In Memoriam

We remember those members of Gesher Galicia known to have passed away since the group was founded in 1993. Their efforts and contributions to their personal family research, to their fellow researchers, and to Jewish Galician research have been invaluable and very much appreciated by all of us.

Each member is listed by name, residence, date of death, and if leadership role in Gesher Galicia. Please Inform Us of any additions or corrections to the list.

  • Nathan Abramowitz, Westmont, NJ – 23 Aug 2002
  • Sylvia Axelrod, Ossining, NY – 31 Dec 2006
  • Jacques Berlowitz, Zurich, Switzerland – Jan 2008
  • Bea Leiter Cohen –1st GGFF Editor, Easton, PA – 5 Apr 2008
  • David Cohen, Delray Beach, FL – 29 Jul 1999
  • Lillian R. Cohen, Tzfat, Israel – 2000
  • David Einsiedler, Reseda, CA – 2 Apr 2009
  • Samuel N. Elpern, Thornton, CO – 8 Jul 1998
  • Linda Stoop Fine, Pleasant Hill, CA – 11 Jan 2011
  • Muriel Singer Friedman, Miami, FL – 1 Dec 2003
  • Melvin Friedman, Tatamy, PA – 28 Nov 2008
  • Rose S. Friedman, Silver Spring, MD – 26 Sep 2008
  • Phyllis Goldberg – Mielec Coordinator – Rockville, MD – 15 Feb 2002
  • Howard Grindlinger, Sr., Boca Raton, FL – 8 Nov 2004
  • Lucille Gudis, New York, NY – 23 Dec 2005
  • Nancy Guggenheim, Babylon, NY – 10 May 2002
  • Sumner J. Haber, Anchorage, AK – 1 Dec 1999
  • Bernard M. Halpern, Pittsburgh, PA – 23 Jan 2006
  • Pauline Horowitz, Lake Mary, FL – 28 Feb 1996
  • Aaron Jortner, Plano, TX – 30 Jan 2002
  • Leon Joseph, Oro Valley, AZ – 9 Dec 2004
  • Melody Katz – GGSC – Ulanow Coordinator – Santa Clarita, CA – 16 Apr 2004
  • Howard Kaufman, Clifton Park, NY – 1999
  • Norton J. Kotcher, Lawrence, NY – 15 Nov 2003
  • Julian Kratter, Delray Beach, FL – 24 Jul 1998
  • Mordechai E. Lando, Baltimore, MD – 19 Jan 2009
  • Jonathan Lowe, New York, New York – 8 Dec 2008
  • S. Carl Mark,Tulsa, OK – 4 Jul 2000
  • Ely Maurer, Silver Spring, MD – 25 Jun 1997
  • S. Harry Meiselman, Rockville, MD – 26 Dec 2001
  • Sheiala R. Moskow – GG Treasurer – Severna Park, MD – 12 Nov 1998
  • Bob “Bernie” Neuman, Delray Beach, FL – 14 Feb 2006
  • Leslie Oberman, Carnegie, Victoria, Australia – Jan 2009
  • Joan Sanders, New Rochelle, NY – 5 Aug 1997
  • Rubin Schmer-Gartenberg, Ocean, NJ – 15 Jul 2007
  • Fred H. Steiger, East Brunswick, NJ – 26 Dec 2002
  • Howard Steinmetz, Boulder, CO – 27 Nov 2010
  • Julius Susser, Pueblo, CO – 23 Aug 2004
  • Charlotte Weisstein Title, Beverly Hills, CA – 8 Nov 2001
  • Herbert C. Unger, Coconut Creek, FL – 13 Jun 1994
  • George Vladar, Kingston, Ontario, Canada – 2005

We Remember

Melody Aroner Katz lost her battle with ovarian cancer on April 14, 2004. Melody was our first GG Research Coordinator and then Member-at-Large of the GGSC, until her passing. She created the Ulanow ShtetLinks webpage, the Ulanow Cemetery Project for JewishGen’s Online Worldwide Burial Registry, and entered data for many JewishGen projects. Her husband wrote that these projects were “a very meaningful part of her life” and hoped that someone would take on the task. [Shelley K. Pollero]

David Einsiedler, #122, of Reseda, CA, was a member from 1992 – 2002. His research interests were: GELARD from Drogobych and Stryy; DEUTSCH from Kodorov, Stryy, and Drogobych; STEINGRUB from Lviv and Drogobych; SELINGER, BARTISZAN from Drogobych. The video, I Remember Jewish Drohobycz, David’s story of life in his shtetl between the World Wars, was screened at the IAJGS Conference in Las Vegas in 2005 and is available to watch on this website.

