27/09/2010 14:51 Archive page

Yiddish-The Secret Code, How Jews got their non Jewish names, Poem -A bris is not a Bris, Cliff Marks of Shtetle Links visits Glasgow,

Ron Marks Stone Setting, Visit to the family of Morris Cussin in Manchester, Family meeting in Edinburgh, Sand pix from Ukraine. Lin to Ray Coussins Website www.thepianoplayer.biz ; films about Jews, Solomons Temple, Cooking,


September 2010

  Fabby things
sent to me through the family that may be interesting albeit not actually family including Feival's new Shul Rules -Hilarious!



 Yiddish was the secret code, therefore I don't farshtaist,
 A bisseleh maybe here and there,
 the rest has gone to waste.

 Sadly when I hear it now, I only get the gist,
 My Bubbeh spoke it beautifully; but me, I am tsemisht.

 So och un vai as I should say, or even oy vai iz mir,
 Though my pisk is lacking Yiddish, it's familiar to my ear.
 And I'm no Chaim Yonkel , in fact
 I was shtick naches, But, when it comes to Yiddish> though, I'm talking out my tuchas.

 Es iz a shandeh far di kinder that I don't know it better
 (Though it's really nishtkefelecht when one> needs to write a letter)

 But, when it comes to characters, there's really no contention,
 No other lin guist can compete with honorable mentshen:

 They have nebbishes and nebechels and
 others without mazel,

 Then, too, schmendriks and schlemiels,
 and let's not forget schlemazel.

 These words are so precise and descriptive to the
 listener, So much better than "a pill "
 is to call someone 'farbissener'.

 Or - that a brazen woman would be better called chaleria,
 And you'll agree farklempt says more than does hysteria.
 I'm not haken dir a tsheinik and I hope I'm not a kvetch,
 But isn't mieskeit kinder, than to call someone a wretch?

 Mitten derinnen, I hear Bubbeh say, "It's nechtiker tog, don't fear,
 To me you're still a maven, zol zein shah, don't fill my ear.
 A leben ahf dein keppele, I don't mean to interrupt,
 But you are speaking narishkeit.....
 And A gezunt auf dein kup!"
> Farshtaist = (Do You?) Understand
> Bisseleh = A little
> Tsemisht = Con fused or mixed up
> Och un vai = Alas and alack
> Oi vai iz mir = Woe is me
> Pisk = mouth
> Naches = Joy, Gratification
> Shandeh far di kinder = A pity/shame for the children
> Nishtkefelecht = Not so terrible
> Nebbishes = A nobody or simpleton
> Nebechels = A pititful person or playing the role
> of being one
> Schlemiel = Clumsy bungler, an inept person, butter-fingered;
> dopey person
> Schmendrik = Nincompoop; an inept or indifferent person;
> same as chlemiel
> Schlemazel = Luckless person. Unlucky person; one with perpetual bad
> luck
> (it is said that the shlemiel spills the soup on the Shlimazel!)
> Farbissener = Embittered; bitter person
> Chaleria = Evil woman. Probably derived from cholera.
> Farklempt = Too emotional to talk. Ready to cry.
> Haken dir a tsheinik = Don't get on your nerves
> (Lit.., Don't bang your teapot!)
> Kvetch = Whine, complain; whiner, a complainer
> Mieskeit = Ugly
> Mitten derinnen = All of a sudden, suddenly
> Nechtiker tog! = He's (it's) gone! Forget it! Nonsense!
> (Lit., a night's day)
> Zol zein shah! = Be quiet. Shut up!!
> Leben ahf dein keppele = Words of praise like; Well said! Well done!
> (Lit., A long life upon your head.)Narishkeit = Nonsense


You must remember this,
A bris is still a bris,
A chai is just a chai.

Pastrami still belongs on rye,
As time goes by.

With holidays in view,
A Jew is still a Jew,
On that you can rely.
No matter if we eat tofu
As hours slip by.

Old shtetl customs, never out of date.
All those potatoes mother has to grate.
Honey, tsimus, latkes, chopped liver on our plate
The best that gelt can buy.

Some would send us to perdition,
But we're strengthened by tradition,
That no one can deny.
We roam, but we recall our birthright,
As time goes by.

Dreidels and chocolate, never out of date.
Ancient Jewish stories that we all relate.
Blue-and-white giftwrap, everything that's great
And festive chazerai!

It's still the same old Torah,
It's still the same menorah,
We've latkes still to fry.
It's at yom tov when we feel most blessed,
As time goes by.


