Tag Archives: Poland



From the desk of the president

Welcome to our February Newsletter. Save the date 14th February and the 14th March for our next AJGS Events.  We are delighted to be able to invite you to events being organized by other Societies.

Members have an opportunity to win one of  three FREE DOUBLE PASSES to JIFF, the Jewish International Film Festival.  For information on how to enter see details below.

We also welcome suggestions for people or topics you would like to hear.  In this current Zoom world there are no limits to the people that we are able to reach out to anywhere in the world. Please send your suggestions to Barbara Simon.


Website Mystery Tour: Australian Jewish Historical Society’s (AJHS)

Speaker: Peter Philippsohn OAM – President AJHS
Sunday 14 February, 2021 - 3:00pm – 4:00pm
VIA ZOOM Meeting ID: 868 7408 7700  Passcode: 991681
Join Peter to explore the many areas of the AJHS website that could help you in your genealogical research.

Honouring Jeannette Tsoulos & Sunny Gold

Sunday 14 March 2021 - 10:00am – 1:00pm
North Shore Synagogue, Lindfield
Join us to honour Jeannette & Sunny who have dedicated many years of service to this Society.
RSVP Essential by Sunday 7th March to ensure we meet regulations.


ASPJ invites you to... People, Not Numbers: Preserving the memory of lost Jewish communities... Unveiling a memorial in Grybow, Poland.

Speaker: Dariusz Popiela
in conversation with Karen Pakula
Wednesday 17 February, 2021 at 8:00pm
Via Zoom or the ASPJ Website
In 2019, in the southern Polish town of Grybów, the Olympic athlete Dariusz Popiela unveiled a memorial inscribed with the names of the town’s 1,774 lost Jews.

AJGS (Vic) invites you to: The Fate of German Jews: One Family’s Perspective

Speaker: Brian Luber
Sunday 21 February, 2021 from 2:30pm
Via Zoom - Meeting ID: 883 0010 7168   Passcode: 009146
Brian’s presentation covers his family’s experiences in Germany and his visits to neighbouring countries. The relatives he discovered divulged stories which include the little-known but now infamous ‘Lost Transport’ where Jews were taken by train from Bergen-Belsen to Theresienstadt, never arriving at their destination.


DATE: 20–22 February, 2021
Registration is free.

Family History Down Under
DATE: 23–26 March, 2021
Register online

IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
DATE: 2-5 August, 2021
LOCATION: Philadelphia USA/ Zoom
Earlybird registration available 1st March, 2021


JIFF, the Jewish International Film Festival, is back with screenings in all major capital cities. JIFF is offering AJGS members the chance to win one of three FREE DOUBLE PASSES. Screenings in Sydney run from the 18th February to the 24th March.
Check out the JIFF website for details.

To go in the draw to win tickets CLICK THIS LINK and tell us in 25 words or less why you would like tickets to JIFF. Don't forget to include your name and postal address. Competition closes 12th February 2021

Eastern Suburbs Workshop – 17 November 2019

I thought my family were Polish Jews??
Their records say Poland but also Russia, Austria and Galicia!

Come and learn about the changing borders in Eastern Europe and how to find useful records for researching your family’s Jewish roots.

We’ll explore databases including

  • Jewish Records Indexing Poland (JRI-Pol);
  • the JewishGen databases for Poland, Lithuania, and Austria/Hungary;
  • Gesher Galicia;
  • the Polish State Archives and
  • Familysearch.

We will also learn about useful tools for narrowing the search when you don’t know the town of origin.

Date: Sunday 17 November 2019
Time: Doors open 2pm, talk begins 2.30pm followed by Q&A and use of resources
Location: Theatrette, 1st Floor Waverley Library, 32-48 Denison St,
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
All welcome but please RSVP to society@ajgs.org.au by 14 November


Click on the cover to download the PDF.

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 ed@ajgs.org.au

Enjoy the issue!

Guest Speaker: Dr Andrew Zalewski

The Great War (1914-18): Jewish Lives in Galicia




Sunday January 21, 2018


Join us as Dr Andrew Zalewski intertwines his own genealogical discoveries with the broader historical context of Jewish Galicia. He will focus on World War I and the eastern front in Galicia, which was home to the largest Jewish community in Austro-Hungary. Uncovering his ancestors’ individual stories, Andrew follows waves of Russian offensives and Central Powers counteroffensives which swept through Galicia. He describes dramatic events in small and large cities (Lwów, Przemyśl, Kraków), which impacted many Jewish lives. His talk covers the Great War (World War I) through to its climactic end in 1918. In Galicia, in contrast to the Western front, the conflict did not end with the disintegration of Austro-Hungary.

This talk is based on the archival records and historic newspaper research conducted for Andrew’s book Galician Portraits: In Search of Jewish Roots, and is illustrated with pictures, historical and unique archival documents, and old maps of Galicia.

Download the event flyer

Download the event flyer

Date: Sunday January 21, 2018
Time: 2.00PM - 4:30PM
Cost: Members: Free | Non-Members: $10.00
(NB: This is a cash only event. There will be no facility for credit or debit cards available)
Light refreshments will be served.
RSVP society@ajgs.org.au by January 18, 2018

Dr Andrew Zalewski is a physician and former Professor of Medicine at Jefferson University, Philadelphia. Among his non-medical pursuits, Andrew has developed an extensive interest in the history of Austrian Galicia (1772– 1918) and its Jewish community. Several generations of his Jewish and Christian ancestors traced their roots to this former province of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empire. His books: Galician Trails: The Forgotten Story of One Family and Galician Portraits: In Search of Jewish Roots are available through online booksellers. Andrew serves on the Board of Directors of Gesher Galicia, Inc. He is also Executive Editor of the Galitzianer, the organization's quarterly research journal.

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 – http://bit.ly/Staszow,
Hebrew – http://bit.ly/HebrewStaszowSurvey

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)

IAJGS 2018 Conference – Call for Papers

The organisers of the 38th IAJGS Conference in Warsaw, Poland in 2018 have announced their call for papers.

Organisers are particularly interested in lectures and presentations that help delegates…

  1. View their Jewish family history within a historical context. Lecturers are encouraged to include clips of film and/or PowerPoint presentations to provide a multi-media presentation grounded in history.
  2. Actively explore and Interact with the experts and databases available throughout European and online arenas. Presenters covering websites should be prepared to do live demonstrations or offer computer workshops at our conference. New topics and presentations will be preferred over those offered at prior conferences; however, relevance to our visit to Europe will be considered.
  3. Develop experience preserving and sharing genealogy with their family and landsleit (neighbors from the same town). We encourage proposing sessions on interviewing, accumulating data, and sharing with family through creative means.

Presentations and panel discussions will generally be scheduled for 60 minutes, which includes 15 minutes of questions.

Hands-on Computer Workshops will be two hours in length and limited to 25 participants each owing to room constraints.

Prospective presenters can submit any number of proposals however the organisers have stated they will generally choose up to three proposals per person to allow for a diversity of voices to be heard in the limited time available.

For more information and to submit your proposal, click here to access the website. Deadline for proposals is December 31, 2017.