Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

“Finding Frida: My Mother’s First Cousin, a Holocaust Survivor” by Ken Bravo

  • 26 Apr 2015
  • 12:30 PM
  • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook
Program: Sunday, April 26, 2015

Program starts 2:00 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook.


Ken Bravo, vice president of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, will speak on “Finding Frida: My Mother’s First Cousin, a Holocaust Survivor” at the 2 p.m. Sunday, April 26, 2015, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois meeting in Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook.

Ken Bravo

The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. to accommodate members who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites, or ask genealogical questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information, visit or phone 312-666-0100.

Bravo will explain how he discovered his mother’s 90+ year old first cousin and her family. He will discuss his research methodology and tell the story of how he learned about a previously unknown relative.

“Not only did I not know that she survived the Holocaust, neither I nor anyone in the family, including my mother or her siblings (all now deceased), knew about the existence of her mother, my grandfather’s sister,” Bravo said. 

The discovery came after a new search at Yad Vashem, even though many previous searches had yielded zero results. From there it moved to searches in St. Petersburg and the United States. Part of it culminated in a mini family reunion last June and more is yet to come in Israel next summer, he said.

In addition to being a member of the board of directors of IAJGS, Bravo is a past president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland. He is also a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society and the East Cuyahoga Genealogical Society.  He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and has his own business, The Nuts & Bolts of Jewish Genealogy, to assist others in finding their family histories.

He served as a co-chair of the 2014 IAJGS International Jewish Genealogy Conference in Salt Lake City. He has been searching his own roots since the mid-1970s and is a frequent lecturer on a variety of genealogy subjects.

At the end of 2012, Ken Bravo retired as a partner in the Cleveland-based law firm of Ulmer & Berne LLP after a 45-year legal career, which included 12 years with the U.S. Department of Justice prosecuting major fraud and organized crime cases.  After he left the government in 1979, his career in private practice focused on business litigation, securities arbitration and the defense of white-collar criminal matters.

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