Category Archives: July


NOTE FROM JANET TATZ: Many of you have heard Ellen Baumler, Montana historian extraordinaire, present in the past. Ellen has a key interest in the history of Montana Jewry and has offered many lectures on that topic. She has also led walking tours of “Jewish Helena” including the Home of Peace cemetery. As you can see from this program announcement, Helen has recently been accepted to present on this topic at a conference in Cleveland. Perhaps you were anticipating being in Cleveland or know a friend or relative who lives in that area. Please share the news.

May 2019                                                                             Contact:  Sandra Golden, Publicity Chair, IAJGS

For release:  Upon receipt                                  

Area resident to speak at 39th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy set in Cleveland

Dr. Ellen Baumler of Helena has been selected as a presenter at the 39th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Cleveland, Ohio, July 28 – Aug. 2, 2019.

Baumler’s presentation, “Montana’s Pioneer Jewish Communities: A Lasting Legacy,” explores Montana’s historic Jewish communities. The gold rush brought Jewish pioneers from Germany, Prussia, Austria, and Poland as well as New York and Chicago to Montana. Opportunity drew these adventurers to mining settlements where business and religious beliefs brought them together. Jews set up the first businesses at Bannack, Alder Gulch, and at most mining boomtowns. They seized entrepreneurial opportunities and became miners, barbers, tailors, bankers, attorneys, and cattlemen, but it was especially in the stepping-stone roles of merchant and provider that many achieved economic stability and civic status in a single generation. Without rabbis or synagogues, they established benevolent societies, maintained holidays and traditions, and planted the roots of Judaism in Montana. Their legacies are the seeds of today’s Jewish congregations that flourish across the state.

Details of the conference, including registration and hotel information, are posted on the conference website:

“We are excited to be able to bring this conference to Cleveland this summer, with the city’s many attractions and vibrant Jewish community,” said Ken Bravo, of Cleveland, IAJGS president and co-chair of the 2019 conference with Jay Sage, IAJGS vice president, of Newton, MA.

Sage commented, “With today’s growing interest in genealogy, a conference like this provides excitement and information to many individuals looking to explore their roots.  For those of Jewish ancestry, it also offers tips for their unique challenges and research in tracing their ancestors and an opportunity to interact with a group of individuals from similar backgrounds.

Local host for the conference is the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland.

Among features of the annual conference are:

  • More than 200 programs, lectures, panel discussions and workshops, focusing on genealogy methodology, available archival resources, and the history of all Jewish communities
  • Presentations aimed at all Jewish genealogists, from first-timers to conference veterans
  • A vendor Exhibit Hall and Resource Room with genealogy experts, mentors, and archivists for a one-stop research experience at the conference site
  • Networking via popular Special Interest Group (SIG) and Birds of a Feather (BOF) meetings and luncheons
  • In-depth DNA workshops

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) is an umbrella organization of more than 85 Jewish genealogical organizations worldwide offering the world of Jewish ancestry where you live.  The IAJGS coordinates and organizes activities such as the annual IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy and provides a unified voice as the spokesperson on behalf of its members.  The IAJGS’s vision is of a worldwide network of Jewish genealogical research organizations and partners working together as one coherent, effective, and respected community – enabling people to succeed in researching Jewish ancestry and heritage.  Find the IAJGS at and like us on Facebook at





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This coming Sunday, July 22, at 2:00 p.m., we will be dedicating an historical plaque at the Home of Peace Cemetery here in Helena.

Ellen Baumler, the recently retired Montana Historian and an expert on Montana Jewish history, will be officiating, as well as leading a walk through the cemetery to talk about many of the people and families buried there.

All are welcome!
Thank you,
Janet Tatz

(P.S.: I attended the Montana Historical Society seminar in Helena on historic cemetery preservation last month. Ellen Baumler was one of the presenters and led the tour of historic cemeteries of Helena. Home of Peace was featured on the tour. Ms. Baumler was excellent.


