21 July 2010

Cleveland: Roma Baran to speak, August 4

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland will host Roma Baran ("Suddenly Jewish") as she speaks about her journey of discovery, on Wednesday, August 4.

The program begins at 7.30pm, in the Miller Board Room at Menorah Park, 27100 Cedar Road, Beachwood, Ohio.

Raised as a Christian, Baran learned at age 61 that her parents were Jewish Holocaust survivors. She'll discuss how she reconstructed her past and the consequences of discovering her family’s identity.

In August 2008, received a stunning e-mail from a Jewish genealogist looking for heirs to a small estate of a Holocaust survivor -- her father's cousin - and learned that her casually Christian parents, and the whole rest of her family were not Polish Catholics, but Jews, including a rabbi and a Warsaw ghetto leader, and that her parents had survived the Holocaust under assumed names. She learned that not only were her family's names and identities false, but that she had actually lived in Israel from 1949 to 1951.
She will describe - with photos, documents and maps - how she systematically reconstructed her past over the last year. She will focus on the Galizianer side of her family, and will include new research on her father's Warsaw family. She will trace her parents' war-time escape from the Przemysl ghetto to Tarnawa, Krakow, and other towns, and their post-war journeys to Israel and Canada. She will also examine the emotional consequences of uncovering family secrets of staggering proportions.

Roma Baran - producer, engineer, musician and attorney - grew up in Montreal, and has lived in New York City since 1976.

For more information on Baran, the JGS of Cleveland and its resources and databases, click here.

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