Jewish Law – a TV series filmed in the Manchester Orthodox Community

I came recently across a series which about Jewish Orthodox religion. I’m not sure when the series were filmed, but I’d like to know.
There are three episodes for you to watch. Have fun!

Content:
Episode 1
An explanation of Jewish culture begins with kosher cooking. Why are there two sinks and two fridges in all Jewish kitchens? What makes food kosher?
Jewish Law: Episode 1 (Part 1 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 1 (Part 2 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 1 (Part 3 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 1 (Part 4 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 1 (Part 5 of 5)

Episode 2
Follow a Manchester rabbi and his family as they prepare for Passover in this insightful exploration of the Jewish faith.
This next installment deals more with Jewish tradition, holidays and practice. How the sabbath is observed, Passover, circumcision, family purity…
Jewish Law: Episode 2 (Part 1 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 2 (Part 2 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 2 (Part 3 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 2 (Part 4 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 2 (Part 5 of 5)

Episode 3
This part concludes the series and deals with more areas of Jewish practice, such as the festival of Purim, niddah, mourning…
Jewish Law: Episode 3 (Part 1 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 3 (Part 2 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 3 (Part 3 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 3 (Part 4 of 5)
Jewish Law: Episode 3 (Part 5 of 5)


An explanation of Jewish culture begins with kosher cooking. Why are there two sinks and two fridges in all Jewish kitchens? What makes food kosher?


Continue reading Jewish Law – a TV series filmed in the Manchester Orthodox Community

Immigration files in Archives of Antwerp & State Archives of Belgium

In the courtyard of the Felixpakhuis complex

I posted a few times in a few newsgroups/forums with as subject Jewish Genealogy a short explanation on the files in the Belgian archives.
I hope to publish once an article on my blog with more details about my experience in the archives, for the moment being I think it could be useful for other researchers to read the following short explanation according to my view:

Hi,
Usually all documents were kept in twofold. One copy stayed in the city/town and the other copy went to the state archives in Brussels.
In Antwerp you have a few boroughs which have separate administrations and were independent cities/towns . Nowadays these cities/towns are part of Antwerp, the most interesting boroughs for Jews researching their ancestors is: Borgerhout, Berchem and Antwerpen. The archives from the other boroughs besides, Antwerp, are not in the felixarchief (each city could choose whether to save the files or whether to throw them away). Continue reading Immigration files in Archives of Antwerp & State Archives of Belgium

Labour in the Julius Berger company in North-France during WWII

Click here to read a follow-up on this post

© ARA - Brussels - please don't copy without permission

I posted recently (10 February 2011) a question via soc.genealogy.jewish regarding a company where my great-grandfather’s (Gershon Lehrer) brother Kalman Lehrer worked during WWII. The company was called Julius Berger and was based in France.

Kalman was born 20th June 1898 in Ustrzyki-Dolne. When the war started Kalman lived in Antwerp, Belgium on the Kroonstraat 205.

From 26 July 1942 to 31 October 1942 he was forced to work for the “Julius Berger” company in North-France.

He was deported via Malines/Mechelen in Belgium to Auschwitz on 31 October 1942 with transport 16 from which he did not return. The Belgian authorities confirmed (on 5 May 1955) their assumption that he passed away sometimes between 31 October 1942 and 1 June 1945.

I am looking for more details regarding the company Julius Berger.

Click here if you would like to read the message I did post to the newsgroup»

I appreciate any ideas or tips, please comment on this post or send me an e-mail.

Click here to read a follow-up on this post

lehrer
X-No-archive: yes
Hi,
I found in documents that my great-great uncle Kalman LEHRER had to work during the
War in Norht-France in a company which was called Julius Berger. He worked there
from 26 June 1942 to 31 October 1942.
Does anyone know more about the company? Thanks a lot in advance for your help,
Gershon Lehrer
Antwerp, Belgium
www.gershon-lehrer.be
Searching: DORF, ETSIONI, FISZLOWICZ, GERSTNER, GOLDSTEEN, HART, KALLECH, LEHRER,
PA(C)KTER, PAKTOR, S(Y)(I)LBERBERG, SAIL, SANDERS, SCENIZER, SCHEEN, SJENITZER,
SCH (O)NITZER, STORK, TIMBERG, VAN STRATEN
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Jews from Antwerp in Cuba

A while ago I looked on behalf of someone else seek to get more information on why the Cuban authorities allowed Jews from Antwerp to immigrate to Cuba in the 1930’s while they had strict immigration rules.

