Hello! Thank you for taking the time to read this. Lately, I’ve been strongly considering Aliyah as an option for my life as I grew up feeling strongly connected to Israel; namely through my grandfather who was Jewish. My heritage was never questioned growing up, but now that I’m looking into the possibility of Aliyah, I’m finding it very hard to prove that my Grandfather was Jewish. I wanted to ask you if you have any advice for me since my knowledge is limited. Here’s what I know and have:
My grandfather’s family (Meyers family) immigrated to the USA just before WWII, leaving everything behind. My great grandfather’s brothers even changed the spelling of their name from Meyers to Myers because they joined the US military in WWII and didn’t want a jewish name if they were captured. Flash forward after the war, and the family ended up in Kentucky; but not just KY, the HILLS of KY. Because of this and the fact that they turned secular, they weren’t involved with much of a jewish community. By my grandfathers adult life, there were no official records (again they left everything behind) to prove that his family was Jewish. All I have is lists of family names, some family heirlooms, and his gravestone which is NOT in a Jewish cemetery, but is a Jewish gravestone (It has a Magen David, ת.נ.צ.ב.ה, ect..). Is there anything I can do about this? Surely I’m not the only one who has a Jewish family member that left their life behind when immigrating to the USA before WWII? If you have any advice, I really appreciate it. Again my hope is that I would find a way to get a letter of recommendation showing confidence that my grandfather was jewish.