The Museum of Family History Becomes a Member of the
Association of Holocaust Organizations (AHO):
The Museum of Family History is pleased to
announce that it has been accepted as a member of the AHO, i.e. the Association
of Holocaust Organizations. The AHO has, as its members, over two hundred and
eighty organizations, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and
the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
According to the AHO, The Association of Holocaust Organizations was established
in 1985 to serve as an international network of organizations and individuals
for the advancement of Holocaust education, remembrance and research.
The AHO website can be found at www.ahoinfo.org.
The Museum of Family History's New Blog:
The Museum of Family History now has a blog.
News about the Museum’s goings-on, mostly new and upcoming exhibitions. One can
easily subscribe to it, so please consider doing so. The URL for the Museum's
http://museumoffamilyhistory.blogspot.com. New exhibitions will be
announced via the Museum's blog before they are announced within this Recent
The Museum of Family History in Bialystok:
The Museum of Family History made a special
appearance in Bialystok, Poland on September 4, 2009. At this time an
exhibition opened, the first in a series entitled "Prominent Artists--Our
Neighbors. Max Weber." Max Weber was a well-known Jewish artist (born in
Bialystok) who studied under Henris Matisse and Rousseau, who painted in a
variety of styles, who at times painted wonderful works with a variety Jewish
themes, usually religious. Currently, the English version of the Max Weber
exhibition (entitled "Max Weber: Reflections of Jewish Memory in Modern American
Art") can be found at
www.museumoffamilyhistory.com/mweber-01.htm . The Polish language version of
the exhibition can be found at
Presentation given at the 2009 IAJGS Conference in
Steven Lasky, Founder and Director
of the virtual Museum of Family History, spoke at the IAJGS
(International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies) conference in Philadelphia
on August 3, 2009. The title of his presentation was be "A Day at the Museum:
Navigating the Museum of Family History." More can be learned about the
August conference by visiting
The Museum's Cemetery Project
On November 16, 2008, Steven Lasky, founder of the Museum of Family
History, gave a presentation about the Museum's Cemetery Project during the
Lucille Gudis Memorial Fund All-day seminar, "From Here to Eternity: Jewish
Cemetery Research, Preservation and Restoration."
On August 21, 2008, Steven Lasky, founder of the Museum of Family
History, was honored with the "Outstanding Contribution to Jewish Genealogy"
award by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. The
"Presented to Steven Lasky....In recognition of his original contribution to the
Jewish genealogical community by the creation of an online virtual museum, The
Museum of Family History. This impressive and professionally-produced body of
work reflects his hard work and dedication in accumulating, recording and
sharing an incredible variety of relevant resources. Designed to encourage
Jewish families to research and document their own family histories, Steve's
inspiration will continue to benefit future generations."
I have become the second person to be recognized by the International
Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) through their "IAJGS
Salutes" program. This award is for my work on the Museum of Family History web
site. I am truly grateful and honored to be recognized by such an important and
well-respected organization. The press release reads:
Dr. Steve Lasky of New York has been selected for an IAJGS
Salute for his virtual Museum of Family History, created with dedication and
diligence “to honor and preserve the memory of our ancestors for present and
site was constructed to educate and inform readers about the history of the
Jewish people as seen through the eyes of our families, and from the families'
sojourn in Eastern Europe through the years in countries which would eventually
be their new homes.
When we visit his museum, we learn of the collective struggles and the triumphs
of the Jewish people, and gain insight and understanding of the world in which
they lived. The site strives to be an everlasting tribute to all our families,
to their traditions and their way of life. The stories told add greater meaning
to historic events that have dominated Jewish history for nearly two hundred
There are many facets to the site. The “Postcards from Home” exhibit includes
photographs and documents contributed by Steve’s own family and others with a
keen interest in this worthwhile project. Our family history, according to
Steve, is sacred and he encourages us to preserve our own cherished family
memories for future generations. Storytelling, he says, from grandparents and
parents to their children in the time-honored oral tradition, adds to identity
and continuity. He hopes to inspire readers to do more to transmit their own
family memories to future generations.