Todah Robah to the following Congregation members who have offered their hospitality to Rabbi Ruz Gulko and to provide the oneg:

  • Friday, 07/27/2018: Airport pickup for Rabbi Ruz Gulko: Stephen Boyd
  • Weekend hosts: Jerry and Nadyne Weissman
  • Friday Evening Services, 07/27/2018, 7:00 P.M.: Arev Shabbat Services led by rabbi Ruz Gulko at The Bethel. Oneg to follow.
  • Friday Evening, 07/27/2018: Oneg, Nadyne Weissman, Joy Breslauer
  • Saturday morning, 07/28/2018, 10:00 A.M.: Torah study with Rabbi Ruz Gulko.
  • Saturday Noon, 07/27/2018: Lunch with Rabbi Ruz Gulko: Teriyaki Madness, 1710 Tenth Avenue South
  • Saturday Evening, 07/28/2018, 5:30 P.M.: Fleshig (meat) potluck at the Bethel with adult discussion to follow. Possible topic: The Ten Commandments.
  • The address for the Bethel is 1009 18th Avenue Southwest. Click here for map and directions.


    Ben Gurion, Epilogue – The story behind the making of the documentary film


    Sometimes I lay
    Under the moon
    And thank God I’m breathing
    Then I pray
    Don’t take me soon
    ‘Cause I am here for a reason

    Sometimes in my tears I drown
    But I never let it get me down
    So when negativity surrounds
    I know some day it’ll all turn around because…

    All my life I’ve been waiting for
    I’ve been praying for
    For the people to say
    That we don’t wanna fight no more
    There will be no more wars
    And our children will play
    One day

    It’s not about
    Win or lose
    ‘Cause we all lose
    When they feed on the souls of the innocent
    Blood-drenched pavement
    Keep on moving though the waters stay raging

    In this maze you can lose your way (your way)
    It might drive you crazy but don’t let it faze you, no way (no way)


    From: Brian Schnitzer
    Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 3:46 PM
    Subject: MAJCo – Jewish Cemeteries In Montana

    Last week the Montana Historical Society sponsored, with the help of National Park Service funding, a seminar on cemetery preservation. Helena’s Home of Peace cemetery featured significantly in several of the presentations and was one of the stops on the Helena historic cemeteries tour.

    Home of Peace, owned and managed by the Home of Peace Cemetery Association, was established in 1867. It is Helena’s oldest active cemetery and the oldest Jewish cemetery in Montana.

    (Papers exist suggesting as the Virginia City mining camp prepared to become an organized town in the mid-1860’s, its founders designated an area in its planned cemetery as “The Hebrew Cemetery.” There are no monuments in the designated area and no documentation of its having ever been purchased by any Jewish community. Although Ground Penetrating Radar suggests many internments, it is thought the area was used by Virginia City for mass burials during one of its later epidemics.)

    I, therefore, know only the particulars of two specifically Jewish cemeteries in Montana. I believe we also have cemeteries in Butte and Great Falls, but I do not know their particulars. If you are aware of additional active or inactive Jewish cemeteries, please reply with that information. “Reply All,” so the information can be shared and not duplicated.

    Beth Aaron Cemetery
    Congregation Beth Aaron

    Home of Peace
    Home of Peace Cemetery Association


    My name is Danielle Genin, and I’m reaching out on behalf of Lior Vaknin.

    Mr. Vaknin is a young Israeli guy, who’s currently on a goodwill mission to share some of the good things Israel is doing in the technology and innovation word and why it’s considered “Startup Nation”, in all 50 States! His main goal is to help reduce the antisemitism and Anti-Israel atmosphere around the country through proper education.

    He’s been on the road for 13 months now and is currently in state number #28.

    Lior will be visiting Montana around mid-July and it’s a rare opportunity for the community to gain additional information from someone who’s “been there”, and be part of his special mission.

    I’ll be happy to jump on a call sometime this week and share some more information, and in the meantime you’re welcome to check this short intro video of his –

    • All the talks are donation based •


    “Did you know people like you around the country helped us create the Museum’s new exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust?

    From high school students to lifelong learners, ‘citizen historians’ combed through local newspaper archives, finding more than 15,000 articles that helped us explore the question, ‘What did Americans know about the Holocaust?’

    The articles were found through the initiative History Unfolded: US Newspapers and the Holocaust, which asks volunteers to search for news of events such as the Nazi book burnings and the voyage of the St. Louis.

    Would you like to join the more than 3,000 contributors? Visit History Unfolded online and see how you can help create an archive that historians will use for generations to come.


    Dr. Rebecca Erbelding
    Historian and Researcher, Americans and the Holocaust
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum”