20 September 2021

Letters from Levi Yitzkhak Lederman, 19 October 1911

This post continues translation of letters and postcards in Yiddish (and, sometimes, Hebrew) sent by Levi Yitzkhak Liderman to his son, Morris, who was settled, initially, in New York City in 1910. For further background, see the first post in this series. By September 1911, Morris had moved to Lynn, Massachusetts.

For links to other posts in this series, scroll to the bottom.

Several people have noted that Levi Yitzkhak's cards and letters include both Yiddish and Hebrew. Translation is an art. Any comments or clarifications by Yiddish and/or Hebrew speakers/translators are welcome. There are quite a few places in this particular letter where the exact meaning could not be discerned.

Addressed to:

M. Liderman
108 Blossm Street [Blossom Street]
Lynn, Mass.

19 October 1911 (Russian/Julian date), Polonnoe


Translation by Esther Chanie Dushinsky

[Notes in blue as well as those at the end of the post are mine. For ease of reading, I have added paragraph breaks in the translation.]

[side 1]

Wednesday, Parshas Lech Lecha, October 31 English, 18 Russia [1] 

My dear and beloved son, who sweetens my soul, Mr. Mosheleh, should live. I received your closed letter that you wrote on Thursday, fourth day of Chol Hamoed Succot, the 12th of October English, at my home. It got to my home in Annopol [written in shorthand] on Friday _____, the 27th of October, English. Mother, should live, sent it to me here in Polonnoe.


Mother writes that it gave her sustenance to read your sweet words. And I am also saying, myself, that you revived my soul too and saved me [?]. Thank you and praise, you say that you prayed with other Jews on the holy Yom Kippur. It should be His will that our prayers should be accepted. 


My son, you write that your apartment is from someone from Polonnoe etc., Hi wife is the daughter of Naftali the writer. I searched here and I researched very well and there is no one with such a name here. I gather that an error fell from you pen and your quill. 


You wrote that you took apart  [or unloaded] - the "Laptzerdok" - for what reason? [2] With Montchik _____ _____ you wrote that _____, give him thanks and praise in my name. 


At our end, there is still no news, and everything is as it was. Gershon still did not give money from day to day, and said that he will give. And up to now, as long as the price for the house is not in my hands, I won't be able to _____ _____ [have a court case?]. _____ to decide if in Polonnoe or in _____.[3]


From Zeidel we haven't had a letter since after Yom Tov. I wrote your address to him, still during the Yom Tovim when I was still home, with the goal that he will come to you and now _____ the your letters with my letters. Love and friendship _____ _____ beloved. Maybe you received some letter. And the fact that I don't have a letter from him the entire time, isn't _____ on what to rely, if they always blame [?] you _____ big and isn't used to come from time to time. Often in the letters, or maybe in another way, it's represented there. Not _____, as long as he doesn't have a job [?] _____, as _____ and for this, the same thing is written.


[side 2]


I'll also say that in your letter that you sent $12 to _____ and will fulfill your words that you will write the truth always. And according to this calculation, as well as from all your letters until now, that it is the entire truth, you should have money already. My dear son, _____ _____ _____, you [?] asked innocently if I had some goal. No, my son, no, no, but really no. And it was yours, which is yours. But my soul wants to know the truth about your situation and your goals. I wish you would have money, I would be pleased. This is what gives me life. And so, my son, write all the details, and I will know. 


Mother writes that every week she sends a letter to you, to uncle, and ____ ____. I just wrote to mother that she should also write to him often.


Your father who wants your good forever and ever, Levi-_____. 




1. The Torah reading for Parshas Lech Lecha is Genesis 12:1-17:27.


2. Lapserdak is a long men's overcoat that reached the knees or ankles. Since Levi Yitzkhak put the word within quotation marks, I think he was not referring literally to a lapserdak, but, to some item of Morris (Moshe's) clothing. In previous letters (21 February 1911 and 8 March 1911) we learned that Morris had purchased a suit. Perhaps this refers to the suit.


3. In previous letters Levi Yitzkhak and his wife had not yet decided whether to move to Polonnoe or Baranovka (where their daughter, Feiga Grinfeld resided) after they sold their house in Annopol. 


Posts in This Series

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


09 September 2021

Catch me (and others) if you can!

I will be participating (virtually) in two regional genealogy conferences in the next two weeks. I am also preparing for  the week-long Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy to be held (so far planned for in-person) in January 2022.


New York State Family History Conference

Friday, Sept. 10; Saturday, Sept. 25; plus pre-recorded sessions

This conference offers 27 live and recorded sessions relevant to those with interests in New York State genealogy and beyond. It includes a star-studded line-up of genealogy speakers including: Judy G. Russell, Jill Morelli, Daniel Horowitz, Karen Mauer Jones, D. Joshua Taylor, Crista Cowan, and, yours truly.

The Plenary session was offered live on September 1st by author Russell Shorto. He presented, "The Truth About Family History." I found his talk inspiring. If you missed it, you will be able to listen to the recorded version, already online.

Five presentations each day will be available live (and later recorded) on Friday, September 10th and Saturday, September 25th. The September 25th sessions will also be repeated the following day.

In addition, 16 pre-recorded sessions will be offered on-demand. These sessions are available September 1 through October 18 for unlimited viewing. My talk, "Six Elements of Success for Beginning Ashkenazic Genetic Genealogists," is among the offerings. 

Recordings of both live and on-demand sessions will be available for viewing through October 18, 2021 

UGA Summit of Excellence

This Utah Genealogical Association conference will be held virtually via Zoom, Wednesday through Saturday, September 15-18, 2021. Although Yom Kippur falls in the middle of the conference, recordings of all presentations will be available through December 31, 2021. Registration remains open until Sunday, September 12th. Both single day and full conference registration is available.

In addition to a keynote presentation by D. Joshua Taylor, you will be able to hear Crista Cowan, Judy G. Russell, Rev. David McDonald, Rich Venezia, Richard G. Sayer, Peggy Lauritzen, Angela Packer McGhie, Paul Woodbury, Mary Kircher Roddy, LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, yours truly, and others.

My presentation,"It's What They Answered To: Learning Our Ashkenazic Ancestors' Names," will be offered Friday, September 17th at 10 A.M. (MDT). 


Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2022

January 9-14, 2022

SLIG will offer eleven intermediate to advanced courses on focused genealogy research topics. I am pleased to share that I will be coordinating a course called "Back to the Old Country: Genealogy of Ashkenazic Jews of Galicia and the Russian Empire." The teaching cadre for this course is outstanding: Dr. Janette Silverman, Lara Diamond, Marian L. Smith (and me).

The course is geared to those who have already done some genealogy research but who want to expand their understanding of Ashkenazic Jewish research and historical context. 

Registration is now open. See: https://slig.ugagenealogy.org/cpage.php?pt=627 

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.