Although the Internet has got some interesting pieces of information about the Jews in Cuba, I did not really manage to find details about the episode that deals with the Antwerp Jews in the 1930’s.

Therefore I sent a message to a newsgroup that deals mainly with Jewish Genealogy (soc.genealogy.jewish) in the hope that I would get somehow more information.

This post is a means to publish a summary on the responses I got.

Click here if you would like to read the message I posted to the newsgroup»
I received a few responses which replied to me in the Jewish way, i.e.: they replied to my question with another question. The question some asked was: “Why would the Jews not be allowed entrance if everyone knew that the Jews were being chased by bloodthirsty anti-Semites“. A notorious case was the S.S. St. Louis which was not allowed to disembark its passengers in Cuba or the USA. The USA (then INS) agency restricted immigration very severely during 1920’s and thereafter.

From the responses it appears that the Antwerp Jews were accepted into Cuba because of their knowledge in the diamond business. During their stay in Cuba they kept their own community and didn’t become part of one of the communities already present (possibly due to the gap in the language and because they intended to stay there only temporary?). After WWII the Jews left Cuba and went back to Belgium. The Belgian state was of course also interested in the diamond business (it seems that Camille Huysmans was one of the big powers behind this Belgian initiative to get the Diamond business back to Antwerp).

Someone else wrote me that the gangster Meyer Lansky used his connections to the Cuban government, through which he worked out a deal to allow European Jews to land in Cuba.  Visa’s were then bought and entry to the US was granted.

If you’d like to read more about the history of the Jews in Cuba (including the Antwerp Jews), the following two books do tell the story:

Some general websites about Jewry in Cuba:

I’d like to thank the following people for having replied on my request: Burt Hecht, Judite Orensztajn, Sam Lifsh?, Barbara Mannlein, Irene Newhouse, Stephen Denker, Jill Goodman, Helaine ?, Marcel Apsel, Sylvain Brachfeld, Mona Freedman Morris, Joan Parker, Rabbi Moshe Otero, Judy Turbin, Tineke Sjenitzer, Sue Kriloff, Melody Mayes nee Pinkus


Date: Fri, Jan 21 2011 5:22 pm
From: gershon.lehrer@gmail.com (lehrer)

X-No-archive: yes
Hello,

Does anyone know why the Jews were allowed to immigrate into Cuba
in the 30’s from the previous century?

Why was an exception made for the Jews whilst I heard that the
Cuban authorities were very strict to allow immigration for
white people (does anyone have any source for this claim?)?

I am mainly talking about the Jews from Antwerp that were working
in the diamond industry.

Thank you for your help,

Gershon Lehrer
gershon.lehrer@gmail.com
Antwerp, Belgium

Searching: DORF, ETSIONI, FISZLOWICZ, GERSTNER, GOLDSTEEN, HART,
KALLECH, LEHRER, PA(C)KTER, PAKTOR, S(Y)(I)LBERBERG, SAIL, SANDERS,
SCENIZER, SCHEEN, SJENITZER, SCH(O)NITZER, STORK, TIMBERG, VAN STRATEN

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Photo with my grandfather and his paternal grandmother in Karlsbad (26 September 1928)

A while ago I found a postcard photo in my grandmother’s photo album with a group of people standing in front of a building. The text on the photo said that it was taken on 26th September 1928 in Karlsbad which was two days after Yom Kippur. Next to the date there is a name on the photo, Jos. Meisl:

My Grandfather with his grandmother in Karlsbad

The only people that my father’s cousin could identify on the photo were the little boy on the right side with a cup, who was my grandfather Bruno/Berish Lehrer and the lady standing behind him with her right hand on his shoulder, who was his paternal grandmother Etti Lehrer- Kalech (they lived at that time in Dresden, Germany).

I was looking for more information about the photo.

