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 in Lithuania.

"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 Henry Lisman.

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

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

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

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 Bernstein.

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 Please include your home address.

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