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Hillel Kuttler RSS

in 2011 launched "Seeking Kin," his now-thrice-monthly column on people searching for long-lost relatives and friends.

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  • Calling all Israeli sailors from ’76 NY celebration: It’s reunion time

    The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost friends and relatives. (JTA) – The Israeli missile boat Tarshish had just returned home in June 1976 when crew members learned near midnight that they would be heading back to sea two days later for another couple of months. They were going to represent Israel in…

  • At 80, a Munich Olympics and Holocaust survivor is still the sportsman

    OMER, Israel (JTA) – Shaul Ladany, a two-time Olympian, acknowledged that he was “very happy” that the International Olympic Committee finally held an official memorial for the 11 Israelis who were killed in a terrorist raid at the 1972 Munich games. But Ladany, an Israeli racewalker who still holds a world record, didn’t need the Aug….

  • 3 baseball books from veteran Jewish observers of the game

    (JTA) – For many, summer is all about the three B’s: baseball, beaches and books. With the weather and pennant races sizzling, two journalists and the mayor of baseball’s mythical home village of Cooperstown, New York — all Jewish — have provided their takes about a sport that has captivated them for a long time….

  • From LA to Israel: One swimmer’s journey to the Rio Olympics

    NETANYA, Israel (JTA) – Andrea Murez steps on the diving board, adjusts her goggles, swings her long arms and propels herself into the water at the Wingate Institute athletic complex here. Murez is training with a dozen other swimmers. She is the one preparing for the Summer Olympics a few weeks later. The 24-year-old Los…

  • Picture perfect: German soldier’s World War I photo leads to family link

    SEEKING KIN The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost friends and relatives. BALTIMORE (JTA) – When Noam Efron popped in to an estate sale here recently, he was hoping to purchase some watches or gold to resell in his jewelry business. Instead he walked out with a paper treasure: a 12-by-17-inch black-and-white studio…

  • A 12-year-old ballplayer always walks on Shabbat, so his teammates pitch in

    NEW YORK (JTA) – Jacob Steinmetz delivers the game’s final pitch on a heavenly Tuesday night, producing a neatly turned double play to wrap up a 10-0 victory for the Brooklyn Bluestorm team of 12-year-olds. His teammates surround Jacob in congratulations in a scene familiar for the Bluestorm, which finished a perfect 24-0 in the…

  • In Little Rock, a woman finds her true faith and then Jewish family

    The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. (JTA) –  Discovering a Jewish past of which she was wholly unaware, Danette Devlin of Little Rock, Arkansas, has also found family. Devlin was raised without any religious affiliation. As an adult she attended Catholic and Episcopalian churches seeking a spiritual home. “There…

  • Meet a Namibian cyclist pedaling for a diverse Israeli team

    PHILADELPHIA (JTA) – Growing up in Namibia, Dan Craven would bicycle long distances upon the only two paved roads in his hometown of Omaruru — 80 miles heading north to Otjiwarongo and 45 miles south to Karibib. Cycling on what he calls the “tar roads” is how he fell in love with the sport; plus…

  • Jewish ex-major leaguer trying to get back to baseball’s big show

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (JTA) – Taking a seat on the dugout bench of the Portland Sea Dogs, Nate Freiman politely dismisses the premise that he pines to return to the major leagues. Maybe it’s a defense mechanism now that he’s two seasons and three organizations removed from his last appearance in the bigs. But Freiman, dripping…

  • Finding 3 Auschwitz inmates miraculously saved from death

    SEEKING KIN The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost friends and relatives. (JTA) – For over six decades, Chaim Schwimmer has thrown a kiddush every Simchat Torah, but it’s not only to celebrate the joyful holiday. The food and the schnapps also mark the anniversary of Schwimmer’s miraculous rescue in 1944 from certain…