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Our faithful volunteer translator, Lena Gorina-Black, has
reached the milestone of letter 100 [of about 150] written from family
in Lida [between Minsk & Vilnius, now in Grodno/Hrodna district]
to family in Palestine, 1925-1940.

The recipients were Fanya and Dora, nee PUPKO, daughters of
Kalman PUPKO and Revekka nee KAPLAN, daughter of Dora and Yosef.
Kalman and his wife ran a small store in Lida; some of their cousins
owned the PUPKO beer brewery.

The letters are like a time machine trip to pre-Holocaust Lida,
so even if you don't have relatives from there, they're interesting
to read through.

Because we have a fair amount of PUPKO family material, we can
identify many PUPKO relatives in the letters. There must be an
equal number of KAPLAN relatives mentioned, but we know nothing
about them. If you know someone who is, *please* show them the
letters, and I'd greatly appreciate any help with identifying
the many people mentioned. Unfortunately, we don't have a name
list [yet]; it's a project we have in mind after the letters have
all been translated.

Also - we don't know how the letters came to be auctioned on a
large commercial site about 2 years ago. I assumed it was because
one of the recipients had died recently, and their descendants, unable
to read the letters, decided to auction them. However, one of my cousins
knows the descendants, and when he found out about the letters, phoned &
asked. They did *not* have the letters - last they knew, they thought
another cousin had them. Of course I contacted the auctioneer right
after learning that. It turns out she's a professional e-auctioneer
& had bought them from a dealer who only sells to people. She contacted
him on my behalf; I had asked, that if the original owner wished to
remain anonymous, he/she be told that cousins would dearly love
contact. However, she's heard nothing.

So, if you've heard of letters like these, I'd love to hear about their history!

Irene Newhouse


I wanted to update you on the status of the photos.

They are now online at LidaMemorialSociety.org in the pictures section. We cannot thank you enough for helping us out - it is very important that the world never forgets what happened.

If or anyone that you know is descended from Lida or the surrounding regions we would be glad to add either you or them to our mailing lists for our annual memorial meetings and other events.

Our sincerest thanks,

Howard Konopko
Webmaster, Lida Memorial Society

CC: Amanda Lapidus - President, Lida Memorial Society


Thank you for your email. I would like to link to your site. You are welcome to use pictures and their descriptions, please let me know which pictures you end up using.

Thank you very much and good luck with the website,

On Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 1:01 PM, <Howard@lidamemorialsociety.org> wrote:

Hi Eilat,

My name is Howard Konopko and I have been working on creating a website for the Lida Memorial Society. This is a group of survivors as well as second and third generation descendants of Lida and the surrounding areas who meet annually and do activities to help honor those lost as well as ensure that the history is passed down and not lost.

Our website is still a work in progress however many areas are finalized with the exception of the photo section, and the discussion areas.

The url for the site is http://www.lidamemorialsociety.org

During my research looking for pictures and other media to include on the website I saw the site that you created which includes numerous pictures and other information from Lida. With your permission I would like to include these pictures as well as their corresponding descriptions on the memorial site.

The content that you have on http://www.eilatgordinlevitan.com/lida/lida.html is fantastic and would be a big help to us to leverage this media to improve our site.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance,

Howard Konopko
Webmaster, Lida Memorial Society

I found your email on the shtellinks page for Vilnius.

I'm with a forthcoming American PBS TV series called "Finding Your Roots." The show, which is hosted by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the genealogy of prominent Americans. Right now I'm working on a segment about the US TV journalist Barbara Walters.

Based on our research we know that the maternal grandfather of Barbara Walters, Selig Seletsky lived in Bieniakonie in the late 19th century. He emigrated from there to the US in 1890. Based on census data we believe that Selig was born circa 1869, possibly in Bieniakonie. We believe his father might have been Daniel Sholetski, who was born in the Lida region, 1834.

We're desperately trying to find further documentation of Selig Seletsky in Bieniakonie, ideally primary documents. But I'm also interested in finding out more about Bieniakonie in the 19th century. Thus far the information I've been able to turn up is thin to say the least.

Yuri Dorn, Coordinator of the Jewish Heritage Research Group in Belarus suggested that the appropriate records would be located in Vilnius.

I would love to hire someone to check the archives there for information about Selig and Daniel Seletsky/Sholetski and their family. Unfortunately, I am working under a major time crunch and must obtain what information we can by late Tuesday NY time.

Might you know someone who can help?