Museum of Family History,
www.museumoffamilyhistory.com, offers a site map that provides
visitors with a useful navigation tool to either browse, or use as an index to
find specific material.
site features many exhibitions and topics of interest. Steve has created three
Links pages, the largest of which contains more than four hundred hyperlinks to
sites of interest for Jewish genealogists, as well as two additional pages for
Holocaust-related sites and Yiddish theater and culture.
Education and Research Center provides examples and explains documents available
to the Jewish genealogist. Visitors should frequently check the Recent Updates
page for a listing of new material and exhibitions. He depends on the Jewish
genealogical community to contribute photographs, stories and material to
supplement the exhibitions. Check the Opportunities Page under Call Box for
matzeva (gravestone) offers important genealogical information for
researchers. Steve has photographed more than 85,000 gravestones over a three-year
period in the New York metro area, and has created an impressive Cemetery
Project with this information. He is always willing to do lookups for
researchers and provide photographs of gravestones if he has them. Also
available are unique surname lists for cemetery society plots. Researchers can
check surnames lists for specific towns and may contact him for more
dedication to Jewish genealogy and his desire to make material interesting and
accessible inspires genealogists to continue their investigations, while
involving individuals more directly in their own family research.
Thank you, Steve, for your devotion and determination in creating a useful asset
for all genealogists.
Chair, IAJGS Salutes
I gave my very first presentation on behalf of the Museum of Family History to
my local Jewish genealogical society, the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long
on 25 Feb 2007. The meeting was attended by more than sixty people. This
was my first public speaking in twenty-five years and though I was a bit
apprehensive, I enjoyed it very much! I would like to thank the board of JGSLI
for asking me to speak and also my thanks go to all those who were nice enough
to attend. I look forward to my next talk at the
IAJGS Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah
15-20 Jul 2007.
The Museum News continues:
What has been added to the Museum web site since it was last updated in
September? Plenty. The web site's graphics have changed dramatically and much
more content has been added. More exhibitions are available for viewing: Under the banner
of "Lives in the Yiddish Theater," you will be able to read about the
Fischer family who once acted in the Yiddish Theater in Warszawa and read about the
renowned Yiddish playwright David Pinski. I have also written a review of the wonderful 1936 Yiddish film with Molly Picon entitled "Yidl mitn
Fidl." Under "Works of Yiddish Writers," you can read a short story (available
in both English and Hebrew) that was written in Poland in the 1930s and
published in the magazine "Shtern" in 1940. The author of this story Szoel
Frydman (pseudonym Leib Rashkin), who was from Kazimierz Dolny, perished in the
Shoah (as did most of the Fischer family mentioned above.) You can also read
about famed Bialystok-born painter Max Weber and renown Yiddish actor Maurice
Schwartz, and even read a biography about him. To come is a further expansion of
the Pinski material as well as an exhibition about American tenor Richard
Tucker, and yes, the immortal Al Jolson. There is much more new material added
to the Museum's Yiddish World.
There are central web pages for more than forty towns and cities in Poland (with
the except of Vilnius, formerly part of Poland, now in Lithuania, and
Czernowitz, in today's Ukraine), with more to come. Each page serves as a
"main staging ground" or index for what is available onsite for that
particular location, both
within the virtual walls of the museum, and outside of it. For example, for
those who are researching the town of Zambrow, Poland, the use of the main Zambrow page
will allow the visitor to locate all the material within the museum that is
related to the town of Zambrow, such as family photographs, immigration lists, Cemetery
Project material, maps, etc., as well as links to other sites outside of the
museum that also might be of interest to Zambrow researchers.
New to the museum are nearly thirty immigration lists, i.e. the names, year of
immigration and approximate year of birth of those who resided in a certain town
or city before their emigration from Europe. These lists contain the names of
emigrants who last lived in such towns and cities as Bialystok, Czestochowa,
Krakow, Ostrow Mazowiecka, Lodz, Suwalki, Warszawa and Vilnius. The lists include all
emigrants, i.e. Jews and non-Jews alike. The Suwalki and Vilnius lists contain
nearly 20,000 names and the Warszawa list contains more than 46,000!
