25 July 2008

Smiling faces: New Jersey, Moscow, Teheran

When I heard about the 4th edition of Smile for the Camera! event hosted by FootNote Maven, I began searching for suitable items on my travel laptop.

Jasia on Creative Gene mentioned it here .

The 4th Edition of Smile For The Camera takes its word prompt from the Ace of Hearts. What photograph do you consider "My Favorite Photograph," the one that has won your heart. Choose a photograph of an ancestor, relative, yourself, or an orphan photograph that is your favorite family photo or that photograph you've collected and wouldn't give up for a King's ransom.

While I thought there would be many images on my flashdrives, there were none - curious! However, as I use Yahoo for my main email connection - and it saves everything - I was able to locate images sent for other purposes from my home PC.

Here are three family photos, although the only smiling face is that of my great-uncle Lou in the first photo.

It is also a nice juxtaposition in that my branch was one of the several American branches arriving 1898-1914, and the second image is of a branch that remained in Moscow, until the past few decades when some individuals and their descendants immigrated to Israel and the US.


This is the only photo I have of my maternal great-grandparents and their first three children.

Aaron Peretz Talalay (Tollin), (born in 1875, Vorotinshtina, Belarus) son of Ber, son of Menahem Mendl, son of Rabbi Leib, son of Rabbi Michel Talalay; his wife Riva, daughter of Tzalel Bank, (born Kovno, Lithuania); and their three eldest children, from left, Leib (Dr. Louis Tollin), Sam and Chaya Feige (Bertha Fink, author's grandmother);
c1910, Newark NJ.
(Author's collection)

This is of a "lost" Moscow branch - well, they knew where they were although we didn't. What a handsome family from the 1920s!

Boris (Ber), son of David haMelamed (the teacher), son of Rabbi Leib, son of Rabbi Michel Talalay. Born in Vorotinshtina, Belarus, with his daughters and daughters-in-law; c1920s, Moscow.
(Author's collection)


To give equal attention to our non-Ashkenazi family, here's my late mother-in-law and three of her four children.

Farangis, daughter of Aghajan Penhas Kashi and Heshmat Dardashti; her three eldest children (from left) Houshang, Paridokht and Albert (author's husband). c1950, Teheran, Iran. (Author's collection).

So many photos have been lost over the years in all of our families.
Each image we have today is priceless.

If you have inherited boxes of photos, do something about them today.
At the very least, scan and copy them to various media - to preserve them - so you can work on them later.


  1. Beautiful photos Schelly! You are so very resourceful to be able to pull them together while on the go... good for you!

  2. Hi, Jasia

    We need to remember that email lives forever, and, for a journalist, not having to delete messages can be a lifesaver! I've pulled numerous things from my email this summer because I remembered I had been in contact with writers and editors for other stories.

    I'm just concerned as I thought I had everything on my flashdrives, but few of the family pix were there. A mystery to be solved!

  3. It amazes me how much I appreciate old photos even when they're not "mine". Great selection. Thanks for a peak into other times and places.

  4. Anonymous7:08 AM

    You've got some gorgeous relatives! Thanks for sharing.


    Wonderful photos --- and a great reminder that our treasured photos are sometime not where we think they are in this digital age. I do hope you "find" your original digital files --- and, yes, thank goodness for those off-site storage files from which we can retrieve "loss" images and messages. I'm to the point that I often send emails to myself containing images just so there are files external to my computer.
    Terry Thornton

  6. Anonymous10:46 PM


    Wonderful photos, fascinating stories, and good advice.

    Do something with those boxes of photo!

    "Guided by the Ancestors"