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Current Programs

Non-members/Visitors are welcome to attend programs for a $5.00 fee. If a guest joins the Society the fee will be applied toward the membership dues. Programs generally start at 1:30 PM - see exact time for each meeting, below. Doors open a half-hour earlier. Meetings start with JGSGW business, introductions of new members, and then the guest speaker.

Workshops are open to JGSGW members only. Non-members may join on the day of the workshop unless advance registration is required.


Meeting Calendar for 2014-2015

 
2014: Nov. 16: B’nai Israel, Rockville date change
Dec. 2: Library of Congress, D.C.
Dec. 7: Har Shalom, Potomac
2015: Jan. 25: B’nai Israel, Rockville
Feb. 8: Olam Tikvah, Potomac
March 1: JCC-Greater Washington, Rockville
Mar. 8: B’nai Israel, Rockville
Apr. 19: Beth El, Alexandria
May 17: Temple Beth Ami, Rockville
June 7:
Potomac Community Center
 

 Inclement weather policy: if the synagogue
 (or other venue) is closed, our meeting will not be held.

 

November Sunday, November 16, 2014 
Location:  
Workshop: Beginner's Workshop
Time: 10:00 AM
 

The workshop will start with an intro to Jewish genealogy,  beginning with basic  guidelines and strategies. Then the participants will break into small groups with 4 different "experts" for  15 minute sessions  with each on DNA, online resources, local and national resources, and the holdings of the JGSGW library at B’nai Israel. Everyone will have a chance to ask questions.  All attendees will receive a copy of the JGSGW publication Jump-Start Your Jewish Genealogy Research: A Beginner’s Guide. 

(Note: this workshop is full.) The workshop is FREE to JGSGW members but is limited to 20 enrollees.  Nonmembers may join JGSGW in advance of the workshop (if space is available).  To register, please send an e-mail to

A light lunch will be available for workshop participants from 12:00 to 12:30 pm, between the workshop and the afternoon JGSGW meeting.
 

Program:   Two Programs:
  1. The Name Remains the Same: Adventures in Finding Sid Caesar’s Grandmother
  2. Researching the Man With Many Names
Time:  
12:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program (note start time)
  Speakers: Robin Meltzer (bio), Marlene Bishow (bio)
Robin: When Sid Caesar, the architect of television’s Golden Age, passed away in February 2014, hundreds of press reports repeated the myth that the family name had been “changed at Ellis Island” on their arrival from Austria. Of course, no one’s name was changed at Ellis Island (or Castle Garden). But careful research proved that the family’s surname remained unchanged from the time they lived in Galicia through their immigration to the United States. This presentation will explain the search techniques used to find the embarkation list and passenger manifest for Sid Caesar’s grandmother and great-uncle, and how attendees can apply these methodologies to their own research.

 

 


Marlene: For 42 years, Grandpa Jack was an important part of my life. While I loved and admired the man, it was not until more than a dozen years after his death that I uncovered more of his story. Using skills that I learned as a genealogist, I developed a fuller and richer understanding of this man of many names, whose life had a profound influence on me. In this presentation, I will tell his story with emphasis on the sources and resources that I used.

December 2 Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Program:  
Jewish Genealogical Research Resources at the Library of Congress
Location:  
Library of Congress, Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Room LM B01, Washington, DC
Time:  
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  Leader: Library of Congress personnel
  Our day of learning begins at the Geography & Map Division’s Reading Room with the Sanborn Maps and related collections. Beginning in 1867, the Sanborn Map Company published detailed maps showing individual buildings and lots in approximately 12,000 cities and towns in the United States. Attendees will learn research techniques for using maps to corroborate and enhance family histories.

After a lunch break, we will visit the Hebraic Section of the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division where we will meet staff specialists in Jewish history and culture. We will view rare Jewish historical materials in a variety of Hebraic languages from around the world. Materials with a distinct family focus include haggadahs and children’s books. Next, we will tour the Main Reading Room and the Local History & Genealogy collection. There will be a presentation on usiing the electronic resources, and a chance to peruse historical materials of genealogic interest, including periodicals, yearbooks, and synagogue histories.