  • Where was the photo taken? (A Google search told me that there is one Karlsbad in Germany and one in the Czech Republic)
  • Why do some people on the photo hold a cup?
  • In front of which building was the group photographed?
  • Who were the other people on the photo?
  • Who was Jos. Meisl? Was he the photographer? Was he a tour guide?
  • (On the other side of the photo, there is a written letter, I’ll try to focus on that in another post)

To try to get more information, I posted a request for help via the following jewishgen newsgroups:

  • austriaczech – A forum for those researching Jewish genealogy in the areas formerly known as Bohemia and Moravia (now the Czech Republic), plus parts of Austria, especially Vienna, but not Galicia (I’ve been told that there is a Karlsbad in the Czech Republic)
  • gersig – A forum focused on geographic, historic and linguistic Germany, including parts of Switzerland, Poland, and Alsace-Lorraine (there is a Karlsbad in Germany)
  • soc.genealogy.jewish – Main JewishGen Discussion Group

(For more information about these and other newsgroups, visit the following website: http://www.jewishgen.org/ListManager/)

The request which I did post via the newsgroups and for which I did received a lot of responses:

Dear fellow genealogists,

I did find an old photo postcard in my grandmother’s album on which my paternal grandfather Bruno/Berish Lehrer can be seen together with his family (he is the boy holding the cup on the right side of the photo). The lady with her right hand on his shoulder is possibly my grandfather’s paternal grandmother Etti Lehrer- Kalech.

I did perform a search on Google and there are two Karlsbad’s, one in Germany and the other in the Czech-Republic. (My grandfather lived at that time in Dresden, the Karlsbad in the Czech-Republic is closer then the German Karlsbad.)

The date on the photo states 26 September 1928 which was 12 Tishrei (2 days after Yom Kippur and shortly before Sukkos).

Some questions I do have are:

  • Can someone help me identify the place? Was the photo taken in front of a shul? It definitely looks to be in a Jewish area.
  • Can someone tell me more about the photographer? His name apparently was Jos. Meisl.
  • Can someone tell me why we can see quite a few people on the photo holding a cup?
  • Is there someone who can identify other people on the photo besides my grandfather and his grandmother?

The photo is on viewmate: http://www.jewishgen.org/viewmate/viewmateview.asp?key=17627

Hopefully someone can help me to shed a light on the photo.

Warm Regards,

Gershon Lehrer
gershon.lehrer@gmail.com
Antwerp, Belgium

Searching: DORF, ETSIONI, FISZLOWICZ, GERSTNER, GOLDSTEEN, HART,
KALLECH, LEHRER, PA(C)KTER, PAKTOR, S(Y)(I)LBERBERG, SAIL, SANDERS, SCENIZER, SCHEEN, SJENITZER,SCH(ö)(O)NITZER, STORK, TIMBERG, VAN STRATEN

I received quite a lot of e-mails for which I am very thankful.

I’ll try to put here down a conclusion of the information I gained after having done the research and received the e-mails. Continue reading Photo with my grandfather and his paternal grandmother in Karlsbad (26 September 1928)

Translation request Polish – English (Grunes, State Archive in Rzeszów (Poland)

Hi all,

I posted the following request to 2 newsgroups of which I am a member: jri-pl (http://www.jewishgen.org/jri-pl/join.htm) and jewishgen (soc.genealogy.jewish) (see also http://www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen/DiscussionGroup.htm for both and more newsgroups).

(scroll down for the responses and further explanations on this topic)

Subject: Translation request Polish – English (GRUNES, State Archive in Rzeszów (Poland)
Dear all,

I am looking for a translation and an explanation on a document which I received from the State Archive in Rzeszów, Poland (Archiwum Panstwowe W Rzeszowie).

Can you please tell me what this document is about and please translate it for me?

Gershon Lehrer

Antwerp, Belgium

Searching: DORF, ETSIONI, FISZLOWICZ, GERSTNER, GOLDSTEEN, HART, LEHRER, PA(C)KTER, PAKTOR, S(Y)(I)LBERBERG, SAIL, SANDERS, SCHEEN, SJENITZER,SCH(ö)(O)NITZER, STORK, TIMBERG, VAN STRATEN

Continue reading Translation request Polish – English (Grunes, State Archive in Rzeszów (Poland)

Transportation lists of the transports which left from Mechelen/Malines during the holocaust

Update (15 March 2016): I have come across a list on the website of the German ´Das Bundesarchiv´´s Memorial Book (see: www.bundesarchiv.de/gedenkbuch/chronicles.html.en?page=2).  I have merged their information (mainly the number of deported persons) with the information I have had before (on the website of ´Das Bundesarchiv´, you´ll find similar lists for The Netherlands and France).

I recently asked for a list of all transports which left the Mechelen/Malines kazerne (barracks) (Mechelen is the Dutch variant and Malines is the French variant of the name of the Flemish city which is about 25 kilometers south from Antwerp) during holocaust.

