09 May 2021

Is this Ruth Resnick Mann?

Well, I know the answer to my question won't be definitive unless I can somehow get Ruth Resnick Mann's family to respond. But I want to know what you think. Here's the entire photo: 

I believe this was taken in Manhattan about November 1922 shortly after my great grandfather, Avrum Garber, arrived in the United States. The get-together was likely in my great uncle Nathan's apartment on Madison Street in Lower Manhattan.

We know the identities of everyone in the photo (all family members) except for the two on the far left: the young man and the girl next to him in the dark dress with the white collar.

I have a hunch based on some DNA matches and paper research. I am still working the DNA angle - need some more people to compare. The chance of locating Russian Empire records to work my hypothesis further are slim. Right now, I just cannot make a conclusive argument.

Here is a closeup:

And here is Ruth Resnick in her 1930 Plainfield High School (New Jersey) yearbook.

In June 1934, she married Louis Mann and became Ruth Mann. 

Is Ruth Resnick of Plainfield, New Jersey, the same person depicted a few years earlier in my Garber family photo? What do you think?

If this is, indeed, Ruth, then what I'd also hope for are some additional photos identifying her father Reuben Resnick. Perhaps the young man is her father Reuben.

17 April 2021

Coming Attractions, April and May 2021

Life seems to be speeding up a bit. I will be giving several online presentations in the next few weeks. 

Two are for members of the Family History Society of Arizona (Daytimers and Avondale chapters) on April 21 and May 11, 2021. Go to the website for the Family History Society of Arizona to see their (and my) offerings.

For Jewish genealogical societies, I will be offering three presentations (one for JGS Southern Nevada and two for JGS Greater Boston).

"Town Counsel: Finding Your European Town of Origin"

1 PM (PDT), Sunday, April 18, 2021: Sponsored by the Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Nevada.

To register go to: https://www.jgssn.org/meetings.html

JGS Southern Nevada has a stellar line up over the next few months. Check it out.

"When It Takes A Village: Applying Cluster and Collateral research Techniques" and  

"Conflict Management - Evaluating Evidence of Identity" 

10:30 AM (PDT)/1:30 PM (EDT), Sunday, May 2, 2021: A double-header sponsored by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston.

For further information and to sign up, go to https://www.jgsgb.org/event/emily-garber2021/

JGS Greater Boston also has several fine events scheduled in the next couple of months.

Hope to see you online!

08 March 2021

IAJGS Conference Early Registration is Now Open!

[Update: Ooops! Never mind. The IAJGS conference will now be virtual. No additional info is currently available. Conference planners are clearly feverishly working to figure out the virtual event schedule.]
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Conference is being planned for August 2-5, 2021. The goal is to have the conference in-person in Philadelphia.*

Registration for the conference is now open.

I was asked to prepare a short (2 minute) video as a teaser for one of my talks: "Alien, Enemy, Declarant...Grief: Learning from Missteps in the Naturalization Process."

Allow me to tease you.

I will also be delivering two more talks:

  • "Planning for Success: A Strategy for Effective Family History Research"
  • "Learning Our Craft: Online Opportunities for Improving Research Skills"

* I will admit to being a bit of a pessimist about holding the conference. But I am assured that conference planners are thinking of all contingencies including a virtual or hybrid conference. Stay tuned.

20 February 2021

IAJGS at RootsTech Connect! 2021

315,000 (and counting) from 220 countries and territories! That's the number of registrations reported by RootsTech Connect yesterday. In its eleventh year, RootsTech has taken the conference completely virtual. The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) is  pleased to be a society sponsor of this year's exciting and groundbreaking virtual conference and has posted the following new release.[1]


Join IAJGS at RootsTech Connect 2021 


The IAJGS continues to assist in and promote the research of Jewish family history.  The Jewish genealogy community remains a strong and vibrant force, even when we are not together.  We continue to serve you with educational opportunities you can take advantage of from home.


Every year for the past ten years, RootsTech has held the largest family history technology conference in Salt Lake City.  This year, for the first time ever, the conference will be truly global, entirely virtual, and completely free.  RootsTech Connect kicks off February 25-27, 2021.

The main stage presentations for this virtual conference will run around the clock for the three days of the conference.  Videos of those presentations, and more than 1,000 additional presentations, will be available through RootsTech on-demand for a year.


IAJGS Participation


Visit the IAJGS virtual booth at RootsTech.  We will feature more than twenty, 5-20 minute presentations, featuring Jewish genealogy topics.  In addition, there will be five additional educational resources in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, and Polish.  Whether you are brand new to family history or an experienced genealogist, there are tips for all.


If you participate during the three days of the conference, there will be a Jewish Genealogist available for chat.  There you can download a Jewish Genealogy Quick Start Guide and Jewish Genealogy Research Tips.  You will also be able to explore resources from more than 90 Jewish Genealogy Societies around the world.  If you are not able to attend during the three live days of the conference, the IAJGS virtual booth resources will be accessible for up to a year.


For more information and to register for free, visit:  https://www.rootstech.org/


Learn More about IAJGS


The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) is an independent non-profit umbrella organization coordinating the activities and annual conference of 95 national and local Jewish Genealogical Societies (JGS) around the world.


Contact your local JGS for more information:  https://www.iajgs.org/membership/member-societies/


1. I serve as a director on the board of IAJGS.

11 February 2021

Letter from Frieda Lederman, date unknown (ca. 1910-1913)

All the letters saved by Morris (Moshe) Lederman from his first few years (1910-1913) in the United States, except one, were from his father Levi Yitzkhak. Although Levi Yitzkhak's correspondence makes clear that Frieda Simberg Lederman, Moshe's mother, was sending letters to Moshe, the letter presented here is the only one passed down to his family. Unfortunately, the letter is not dated.

While I have been posting the translated letters in the order written, I thought I'd share this undated one now because, in the last letter about which I blogged, Levi Yitzkhak remarked that Morris' mother was uncommonly devoted to her youngest son. 

One thought I have had while reading these letters is that Moshe never did return to his home and see his parents. Their only wish was to see Moshe happy and successful - emphasis on the "see." They never did have that opportunity.

The letterhead on the stationery is for The First Russian Insurance Company. Established in 1827.


Translation by Khane-Fayl Turtletaub

To my dear son Moyshe _____ May he live and be well,

The first thing I want to write to you is that we are thank God well. May God grant that we hear the same from you. It's been quite a long while since we've had a letter from you. Why is this? 

There is no news at all to write about us. Things are as they have always been. [We are] worried and condemned [sic]. All [we worry about] is you, my dear child.

Secondly, I want to write that I cry for myself that I let you travel, but what can I say? God told us to do this. Now I pray to God that He will let me live long enough to see you under good circumstances during my lifetime, because what I have now is not a life, since I don't see you. 

If I knew things were good for you, nothing else would matter. But I know things are not good for your either, and so my heart is very embittered, because you are my whole life, my whole world and no one can comfort me when it comes to you. 

I am not like other mothers. I pray to God day and night [to keep you well]. Stay as well as your mother prays from the depths of her heart,

Freydl Liderman


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