The Cousins Check it Out and Check In

Everyone (from California to Israel to Boston) is enjoying the new RLFG website and many have provided good ideas.

    1.  We are working on the identification of everyone in the pictures.  If you send in any new pictures, be sure to identify them.
    2.  Yes, anyone can read what is on the site but the only way to comment is to register.
3.  We are happy to post articles from you .
4.  Coming soon is a page for minutes old and new.  If you like the pictures you will love reading the minutes from 1952.
5.  We are thinking about the My Space or Facebook links several people mentioned.  In fact, working on this site can be a full time job which neither John nor I can devote to it.  So, it will come in good time.   We hope you will comment on the site and send us the pictures and comings and goings of your family.

From Bernice Luskey

I enjoyed, especially, all the pictures. I am going to look through them again–and again. Then I will figure out if I can print some–I’m sure there is a way. I am doing fine here in Savannah and hope you are all well also.

From: Yomi Rosenblum

Margalit is in Canada now, they went to make an American citizen ship for there children in North America ( In Vermont. It was easier to land first in Toronto). They should be back this week so I’ll ask her then (I only know the Hebrew dates).

I looked at the web site and found my grandmother in the “pictures from the 50’s”. It is done very well, and I enjoyed it! It’s a very good idea (and I bet also a lot of work). It would be nice if names were written underneath so that I would know who they are. Is the site accessible to who ever wants to or only to family members?

What a good idea! This is the only practical way for me keeping in touch! I liked the pictures!

From Roz (Greenspon) Cohen

The site is terrific! I enjoyed those nice pictures of my Bubby and Zaidy Looban! What a lot of work you put into it! As we say here in Israel, Kol Hakavod!

From Carol Luskey

I’m in South Dakota!!! I’ll try to write up something to update everyone on our whereabouts…I can also fill in some of the holes on the family tree – does that go to you as well??? I LOVE this site…oh my gosh!!! It is so much fun to look at the pictures and to have the entire geneology…wow!! Thanks. It will definitely be bookmarked by me and many others I’m sure. I just love the pictures. So much fun. Sandy, your mom and dad visited us when we lived in Wagner, SD!!!! Not too many people came to visit us there but we were so delighted to have them. Even remember that we had deli when they came! (It was an event!!)

From Lenny Taube

What do you think about incorporating that somewhere on the front page of the website near the logo/name so as to pay homage to the woman who the group is named after? Greetings! My grandmother is looking for a photo of Rachel Looban & will provide details on what she was like soon.

From Sandy Deiner

Thanks Sandy! Once again I got lost in some of those old photos. Happy Purim!

From Lisa Pivar

Thank you so much for including me in this announcement! I am anxious to check out the site and get involved! I look forward to checking it out this evening when I get home and have the time to explore it all!

And again from Lisa Pivar

I know I said I was going to wait until tonight to take a look at the site, but I was so excited I just couldn’t wait! So, I took just a peek for now. I absolutely love the photos from the 50’s and later! Unbelievable, just a flood of memories! I believe I may have some photos to send you to add if you like?

From Estelle Cohen

Thank you so much for all your work, it is greatly appreciated.

From Bob Diener

Have a Hamentashen for me, and thanks for keeping in touch. Happy Purim to you and yours. Life is good here in the Bay Area. I thank Sandy for sending this email and respecting our privacy. However, I would be happy to hear from all/any of you, so now you have my email and other contact information.

From Diane Yankelevitz

I didn’t get the email you sent everyone – Adele fwd it to me. I checked and you have my email address spelled incorrectly. You put an ‘n’ instead of an ‘m’ in the middle. Please change it in your address book. So far I could only see the photos on the website. That alone is neat. I’ll try the rest again another time. Thank you and John for putting it up. It’s essential for us to keep in touch since we’re so spread out.

From Zachary Diener

I got a link to this website from my dad, Bob Diener, and wanted to make sure that you had my email. Just, you know, to keep in touch.

Currently in my life: I Am a performing acrobat in Portland, Oregon and I will be moving soon to Cambridge, MA to attend classes in Human Computer Interaction at Tufts.

Yonah Singer Engaged

Josh and Sonia Greenspon are happy to announce the engagement of their grandson Yonah Singer, son of Ellen and Saul Singer to Michelle Pomerantz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pomerantz of Philadelphia. Yonah is a special education teacher in Bronx, NY and is working toward his Master’s Degree in Special Education. Michelle is an assistant principal in a day school in NY.

First Night of Passover at the Walter’s – 2008

First Seder - Passover 2008


Near table from top left: Kim Maronski, Joan Meiselman, Dean Osgood, Terry Meiselman, Ben Meiselman, Kendra Campbell, Sandy Walter.

Round table at top left: Neal Meiselman, Brian Kolstad, Micah Walter, Susannah Kolstad.

Far table from left: Alyson Meiselman, Gail Osgood, Bill Lawrence, John Walter, Lauren Kolstad, Yonah Meiselman, Pat Lawrence, & Sharon Kolstad.

