*************************************************************** This web site is here to remind us to get ready to welcome the Moshiach. We need to prepare ourselves by learning more about him, by increasing our generosity and compassion, and through sincerity in our prayers. Let's pray that each act of kindness that we do brings the Moshiach closer. Let's pray that he comes today. ______________________________ At this site there are links to Jewish education, news, and culture. My family's recent (145 year) history and genealogy appear at the end of the page with some photos. ******************************************************************** These Photos: The Kotel, Tomb of Yaacov Avinu in Hevron, Tomb of R. Meir Baal Hanes in Tiberias, and the Jordan.
Links to other sites on the Web
1. CHABAD LUBAVITCH IN CYBERSPACE- If there could only be one web site on the entire WWW I would want it to be this one. There is so much text and multimedia that it is next to impossible to fully describe it. A real CyberEd experience with email lessons and more! See for yourself, just click HERE.
2. CHABAD NIGGUNIM- This is an example of what you can access at the above link. Choose samples or longer versions of these wonderful songs.
3. IMRA- An easy to read daily digest of headlines with lots of relevant information from diverse sources.
4. CHOLISRAEL.com- This portal is excellent for accessing Israeli news and concerns. The selection of news links, even Arab press, is very inclusive. Some of my favorites are Debka, Arutz Sheva, Jerusalem Post, MEMRI, and more. Note: the public forums may contain undesireable material but you don't have to see it unless you choose to. You can also post your own opinions if you want.
5. MAVEN- An incredibly large number of links (over 15000) to Jewish/Israeli web sites. Not all are recommendable and you may even want to flat out avoid some for reasons of questionable relevance or content but the sheer volume alone makes this site a useful reference. The News & Information section offers a long list of news sites.
JEWISH GENEALOGY INFORMATION: My name is Yosefchai* ben Nachum Laden (Joseph D. Laden). My father Nachum (Nathan R. Laden) was born in Khristinovka, Ukraine. My mother Eta(Edna D. Laden) was born in Philadelphia (AKA Yetta). I have a sister, Muriel H. Zimmerman (Miriam Chaya) and a brother, David M. Laden (Dovid Meir). ******************PATERNAL FAMILY HISTORY- My father's original last name (Ladizhinski) identifies his father's family with the town of Ladizhin in the Podolia region of the Ukraine, but by the time of his birth in the town of Khrystynivka (1907), the family was actually living in nearby Gaisin (Hajsyn). My father's father, Menasche (Morris), was born , on Hoshana Rabba, in Gaisin and died in Philadelphia. My father's mother, Sara, nee Pojarsky (Boyarskij), was born in Khrystynivka and died in Philadelphia. At the time of my father's birth, his mother's family was living within the Podolia area(Uman, Khrystynivka, and Shpola). Sara's brothers settled directly into Israel from the Ukraine. I was told by her nephew, Peretz Podjarski(who was born in Shpola and moved to Israel in 1924), that we are direct decendents of R. Arieh Leib of Shpola (Shpola Zaide), a well-known Chassidic Rebbe. There are still branches of our family, even in 2006, living in Russia. ******************MATERNAL FAMILY HISTORY- My mother's father, Shmuel Yitzchak (Sam) Droz(or Druzz, Druz, Druss, etc.), was born in Tal'ne (Talnoye), just south of Kiev, Ukraine. His Father's name was Yosef (Yosel) Druzz and his mother's name was Miriam (Mirel) Rosenfeld Druzz. Sam was seven when his father died. He had an aunt Eta Rosenfeld who helped him to come to Philadelphia. My mother was named for her. He sailed on the SS Campania from Liverpool to Ellis Island in 1906. Tragically, my great-grandmother Mirel did not want to immigrate to the USA and she and Sam's sister were murdered by antisemites c. 1915. Sam had brothers named Chaim (Hyman) and Yosef (Yuzik,Joe) who also came to the U.S. Joe sailed to the US from Liverpool in 1909 on the SS Friesland. Chaim sailed from Liverpool on the SS Lusitania in 1911. This is the same ship that was later sunk by the Germans and which brought the US into WW1 in 1917. How interesting! Hyman and Joe started out in Philadelphia and settled in Detroit. Alan Y. Droz from Michigan, a great-grandson of Yosel and Mirel, has sent me information about the Droz family. His father Julius Droz was a son of Joe. I also had a chance to speak to my mother's cousin, Mitchell Droz, who was one of Hyman's sons. He lived in Phoenix, Az. He said that there are Drozes in L.A. where I live. Maybe