Linda Stoop Fine, #1572, of Pleasant Hill, CA, was a member from late 2006 until her passing in 2011. Her research interests included 42 surname/place-name entries in the GGFF. Linda’s sister is Bette Stoop Mas, member #1571, of Miami, FL. Linda served as Copy Editor and/or Assistant Editor of The Galitzianer from June 2008 – February 2010. “She did a fine job on The G, going far beyond the usual duties of a proofreader, beginning with her offer to help me. She made a real difference in the quality of the finished product.” [Edward Goldstein, Immediate Past Editor, The Galitzianer]

Lucille Gudis The world of Jewish genealogy has lost one of its gems with the untimely passing of Lucille Gudis on December 23, 2005. Lucille was a former Vice President of JGS, Inc. (New York), longtime Executive Council member and co-chair of the 19th IAJGS Conference (1999) and the 26th annual IAJGS Conference (2006). Lucille was also a terrific lady, a good friend, an inspiration, a teacher and mentor, a leader, an artist, a world traveler and a professional genealogist. It is this last item that brought her to Gesher Galicia. She became a member in order to assist her clients with family ties to Galicia. Her long-term membership in Gesher Galicia allowed many of us to get to know her, work alongside her and learn from her. [Eden Joachim]

Ely Maurer was one of the earliest members of the pre-SIG group. He was a very early traveler to Galicia and assisted me in many ways to get the SIG going. [Suzan Wynne]

Sheiala Ratner Moskow made a major contribution to Gesher Galicia as an original member of the GGSC (1995). She served three years as GG treasurer before her untimely passing in 1998. She offered wise and helpful advice to all her many friends and contacts in the worldwide Jewish genealogy community as she researched her widespread GELERNTER and RATNER families. A subscriber to the JewishGen Discussion Group, she regularly responded to its readers. A longtime member of the JGS of Greater Washington, Sheiala attended many Summer Seminars/Conferences, including Washington, NYC, Israel, Paris, and L.A. [Shelley K. Pollero, Sheiala’s close friend]

Rubin Schmer-Gartenberg was born in Drohobycz and was his family’s sole survivor. To keep the memory of his relatives alive, he raised funds to restore the Jewish cemetery in Drohobycz as well as the memorial to the Shoah victims in Bronica Forest. Rubin also raised funds to begin restoring the beautiful Choral Synagogue of Drohobycz, which had fallen into serious disrepair. One of Rubin’s sons placed a video on Google showing the cemetery prior to its restoration. [Carole Glick Feinberg]

Howard Steinmetz, member #667, of Boulder, CO, was a member from 1997 – 2010. His research interests were primarily in Burshtyn and Rogatin, although he also listed a few names in Ivano-Frankivsk, Galich, Bukachevtsy, and Berezhany – all in modern Ukraine. “He was an active and beloved member of the JGS of Colorado and recipient of the 2010 Spirit of JGS Colorado Award. Howard attended IAJGS conferences and was one of the coordinators of the Rohatyn, Ukraine SIG”. [Ellen Shindelman Kowitt]

Julius Susser, 81, died Aug. 23, 2004, at home. Born in Krakow, Poland, on Feb. 13, 1923, Julius was a survivor of the Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen death camps and was liberated in April of 1945. Julius proudly displayed his tattooed inmate number, B4516, as a sign of what he had overcome. To a great extent, his survival was due to his unique talent in soccer. The Nazis felt he was needed on the opposing team in their quest for recreation. He often said he was beaten when he lost and he was beaten when he won. Following liberation, he played professionally for both Jewish and German teams. Recently, a German documentary reported “even to this day, die-hard fans of the old soccer team get starry-eyed at the skillful play of the goal-striker, center forward, Julius, equally skilled with both feet.” Julius and family arrived in the United States aboard the USS General Taylor on Dec. 10, 1949. He became a naturalized citizen in 1955 and retired from the CF&I Steel Corp. after 34 years of service. [From the obituary sent to us by Julius’ wife, Lili Cukier Susser, GG member]

Herb Unger died a year after the SIG was founded, but he was the one who found the little volume of the 1877 Austrian regulations for collecting and maintaining Jewish vital records in Galicia. He loved to wander through the stacks at the Library of Congress, including the law library and he came up with the most incredible stuff. He was a founding member of JGSGW, moved to Florida about 1985, and helped to found the JGS of Miami. [Suzan Wynne]

Gesher Galicia is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people research their Jewish family roots in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire province of Galicia, which is today southeastern Poland and southwestern Ukraine. Our organization's primary focus is researching Jewish roots in Galicia, but the diverse community records in our databases contain names that span all the ethnic and religious groups who once lived in this region.

Search our free All Galicia Database, Map Room, and Archival Inventory today, and learn about our terrific member benefits for genealogists, researchers, and families, starting at just $25/year. You can join online!