Don’t you love the tables of friends and family members we collect for Passover? I do! And all year long I am looking for new recipes (like my favorite flourless chocolate cake), new serving dishes (like my brightly colored Fiesta ware), new readings or stories to expand the Hagadah (like the passage about the Passover celebration during the Civil War that we read this year).

I dust off the cranberry glasses I have collected just for Passover. I consider which flowers and trees will be blooming (this year I brought flowering crab apple into the house) and how they will decorate the room. I think about the place settings, who will sit near whom, and completing the elements on the Seder Plate, adding items every year to improve the celebration. (This year we added an actual shank bone instead of the chicken neck of prior years. I roasted it just short of embers but all three tables had a shank bone on the Seder plate.) Alyson supplied the Charoseth in a tub so we could eat it with the hard boiled eggs. There is usually never enough Charoseth but this year there was!

It gives me great pleasure to have all of my siblings gather with which ever younger generation is available to go through the story again. Changing the dishes and moving all of the living room furniture to the basement does make me feel like I am moving from Egypt, with out the camels or sand, of course.

Each year we struggle over the choice of which Hagadah to use. Everyone has their least favorite. This year, Neal got Hagadot from ORT, illustrated with colorful children’s art. Beautiful, but not easy to read.

This year we had our newest bride and groom (Susannah and Brian Kolstad) with us. Susannah has promised she will be asking the 4 questions next year. Gail sang them this year. And this year Micah and Kendra were just back from 18 months on the island of Dominica and joined in for the Seder before moving to Baltimore. Neal, Terry and both Ben and Yonah took part in our Seder on the first night and were going to have their first Seder in their new home on the second night. So our first night of Passover Seder had many firsts within it.

From our house to yours, we hope you had a wonderful holiday.

Happy Purim from Israel

(Ed. Note: This was in response to the receipt of the Family Group’s mailing list)

Hi!
Thank you very much for the list! It’s so clear and simple!

I have a few little corrections:

We have four children now: Shneor Zalman is before Shalom Dober
If the names are too long it’s enough to write: Rachely, Mendy, Shneor, Dober.
That’s how we call them on day to day basis.

I go today by the name Yocheved ( Yomi is a nick name used only by the family, It’s short for Yocheved Miriam). So maybe it’s better to write:

Yocheved (Yomi) & Eli Rosenblum

The children dressed up for school Yesterday (Wednesday). They had a wonderful time. I’m sending a few small pictures. Enjoy!

Have a Happy Purim!
Yomi

DCPs_2074 (Small)
DCP_2059 (Small)

Chanukah Party Plans for ’07 – Looking Back on ’06

This year, once again, the RLFG Chanukah Party will be at Sandy and John Walter’s home in Silver Spring. The theme of the party will be “What’s Cooking”. The art project will be a cover and back for a RLFG cookbook. In addition, you will want to visit our RLFG Computer Lab to see what is cooking online. We will be rolling out a blog site for members to keep in touch. Each participant will try out the site, see the picture gallery and genealogy information, test the access and get information so they can use the site from home. This is a wonderful way to keep in touch online with cousins around the world, grandchildren at college and family as they move from place to place.

One highlight of the RLFG Chanukah Party 06, was a holiday “sing-along”. Yoni Mitnick accompanied the group on piano. Songbooks were distributed with old familiar songs and Neal Meiselman led us in a new song. Molly Mitnick gave us the lyrics to “On this Night” and everyone sang (or in some cases actively listened). The theme in 06 was Israel and featured an Israeli Lunch catered by Shalom Kosher in Wheaton. Schwarma and falafel, Israeli salads and drinks were followed by Sufganiot (jelly doughnuts). Everyone had an opportunity to make Chanukah cards for RLFG members now residing in Israel. And several get well cards were made for Josh Greenspon, Stuart Mitnick, Hilda Klein and Hilda Miller.

Linking the Past and Into the Future

During our family group meetings during the year, Lenny Taube, RLFG Recording Secretary had the wonderful idea of reading the minutes from the first RLFG business meetings held over 50 years ago. Those minutes were full of wonderful detail and we enjoyed hearing the planning, the ideas, the issues of the day and the travels of the family as the RLFG began. The minutes included where the meeting was held, what was served, and more. The reason for the RLFG was to make the connections so that the future generations would not loose touch as the family grew and spread and evolved.

Has it worked? How many families can name and visit with 4th cousins? How many families know who has babies and who is graduating from college and where across the world their members live? The founding members certainly had insight into how to keep the family connected then.

We hope to include some quotes from those minutes for you to consider and enjoy.

Singing Along

You might have seen the exciting pictures from the annual June Father’s Day Picnic but you really had to be there to fully enjoy the various musical talents by our family on that lovely Sunday afternoon at the Hettleman’s.

Rachel Looban Family Group Picnic


After the meeting (with all of the family birthday’s and anniversary’s read by Isabel), and greeting (so great to see Harry Cohen, both Sonia and Josh and Helen Klein and the Pivar brothers out and about) and eating picnic lunches, we adjourned to the Library where everyone was entertained by flutes, pianos, cello, violin and guitars. And yet again, the RLFG was singing along!!! Young and old participated. Some were duets. Some were solo. Some were electronic and some were serendipity. All were amazing performances. Well done.