I wanted the overview so that I could place the names I received on some lists in the right context.

As I assume that there might be more out there with an interest in the list, I am publishing it here.

One transport to note is transport XX. Transport XX was attacked between Boortmeerbeek and Haacht (which is about 15km from Mechelen) by brave Belgians and thanks to these Belgians (Jean Franklemon, Georges Livschitz and Robert Maistriau) 231 deportees out of 1631 succeeded to escape the train. Out of the 231 escapees, 26 people died during the action which happened on 19 april 1943. You can read more about this episode on the following website: http://users.telenet.be/holocaust.bmb/.

Please note that you can find more about the list and transports in the following publications:

For more about the museum visit their website at http://www.kazernedossin.be where you can read the following introduction:

Of these 25,835 people, 576 escaped during the journey. 24,019 of the remainder would die: they were either gassed in Birkenau or died in the slave labour camp of Auschwitz or during the subsequent death march. Just 1,240 deportees – or less than 5% – returned to Belgium in May 1945. 32 Gypsies were among the survivors.
When war broke out, the Jewish population represented approximately 1% of the Belgian population. At the end of the war in 1945, 50% of all civilian casualties were Jewish.
The transportation of over 25,000 Jews and Gypsies was a German crime, carried out by the Nazis. However, their plan could not succeed without the cooperation of:

  • the Belgian civil service that, as a whole, principally accepted the persecution of the Jews and within the framework of the law, cooperated with the occupier
  • Belgian collaborating paramilitary parties and organisations who would present themselves as Jew hunters

This cooperation strongly contributed to the end result: a death toll of 44% of Jews. With this, the figures of the ‘Final Solution’ in Belgium lie between those of France (25%) and the Netherlands (80%).

Here is the list with the transportations:
Continue reading Transportation lists of the transports which left from Mechelen/Malines during the holocaust

Meni Philip and his movie “Let There Be Light”

Do you remember the article on the BBC which I mentioned before in another post on this blog?

Now, you may become shocked when you’ll compare what I read and watched recently about the former “Charedi” singer Menachem Philip, (please forgive me for using the word “Charedi”. I never knew about that word until I moved to Israel for my studies).

Menachem, or Meni as he’s called nowadays, became a secular Jew. He divorced at 32 years old from his wife. He sees his children two hours a week. Meni has got some siblings who followed his lifestyle and became secular as well.

Meni is nowadays a movieproducer after having followed film studies.

He has got a website www.meniphilip.com.

The Israeli program “Chadashot Shishi” aired a small documentary (12:02 minutes) about Meni’s movie “Let there be light” which tells us Meni’s and some of his siblings’ change of lifestyle.

Rabbi Uri Weinberg’s songs

See also Rabbi Uri Weinberg A”H (Uri Ben Menachem Halevi) [18 May 1923 – 17 Adar 5772 (11 March 2012)]

Me dancing with Rabbi Uri Weinberg at my wedding in Jerusalem (August, 2004)

A few years ago I posted on a newsgroup my request for more information regarding the Dunera story. Rabbi Uri Weinberg from Jerusalem told me about it while I studied at the Mirrer Yeshiva.

Rabbi Uri escaped from Germany at the age of 16 and went to live in Liverpool. As a German citizen he was deported to an Australian prisoners camp with the SS Dunera.
Rabbi Uri Weinberg has an extraordinary memory and remembers every detail from long ago as it was yesterday.

He is indeed a very special person for which I feel honored to have met him.

I do remember being told once that there are tapes circulating on which he is telling his personal story and also one tape on which he is singing the Shabbos songs. Those songs are how he learned it as a young boy in Germany. As his mind is very sharp, I strongly beleive that we can rely on the “Nussach” on the tape as being the correct one for “Yekkes”.

Not long ago someone from New York contacted me after having found my posted newsgroup message on the Internet. He did send me a copy of the tapes with the songs in MP3 format. I am very glad to have these files.

Now I am still waiting for the tape with his personal story.

I uploaded the tape with the songs to give everybody with an interest in the songs, the chance to listen to it, on my website (the links are beneath this article).
I hope that whomever has got more information on Rabbi Uri Weinberg, will share it with me (Please mail me or use the comment box).
I in return will share some information which I do have in my possession, but for obvious reasons I cannot share everything on a public site.

Enjoy
Part 1:

Part 2:

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