Many Thanks,

Josh Gleason

From: Steven Lasky <steve725@optonline.net>

I have added a page to my Cemetery Project's "Society Gates" permanent
exhibition, featuring information (names, dates inscribed on the gate posts,
etc.) and photos of the gates that front each of six to seven Lida, Belarus
society burial plots in the New York metro area (although I haven't any
information about the burials in the plots themselves).

Lida is located in today's Belarus, but between the two World Wars it was
located in Poland. At the beginning of World War II, it became part of
the Soviet Union.

You can view this page at www.museumoffamilyhistory.com/lia-sg-lida.htm.

Steven Lasky
Website: www.museumoffamilyhistory.com
Blog: www.museumoffamilyhistory.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/museumoffamilyhistory

MODERATOR'S NOTE:  Ada Green, who is part of LitvakSIG's Lida
District Research Group, indexed the 1,249 burials in these
various Lida landsmanshaft plots and they are now searchable
in the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR).

I have just uploaded a file containing the translation of 603 listings from
the records of the Lida State Savings Bank to the LitvakSIG Lida District
Research Group Shutterfly site

Although many depositors in these records lived in the town of Lida, some
were born elsewhere, and even lived elsewhere. Many of the other towns in  the
Lida District -- Belitsa, Eisiskes, Novy Dwor, Orlya, Ostrynia, Radun,
Rozhanka, Shuchin, Vasilishki, Voronova and Zheludok -- are mentioned in  this list.

These are fascinating records, which give a person's age,  occupation,
father's name, and the amount deposited in their account.

I think  many of you may find family names there, but even if you don't, I
think you'll find it fascinating to look through the file to compare the
occupations and amounts in the account -- it's not always what you would expect.

If  you want to find out how you can become part of the LitvakSIG Lida
District  Research Group and gain access to the translations on our Shutterfly site,
(available long before they are publicly searchable on the All Lithuania
Database and JewishGen Belarus Database), or if  you have any other  questions,
please let me know.

Judy Baston, Coordinator,
LitvakSIG Lida District  Research Group

Dear Fellow Lida District Researchers:

I am really excited to let you know that the LitvakSIG Lida District
Research Group has started to translate the 1834 Revision List for
Lida District  towns. I've just uploaded to the Lida District
Shutterfly site the translations of the 1834 Revision List for
Eisiskes, Lida town and Radun.  These are the  first three towns
to be translated and translation has started on Voronovo, Zhaludok
and Vasilishki.

For those of you who have been able to connect to family in the Lida
District 1858 Revision List, and the Additional Revision Lists
1858-1908, there is a good chance that you will be able to connect
to an earlier generation or two in the 1834 Revision list.

The Lida District 1834 Revision List is a big list - just like the
1858 Revision Lists and the Additional Revision List, which we
translated some years back. When we started translating the 1834
list, there was close to $4,000 in the LitvakSIG Lida District
Research Group account.  I was really excited about how much
we could get translated with $4,000.  But after translating
Voronovo,  Zhaludok, and Vasilishki, we will definitely have
to raise additional  funds (I estimate about $1,500)  to finish
the 1834 Revision List for Belitsy, Novy Dwor, Orlya, Ostrynia,
Rozhanka and Shchuchin.

We appreciate any amount you can contribute to help us get the
entire 1834 Revision List for the Lida District translated. A
contribution of $100 or more  will qualify you to become part of the
LitvakSIG Lida District Research Group, and provide  access to the
Group's Shutterfly Site at  https://lidadistrict.shutterfly.com/

A contribution of at least $100 will provide access to all Lida
District translations -- past,  present and future -- through
December 31, 2018.

This site provides qualified contributors to the LitvakSIG Lida
District Research Group access to translated records for Lida
District towns immediately after they are translated. These
records will become publicly searchable on the LitvakSIG All
Lithuania Database,  the JewishGen Belarus Database and the
JewishGen Lithuania Database 18 months after they are

(Even after they are publicly searchable, in many ways, being
able to browse and sort the records in an Excel spreadsheet
-- available on and  downloadable from the Shutterfly site --
provides many additional options for  research).

To contribute to our efforts to complete the translation
of the entire Lida District 1834  Revision List, go to
www.litvaksig.org/contribute    Scroll down  to Research
Groups and choose Lida District.

I've posted an 1834 Surname List for the Eisiskes, Lida
and Radun on the homepage at https://lidadistrict.shutterfly.com/

Please write to me at JRBaston@aol.com if you have any questions.