An Opportunity to Give

The Rachel Looban Family Group has two special funds:

The Rachel Looban Family Group has two special funds:

(1) Charity Fund: This fund enables us to give donations to various charitable organizations in the name of The Rachel Looban Family Group.

Some of the organizations we have sent contributions to are:
• Associated Jewish Charities
• Ahavas Yisrael Charity Fund – An all-volunteer charity that has fed, clothed, paid the rent, utility bills and medical bills for needy families in the Baltimore community in a dignified, discreet manner for more than 26 years.
• Shomrei Emunah – specifically for funds to be sent to Israelis who had to abandon Gush Katif in Gaza
• Hadassah – emergency fund for Israel
• AMIT emergency fund – AMIT provides a network of schools and “child havens” in Israel for youth-at-risk, including youngsters from immigrant families, with a goal of enabling them to become productive, contributing members of society. More than ¾ of AMIT students cope with educational, psychological, economic and/or social risk factors. Significant numbers are new Ethiopian and Russian immigrants, as well as young people of Sephardic backgrounds.

We make donations one of 3 ways:

(1) Make a direct donation by sending a check (designating that it’s for the Charity Fund) to our current treasurer;
(2) Buy 1 or more charity cards @$2 each from the Charity Committee – Sonia Greenspon; or
(3) Call Sonia and ask her to send out a Charity Card for a specific reason, and mail her a check.

The charity cards are imprinted “Rachel Looban Family Group” on the front. Inside they are imprinted: “A contribution has been made to the charity fund of the Rachel Looban Family Group”, followed by 2 blank lines on which one can write “in memory of/in honor of” on one line, and the person’s name on the second line. On the 3rd line“by __________________” one can write their own name.All proceeds from the charity cards are deposited into the Family Group’s charity fund. The Group as a whole decides which charities to donate to, and how much money will be donated to each.

(2) HEW (Health, Education & Welfare) Fund: This fund is used to provide financial assistance to any of our cousins in need. It can help with medical or educational expenses, or anything related to their welfare. The Family Group has appointed a permanent 3-member committee to administer the fund. Money is provided either as a gift or a loan, depending on the circumstances, at the discretion of the committee. Requests and offers of assistance are kept in strict confidence by the committee in order to ensure privacy and dignity. The committee members are: Myra Hettleman, Myrna Mitnick and Adele Taube.

If you would like to make a donation to the HEW or the Charity Fund, contact Adele or Sonia.

Charity Fund: This fund enables us to give donations to various charitable organizations in the name of The Rachel Looban Family Group. Some of the organizations we have sent contributions to are:

Associated Jewish Charities.

Ahavas Yisrael Charity Fund – An all-volunteer charity that has fed, clothed, paid the rent, utility bills and medical bills for needy families in the Baltimore community in a dignified, discreet manner for more than 26 years.

Shomrei Emunah – specifically for funds to be sent to Israelis who had to abandon Gush Katif in Gaza.

Hadassah – an emergency fund for Israel.

AMIT emergency fund. AMIT provides a network of schools and child havens in Israel for youth-at-risk, including youngsters from immigrant families, with a goal of enabling them to become productive, contributing members of society. More than ¾ of AMIT students cope with educational, psychological, economic and/or social risk factors. Significant numbers are new Ethiopian and Russian immigrants, as well as young people of Sephardic backgrounds.

We make donations one of 3 ways:

(1)make a direct donation by sending a check (designating that it’s for the Charity Fund) to our current treasurer;

(2) buy 1 or more charity cards @$2 each from the Charity Committee – Sonia Greenspon; or

(3) call Sonia and ask her to send out a Charity Card for a specific reason, and mail her a check.The charity cards are imprinted “Rachel Looban Family Group” on the front. Inside they are imprinted: “A contribution has been made to the charity fund of the Rachel Looban Family Group”, followed by 2 blank lines on which one can write “in memory of/in honor of” on one line, and the person’s name on the second line. On the 3rd line“by ______” one can write their own name.All proceeds from the charity cards are deposited into the Family Group’s charity fund. The Group as a whole decides which charities to donate to, and how much money will be donated to each.

HEW (Health, Education & Welfare) Fund: This fund is used to provide financial assistance to any of our cousins in need. It can help with medical or educational expenses, or anything related to their welfare. The Family Group has appointed a permanent 3-member committee to administer the fund. Money is provided either as a gift or a loan, depending on the circumstances, at the discretion of the committee. Requests and offers of assistance are kept in strict confidence by the committee in order to ensure privacy and dignity. The committee members are: Myra Hettleman, Myrna Mitnick and Adele Taube.If you would like to make a donation to the HEW or the Charity Fund – click here!

Welcome to the New Rachel Looban Family Group Site

We are developing this site to help the Rachel Looban Family Group keep in touch. The Website was introduced on Sunday, December 2nd at the annual Chanukah Party. And we are sending e-mail invitations to the website to everyone on Monday, December 4th.

We are glad you have signed into the site and hope it will become one of your favorites as you check-in with family around the world.