Sunday, January 8, 2023, 1pm Pacific Time Zone

Guest Speaker:  Michael Morganstern

Using the “Forverts”(Jewish Daily Forward-) for Family History

Description: Founded in 1897, the “Forverts” (Jewish Daily Forward) was a leading Yiddish language newspaper in the United States throughout the 20th century. Most of this newspaper is available to browse digitally for free through the online Historical Jewish Press database. This lecture will examine hidden genealogical gems within this newspaper, some of which can be found with minimal or no Yiddish skills. Among these gems are personal inquiries submitted by readers seeking information on their relatives, letters to the editor, and the “Gallery of Missing Husbands.” This lecture will also cover the historical and cultural context of the newspaper, which will help evaluate its relevance to a researcherʼs individual family history.

About Michael Morganstern
Michael Morgenstern is a native of Los Angeles, California. After completing an undergraduate degree in history at Loyola Marymount University, he worked as a researcher on TLCʼs “Who Do You Think You Are?” history and genealogy show. Since 2014, he has worked as an educator at Holocaust Museum Los Angeles. He has been an avid genealogy researcher since he was 16 in 2006. He has volunteered genealogy research to Holocaust survivors, focusing on those who do not have any prewar family documents or photographs. Lately, he has translated segments of the “Jewish Daily Forward” from Yiddish to English for JewishGen. Some of his work can be seen at “The Forward: A Gallery of Missing Husbands (1908-1914)”

Sunday, January 22, 2023, 10:30 am Pacific Time Zone

Guest Speaker:  Serafima Velkovich

Polish Jewish Refugees in the USSR During WWII

Description: The “Ribbentrop – Molotov pact” divided Poland between the Soviet Union and Germany in 1939. The Polish territories annexed to The Soviet Union had a Jewish population of about 2 million. About 400,000 residents of these territories, many of them Jews, were deported to “special settlements” mostly in Siberia. Additionally, about 250,000—300,000 Jewish refugees from German-occupied western Poland had fled to the Soviet Union after the war broke out. This lecture will present the route and the fate of Jewish refugees from Poland, who spent the war years in the USSR, and their post war search for a new home. The lecture will include information on where documentation exists to research these individuals, both in Yad Vashem and in other institutions.

Serafima Velkovich
Serafima Velkovich is the Head of the Family Roots Research Section in Reference and Information Department of Yad Vashem Archives. She was closely involved in the work on names material in Yad Vashem`s databases. She lectures on the use of Yad Vashem resources for genealogical and other research to various groups, as well as to visiting genealogists and organizations who make use of genealogical tools for their research. She participates in international conferences and films on the Holocaust topic. Serafima is a PhD Candidate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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