Cousins Oleg Pronin
and Detroiter Ruth
Vosko meet for the first
time in Israel.
Detroit resources, while Stephanie
Weiner of San Diego and others offered
The coincidences of this research
helpful suggestions and information.
adventure were compounded: Marc
Manson has access to the Detroit
Manson had gone to school with Ruth
city directories — listing families and
Vosko's son, Mark, and knew the fami-
addresses — which enable researchers
to track family movements year by
Manson made the initial phone call
year. He searched for Pinsky, but did-
to Vosko, who told him her father's
n't find anyone of "stature" in any
name was Joseph Yendick and that he
was Zlate-Lottie Pinsker's brother who
However, he did find the Pinsker
she had joined in Detroit. She notified
family, owners of the United
all the relatives, including Lottie's
Automobile Wrecking Company —
daughters and their families. Vosko
an auto parts business. From the late
and I burned up the Internet with our
1920s, Sam Pinsker was listed with
fast and furious messages, and phone
his wife, Lottie. She was listed as a
Another of Vosko's relatives, Henry
widow from 1939.
"Lottie" was a reasonable
Ginsburg of Sioux City, Iowa, is
Americanization of the Yiddish name
researching the Ginsburg family of
"Zlate," and we thought we were on
Mogilev, which happens to be my
Ginsburg family of Newark, N.J. (with
the right track.
Weiner worked the Ellis Island
a Detroit branch!).
Database and came up with Zlate's
The family never knew there was
arrival record: "Indich, Zlate of Causk
anyone related to them in Israel or
(Chaus) Russia, 23, arrived in New York
on Feb. 21, 1924, on the ship Estonia.
Vosko and her brother Albert called
She was going to her brother Joseph
Pronin soon after the connection was
Jendick, at 457 Wilkins St., Detroit. Her made. Pronin's Yiddish is rusty, so they
occupation is listed as 'milliner,' and the
communicated through his daughter
record indicates she left her father, Aron
Irina (usually called Ira), 13, whose
Indich in Causk, Homelakaja gubernia
command of English is excellent.
Vosko decided to come with her son
The "J" in Jendick can also equal "11"
Mark to meet their newly found fami-
ly: Oleg, 53; his wife, Svetlana, 41; and
for Yendick, so Manson and other
researchers began searching for Yendicks
Vosko, who speaks fluent Yiddish, is
— and hit pay dirt.
Manson supplied Pinsker cemetery
an executive secretary with a large
records, including for Sam Pinsker,
international real-estate company, and
while Weiner forwarded Social Security
volunteers with the Detroit-area
Death Index, California Death Index
Russian-immigrant community. She is
listings and more. I found Yendick obit-
also campaign manager for her attor-
ney son Alan Vosko's run for 47th
uaries and other records.
to his denim jacket, and said that his
great-grandfather and grandfather had
passed down the story that the family
had been in 15th-century Amsterdam,
where they were manufacturers and
merchants of indigo blue dye, which
they sold in Africa, Europe and points
more distant. The family name had
been Indigo (for the dye), which later
became "Indig" or "Induch" in Belarus.
However, the arrival of the family in
Belarus is shrouded in mystery, as to
when they arrived in Chaussy (some-
times pronounced "Shavus") near
Mogilev. Coincidentally, my ancestor
Rabbi Aron Zelig Talalay was Crown
Rabbi of Chaussy (a government post)
in the 1880s.
Languages whirled around us all
afternoon and evening. Ira Pronin
speaks English, Russian, Hebrew and
Arabic. Her father Oleg knows
Russian, Hebrew, some Yiddish and
English. Mark Vosko: basic Russian,
some Hebrew, Punjabi, Spanish, Italian
and French; Svetlana Pronin: Hebrew
and some English; Ruth Vosko:
Along to help translate was another
Jewish genealogy networking buddy,
my friend Martha Lev-Zion of Omer.
She is president of the IGS Negev .
Genealogical Society. We all spent
hours poring over old photos, drawing
and redrawing family charts, under-
Filling In Gaps
It was as if we had known everyone for standing whom everyone was and what
degree of cousin everyone represented.
years — there was such an immediate
A wonderful dinner out followed and
strong connection. The family stories
everyone went to visit the Pronin fami-
were fascinating. Both sides knew
ly's lovely apartment. I returned to Tel
pieces of stories and together filled in
while Ruth and Mark Vosko ,
the missing blanks.
Facts were corrected: Sam Pinsker
What a day! Hugs and hands recon-
was killed and Lottie injured by a car
nected through time and space the
that hit them while they waited for a
descendants of a family whose two sib-
streetcar. The family auto parts busi-
lings, Joseph and Lottie, left for
ness was run by Lottie ran after her
America and left behind a brother
husband's death. Said Vosko, "She
(Shmuel) and sisters in Mogilev. Some
knew more about cars than most
and pictures were received until
1938 and then nothing at all ... until
Pronin knew that Sam had found
Joe a job at Ford Motor Company,
Networking from Tel Aviv to
where he worked. Vosko had never
researchers in Detroit, San Diego and
heard of a beauty contest, but knew
other cities, brought facts, suggestions
that she and Lottie's daughter, Ruth,
and telephone calls — reuniting a fam-
were both named after their great-
ily, against all odds, in only two hectic
grandmother Rasha Ginsburg. Pronin's
daughter Ira, named after his mother,
With this meeting, it feels like all the
was born exactly four years to the day
children of Mogilev and nearby
after Ira's death.
Chaussy are holding hands and hearts
It was determined that the person
around the world.
Pronin called "Girsh" or "Hirsh" was
Is it any wonder I love what I do? 11]
really Ruth's father, Joe, so we stopped
looking for another brother.
This edited article was published origi-
Mark Vosko wanted to know why
nally on March 14 in "City
the family was named after a turkey
(Induch), as they believed.
Pronin laughed, animatedly pointing
District Court judge.
This was Ruth's ninth trip to Israel.
Her visits have included volunteer
stints at Israel Defense F orces air and
army bases, Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit-sponsored mis-
sions and her grandson's bar mitzvah at
Masada. (She plans to volunteer with
the IDF again in December, said Alan
Vosko.) The Voskos and I traveled
together to Beersheva on March 3 to
meet Pronin and his family.
Oleg Pronin's first words to Ruth
Vosko were, "I have been looking for
you for 40 years." She replied, "Your
hair is just like my father Joe's," and
burst into tears.
More tears, hugs, kisses, laughter and
jokes ensued as pictures, names, charts
and family stories flew around the
room. There were photographs of three
generations of Induch relatives, great-
grandfather Moshe Davidovich and his
wife, Rasha Ginsburg, Pronin's grand-
father Shmuel Davidovich (the brother
of Ruth's father, Joe, and Aunt Lottie)
and one of his five wives, Gruneh, and
some of their children.
Vosko and Mark talked about
Lottie's children and their families, and
Oleg about the relatives who stayed