Belarusian Jewish

Iris Apfel

by stlucas on March 24, 2017

Birth Name: Iris Barrel

Place of Birth: Astoria, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 29, 1921

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Iris Apfel is an American businessperson, interior designer, and fashion icon. She is the daughter of Sadye (Asofsky) and Samuel Barrel. Her parents were Jewish. Her father was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother was originally from Russia. Iris was married to Carl Apfel, until his death in 2015.

Iris’ paternal grandparents were Morris Barrel (the son of Moser J. Barrel and Reitha Jacobs) and Fannie Maltzman. Morris and Fannie were born in Russia.

Iris’ maternal grandparents were Abraham J. Asofsky and Syd Jennie Richman. Abraham was born in Slutsk, Belarus.


Genealogy of Iris Apfel –

Birth record of Iris’ paternal uncle, Harrie Lipman Barrel –

Photo by


Brett Gelman

by stlucas on March 3, 2017

Place of Birth: Highland Park, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 6, 1976

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Brett Gelman is an American actor and comedian. He is the son of Candace and Ira L. Gelman. Brett was raised Jewish.

Brett’s paternal grandfather was Meyer “Mike” Gelman (the son of Jankel/Jacob Gelman and Anna Malkin). Meyer was born in Indiana, to parents from Vitebsk, Belarus. Jankel was the son of Eli Gelman and Hinda Levine/Lavin.

Brett’s paternal grandmother was Kaye C. Weiner (the daughter of Isaac Weiner/Mann and Fannie Rabinovitz). Kaye was born in Illinois. Isaac was born in Ostroh, Poland (now Ukraine), the son of Samuel Mann and Shmiel Spitzman. Fannie was born in Vitebsk, Belarus, the daughter of Koppel Rabinovitz and Sonya Bunya.

Sources: Obituary of Brett’s uncle (father’s brother), Andrew Joel Gelman –

Genealogy of Brett Gelman (focusing on his father’s side) –

Photo by kathclick/


Ayn Rand

by follers on December 14, 2016

Birth Name: Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum

Date of Birth: February 2, 1905

Place of Birth: St. Petersburg, Russian Empire

Date of Death: March 6, 1982

Place of Death: New York, New York, U.S.

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Ayn Rand was a Russian and American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter.

Ayn was born in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire, the daughter of Khana/Anna Berkovna/Borisovna (Kaplan) and Zelman/Zinovy Wolf Zakharovich Rosenbaum. Her family was Jewish. Her father was born in Brest-Litovsk, Belarus. Her mother was born in St. Petersburg.

She moved to New York City, New York, U.S., in 1926. She became a U.S. citizen in 1931.

Ayn’s maternal grandparents were Berko Itskovitch Kaplan and Rozalia Pavlovna.

Source: Genealogy of Ayn Rand –


Barney Frank

by stlucas on November 20, 2016

"Ragtime" Broadway Show Opening Night - Arrivals

Birth Name: Barnett Frank

Date of Birth: Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S.

Place of Birth: March 31, 1940

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Barney Frank is an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts, from January 3, 1981 to January 3, 2013.

Barney was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, the son of Elsie (Golush) and Samuel Frank.

Barney’s paternal grandparents were Polish Jews, from a small city in Northern Poland. Barney’s paternal grandmother’s name was Margaret.

Barney’s maternal grandparents were Banet “Benny” Golush and Anna. They were from a small town near Minsk, Belarus, and spoke Yiddish at home.

Sources: Genealogy of Barney Frank –

Photo by


Shimon Peres

by follers on September 27, 2016

TEREZIN CZECH REPUBLIC March 30. 2011: Israeli statesman and politician Shimon Peres during his visit on March 30. 2011 in Terezin Czech Republic

Birth Name: Szymon Perski

Date of Birth: 2 August, 1923

Place of Birth: Wiszniew, Poland (now Belarus)

Date of Death: 28 September, 2016

Place of Death: Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, Tel Aviv, Israel

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Shimon Peres was an Israeli statesman. He served as Prime Minister of Israel, from 22 April, 1977 to 21 June, 1977, 13 September, 1984 to 20 October, 1986, and 4 November, 1995 to 18 June, 1996, and as President of Israel, from 15 July, 2007 to 24 July, 2014. He was also Minister of Transportation, from 1 September, 1970 to 10 March, 1974, Minister of Defence, from 3 June, 1974 to 20 June, 1977, and again from 4 November, 1995 to 18 June, 1996, and Minister of Finance, from 22 December, 1988 to 15 March, 1990.

He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.

Prime Minister Peres was born in Wiszniew, Poland (now Belarus), the son of Sara/Sarah (Meltzer) and Yitzhak Gecel/Gitzl Persky/Perski. His father moved to Mandatory Palestine in 1932. The family followed him there in 1934.

Through his father, Prime Minister Peres was a relative of American actress Lauren Bacall, who was born Betty Joan Perske (though he had said that they were not first cousins, as has sometimes been reported).

Prime Minister Peres’ paternal grandparents were Zalman Meir Perski (the son of Yehuda Avraham Perski and Elke) and Shine Yafa. Zalman was born in Vilnius, Lithuania. Yehuda was the son of Hirsch Perski.

Prime Minister Peres’ maternal grandfather was Rabbi Zvi Hirshl Melzer (the son of Moshe Melzer/Meltzer and Mariashka Saladeiche). Rabbi Zvi was murdered in the Holocaust, in 1942. Moshe was the son of Shara.

Prime Minister Peres’ maternal grandmother was Rivka Alte Potashnik Gurevich. Rivka was born in Vishnevo, and was murdered in the Holocaust, in 1942. One of the Prime Minister’s maternal great-great-grandfathers was Chaim ben Yitzchok of Volozhin, an Orthodox rabbi and Talmudist.

Source: Genealogy of Shimon Peres –

Photo by Mik_photo/