(JTA) — Israel’s National Library accepted 22 volumes of archives from the Irish Jewish Family History Database, which tracks over three centuries of Jewish life in Ireland.
The database, which was compiled by Stuart Rosenblatt, president of the Irish Jewish Genealogical Society, includes everything from burial and birth records, compiled by a Jewish midwife in the late 19th century; police registries of immigrants in the early 20th century; and other sources stretching from the 1700s until the present.
“These volumes are a living history of people who have now no voice,” Rosenblatt said in a press release from the National Library, which held a ceremony celebrating the archives on Monday. “Births, marriages, deaths, census, alien registration, synagogue memberships, home and business addresses, grave details and inscriptions are just a sample in the 22 volumes for families to discover their rich Irish heritage. It is an honor for me to have my personal volumes in the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.”
The first Jews to settle on the island were a small community of Sephardic migrants fleeing the Spanish Inquisition in the 15th century, but Ireland saw a larger influx of Jews in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as part of a wave of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe came to the United Kingdom, which Ireland was at the time a part of.
Today at most 3,000 Jews live in the republic of Ireland, including both citizens and non-citizens, and the Jewish population of the entire island, including Northern Ireland, has never been more than double that. But that population has included notable figures in Jewish and Israeli history, including Rabbi Isaac Herzog, the grandfather of current Israeli president, also named Isaac Herzog. The elder Herzog served as chief rabbi of the Irish free state, following its independence from Great Britain, and he would become the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel. His son Chaim Herzog also served as president of Israel in the 1980s.
“Needless to say, I feel a strong sense of personal connection and pride as an Israeli Jew with a direct Irish connection and derive special pleasure from the arrival of these volumes to Israel,” President Herzog said according to the NLI, adding that he looked forward to examining the records in the future since he could not attend the ceremony.
The physical volumes now housed in Jerusalem are one of only five copies of the record in the world, with the other four in Dublin.
“This extraordinary resource… will allow scholars, researchers, members of the Irish-Jewish community and their descendants, to deepen their understanding of their ancestry and heritage,” said Raquel Ukeles, the NLI’s head of collections. “This database marks another milestone in our unceasing quest for resources that document the histories and cultures of the Jewish communities throughout the world.”
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Focus group Oct. 11 at Simkin Centre for people concerned about personal care homes
As Manitobans have gone to the polls and with a new legislative assembly about to begin a new four-year term, the challenges of long-term and continuing care homes need to be communicated.
MARCHE, the Manitoba Association of Residential and Community Care Homes for the Elderly will be holding a focus group on Wednesday, October 11 that is intended to provide the community at large a forum to express thoughts and provide ideas and recommendations for the future.
Please join us on Wednesday, October 11th at the Saul & Claribel Simkin Centre. We look forward to hearing from you.
See poster below for more information and how to register to attend.
Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.
Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary
By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”
Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)