How Jews got their Names....


 Other than aristocrats and wealthy people Jews did not get surnames
 in Eastern Europe until the Napoleon years of the early 19th century.
 Most of the Jews from countries captured by Napoleon, Russia, Poland,
 and Germany were ordered to get surnames for tax purposes.

 After Napoleon's defeat, many Jews dropped these names and returned
 to "son of" names such as: MENDELSOHN, JACOBSON, LEVINSON, etc.

 During the so called Emancipation, Jews were once more ordered to> take surnames. In Austria The Emperor Joseph made Jews take last names in
 the late 1700s, Poland in 1821 and Russia in 1844. It's probable that
 some of our families have had last names for 175 years or less.

 In France and the Anglo Saxon countries surnames went back to the
 16th century. Also Sephardic Jews had surnames stretching back centuries..
 Spain prior to Ferdinand and Isabella was a golden spot for Jews.
 They were expelled by Isabella in the same year that Columbus left
 for America.

 The earliest American Jews were Sephardic.

 In general there were Five types of names (people had to pay for their choice of names; the poor had assigned names):
> 1-- Names that were descriptive of the head of household:
> Examples:
> HOCH (tall) ,
> KLEIN (small),
> COHEN (rabbi ),
> BURGER (village dweller),
> SHEIN (good looking),
> LEVI (temple singer),
> GROSS (large),
> SCHWARTZ (dark or black),
> WEISS (white),
> KURTZ (short)
> 2 -- Names describing occupations:
> Examples:
> HOLTZ (wood)
> HOLTZKOCKER (wood chopper),
> GELTSCHMIDT (goldsmith),
> SCHNEIDER (tailor),
> KREIGSMAN (warrior),
> MALAMED (teacher)
> EISEN (iron),
> FISCHER (fish)
> 3-- Names from city of residence:
> Examples:
> DEUTSCH (German)
> POLLACK (Polish),< /SPAN>
> 4 -- Bought names:
> Examples:
> GLUCK (luck),
> ROSEN (roses),
> ROSENBLATT (rose paper or leaf),
> ROSENBERG (rose mountain),
> ROTHMAN (red man),
> KOENIG (king),
> KOENIGSBERG (king's mountain),
> SPIELMAN (spiel is to play),
> LIEBER (lover),
> BERG (mountain),
> WASSERMAN (water dweller),
> KERSHENBLATT (church paper),
> STEIN (glass).
> 5-- Assigned names (usually undesirable):
> Examples:
> PLOTZ (to die),
> KLUTZ (clumsy),
> BILLIG (cheap)
> DREK (shit)
> Original Birth Names of mainly American Jewish Performers:
> Woody Allen --- Alan Stewart Koenigsberg
> June Allyson --- Ella Geisman
> Lauren Bacall --- Betty Joan Perske
> Jack Benny --- Benjamin Kub elsky
> Irving Berlin --- Israel Baline
> Milton Berle --- Milton Berlinger
> Joey Bishop ---Joseph Gottlieb
> Karen Black --- Karen Blanche Ziegler
> Victor Borge --- Borge Rosenbaum
> Fanny Brice --- Fanny Borach
> Mel Brooks --- Melvin Kaminsky
> George Burns --- Nathan Birnbaum
> Eddie Cantor --- Edward Israel Iskowitz
> Jeff Chandler --- Ira Grossel
> Lee J. Cobb --- Amos Jacob
> Tony Curtis --- Bernard Schwartz
> Rodney Dangerfield --- Jacob Cohen
> Kirk Douglas --- Issue Danielovich Demsky
> Melvyn Douglas --- Melvyn Hesselberg
> Bob Dylan --- Bobby Zimmerman
> Paulette Goddard --- Marion Levy
> Lee Grant --- Lyova Geisman
> Elliot Gould --- Elliot Goldstein
> Judy Holliday --- Judith Tuvim
> Al Jolson --- Asa Yoelson
> Danny Kaye --- David Daniel Kaminsky
> Michael Landon --- Michael Orowitz
> Steve Lawrence --- Sidney Leibowitz
> Jerry Lewis --- Joseph Levitch
> Peter Lorre --- Lazlo Lowenstein
> Elaine May --- Elaine Berlin
> Yves Montand --- Ivo Levy
> Mike Nichols --- Michael Peschkowsky
> Joan Rivers --- Joan Molinsky
> Edward G. Robinson -- Emanuel Goldenberg
> Jane Seymour --- Joyce Penelope Frankenburg
Simone Signoret --- Simone-Henriette Kaminker
Beverly Sills --- Belle Silverman
Sophie Tucker --- Sophia Kalish
Gene Wilder --- Gerald Silberman

