Monday, August 13, 2012

New York, New York!

The 7th International Shealtiel Family Reunion, July 25th - 29th, 2012, was the impetus for my first visit to New York City.

Shealtiel (one of several spellings) is a Hebrew name. You'll find it in the Bible. The first Shealtiel mentioned was a son of Jeconah, king of Judah. Much of the family remains Jewish although I am not. My great grandfather married a Christian and there ended Judaism in my line. I was one of many, born Saltiel, who thought they were alone in the world beyond our immediate relatives. An astronomical amount of work has been done to piece together our history and our ties. For years Ed Motola has worked tirelessly on our genealogy.

RIP Vibeke Sealtiel Olsen, 1968-2012, we're sorry you missed this latest gathering of the clan. Vibeke had a personal passion to find her relatives and in so doing discovered Saltiels all around the world. At the tender age of 25 she spearheaded the first International Reunion in Amsterdam, August 1994, which Bill and I were unable to attend.
Some Saltiels at the Statue of Liberty. Yes many of us are wacky!

Thanks to Moshe Shaltiel (of Chicago), who consults telephone directories wherever he goes, for finding me when he was visiting Banff in July, 1990. Within a couple of years Moshe announced that he had found a cousin more closely related to me than he and I are. Miles Saltiel of London, UK is very much the glue holding us together as editor of the Shealtiel Gazette, to name the most visible of his generous efforts.

With Miles at the Farewell Luncheon 

Attending their first international reunion were the Koebels; our daughter, her husband and their baby girl ...

Laura, Adam, and 7.5 month old Amira on the Brooklyn Bridge

I am provided with an opportunity to be with first cousins who live on the other side of Canada ...

Virginia Saltiel Adams and Merle Saltiel Bell. We are daughters of brothers, Ernest, Gordon and John Saltiel.

These reunions are really four-day conferences of epic proportions. A fascinating, stimulating mix of tours, meals, workshops, meetings and social interaction. Bill and I were delighted to have been at both the 1997 Salonika (Thessalonika) Greece and the 2000 Barcelona, Spain reunions.

Cousins, Fran and Jay London, of the Phoenix area.
Jay with Flor Saltiel, Rebecca Saltiel Busch and Victor Saltiel organized the New York extravaganza
First International Family Association President, Herman Bredl (of Germany) with his wife, Ursula, and their daughter, Livya

There is an unsurpassed richness to being a part of such a worldwide family that makes my heart swell. Bill and I are grateful for the Saltiels, around the globe, who have openly welcomed us into their homes. And we have been honoured in receiving relatives in ours. In future, we look forward to hosting other family members.

At the Farewell Banquet (and throughout the reunion) Amira was well received by the family as the youngest attendee! 

A most key person was missing at the 2012 reunion.  Recovering from a medical issue Moshe was unable to attend and he was very much missed.

Moshe Shaltiel   2005 oil 24" x 36"   Collection of "The Man" 

After the reunion, we stayed on in NYC for another week. More about the city, that wouldn't let me sleep, next time!


  1. Replies
    1. You're welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read it!

    2. Thanks so much for that Alice! I couldn't attend and felt very sad about it so am very grateful to you.

      Best wishes


    3. Thank you Lorna, may we meet at the next one!

  2. Thanks for sharing Alice. It looks like you had a wonderful time. Sorry to have missed it.
    Warm regards from Alain Volz (son of Sophia Sealtiel)

  3. Beautiful! What a wonderful synopsis of the reunion. Lovely meeting you and the rest of the Saltiels.

    1. Oh Iris, we so enjoyed you and Philip ... grateful for (and thanks to the chivalrous boys who picked up the tab at) the happy hours at Cooper's!

  4. What a pleasure reading your blog. Indeed, the reunion was another great opportunity to strengthen our famly ties. We are happy having met you this time with your daughter Laura, Adam (too briefly!) and still are impressed by your granddaughter Amira.
    Herman and family

    1. Herman, I can hardly begin to express how you touched me at this reunion. Your dedication of thanks to Philippe at the family meeting was so heart felt and heart wrenching. Great to have learned about your family "cover up" on the stairwell at Flor's. So very wonderful to have had that last breakfast with your family when we learned and saw what Ursula's talented hands create! And Livya is an absolute gem! xox

  5. Alice, I tried to respond, and think my message got lost. I tried to Comment as my Wordpress profile, but it required me to login, but didn't provide a link, and never finished, so I'll try again as Anonymous. But if you have a clue as to how this is supposed to work, I'd love to know.

    Thank you for your timely postings. I always enjoy your blogs. I really enjoyed every aspect of the reunion, the place, the weather, the schedule, New Yorkers, tourists, parks, museums, tours, and especially the time spent one-on-one with cousins. It's been 30 days, and I've had little time to reflect on the experience and am way behind on my personal blog, having much work to do at home and the office to make up for the time away. I took a lot of pictures and was asked to share them. Do you know where I can post them so that they can be included in an album? - Ed Motola

  6. Ed, your response came through and is published above. Really Ed, I pretend not to be but essentially I fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to computers, and it's a miracle that I can do what I do at all! enlighten you in any way about how this is supposed to all work. Thanks for reading and enjoying my blog post. I am fortunate in that "time is on my side" - that I have the time to pursue this mad habit of photography and writing!
    Check with Fran about dropping photos into the dropbox for sharing.