You will also find dozens of topographical maps, for the most part taken in
Poland in the 1930s (some even
earlier), all of which deal with territories located in today's Poland. For those
who are interested in learning more about the cursive script that ship officers
used while entering the names of our immigrant ancestors in their ledgers, you
can enter the museum's "Education and Research Center," and look at examples of the various
errors that were made in the entering of the many names from the ledger to the
Ellis Island database (EIDB). There are also samples of upper case letters
written in script at the port of Antwerp during many of the years ranging from
1898 to 1914. This might be beneficial for those who visit this web
page as it might aid in the location of names that have been misspelled and
cannot be located, and suggest other (incorrect) spellings that might aid in the
search. There are also many examples of vital records that are important to the
genealogist, along with explanations of these records and what information is on
As for the oft-visited Cemetery Project, cemetery grounds maps has been added
for cemeteries in Los Angeles and for Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park,
Illinois. New unique surnames lists have been added, though this aspect of the
project has slowed considerably (at least for the time being). If you visit the Society Gates exhibition,
you will see that it has been greatly
augmented. Here you can see the society gates and posts that were erected to
commemorate the society and its members. Listed are the names of the many
society officers and members who once populated these landsmanshaftn and
synagogue societies (i.e. when the names inscribed are readable, and haven't
been completely eroded by time and the elements.) Also there are now three
exhibitions that pay tribute many of the extant Holocaust memorials, located
both in North America (New York, New Jersey and Florida), as well as in many
countries in Europe and Canada. You will be
able to see photographs of these memorials as well as read what was carved into
the stone, e.g. names those who once lived in Polish towns but died in the
The Postcards from Home exhibition has changed both structurally and in content.
Many of the more than fifteen hundred family photographs that were taken in
pre-war Eastern Europe and sent to this museum have now been given their
own web pages, or at least grouped together on one or more pages by family-- when available, short biographical information or personal testimony is added.
There are now at least two ways to search for family photographs of interest.
You can now search by the name of the town where those in the photos were from
(or occasionally where the photo was taken), or you can search by surname. On
the surname search pages, the names are arranged alphabetically, with the names of
the town and web page name listed adjacent to the surname. Though no hyperlinks
are available for these listings, you can easily reach the desired page by reverting back
to the town search pages and locate the page/link by town name. You will see
that, although the majority of the photographs were taken in Poland, there are
family photos from many countries in Eastern Europe and a few from the West. I would like to again
implore you to send more of your pre-war Eastern European family photos to the
museum, so that they may serve as a welcome addition to this exhibition. It would be a
wonderful tribute to your ancestors, as it will honor and and perpetuate
their memory. You can contact the museum at
firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The Museum of Family History is a virtual (Internet only) museum that is
both interactive and multisensory. Unlike the first version of this web site,
you will now find short audio clips (signified by the earphone symbol
). You will possibly have to have Windows Media Player installed on your computer to
listen to the audio, or it might just play on your default audio player. You can try listening first with what you already have
installed on your computer, and if that doesn't work try the free download at
Windows Media Player.
You can know see film clips to a dozen documentaries with Jewish themes.
visit the first exhibition of the "Family History Theater" entitled "Family Life
During the Great Depression," and listen to a few recall these difficult times.
Also, please visit the current exhibitions "A Photographer's Life," "Windows in Time,"
(wonderful photographs taken by Henry Nathanson during his tour of 1913 Europe
and the Middle East), and the newest ones, "Holocaust Memorials in Canada" and
"The Life of Nina Finkelstein: Recollections of a Friend," which talks of the
early life and survival of Nina Finkelstein during World War II in the Kovno
Ghetto. A new exhibition is now online that deal with the early history of
photography and the photographic studios in Eastern Europe.
January 2008: The Museum of Family History has been mentioned and linked to on a
webpage for the recent PBS (Public Broadcasting System) documentary "The Jewish
Americans." You can find the link
A talk about the Museum of Family History was given by Sandra Greenberg to her
local Jewish genealogical society,
The Jewish Genealogical
Society of Colorado
Enjoy your visit to the Museum of Family History!