IGRA Remembers

Our association has benefited from many volunteers and supporters over the years, and here we recognize those who have contributed to IGRA and the the world of genealogy, but have sadly passed. These people are sorely missed – as volunteers, supporters, and as friends. Each was unique in his/her contribution and we encourage you to read about these special people.

Harvey Krueger, 1930-2017
Harvey Krueger (1929-2017) was born in New Jersey. He was a prominent and well-known businessman in the investment banking sphere in both the US and Israel and was the first banker to bring Israel to the international capital markets.
In the early 1960s Harvey made his first trip to Israel and began his journey to both uncover his family history and to help provide a safe homeland for Jews in the State of Israel. Harvey, beginning with his personal genealogy, supported and contributed to the development of Jewish genealogy, from the beginning of the modern boom of genealogical research.
He was an important philanthropist, who supported many worthy institutions, including genealogical organizations in the United States and Israel. Harvey was a major contributor to the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, The Peres Center for Peace, JewishGen.org, Beit Hatfutsot, the IAJGS and IGRA.
He was a recipient of the distinguished John Jay Award from Columbia University where he did his undergraduate work. He graduated from Columbia Law School and holds honorary degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Bar Ilan University and The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.
His sense of humor together with his wisdom, generosity and passion for family, Israel and life will be missed.

Martha Lev-Zion, 1940-2014
Martha Levinson Lev-Zion (1940-2014), was born in Los Angeles, CA and made Aliyah in 1977. She was a historian of modern European intellectual history at the Ben Gurion University, in Be'er Sheva, Israel. She wrote and lectured about the Jews of Franconia and Thüringen [Germany] and Courland [Latvia] in many international conferences.
Martha was founder of the Negev (southern) branch of the Israel Genealogical Society (IGS) and was associated with the Center for Judaic Studies of the University of Latvia. She was a founder of IGRA and served on the Executive Committee for several years. Among other accomplishments, she was a founder of the annual one-day seminar for Jewish Genealogy in Israel and served on that committee for many years. As a research genealogist she helped many searching for their family roots. Her research can be found at the Leo Baeck Institute Archives. Martha was a Director of the IAJGS and President of the JewishGen Latvia SIG.
She authored the book “Taking Tamar” describing her experiences adopting and bringing up, as a single mother, a child with Down syndrome in Israel. The book demonstrates three of her personal attributes: love, warmth and persistence. Martha Lev-Zion died in 2014 after an extended illness.

Mathilde A. Tagger, 1933-2014
Mathilde A. Tagger (1933-2014), was born in Tangiers, Morocco. She had an MA degree in Library and Information Sciences from Hebrew University in Jerusalem; was Chief Librarian of the Atmospheric Sciences Department, Hebrew University and then the Scientific Advisor for Special Information Projects at the Ministry of Science and Development. She went on to become a specialist in Sephardic research, especially names (onomastics) in the Sephardic world. She single-handedly created many of the databases on SephardicGen.com. She was a founding member of IIJG and served for many years on the Institute’s Executive Committee and was a founding member of IGRA.
Mathilde was honored twice by the IAJGS - In 2007 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2014 the Montefiore Census Digitization project received the IAJGS Program Award. Mathilde, together with Billie Stein and Rose Feldman and their volunteer staff transcribed, translated and created the database for all five of the 19th century censuses.
Mathilde published numerous articles in various Jewish genealogical journals, including Sharsheret HaDorot (Israel); Revue du Cercle de Genealogie Juive (France); Etsi - Sephardi Genealogical and Historical Review (France); IGRA and AVOTAYNU. She was coauthor of Guidebook for Sephardic and Oriental Genealogical Sources in Israel, published by Avotaynu in 2006; and authored Dictionary of Bulgarian Jewish Surnames (2015, Avotaynu), and A Dictionary of Sephardic Given Names (2015, Avotaynu). They are additional examples of how prolific her writings were and her interest in sharing her knowledge with the genealogical world. She gave generously of her time and knowledge.