August 2010


Cliff Marks, creator of the Shtetle links website and authority on Lithuanian family research visited Glasgow this week. Feival and I picked him up at Central station and took him for lunch at the Willow Tea Rooms, The Lighthouse and then up to the Glasgow School of Art before visiting Harvey Kaplan at the Jewish Archive Centre in Garnet Hill Schul. Cliff, a retired Town Planner for Los Angeles,  had already professed an interest in our Glasgow Architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh so we took him on a whirlwind tour of the Hunterian Museum, Scotland Street School, The Kelvin Grove Art Gallery , Willow Tearooms and Hill House in Helensburgh before arriving in Luss where we had tea at the side of Loch Lomond. Unfortunately, the following day,  Cliff was affected by the Airplane cancellation due to the Ash clouds. His flight to Italy had originally cost him 87 but because of the cancellations the new arrangements finally cost him nearly 550 . We managed to claw a little back for him but so sad an end to a perfect day. After racing through to Edinburgh as Prestwick closed down the airport in Edinburgh also closed as we reached there. Bummer. Cliff finally had to get to London that day so he could fly to meet his travel arrangements in Italy the next morning. Here are some pix of Cliff, Feival and CRM. While most of the pix are taken by me , a few of the rest are stock images. Meanwhile Feival is feeling ser krochen having contracted a sever Bronchial Infection so he is pretty much flat on his back and the cask Proof Whiskey has nothing to with that he assures me. We all wish him the very best for a quick recovery.  Shabat Shalom from Craig and Feival

Slide Show.: (CRM means that this is a Charles Rennie Mackintosh building) This will take a minute or so to download so please be patient. The slides show looks at the Willow Tea Rooms (CRM) , The Mackintosh House (CRM) at the Hunterian Museum, Scotland Street School(CRM)  The Lighthouse(CRM) , The Chinese (Blue) room(CRM)  in the Kelvingrove Museum, the Hill House in Helensburgh(CRM)  and Luss and the Luss Tea Rooms with Feival and Cliff.


The stone setting for Ron Mark was held
 on the 18th of April 2010 at Glenduffhill
Cemetery. Ron's sister Norma, who now
lives in Las Vegas, flew over for the service and took the opportunity to meet with some of her Glasgow relatives. Although a cold day, the sun was shining for everyone today.




Ron was Hyman's
youngest grandson.



Ronald Mark Photographed October 20th 2009


These are Hyman Cussin's grandchildren
These are full size printable pictures-click to go large

Clarice Goldberg and Phyllis Shinwell , Myrna Balin, Norma Spector (Rons sister) , Phillip and Denise Morrison

Craig took the pictures

Laura Valens (Abrahams grandaughter) and husbands Cliff Grandsons Barmitzvah last week

Thumbnail Pix -click for bigger picture

Back Row from left:
Oliver Valins (Younger son of Laura and Cliff Valins
Cliff Valins, Darren Rose, father of barmitzvah boy, son in law of Laura and Cliff, husband of Juliette)
Next row from left
Annie (wife of Oliver), holding Clodagh Valins youngest daughter of Oliver and Annie, Laura Valins
Barmitzvah boy Sami Rose (eldest son of Juliette and darren)
Juliette Rose in green dress, daughter of Laura and Cliff, mother of barmitzvah boy, Lisa Valins ( laura and Cliff's daughter in law, wife of Adam Valins), Adam Valins, laura and Cliff's eldest son
Front row --children
Tamzin Rose, Juliette and Darrens daughter
Meghan and Caitlin valins (both in black)--Oliver and Annie's elder daughters, Rachel and Jessica Valins (in pink) Adam and Lisa's daughters, Ben Rose at very end on the right, Juliette and darren's middle child

Feival and I had the pleasure of meeting Leslie and Val Graham along with Eda Addelman. Leslie and Eda are the grandchildren of Morris Cussin, brother to Abraham and Hyman. New Graham family page here-Leslie Graham the patriarch , will fill in the family detials as soon as possible. Leslie is Morris and Betsy Cussins grandson

