find each other through Yad Vashem,
Google and Jewishsightseeing.com
Two branches of a family
whose members had been murdered or separated in the Holocaust have found each
other thanks to Yad
Vashem, Google, jewishsightseeing.com and a little detective work.
The saga began after Tal
Singer, an Israeli, told her new American husband, Michael Lipiner of Stewart
Manor, N.Y, that she read in an Israeli newspaper that Yad Vashem,
Israel’s Holocaust memorial site, was putting its Holocaust rolls on line.
Lipiner promptly wrote to
jewishsightseeing.com, asking if he possibly could be put in touch with Gussie
Zaks. I called Gussie—a longtime
friend—and read to her the message in which Lipiner gave his phone number. She
promptly called him and together they soon established that Nick and her
husband, Mike Zaks, were in genealogical parlance, "first cousins once
Both Gussie and Mike
remembered Nick’s mother, Gittel Zaks, who also had lived in Klobuck. Her
father, Groynim, and Mike’s father, Szyja "Sam" Zaks,
Over the last several
weeks, Mike Zaks and Nick Lipiner have exchanged many phone calls, with Mike
filling in the younger Nick on much of the family’s history.
Zaks invited the Lipiner clan to visit him this coming summer in San
Diego, where Mike is a former president of Tifereth
Israel Synagogue and Gussie is a well-known lecturer on the Holocaust. Both
are active in the New
Life Club of Holocaust Survivors.
“I think it is
amazing,” commented Michael Lipiner. “Both my father and I are ecstatic—to
think, at this day and age a family can be reunited more than 50 years later,
simply through the Internet.”