DOV Sidelsky of Israel is researching a book on small shtetls
near Vilna, Lithuania.
He says: "In August, my wife and I spent a week in Scotland and
were guests of Diane Wolfson.
"While attending services at Giffnock Synagogue I became aware
that many members of the Glasgow Jewish community have their origins
"I would like more information about shtetls near where my mother's
family originates from."
The shtetls are Shirvint, Guelvan and Musnik.
Dov is also looking for photographs of the shtetls, particularly
Musnik. In addition, Dov wants information on Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer
Grodzensky of Shirvint and his descendants as well as Zadok and
Sara Bluma Zilber of Musnik
Sara was the granddaughter of Rabbi Grodzensky, who was married
to the daughter of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter. Rabbi Chaim Oizer Grodzensky
was a regular visitor.
Grunia, one of the daughters of Zadok and Sara, married Eliyahu
Lewit. Their eldest son, Baruch, became a prominent physician in
Haifa. Arie Leib, their second son, became a vet and one of the
founders of Tel Aviv zoo.
Their daughter, Tonia, married Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchic of
Boston. Their children were Prof Haym Soloveitchic; Tovah, who married
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein of Har Etzion yeshiva; and Atarah, who married
Rabbi Prof Yitzhak Twersky. Tonia's sister, Rachel, married Prof
Leah, another daughter of Zadok and Sara, married Dov (Berel)
Avraham Berman. Their two elder sons, Jack and Mannie Berman, joined
the allied forces in Africa during World War Two, while youngest
son Charles Berman fought in Israel's War of Independence.
Daughter Goldie Sidelsky became the commandant of the only Jewish
detachment of the South African Red Cross. Her husband, Lazer, was
the mentor of the young Nelson Mandela when he accepted him to serve
article in his law firm.
Manny's son, Neville Berman, became captain of the Springbok hockey
team. Another of Zadok and Sara's sons, Yitzhak, married Masha Slochinsky.
They had three sons, Louis, Alec and Solly Silver, who founded Silvers
Motors. Louis married Rivke (Becky) Polomunsky.
Write to 2/10 B Hai Taieb Street, Har Nof, Jerusalem 95405, Israel
or email email@example.com
A POST-graduate student at the University of Glasgow is studying
the history of Eastern Galicia.
Mark Zygadlo, of the Slavonic Studies department, is specifically
focusing on the area presently within Ukraine; the Lwow, Stanislawow
and Tarnopol (Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil) regions.
He says: "My principal method of gathering data is to record the
personal testimonies of people who originate, or whose families
originate, in that area.
"This was an area which had one of the highest concentrations
of European Jewry before 1939 and their contribution is therefore
essential to my research.
"I am particularly interested in the inter-war period, pre-1939,
concentrating on the oldest surviving members of the community.
"My interest is in the interaction between the various national,
political and ethnic population groups in what was the newly-formed
state of Poland."
Write to Glenhead, Auldgirth, Dumfries DG2 0TR, telephone 01387
740 285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAIM Freedman of Israel is searching for descendants of Bessie/Beila
and David Brandson who arrived in Scotland in 1896 from Russia.
Bessie, also known as Becky, was born in 1850 and died in Glasgow
in 1920. David died there in 1926.
Bessie was the daughter of Isaac Katz and Dinah Sher. Before arriving
in Scotland Bessie lived in Libau (Liepaja, Latvia).
Their daughter Sheindel/Sophie married John Jacob Bernstein and
lived in Dunfermline until they emigrated to Australia in 1920.
Sophie had a brother Walter in Glasgow, a sister Rose married
to Joseph Cohen in Glasgow and a sister Hanze married to Joseph
Shafer in Glasgow.
Sophie Bernstein was Chaim's great-grandmother's cousin (Devorah-Leah
/Dora Blumenthal nee Jacoby of Priekule and Libau, died London 1936).
Her daughter was Chaim's grandmother Annie Freedman, 1885-1967,
who lived in Melbourne, Australia.
Write to Hayasmin 7/2, Petach Tikvah, 49659, Israel or email email@example.com
SUE Coleman of Middlesex is struggling with her family tree.
Her great-grandfather Max Cohen married Jane/Jennie Smolensky
in either Liverpool or Manchester in 1902/3. They lived in Liverpool
and had nine children including Sue's grandmother Sarah (Sadie).
It is possible that Max came from Ivanets as Sue has obtained
the naturalisation papers of Max's 'Landesmann', Louis Berger, who
settled in Manchester.
Jane travelled from Russia to live with her sister Chaike (Annie)
and her husband Isaac Kolinsky/Kalinsky. They lived in Bittern Street
in Liverpool at the time of the 1901 Census.
She had another sister Tilly (Taube) Smolensky who married Lewis
Sue's grandfather was Harry Povlotsky (Povlo). His parents were
Maurice and Ethel Povlotsky. Sue believes they came from somewhere
in the Kiev region and lived in the East End of London when they
first arrived from Russia around 1912.
Harry had two brothers, Solomon (Solly) and Michael (Mick), and
a sister, Esther. Ethel died in London in 1919, aged 39 while Maurice
died in Liverpool in 1938.
Write 20 Churchill Avenue, Kenton, Middlesex HA3 0AY or email
FELICITY Greenfield of Bramhope wants to trace any information
about her great grandmother.
She was born Rebecca Davis in 1888. In 1901 the family lived at
75 New Bridge Street, Cheetham Hill, Manchester; her father, Louis
Davis, who worked in the garment trade, was born in Russia in about
1849, but was never naturalised. In 1901 Rebecca, who was also known
as Ray, married Crispin Yeo, a tailor's cutter. As a result her
father disowned her.
She had a younger sister, Evelyn, three half-sisters - Fanny,
Lilly and Annie - and a half-brother, Jacob.
Her own mother had died when she was a child and her father remarried.
His second wife, Rachel, was also Russian born and never naturalised.
Write to 20 Old Lane, Bramhope, West Yorkshire LS16 9AZ or email
To make an appeal, email MIKE COHEN at
firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your home address.