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  • 04/15/2024 10:07 AM | Ron Gallagher (Administrator)

    Vol. VII, No. 4

    Contributor: Russ Maurer, JGSC member and Records Acquisition & Translation Coordinator for LitvakSIG

    If you are a Litvak, that is, for the purpose of this article, if your family traces back to the area that today is Lithuania, including adjoining areas of Belarus and Poland, LitvakSIG is an essential resource for your research. In this RTOM, I will explain what LitvakSIG is and how you can use it.

    The name LitvakSIG expands to Litvak Special Interest Group. It is an independent organization with its own Board of Directors, funds, and website. Its mission since its founding about 25 years ago has been to translate Litvak genealogical records into English and make the translations readily available to English-speaking researchers.

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  • 03/28/2024 11:16 AM | Ron Gallagher (Administrator)

    Our new MAILING ADDRESS and LIBRARY COLLECTION are located at The Temple-Tifereth Israel:

    Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland
    26000 Shaker Blvd
    Beachwood, Ohio 44122

  • 03/11/2024 10:44 AM | Ron Gallagher (Administrator)

    Vol. VII, No. 3

    Contributor: Marlene Englander

    Thanks to companies like,, and (to name just a few), options for finding data from non-English speaking countries is much better, and easier, than when I started my genealogy journey 30 years ago. But, where else might you find useful information? These are a few sources that helped me. While these exact resources may not help you, hopefully it will give you some ideas of comparable places to look and the encouragement to look at foreign language documents, manuscripts, and books which can often be quickly translated by cutting/pasting into a translation program, such as Google Translate.

    1. Ghetto census books. Although there are other ways to find names of ghetto prisoners, The Ghettos of Oshmyany, Svir, Švenčionys Regions: Lists of Prisoners. 1942 a helped me. Published in English, Lithuanian and Russian, this book not only lists ghetto inmates, but it also includes information and pictures about people in those regions. I found a class picture from Widze (Vidzy) which included my...

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  • 02/10/2024 10:44 AM | Ron Gallagher (Administrator)

    Vol. VII, No. 2

    Contributor: Stewart Hoicowitz / Immediate Past President

    The most precious items we leave behind when we depart are not necessarily our material possessions but what lies in our hearts and minds. I’m struck by the words of writer and commentator Ellen Goodman that inspired me to pursue genealogical research and write about my ancestral heritage. “What the next generation will value most is not what we owned but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we lived and loved.”

    How do you sum up your life and the values you stand for? Who is better than yourself, a close friend or family member to write this story in advance. You control the narrative and have the final word. Though unorthodox, authoring your own obituary eliminates stress for grieving family members and ensures the deceased will be remembered in a way they’d want to be remembered...

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  • 02/07/2024 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to Jane Rothstein, Librarian and Archivist at The Temple-Tifereth Israel and our new vice president for membership.  Learn more about Jane and our board HERE.

  • 01/16/2024 10:46 AM | Ron Gallagher (Administrator)

    Vol. VII, No. 1

    Contributor: Susan Greenberg, JGSC Member

    Where is your tree and research? Is it just on Ancestry, Family Search or one of the other platforms? If so, do you have a separate copy of your updated trees and documents you discovered? How secure are these platforms? I have heard stories that some platforms let trees be manipulated and changed by other people besides the originator. Each platform has its own rules so be sure to learn the rules before you start your tree.

    CLICK HERE TO READ COMPLETE TIP (Requires member login to view. Please consider joining to see all member resources.)

  • 12/17/2023 4:27 PM | Rick Smith

    Vol. VI, No. 12

    Contributor:  Sylvia Abrams, PhD, JGSC Past President

    Many newspapers have digitized their back issues into searchable archives that are aggregated into databases. The best known is, owned by Ancestry and requiring a paid subscription. A free site for historical newspapers is, a searchable repository of historic newspapers published in New York State and the United States between 1795 and 2007, frequently updated. It also includes a handful of international newspapers. The Library of Congress' Chronicling America is another free resource that provides historical newspapers.

    Those who live in Northeast Ohio can access newspapers through the Cuyahoga County Library system using their library cards. Currently available are the historical Plain Dealer, historical NYTimes among others. The Cleveland Memory Project at Cleveland State University houses the Cleveland Press Collection.

    The Cleveland Jewish News Digital Archive includes not only all the CJN papers since its founding in 1964, but also all its predecessor papers:

    • The Hebrew Observer
    • The Jewish Independent
    • The Jewish Review
    • The Jewish Review and Observer
    • The Jewish World

    I’ve been fortunate to have located family information from several of these sites.

    Imagine my surprise to find a feature article in the April 2, 1907 Plain Dealer about my husband’s great grandfather, Jacob Green, noting that he was naturalized that day!  The article provided us with a date for locating his missing naturalization, date of arrival (which was 1879) and town of origin in Hungary. 

    As part of my research on this family branch, I located an article in the July 31,1931 Jewish Independent about the 50th wedding anniversary of Ignatz Green, Jacob’s brother. It provided not only his marriage date of 1881, but also his arrival date of 1883 and the names of all his children as adults, including the married names of his daughters.

    I used to search the Buffalo, NY papers for information on my maternal family.

    I knew that my mother’s birth name in English was Nita, and that she was listed as Annie on the ship manifest when she came to the US as a toddler from England. I had no idea that she was called Anna in school until I came across a Hutschinson High school honor roll list from the December 14,1923 Buffalo Courier. This discovery helped explain why she used the more American sounding first name Ann as an adult, which I found on her engagement announcement in the October 10,1940 Buffalo Evening News. 

    I also had been told that my maternal grandfather, Benjamin Hanf, had died in the flu epidemic. I was able to confirm this fact through an article in the December 5,1920 Buffalo Times that listed his name as one of those being remembered in an Elks lodge memorial program.   

    You may have luck confirming family names or stories through newspapers. With patient searching you can fill out genealogical facts to make ancestors feel more real than a line on a census or a name on a manifest.

  • 11/10/2023 12:22 PM | Ron Gallagher (Administrator)

    Vol. VI, No. 11

    Contributor: Richard Spector, JGSC Past President

    Most experienced genealogists are familiar with Steve Morse’s one-step website: It is a gold mine of links to valuable resources like the Ellis Island database and U.S. census records. Morse’s site is known for providing access to the data in such sources in ways that are more varied than the search functions of the sites themselves. (Steve gave in-person talks to JGSC on June 6, 2007 and June 4, 2008 and remotely on November 14, 2021).

    The Morse one-step home page has 19 folders...

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  • 11/10/2023 10:35 AM | Ron Gallagher (Administrator)

    A special thank you to our latest Lifetime Member!  Carolyn Javitch

  • 10/20/2023 11:21 AM | Anonymous

    Updated: Oct. 18, 2023, 2:14 pm - Published: Oct. 16, 2023, 12:26 pm

    By Steven Litt,

    CLEVELAND, Ohio — The library at the Western Reserve Historical Society library remains closed after a fire late last month left archival materials in the basement damaged by water and other parts of the four-story brick building affected by smoke and soot.


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