Madeleine Isenberg, was born in London, England, and is a retired software engineer who was also a project manager and technical writer, primarily at Northrop-Grumman Corp., an aerospace developer, in California.
She has a BA in mathematics from UCLA, and “all-but-Master’s-thesis” in computer science from the Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology.
She is fluent in Hebrew, having lived in Israel for over 10 years, and also manages with French, German, and some Spanish in a pinch.
She has been a genealogy researcher for about since the 1990s and is a 25-year member of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Los Angeles (JGSLA). Since 2004, she has read and deciphered several thousands of tombstones. For the Spis Region of Slovakia alone, she translated information from over 3200 tombstones from over 25 cemeteries and has collected and maintained vital statistics data for Jews who once lived there. Over time, she has submitted portions of these burial records and tombstone images to JewishGen’s Jewish On-line World Burial Registry (JOWBR).
In 2006, she co-authored the dual language Slovak and English book, “Jews in the Spis Region, Vol. I, Kezmarok and its Surroundings,” with Mikulas Liptak, of Slovakia. It was revised in 2010.
Her skills were called in to help with reading some tombstones from Gombin, Poland, for the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and helped Julia Drinnenberg, a non-Jewish woman in Hofgeismar, Germany, with reviewing the tombstones still found in that town’s cemetery.
Aside from various low-tech hand-craft hobbies, she currently enjoys writing, especially family history. She has been a contributor of articles to JGSLA’s periodical, the Roots-Key Quarterly and the internationally known quarterly journal, Avotaynu and its sister publication Avotaynu Online. See http://avotaynuonline.om/author/madeleine-isenberg and scroll down there to see her stories.)
She has also translated sections of the Yizkor (memorial) book for Slovakia, also found on JewishGen’s website, as well as creating three KehilaLinks sites for towns in Slovakia.
She has given colorful and informative presentations on reading tombstones and beginning genealogy, at several local venues. In regard to the former, she has presented four times at International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) Conferences:
- 2010: Los Angeles
- 2014: Salt Lake City, UT
- 2015: Jerusalem, Israel
- 2016: Seattle, WA
If someone needs help with specific tombstones, contact Madeleine, and she will try her best for you!