Judy Baston, Coordinator,
LitvakSIG Lida District Research Group

Leslie Gut lesliegut@                 via lyris.jewishgen.org 

to Belarus

Amongst entries in the 1888 Revision List, we have found two family groups
who are noted to have lived in a place at the time called Smoliachna
Borovka.  We know the family lived in close proximity to one another, so
this place must have been very near Lida.  Our local researcher has
determined that another location's name was changed after this Revision List
was prepared, and since we're having difficulty locating Smoliachna Borovka,
we suspect this may also be the case.  If anyone has knowledge of the
location of this town/village, please let us know.  We will be visiting Lida
in June and would very much like to include it on our itinerary as it was
the last known place of residency for our g-g-grandparents.  Many thanks for
your help.

Leslie Gut


I just returned from Israel. To make it easier for me could you tell me what pictures you wish to post?

On Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:23 PM, Yitzchok Shteierman <ayys234@gmail.com> wrote:
Thank you so so much!!! 
My research involves the interview of 103 year old Mrs. Dina Shapiro Gabel. Her father owned a large agricultural machinery factory named "Poland" on the outskirts of Lida. 

I plan to publish re article in Inyan magazine, a subsidiary of Hamodia, an orthodox Jewish newspaper with a very large circulation worldwide. In the course of interviewing her I became interested in Lida in general-- but more importantly, I NEED good pics of prewar Lida. The ones you uploaded are great, but they download in very low res. If you can send those very same pictures to me by email, I would be so appreciative. You've done some really monumental work btw... 

I'll be sure to return the favor by sharing my completed article with you-- to share on all your groups. 

Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Don't just DO good-- BE good! 

On Jul 9, 2014, at 7:05 PM, eilat gordin <egl.comments@gmail.com> wrote:


On Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 3:31 PM, Yitzchok Shteierman <ayys234@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello. I came across your tremendous work in documenting life in prewar Europe. I saw some wonderful photos of life in Lida, Poland. I’m in the midst of research on that town, and have interviewed a resident thereof, and would love if you can share some of those photos with me.
I look forward to hearing from you.
 Dear Yitzchok,

You are welcome to use any of the pictures. Could you tell me about your research?

I was looking for some obituaries for my Byer family of Chicago, when I accidentally found mention of this book. "Transplanted people, by Yecheved (Etta Byer) Reproductions of oil paintings by Samuel Byer." 
I was able to find the book online, so thought you might like to read it. It is an autobiography of Etta which mentions her early life in Lida as well as her later life in New York & Chicago. Turns out it's not my ancestor, but an interesting story anyway. My husband's great grandfather was Samuel Bier, married to Esther/Fannie Kohn. They were from Galicia.
In the last decades before the Holocaust the tendency developed to admit other Jewish studies (Bible, Hebrew, etc.) besides Talmud into the curriculum as well as secular studies. One such reformed yeshiva was founded in Lida, in 1905 by Isaac Jacob Reines, with the intention not only of providing general culture for rabbis and teachers but also of furnishing students who intended engaging in business with comprehensive Jewish knowledge. It had about 300 pupils. The yeshiva founded in 1905 by ?ayyim Tchernowitz (Rav ?a'ir) in Odessa was meant to be an advanced school for Jewish studies and an academy for rabbis, equipped with the apparatus of modern scholarship. The scientific method was practiced in all branches, even in Talmud. In its early period Bialik and Klausner were lecturers there, in addition to Tchernowitz.

My ancestors came from Grodno and Lida areas.
I looked at Lida's pictures, and suddenly I saw 2 pictures that caught my attention: The first is a picture of 3 men standing in the snow.
It says it was during WWI.
My grandfather's cousin showed me 3 weeks ago family pictures from Lida, and this is one of them!


My great great grandfather, Eliyahu Shlomovich, is standing in the middle of the picture.
How did you get this picture?
Another picture, also from Lida, contains 3 young men. I'm not sure, but I think these men were my great grandmother's brothers or my great grandfather's brothers. It's picture number 52.


Please write me back!
Thank you,
Tom Pashinsky.


From: Judy Baston

I'm thrilled to be able to announce that the Lida 1903/1905
Family List has been translated.

This translation is a joint project between LitvakSIG and Belarus
SIG and I want to extend a special thank you to Belarus SIG's
Paul Zoglin for his significant role in the translation and
analysis of this list.

