Zhytomir, Ukraine

Atlantic City, 1904

New York City

New York City, 1913

The JGSGP sadly announces the passing of our Vice President for Programming, trong>Steve Schecter, suddenly on September 30, 2013. Our society will miss the enthusiasm and leadership that he so freely gave us all.

 

Leonard Markowitz, past president of the JGSGP, passed away on September 29, 2014. Len was instrumental in leading our genealogy society early on when we were very small. He was very knowledgeable and was an effective people-person when he served as President of our genealogy society. He was the husband of the late Sonya, father of Larry Markowitz and Lynn (Alan) Pechinski.

SOCIETY NEWS

We now have a Speakers Bureau

To volunteer as a speaker or to request a speaker for your event,  click here and

please contact Stan or Shelda Sandler stanshel(at)msn.com

 

JGSGP Beginner and Intermediate Genealogy Workshops

Interested in attending or sponsoring a workshop for your Congregation or Organization? Send an email to Stan or Shelda Sandler stanshel(at)msn.com with specifics about your request.

 

Genealogy Help in New Jersey

James Gross is at the Cherry Hill Family History Center most Tuesday evenings 6:30 to 9:00.  The FHC is located at 252 E. Evesham Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003.  Please call ahead to confirm BEFORE visiting at 856-795-8841.

 

Brick Walls Q&A

A new feature! JGSGP members can ask for help from fellow members with their research challenges. Have an issue? Send a message to BrickWallQuestions@jgsgp.org.  Questions may be published in our quarterly journal Chronicles. Answers will be sent to the question originator only by email.

LOCAL NEWS AND EVENTS OF INTEREST

News from PJAC


MANY INTERESTING EVENTS INCLUDING GENEALOGY - CLICK HERE

 


GENEALOGICAL WORKSHOP

SERIES IN PHILADELPHIA

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An Interactive Website for Exploring

the City of Neighborhoods


GREAT BOOK ABOUT JEWISH PHILADELPHIA

The Life and Times of Congregation Kesher Israel

by Harry Boonin

Click HERE for Details


 

 


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Last updated December 30, 2015

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