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Holocaust Survivors Reunited After 67 Years

“It didn’t take long for Michael to realize that Moshe Porat was the same man as Moshe Perelman, Moniek Garber's cousin.... Later that morning the two cousins spoke to each other after 67 years of separation.”

Finding My Jewish Roots

“Fortunately, I was guided to JewishGen, where a review of the Isaacs names posted in JewishGen’s Family Finder led to a breakthrough.”


These four stories highlight how the simple posting of a surname can result in new family connections and an expanded family tree.

EDITORS' NOTE - July 2010

Welcome to the summer 2010 issue of Success! Stories. We’ve hit a small milestone with this issue – we’ve gone almost completely international, with accounts of success from New Zealand and Italy, Israel, and Scotland. And our new column – From Our Mailbox... – features brief stories we’ve received from JewishGenners from Canada, France, and the United States.

Several years ago, JewishGen Vice President Michael Tobias played a critical role in one of our more intriguing stories of reconnection – literally thanks to JewishGen. Michael tells of the startling coincidences and the exciting role that he played in bringing together two cousins who had last seen one another in 1940, and who each had reason to believe that the other had perished in the Holocaust.

Geoff Isaacs and Laurie Rappeport tell two sides of another fascinating, and different, story of discovery and connection. In his sixties when he first learned the truth about his origins, Geoff traveled from New Zealand to the UK searching for more information. Then, using the JewishGen Family Finder, Geoff connected with Laurie, who’d waited ten years to find any others researching her great-grandfather’s family of Birmingham, England. The cousins met, and the story ends with a satisfying twist.

Four brief stories From Our Mailbox... highlight successes made using the JewishGen Family Finder and the JewishGen discussion lists. Debbie Kopstein Burr used JewishGen and Facebook to connect with two other cousins who have the same Romanian ancestry; Judith Elam found the family that rescued and sheltered her mother, aunt, and grandfather during the Holocaust; Edmond Cohen linked the families of two brothers from Istanbul, who had last been in contact more than a hundred years ago; and Rachelle Leaf Berliner found a cousin, verifying the identities of their common ancestors using old names and addresses in her mother’s personal telephone book.

We’re delighted that you keep sending us your success stories and fascinated at the different ways that we JewishGenners find one another. We hope you, too, enjoy – and learn from – this variety of approaches and ideas.

Meredith Hoffman                                                Nancy Siegel
Plymouth, Massachusetts                                  San Francisco, California

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Updated by MH on Thursday, July 28, 2010.

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