While this list will be publicly searchable in the LitvakSIG
All Lithuania Database and the JewishGen Belarus Database
after at least 18 months, it is currently available only to
qualified participants in the LitvakSIG Lida District Research

To become part of the LitvakSIG Lida District Research Group,
a contribution of $100 US will guarantee you immediate access
to this list and translations of all records from Lida District
towns -- new and old -- through December 31, 2021.

To contribute, go to
https://www.litvaksig.org/ membership-and-contributions/ join-and-contribute/
Click on "Research Groups for Districts and Gubernias" and
choose "Lida District."

Although this is a list of 10,929 Jews who were officially
registered with the Lida Jewish Community, it also contains many
references to people living in more than 150 other towns --
in the Lida District and elsewhere.

A list of the "Other Towns in the Lida 1903_1905 Family List"
and surnames of those residing in them is on the publicly accessible
homepage of our LitvakSIG Lida District Research Group
site at https://lidadistrict. shutterfly.com  under "Surname Lists,"
as is a list of all "Surnames in the Lida 1903-1905 Family List"
with the number of times each surname appears, and a list of
"Surnames with Registration Numbers."

This Family List appears to be a complete census of the Jewish
population of Lida before the mass immigration  that began around
1905, although some individuals are already noted as living in America
or London. It contains specific birth dates for about 2,000 of the men,
extremely unusual for census/revision/family lists. It also contains
detailed conscription information, with references to the specific
town where the resident was inducted.

A number of entries were added after 1905.  In those cases the ages
given would be based on the year the records were added (which should
be indicated).

Make sure you scroll all the way to the right to see all the important
information in this list.

There are three more early 20th century Family Lists in our translation
pipeline --Orlya, Radun and Shchuchin. Needless to say, because of its
size, the Lida 1903/05 Family List was costly to translate, and -- even
with the generous end-of- year donations, we currently are in need of
additional funds. However, I have been able to obtain another matching
grant, so any contribution you can make will be matched one-for-one!

Even though this is a joint LitvakSIG-Belarus SIG project, all
contributions should be made through LitvakSIG by going to
https://www.litvaksig.org/ membership-and-contributions/ join-and-contribute/

The support of researchers from Lida District towns has enabled us to
translate more than 100,000 records of our Lida District families so far.
Thanks to those of you who helped make this possible -- and thanks in
advance to those of you who will help us continue our translations.

Please write me at JRBaston@aol.com if you have any questions about
this list, or about the LitvakSIG Lida District Research Group.

Judy Baston, Coordinator,
LitvakSIG Lida District Research Group

Visit our home page at http://www.litvaksig.org

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(litvaksig@lyris.jewishgen.org ) are hosted by JewishGen

LitvakSIG is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions to LitvakSIG
may be made online at https://www.litvaksig.org/ membership-and-contributions/
and are tax-deductible as provided by law.  Contributions may also be mailed
to LitvakSIG, Inc., c/o Eden Joachim,  41 Country Club Lane, Pomona, NY
10970. Please specify town(for vital records) or district research group
(and town of interest) for other types of records, and include your e-mail
address with your contribution.

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am working on project conected to Shtetls in SMORGON area
There are pictures made by German soldier Willy Romer during IWW

He stationed probably  in Kreva (they are pictures from Lida)
We want to prepare exhibition these pictures with collaboration Goethe Institute.
However most of the pictures have wrong description and we need help with identification.
I would be garteful for any tips

Kind regards
Marcin Guzek

Kreva, Lida, Smorgon

Kreva, Lida, Smorgon

Kreva, Lida, Smorgon

Kreva, Lida, Smorgon

Kreva, Lida, Smorgon

Kreva, Lida, Smorgon

Kreva, Lida, Smorgon

Ruth Koob <rkoob4abetterworld@gmail.com>
Apr 15 (5 days ago)

to me


I am searching for a photo or postcard of the Pupko brewery in Lida.  I am writing a book about a Holocaust survivor from Lida whose family was housed temporarily on the brewery grounds.  I would write to Lida's official city site for help, but the site is in Polish.

Thank you.

rkoob4abetterworld at gmail.com
eilat gordin <egl.comments@gmail.com>
6:37 AM (4 minutes ago)

to Ruth


Lida today is in Belarus and not in Poland. Lida is a city in western Belarus in Hrodna Voblast, situated 160 kilometres (99 miles) west of Minsk. It is the fourteenth largest city in Belarus.