A Little Bit of Luck for Alon

Shalom everybody !
I know many people are frustrated when hitting a wall in their research. I wanted to share my story of finding my mom’s relatives to encourage people to keep trying. There is so much information online and with a little bit of luck too you can find what you are looking for.
This is my story: 4 years ago, I was visiting Poland. Before travelling there, I did some research in JRI-Poland website and found the location of my mom’s grandfather’s grave. With the help of my wonderful Polish friend Isia Stybel, I went to the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw and found the grave.
My mom never met her grandfather Binyamin Zeev Petersilie who passed away in Poland in 1920. My 2nd name is also Binyamin, because I was named after him.
After this discovery, I decided to try searching for living lost relatives of my mom. My mom was born in Israel and never met her uncles or aunts. Her father’s sister Miriam immigrated from Warsaw to the USA. Her father’s brother Avraham immigrated from Warsaw to Russia.
The connection was lost 50 years ago, and I was searching for their descendants with the big help of my friend Isia. Luckily the family name of my grandfather Petersilie is unique. Avraham Petersilie had a son named Joseph and a grandson named Victor.
By searching on Google, we found that Victor Petersilie is working in the Russian Research Geological Oil Institute. We called there using a Russian speaker and got Victor’s phone number, but it was the wrong number. We wanted to call again to get the right number and, in the meantime, I was trying to find other information on Facebook. I looked for Petersilie people with Russian first names and found Polina Petersilie. I wrote to her and she was Victor’s granddaughter living in the USA She gave me everybody’s contact info.
Finding my mom’s Aunt Miriam’s descendants was harder. Miriam had one daughter Ann Rosenthal (which is a very common name), who visited here in Israel and met my mom in 1969. Ann’s children’s Hebrew names are Miriam and Mordechai, and I was looking for them.
I started by searching the old address of Ann Rosenthal in Brooklyn my mom has. I found many phone numbers online, but no one is connected anymore.
My mom found a picture of her aunt’s grave and found out Ann Rosenthal’s maiden name was Halbfish.
By searching on Google for Ann Rosenthal and Halbfish we found an obituary from 2014 for Ann’s death and condolences for her half-brother Murray Halbfish. We found Murray’s phone number on Google and through him we found Ann’s children Leslie (Miriam) and Marc (Mordechai). Unfortunately, Murray passed away 2 years ago. Also, it’s sad that we found my mom’s cousin’s children because of her obituary.
Only a few months later, Victor’s family surprised us and came for a visit in Israel. Victor and his wife Helena came from Moscow. Victor’s son Denis and his wife Katia and their kids Egor, Varvara and Zahar came from Holland. My mom Shoshana was super happy about this family reunion. Victor told me he was very happy I found him because besides his children and grandchildren he didn’t have any other family.
Because of the family meeting, there was a demand for a family tree. This is why I created my family tree in MyHeritage.
A year later there was another family meeting in Israel (with more Israeli relatives), this time in Eilat. In the same week my brother Elad (who lives in the USA) met with Victor’s daughter Yulia in Washington. Two family meetings in two different continents in the same week ! We also hope to meet Ann Rosenthal’s children too in Israel or the USA.
Never Give up with your research.
Alon Tsur
Tel Aviv
August 2022


At Alon’s mother’s grandfather’s grave at the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw
Same grave 100 years ago. My grandfather Pinhas is sitting below the grave. Also in the picture was his brother Yitzhak, his sister Miriam and his mom Rachel
Denis and his family (Katia, Egor, Varvara, Zahar) and Alon meeting in Tel Aviv
Victor and Alon meeting in Tel Aviv
Victor and Alon’s mother Shoshana meeting in Tel Aviv
Meeting in a restaurant in Tel Aviv: Victor, Alon’s mother, Katia, Egor and Denis
Family meeting in Eilat a year later. from left to right: Katia, Zahar, Varvara, Denis, Egor, Helena, Victor, Alon’s mother, Henanit and Eli
Family meeting in Washington. Alon’s brother Elad and his family with Yulia, Victor’s daughter

The history of Petersilie family


My mother’s father was Pinchas Petersilie, who was born in 1901 and passed away in Israel in 1977.
He came to Israel in 1924 and later again to bring his mom in 1934.

His father was Rabbi Binyamin Zeev (Wolf) Petersilie, who passed away in 1921 in Warsaw.

In 2018 I was in Warsaw and found his grave in the Jewish cemetery !

He lived in Nalewki 38, and was the son of Avarham Tsvi Petersilie.

Binyamin Zeev was an important man, a Rabbi and a teacher. Many people came to seek his advice.

On his grave I found out it is written he is from Trisk (I found out it is a Hasidic dynasty).

Binyamin Zeev Petersilie was married to Rachel (Ruchla) Chaja, daughter of Yitzhak Isaiah and was born in 1861.
She came to Israel in 1934, and passed away on 19 April 1946 in Israel.

Besides my grandfather Pinhas, their other children were:

1. Bentzion Petersilie, who passed away on 13 January 1938 in Poland

His address in Warsaw was Wilcza 5. His daughter Fradla (Frani in Polish) was born in 1901, and was married in 1920 to Matityahu Hochgleben.
She came to Israel in 1936. She had 2 children: Chawa (Hava in Hebrew) and Zeev (probably named after his grandfather)
Zeev was married to Yulia and had 2 children: Mathew and Jessica.

