Archives · Current Stories
Welcome to Success!Stories
Current stories
About us
Do you have a success story to tell? Please let us know and we may feature your connection here
Switch to the JewishGen main page

Heard on the Lists

Finding Vladimir

Invaluable help from
JewishGenners in Israel

"...all contact with the family in Europe was lost and we suspected they had all perished in WWII."

Courtesy of Debbie Rose

From: Debbie Rose <>
Date: 2010April26 8:06:56 AM EDT
To: "JewishGen Discussion Group" <>
Subject: Success Story!

My grandparents left Vinnitsa, Ukraine in 1920 and, after four years in Romania, arrived in Canada at the end of 1924. We knew that my grandfather had left a brother, Gavril [Kushnirskiy], behind in the Ukraine, and due to a picture received by the family in 1934 knew that Gavril had a son named Vil, born in 1926. Besides the names of their parents, this was all we knew. After the receipt of that picture, all contact with the family in Europe was lost and we suspected they had all perished in WWII.

In January [2010], I posted a request for help in locating a Vladimir Kushnirskiy, identified as a Jewish war hero from Vinnitsa, born in 1926 who had moved to Israel in 1999. We didn't know if this was our cousin, but it looked like there was a good possibility. Many genners in Israel responded and we quickly found Vladimir living with his family in Rishon LeZion.

It took a couple months of persistent attempts to finally verify that this family was, in fact, our own. I have thanked all the genners privately who helped me, but I also want to thank you again publicly. I especially want to express my deep appreciation to Shaul Sharoni who went beyond all expectations and not only contacted the family on my behalf a couple of times, but encouraged me to keep trying when I believed that I was on the wrong track.

As it turns out, I have second cousins once-removed living in Montreal and here in Toronto where I live. We are thrilled to have connected with each other. In addition, the grandmother of my Toronto cousin is still alive and doing well at the age of 91. He has a list of questions to ask her on my behalf regarding past generations.

Thank you to everyone in this wonderful group. I will be making a donation to JewishGen in gratitude.

Debbie Rose
Toronto, Canada

We contacted Debbie to fill in a bit more of the story; we've excerpted some of her follow-up comments because her sentiments surely reflect the feelings of many JewishGen readers who will resonate to her words:

It was the Israeli genners who tracked Vladimir down. I can't read Hebrew, so I was entirely dependent on their help with this. [Several people helped, ...including Sophie F, who wrote:]"According to the 2006 census, the person listed is Vladimir Kushnirsky, born in the Ukraine in 1926, arrived in Israel in November 1999. The address is in Rishon LeZion."

The only two pieces of information I had to track him down were:
1.the picture of Vil Kushnirskiy with Russian writing on the back which identified him and gave his birth date
2. an article on Vladimir Kushnirskiy, a Jewish war hero [that appeared on]

The year of birth for Vladimir was the same as Vil's and they were both from Vinnitsya. This, and the fact that the picture of Vladimir was similar enough to the picture of 8-year-old Vil, encouraged me to pursue this. Still, I sat on it for a couple of years not quite sure how to track someone in Israel with so little information and an insufficient knowledge of Hebrew. I don't know why I didn't post this to Jewishgen much earlier. I guess I was deeply focused on other branches of my family tree or swamped with work. Everything has it's timing.

It's amazing to me. If we hadn't received the picture or if Vil hadn't been a war hero, I don't know if we would ever have found this family. There are no records currently available for Vinnitsya and I was told that many records had been destroyed during the war. I almost feel as though things (e.g. Vladimir's picture and war experience) were arranged for this future benefit.



Archives · Current Stories

You can read stories like this nearly every day when you read the JewishGen Discussion Group mailing list and the Special Interest Group (SIG) mailing lists, which you are encouraged to subscribe to here, if you are not subscribed already.

Copyright 2003, 2009 JewishGen, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
JewishGen® is a registered trademark of JewishGen, Inc.
Updated by MH on Monday, May 24, 2010.

Switch to the JewishGen main page