Sunday, December 16, 2018 

Research Help and Registration: 3:00PM-3:330PM (Please note later time)

Lecture: 3:30PM

Location:  Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, 8339 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027

Speaker: Jeffrey Cymbler


Jeff earned his BA from Yeshiva University and a JD degree from Boston University School of Law. A child of Holocaust survivors, he has been an avid genealogist since 1983. Jeff was co-chair of the 11th Annual Conference on Jewish Genealogy and Program Chairman of the 19th Annual Conference on Jewish Genealogy. He was on the Editorial Boards of both Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories and Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories and authored chapter one of the latter book, entitled, “Introduction to Polish-Jewish Genealogical Research.”

Topic: Passports for Life: The Bernese Group Rescue of Polish Jews in WWII
Passports for Life is a presentation dedicated to the Polish Envoy in Bern, Aleksander Lados, his subordinates, and members of the Jewish community in Switzerland who in the war-time period acted hand in hand in saving hundreds of European Jews. The members of the so called “Bernese Group” embarked on an illicit operation aimed at massive forging of passports of Latin American countries and smuggling them to the ghettos in Poland, Holland, France and other places in the German-occupied Europe. A noticeable, yet differential, number of bearers of the passports managed to survive the war. Some of survivors are still alive today.
The presentation will depict the origins of the covert operation, its protagonists, division of work among the members (half of them were Polish Jews), modus operandi of the group and consequences of their activity. A significant number of widely unknown documents and photographs will accompany the presentation, including forged passports, Nazi era postal communications from Polish ghettos to Switzerland, a database which is being developed of the passports, diplomatic correspondence and ledgers of the names and personal data of Jews for whom passports were procured.

Admission is free for members.  Non-members are charged $5.00.


What’s New On Our Site!

W. Todd Knowles’ Power Point Presentation on “Making the Most of FamilySearch for Jewish Research” can be found by going to the menu item “Archives” and clicking the “Meeting Summaries and Handouts” button.

Check out “An Ongoing History of Beth Emeth-B,nai Yitzhok Congegation” by Al Feldman. The synagogue was located in NE Philadelphia.  You can find this document under the menu item “Resources”























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