Leslie, Val, Eda, Feival and Craig February 2010 Manchester

  Feival Morrison with Harvey Kaplan at the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre
in Garnet Hill Schul, Glasgow on Monday the 4th of January 2010. Harvey
is not only the curator of the SJAC but was instrumental in helping me get
much of the Coussins, Cussin genealogical information for this website.
His name is cited in many areas of our website and it was because of Harvey
that I was fortunate in meeting my cousin Philip. Philip and I joined the SJAC
last night. We gifted one of our new A1 size Posters on Jewish Lithuania to the
SJAC along with a frame to be hung in the Synagogue so that Schul members can
try and locate the city and area where their family may have been living before
they arrived in Scotland

Harvey is now finding a way to start up a Scottish branch of the Jewish
Genealogical Society of Great Britain. I am already a member of the society
and Philip and I have been at meetings in Manchester where we met our cousins
who are the grandchildren of Morris Cussin, Abrahams and Hyman's brother. We have
the initial meeting in a weeks time to se if this is a feasibility.

On behalf of the family we thank Harvey for all his work on our behalf and his
continued interest in researching and helping families who are looking for their roots. Without people like Harvey Kaplan
our work would be very much harder. Craig

Audio Page: A collection of audio files circa 1962  that include family members from Abrahams line, Louis Coussins with wife Rebecca, Louis's brother, Tommy Coussin and Tommy's wife Esther,  David Eppel news reading in Israel, Jack and Harry Coussins, and both their wives, Sarah and Pam. Early tape of Paul Coussins Craig's brother. UNDER CONSTRUCTION-click paragraph

The videos loading from your site here on your computer will take around 5 Minutes max. Be patient as its worth waiting for.


This weeks portion of the Torah is "Parshat Vayechi" which brings to the close of the book of Genesis.
What is important to us, its also the time for the notion of bringing together Family with all its diversity and to get strength from the closeness just as Jacob summoned his sons to form the 12 tribes of Israel.
As you can see from our Family web site, we had a reunion of some of Abrahams MHDSRIP great grandchildren and great- great grandchildren like Joel and Rachel (more photographs will be entered shortly)
Everyone was excited at meeting family we had either not met or had not seen for more than 40 years.
For myself, and I am sure I could speak for all, the short time we had was a treasure and we chattered away as if no one else was in the restaurant or for that matter in the planet, who was who and who was related to who and the words could not come out fast enough.
So now we have to make plans for the London "Mafiosa" to meet the Manchester and Leeds "Kosher Nostra" the Vancouver "Cosa Nostra" the South American "Mi Familia" the Israeli "Mishpocha"  the Scottish "Clan" the South African "Familie" and the USA ."Mob"

Love Philip

Family meeting
30th December 2009


Ricky, Sharon, Joel and Rachel Coussins along with Ricky's sister Denise, who all live in London, met with some of their Scottish Family, Philip, Marlyn , Myrna and Craig in Edinburgh for lunch
Pictures here: Larger images are available by request to Craig

Ricky and Sharon Coussins with Rachel and son Joels Barmitzvah June 2009-Page here Click Pic
click for bigger picture

New pages for my brother Raymond (Ray) Coussins is being built here. Raymond was a prodigy and played with the Scottish Philharmonic when he was 12. He has worked as a piano player all of his life meeting most of the great singers and musicians throughout that journey. This page is his history in pictures and events which he will add to in due course

Ray Coussins page

click photo, paragraph or li


click for bigger picture
During July 2009 Ray Coussins arrived for a  visit in his home own of Glasgow. Ray is the Great Grandson of Abraham. Seen here with his cousin Marlyn Benson and cousin Phillip Morrison
Click on a family to go to the page

Ray and Craig click for bigger picture

New Sand Art Picture from Ukraine



Jewish Music
and Yiddish Film Pages



Two Great DVD's
Everything's Illuminated
and Europa Europa

Europa Europa:
A fresh, incredible story in the way that only
true stories can be, it is based on the memoirs
of Solomon Perel, who survived the War ordeal
through a chain of extraordinary events

This "incredible, true story" (Los Angeles Times)
is at once "eye-opening, harrowing and humorous"
 (Leonard Maltin) as it recounts the severe actions
a young boy must take in order to survive the Holocaust.
Based on the autobiography of Solomon Perel, a young
German Jew, the film "bounds from one jaw-dropping
episode to the next" (The New Yorker) and puts you
in the middle of war-torn Europe where ingenuity,
timing and luck are the key to survival. Separated
from his family at the age of thirteen, Solly
(Marco Hofschneider) takes on various identities
to hide his Jewish heritage. First passing himself
off as an orphan and later as one of the
"Hitler Youth," Solly carries on his charade, hoping
desperately to keep his identity hidden and make
it through the war alive.