Friday, July 7, 2017

Stephane: Another lost cousin finds me

Yesterday I got an unexpected email inquiry from Stephane of Paris.  He described his grandfather Wilhelm Gehlkopf from Elberfeld. His great grandfather Abel had a brother Schelemen and  a sister Maryjem.  Maryjem is my great grandmother: my mothers paternal grandfather Kiva was married to Maryjem Gielkop.  I knew immediately from what Stephane shared in his email that we were related. I confirmed the relationship. It was Stephan's 2nd week researching his tree.  I 've been searching for decades!  He found me through an email I sent his grandfather more than a year ago, 2/2016.

I made the first connection to my mom's Gehlkopf cousins in 2011. Thankfully my mom was still alive to discover I found the Gelkop cousin she was searching for since she left France in 1950's.

Today I met Stephane and his wife Valerie via Video chat through Facebook.  I am hoping to add him as a Facebook friend so I can introduce him to the other Gehlkopf family and share photos

Saturday, May 13, 2017

My 1st Yom HaShoah Speech at local high school

Last April,  I launched the Speaker's Bureau  at BCC's Center for Peace, Justice, Reconciliation.  My main motivation was to give a voice to the 2nd & 3rd generation of genocide survivors as the original survivors age and dwindle.  Only descendants of survivors can tell the stories with the same passion as their elders, having lived it through their parents/ grandparents. Telling survivor stories captivates the students' attention. A lecture given by a professor will not share the same energy.

Although I have spoken to students at BCC a couple times,  this year was the first time we had an outside request from a local high school. I had the honor of presenting for Yom HaShoah  (4/24/2017) at Passaic County Tech for ~50 students.   During my 90-minute presentation, I showed my mom's video testimonial about her escape from Germany and also told stories from my dad, and uncle;   about their survival, from Paris to Ceyroux.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Anti-Israel Propaganda prevents Peace

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King.

To read some useful articles on Israel & the Palestinians:
These sites describe the myths & lies propagated by Pro-Palestinian / Anti-Israel hate groups such as SJP, BDS, & JVP.
SJP, Students for Justice in Palestine, their motto is From the river to the sea Palestine will be free - their goal is the same as that of the Nazis during the Holocaust, a land that is Judenfree -free of Jews.   BDS, Boycott, Divest, Sanctions, it promotes the boycott of Israeli goods. This was a Nazi tactic, Jewish business were boycotted during the Shoah!
To understand Palestinian PROPAGANDA Warfare, we need to expose their deceitful Language: 
PALESTINE - There is no such country.  Palestine was the name for the land of Israel prior to 1948 British Mandate of Palestine.   The mandate divided the land between Israel & Jordan, 2 states, with Jordan getting 77%.  
Original flag of Palestine 1939 (re. ) :

The current Arab Palestinian flag is nearly identical to Jordan's flag.  Can you tell the difference?
Arab Palestinians use the terms  "occupation" & "settlers" to describe the Jews of Israel /Palestine.  The truth is that Israel is the Jewish birthright and Jews are indigenous to the land of Israel.   There is scientific evidence to back this up: DNA and archeological artifacts.   Arab Palestinians have even accused Israel of Apartheid.  This is so absurd, since Israel is the only Democracy in the Middle East. Arabs citizens of Israel have full rights.   

When Israel became a state in 1948
700,00 Arabs living in Israel were instructed by their Arab leadership to flee, since the Arab states were planning a military attack.  These Arabs were told by their leaders that they would have the "right of return" after Israel was destroyed.   At the same time 800,000 Jews living in Arab countries were forced to flee as their homes & property was forcefully confiscated.  Those Jewish refugees  became Israeli citizens.  The Arabs who chose to leave Israel became refugees and are still living as refugees to this day! 

Here is a NEW Term:
PALLYWOOD - a term for the orchestrated Palestinian-Hamas propaganda theatrical campaign by the Arab media.  Here is an example
To learn more, watch some of the PRAGER University education videos on YouTube.  

Here is a sample:

You could also read the book by Brigitte Gabriel, "Because They Hate", or listen to Alan Dershowitz, author of "The Case for Israel".


Thursday, March 9, 2017

my Facebook for Genealogy workshop -past, present, future - IAJGS '17

My proposal to present Facebook for Genealogy was accepted, again. This time I will be presenting at the International Assoc for Jewish Genealogy in July.  I have presented this workshop several times before, for Bergen Community, NJEdge, and my local genealogy group. In searching for materials to reuse I found a video online of my first 45-minute session for NJEdge 2013.
This clip describes how finding a single document from USHMMM helped me discover a key missing piece of my family tree.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Delivering my Speech in French - a feat for sore ears

Luce Petitjean sent me the DVD of the ceremony. Luce, who works in the mayor's office in Ceyroux, was instrumental in the planning of the event in the Ceyroux town hall on 12/4.   In the midst of all the chaos on that day, with all the last-minute details as people were arriving, within minutes of the ceremony starting,.... she took the time to help me translate my speech. This was especially difficult since some of my English phrases were complicated and did not translate well into French. 

For example I planned to say "the story of Ceyroux was ingrained in my brain". I don't think the French use that expression. Some of what I was trying to express, was confusing to Luce, to understand what I meant.  My sentences were a disordered mess. There was no elegant 1-for-1 translation.  The last-minute nature of this exasperated both of us. Luce was in a hurried state, putting out the champagne, posting the photos on display,,... etc...  While I was panicked because my yet-to-be-translated speech was locked in the office.   The only calm one was the Scottish Simonnet son who was also helping us.

The French words and phrases I was comfortable with & could easily pronounce were sometimes traded for a more proper version.  I was prepared to say "my dad told me the story of Ceyroux" as "mon pere m'a dit....". Luce changed this familiar, easy to pronounce phrase to "mon pere m'a parler".  Were those extra syllables really necessary? LOL. I do not know the subtleties of the language.  What was the difference between "dad told me" vs. "dad talked to me". 

In the end, I did not have time to practice using these French phrases. So it was clumsy and my accent was painful to listen to.  I should have apologized to the audience.  Luckily, Luce & Mr. Benguigui were at my side to help when I got stuck midway.

The DVD allowed me to replay the ceremony.  I played a portion of my speech for my family. When my son heard it he agreed it was really bad,....  & he heard the good part.    Although I regret not being better prepared, I did say most of what I intended. I thanked the families: the Simonnet, Parcelier, & Daquet families. I thanked my niece Danielle for making the visit 5 years ago which  facilitated the submission process with Yad Vashem.  I was grateful to Yad Vashem for recognizing Ceyroux and the role they played.   I regret not mentioning the person who especially helped me with my speech. I hope Luce will forgive me.

From this 1-hour DVD, I can extract key speeches. So far I have created a version with just Monique's speech. Next, I will separate mine, Luce's, & Mayor Daquet's.  I hope to upload to my YouTube channel & put CC (Closed Captions) in English & French.  Is there an APP to translate audio from a DVD into text?   Google? SIRI? anyone?