My Mother's Family Introduction



Release October 16, 2022

Yigal Writing

Yigal used to write short chapters and read them at various events in the nursing home where he lived in the last years of his life.

The large and interesting part of the chapters are part of his life history.

Few are translations or abridgments of facts related to general education.

Release Feb 23, 2020

Berek Szczekacz and Chana Szmidt

Berek Szczekacz and Chana Szmidt had 12 children. Searching for Birth, Marriage, Death records (BMD) brings us occasionally to meet living family members. I admit, getting to know new blood related family members is the most exciting part of doing genealogy. Lately I met Yoram Shachar, one of Berek and Chana’s great, greatgrandchild about whom I haven’t heard until Dec 15, 2019. The meeting has prompted me to create pages for the descendants of Berek Szczekacz, our mutual great, great grandfather. The released page will introduce you to the 12 children and to their children. Currently there are only two documented stories, about Layzer Ludwig Szczekacz and about Frajdla Szczekacz. The stories about Yoram Shachar, Samuel Szczekacz (The artist, Shmuel Tzur), the many Shakter’s descendants and others will follow soon.

Release Nov 9, 2019

Yosef Kaluzynski and Chana nee Sznajderman

Lebanon About 1909-1914


Release Jan 6, 2018

Fajgla Kaluzynski and Wolf Szperling

Wolf and Fajga Kaluzynski

The Holocaust Had no Mercy for the Szperling Family

Stories and Photos

Release June 26, 20

Ludwig Layzer Szczekacz

A Telephone call from Australia to Californiaswept Jane and me into a research in the Czech Republic. Several families appeared for a moment and then disappeared during the Holocaust. Very few suvivors, many Yad Vashem testimony pages and research in the Czech Republic declared Jane, Dov Kuflik, his sister, Idit, and the five grandchildren of Josef Arieli, my self included, are 3rd cousins. Jane, Dov and his sister, Idit, are 2nd cousins.

Dawid Borejdo Sznajderman

The following story is about Dawid Sznajderman, the son of Abram Moshe Sznajderman and Ajdla Koenigsberg, who survived the tumultuous time of WWII.

Dawid Borejdo Sznajderman



Marek Kaluzynski

Marek Kaluzynski was son of my great grandfather, Abram Kaluzynski, and his second wife, Chaja Dzialoszynska.

Marek Kaluzynski

Marek’s mother, Chaja, died around 1912 in Czestochowa, leaving his father with five young children;

the youngest, Sara, was two years old. Marek was fourteen years old.


Release History



Important Links

Zawiercie Yizkor Book Project

Read the Beautiful translation by Jerrold Landau

Connect with Czestochowers all over the wold.

The World Society of
Czestochowa Jews
And Their Descendants

Family History


Memories, like sand stones
Slowly, a grain follows a grain,
Erode, crumble, and vanish.
Sea waves and wind
Sweep them away
Listen to the voices
Collect the words,
The names, the episodes, the moments…
Carve and seal them
In a meticulously crafted pendant
Close to your heart
Allow them to live forever.



Let Us Start With Basic Steps:

Write down everything you know about yourself and about your family:

  • Full names
  • Date of Birth, Marriage and Death
  • Where these events occured
  • Talk to your grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts
  • Write down family anecdotes
  • Scan family photos
  • Scan Family documents

“What began as a search for my roots, for missing relatives, for missing facts, became long and tangled branch.

As I shake it, another piece dislodges, but it can be pulled in as a smooth even line much farther than I go.

This is the cord of the future, the one I hand to my children.”

                                                                   Variation on Andrea Simon in “Bashert”.    
My Mother and her Parents


My Mother Ancestors

My mother name was Chaya.

Her maiden name was Lifshitz.

Her parents were Dawid Lifshitz and Tema Rodshtein.

Her grandparents on her father side were descendants of the Lifshitz and Chaifetz families.

Her grandparents on her mother side were descendants of the Rodshtein and Liberman families.

Before WWII the families lived in Belarus in small towns around Minsk,
mainly in Rakov, Ivenets, Wolma, Zaslavl, Horodok, Volozhin, Smilovichi and Vilejka.



Our Ancestors Lived in Belarus
Belarus Area Map Belarus Map

minsk Area Map Minsk Area Map

Minsk - Nearby Jewish Communities
Rakov 22 miles WNW
Zaslawye 13 miles WNE
Smilovichi 21 miles ESE

Rakov - Nearby Jewish Communities
Ivenets 13 miles WSW
Haradok 14 miles NNW
Valozhyn 22 miles WNW


In the year 2002 - Ora, my sister, Amos,my husband, and I took a real glimpse at our ancestors's shtetls
product image Visit to Rakov, Belarus, 2002

product image Visit to Ivenets, Belarus, 2002

product image Visit to Volma, Belarus, 2002

And a Glimpse into our Ancestors' Photos

product image Tzvi Chaifetz

Rakov, Belarus

1807 - 1915

his Wife and ???

product image Yoel Yakov Lifshitz,

Rakov Cemetery

1830 - 1907

product image Shmuel Yehoshua and his wife,

standing Sorl

and young Henia

product image Btzalel Rothstein

and his wife

Chana Dvora Liberman