Chawa had 2 children: Henanit and Maoz.

2. Yitzhak Petersilie, was married to Frida Berzinski. Their daughters were Pesia and Hannah (died at age 8 and 6).
Unfortunately, he was killed in Równe in 1941 with his wife and 2 daughters.

3. Avraham Binyaminov Petersilie, was married to Anna Michailovna.
He was a writer, and arrested (from 1950 until 1955) for teaching Hebrew. He passed away in Moscow in 1970.
His son Joseph was born in 1914 in Warsaw, and moved with his parents later to Moscow.
He was a geologist and passed away in Moscow in 1987.
Joseph’s son is Viktor, who was born in Russia in 1941. He is also a geologist and lives in Moscow.
Viktor has a son Denis who was born in 1975 in Moscow. Denis is a mathematician and lives in Haag, Holland.
Denis is married to Katerina and they have 3 children: Igor, Varvara (Barbara) and Zahar (Zachary).
Viktor has a daughter Yulia, who was born in Moscow in 1965. She lives now in Maryland, USA.
Yulia has a daughter Polina, who was born in Moscow in 1995. Polina studied psychology in Maryland.

In 2018 found Victor and his children.

4. Miriam Petersilie, born in Warsaw in 1895 and passed away in the USA on 1 April 1927.  She was a professor of languages at the University in Warsaw. She was married to Max Halbfish, son of Zisel.
Her daughter was Ann Rosenthal, who was born in Warsaw on 23 April 1923 but moved and lived in Brooklyn. The address was 2132 Stuart street, Brooklyn, New York. She was married on 28 November 1946 and passed away on 12 April 2014.
Her children’s names were: Leslie (Hebrew name Miriam), who was born on 20 February  1952 and Marc (Hebrew name Mordechai), who was born on 2 July  1948.

In 2018 I found Leslie and Marc. I also found Murray Halbfish (and his wife Gayle), who is the half-brother of Ann Rosenthal.

Avraham was the oldest son. Then Yitzhak,  Bentzion, Miriam and Pinhas.


Alon’s great grandfather Binyamin Zeev Petersilie
Invitation to Fradla’s Petersilie with Matityahu Hochgleben wedding
Passover Hagada belonged to Alon’s grandfather Pinhas Petersilie (printed in Warsaw in 1880)
Bentzion Petersilie
Bentzion Petersilie with the writer Joseph Lichtenbaum (a family relative, probably a cousin)
Miriam Petersilie (Halbfish)
Max Halbfish (Miriam’s husband) and his daughter Ann
Yitzhak Petersilie with his wife Frida and their daughters Pesia and Hannah
Yitzhak Petersilie with his mom Rachel and his daughter Hannah
Alon’s grandfather Pinhas Petersilie in the Polish army
Alon’s grandfather Pinhas in Warsaw
Alon’s grandfather Pinhas with Ann Rosenthal when she visited Israel in 1969
Alon’s grandfather Pihas with his mom Rachel and friends (probably picture was taken in Israel)

Family Tree

Avraham Tzvi Petersilie – Descendant Chart

About Alon Tsur

My name is Alon Tsur. I was born on 11 May 1975. My parents are Haim and Shoshana. I’m the youngest son.
My brothers are Elad and Dekel. Elad is married to Nurit Haspel, and they have a son Adam.
I served in the Israeli army from 1994 until 1997. After that, I studied Computer Science at Tel Aviv University from 1997 until 2001. Since 1997 I have been working as a programmer.
In 1998 I became interested in genealogy and found my mother’s relatives.
I volunteer as an English to Hebrew translator in MyHeritage website since 2020
After that I joined Jewish Genealogy Portal Facebook Group (and also Tracing the Tribe – Jewish Genealogy on Facebook). I’m trying to help people there (finding relatives in Israel, or helping with translating Hebrew to English)
For example:

I also found my wife as a result of a post in Genealogy Portal Facebook Group 🙂
Her name is Azka Daulia, from Indonesia. She wrote a curious post about possible connection between Judaism and Indonesia.
She came to Israel in October 2021 and we married in February 2022.


Alon’s family – brother Dekel, dad Haim, brother Elad, mother Shoshana & Alon
Wife Azka and Alon
Wife Azka and Alon celebrating Channukah
Wife Azka and Alon at home
Wife Azka and Alon at the beach

Posted by Eli Rabinowitz


Warsaw Resources

by Ruth Leiserowitz

Valuable links for the Warsaw site.

# Data base for Jewish cemetries in Warsaw


# Numbers of house lots in Warsaw. Until the end of the 19th century, the number of the house lot was noted as the address on deeds. This number was not identical with the street number. The link leads to a number directory from 1852.


# This free genealogy search engine contains a lot of address books from the 19th and 20th century especially for Warsaw.




Prof. Dr. Ruth Leiserowitz
Stellvertretende Direktorin

Deutsches Historisches Institut

Pałac Karnickich

Aleje Ujazdowskie 39​

00-540 Warschau