Category Archives: Research


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New look, new editor, same bear!! Kosher Koala has had a facelift but we hope you’ll find the same fascinating features, interesting interviews and non-stop news, views, tips and tricks to guide you along your genealogical journey.

In this issue… We say farewell to outgoing editor Robyn Dryen (don’t worry, she’s still President!!), welcome new editor Dani Haski, Sunny Gold reviews Peter Nash’s memoir Escape from Berlin: A refugee flees anti-Semitism and the Holocaust of WWII to Shanghai and then Australia and we explore a fascinating collection of stories about cemeteries. We have updates on the 2018 AIJGS conference in Poland, a new column, Sledgehammer, for people to share brick wall breakthroughs and information on special events and workshops for 2018.

We love our members contributing stories to Kosher Koala. If you have any stories you’d like to share email them to me at

Enjoy the issue!

Staszow, Poland – Can you help this researcher?

Do you have family roots in Staszow, Poland?

Drew University (Madison, New Jersey) Doctoral student Passi Rosen-Bayewitz is working on a dissertation on the subject of Jewish Staszow as a Site of Memory. She is seeking individuals with family roots in Staszow, Poland, to complete a short survey to assist her research. One of the questions her dissertation addresses— the question: How and why does Jewish Staszow matter to its Diaspora around the world?

She says that discovering an intersection between family history (she has identified civil records reflecting her father’s family’s presence in Staszow from the end of the 18th century), academic study, and professional experiences led to her dissertation topic. Staszow, a small town located in south east of Poland, was home to Jews for more than 400 years. While her dissertation is a case study of just one shtetl in Poland, Jewish Staszow is representative of hundreds of shtetls established during the late Middle Ages, in the territories of the old Polish Commonwealth, where nobles invited Jews to move into their estates to encourage economic development.

She seeks to answer an overarching question:  How and why did (and does) the memory of the Jewish community in Staszow continue to matter to 1) its diaspora  — Staszowers who began to immigrate in the early twentieth century; Staszow Holocaust survivors; and descendants of both groups —  and 2)  some Poles in Staszow and other parts of Poland?

To capture data, Ms Rosen-Bayewitz has created a short, anonymous survey in both English and Hebrew.

English –,
Hebrew –

She would be very grateful if members with family roots in the Staszow area participated in her research.

Before Ms Rosen-Bayewitz began her dissertation journey, she had minimal knowledge of genealogy.  Attending the IAJGS conferences in Jerusalem and Seattle she was introduced to powerful research tools and dynamic “citizen scientists”. She say “their passion and tenacity leads to success in finding missing puzzle pieces. The personal benefits of preparing my dissertation have been immeasurable.”

Staszow Cemetery (Wikimedia Commons)