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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.

Latest

  • 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…

  • 3 decades later, remembering some special Sabbaths

    SEEKING KIN The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. JERUSALEM (JTA) – On a pleasant evening in this capital city, through the near darkness, I caught his wave from a half-block away. Soon we were standing together, smiling and clasping hands, two men who hadn’t seen one another for 31…

  • Can you help a kibbutznik find his American relatives?

    SEEKING KIN The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. (JTA) – “If only” – it’s the most common regret expressed by “Seeking Kin” interviewees, and by genealogists generally. David Harel has dug into his family’s history impressively, but second-guesses himself for never asking his late father, Yaakov Halberstadt, key questions…

  • Baseball’s back: Here’s a look at 8 Jewish major leaguers and a manager

    (JTA) – Will Joc Pederson rebound from his second-half struggles of last season? Can Kevin Pillar build on his strong 2015 campaign? Will injuries derail one-time MVP Ryan Braun? These are some of the questions to be answered as these Jewish players and others get set for the Major League Baseball season that opens Sunday….