we'll meet, I hope so. There was also a group of Drozes living in Pittsburgh before my grandfather came to Philadelphia. Of these, Uncle Louie Droz and his wife Mary were really close with us. They were the first to use Droz instead of Druzz, and our family followed them in this. My mother's mother, Sara Beyla (nee Sorkin), was born in Smela . She remembered that when they were children, her older sister Golda (whose fiance would be killed later by antisemites) and she were chased out of a park by the Tsar's police who were on horseback with whips in their hands. Sara's mother was Chaya (Ida) Teplitsky, also from Smela. Chaya, had a nephew, Leopold Teplitsky, who became famous as a jazz pioneer in Russia. Chaya's father, Avrom, was also a musician and would play at celebrations, etc. in Russia. Sara's father was Eleazer (Lazer) Sorkin. Sorkin was not his original last name. Lazer's family was from the small village (shtetl) of Ekaterinapol. In those days a Jew could escape the cruel destiny of military service in the Tsar's army if he were the only son in a family. There was a family in the village named Sorkin who was childless and they saved him by registering him as their only son. Lazer may or may not have been related to that Sorkin family, I don't know. Lazer became a widower before he married my great-grandmother Chaya, who herself was an orphan by then. This meant that she had little to provide in terms of a dowry. He had a son from his first wife. He actually returned to Russia from the USA but was unsuccessful in persuading his son and others who stayed in Russia to come back with him to America. Lazer owned a tailor shop in Philadelphia. Chaya's children were Avrom, Golda, Sara Beyla, Rebecca, Shaye, and Ester Malke. Some others had died as infants in Russia. There are branches of our Sorkin-Teplitsky family in New York who decend from Sara Beyla's older brother, Avrom Sorkin, and his children Max, Robert, and Odette. There are branches of the Droz-Rosenfeld family in Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Florida. The Rosenfelds, who lived in Philadelphia also live in Florida. Our family has lost touch with them, unfortunately. Grandparents Sam and Sara had three children- my mother Edna (Yetta), my uncle Joe (Yosef), and my aunt Estelle (Ester Malka). Uncle Joe has a daughter Janet. Aunt Estelle has three children, Joyce (Yehudit), Larry (Lazer), and Susan (Shoshana). May the memory of those departed be for a blessing to those of us here. Note: the towns of Gaisin, Khrystynivka, Ladizhin, Teplik, Smela, Shpola, Tal'ne, Ekaterinapol, and Uman are all in the same general vicinity south of Kiev. ************************************PHOTOS: Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives, LOWER LEFT- (from l-r) My great-grandfather David ben Menasche who had recently arrived from Russia, my father Nachum (Nathan R. Laden), and my grandfather Menasche (Morris Laden) in front of my grandfather's store on 5th St. in Philadelphia (1929) LOWER RIGHT- My maternal grandmother Sara Beyla Sorkin Droz (c.1913) She arrived on the SS New Amsterdam after a month's stay in Rotterdam in 1906. She died in 1990.] My father left Russia at the age of seven or so in 1914 on the German ship "Prinz Oskar." His father, Menasche, had arrived at Ellis Island on February 1, 1913 on the German ship "Amerika" and then saved enough money to send for the family (my father, my grandmother, and my two paternal aunts, Alice(Elka Shifra) and Frances(Frida). My father used to say that there had been two other brothers, Isrulik (who died of scarlet fever as a child) and a baby (who died shortly after birth). After reading about the slaughter of Jews in the Ukraine during and since the Russian Revolution I can easily understand why they would leave. In 1925, my greatgrandfather David and his 18 year old daughter Bracha(Beatrice) joined the family in Philadelphia. The fact that they had survived the murderous pograms of 1919 and those occuring before is a testament to their resilience. They sailed from Southhampton on the SS Homerio. It has been said that his father was quite upset when he discovered how acculturated my grandfather had become in the U.S.A. Three more brothers were born in Philadelphia, my uncles Hyman (Chaim), Phil (Pinchas), and Milton (Mordechai). Don't forget to say hello at the email link below. All the best. [PHOTO: My father's Israeli cousin Peretz who left Shpola for Israel in 1924 and I in Tel Aviv at the beach.]
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* Note that the "ch" in my name and my father's is pronounced like the Spanish "j" in "jalapeno," or the "ch" in "Chanukah."