The workshop is FREE to JGSGW members but is limited to 25 enrollees.  Nonmembers may join JGSGW in advance of the workshop (if space is available).  To register, please send an e-mail to

December 7 Sunday, December 7, 2014
Program:  
Sharing your family stories with the next generation – Tips from a Jewish Storyteller
Location:  
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Robert Rovinsky (bio)
The work of gathering and assembling family histories is not complete until the material is passed along to the next generation. In this talk, Storyteller Bob Rovinsky will share some of his work in transforming family narrative into compelling stories. When can we elaborate, leave out, or stick to the facts? How can we make the past meaningful to the present generation of listeners? Bob will illustrate his talk with stories from his and others families.

January Sunday, January 25, 2015
Program:  
1) The Resources of the JGSGW Library
2) Webinar: "The Changing Borders of Eastern Europe"
Location:  
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
Speakers: Vera Finberg, Hal Bookbinder

Program 1:
 

1:30 PM: Vera Finberg (bio), JGSGW Librarian: An Overview of The Resources of the JGSGW Library

Of the many benefits of membership, access to the JGSGW library remains a crown jewel. What are the resources that make it so? Our JGSGW Librarian, Vera Finberg will fill you in on the collection that has taken more than thirty years to amass. From books and maps to family histories and recorded lectures. you will learn how the library is organized and how you can check out the library inventory from the comfort of your home computer. What are the online resources? How can you get personal help with your research. Join Vera and find out.
 

 


Program 2:

2:30 PM: Hal Bookbinder (bio): Webinar: The Changing Borders of Eastern Europe

Few Jews lived in Eastern Europe 1,000 years ago. Yet, it was to become the home of 80% of the World’s Jews. As Russia expanded westward, more and more Jews came within the Russian Empire. This talk examines Russia’s efforts to limit the Jews in its midst and the Eastern European border changes which frequently resulted in ancestral towns coming under the rule of several countries over time. Recognizing which governments were in control at various times can help in understanding the environment in which ancestors lived, events that stimulated migration, languages in which records were kept and likely locations where these records might be found.


February Sunday, February 8, 2015
Program:  
By Way of Canada
Location:  
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Bruce J. Brown
If your ancestors ever visited Canada on vacation or immigrated into the U.S. via a Canadian port, there may be genealogical golden nuggets to discover. Bruce Brown will explain how to locate and interpret these resources. Mr. Brown will also present historical highlights, such as how Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey facilitated Jewish immigration, and the 1970’s rock group named after a means of transportation for many U.S. immigrants.

Bruce J Brown is a professional electronics engineer by day, and avocational genealogist by night. He served for several years as a research assistant for the JewishGen.org classes. Bruce now helps daily on the Ancestry.com message boards specializing in Chicago and Canadian research.

This session will be followed by a Brick Wall session – your questions answered by our “experts.”

March 1 Sunday, March 1, 2015
Program:  
After the Courthouse Burns: Rekindling Family History through DNA
Location:  
Time:  
1:00 PM
  Speaker: Judy G. Russell (bio)
Catastrophic records loss due to fires and other disasters at courthouses is a fact of life for genealogists. When a disaster takes out birth, marriage, death, court, land and probate records all in one fell swoop, it may still be possible to light our family's research fires - to rekindle our interest in our ancestral roots - using DNA evidence.

March 8 Sunday, March 8, 2015
Location:  
Workshop: 10:00 AM - Noon: Beginner's Workshop
"How to Design and Construct a Family History Book Entirely by Yourself"

The workshop will be conducted by Elayne and Steve Denker.

"It is better to publish something now, than everything never."

There is probably no gift that can have greater impact on future generations than the book of your family history and stories. We all have spent considerable amounts of time gathering genealogical materials and historical information. How do we take this mass of stuff and share it with our family? Taking a DO-IT-YOURSELF approach to the entire process, including the challenge of trying to produce beautifully edited attractive pages is an alternative worth considering.

Elayne and Steve Denker researched, wrote and published four different family history books for their families, including on-site research in Havana, Cuba. They will discuss the practical details of how to design and construct your family history book – its organization, layout, aesthetics, preparing images. They will provide page design examples to illustrate techniques and options, discuss software tools and shortcuts and how to select and work with today’s digital printing vendors. In addition to giving workshops, Elayne and Steve published a fifth book – On Your Own: How to Design and Construct a Family History Book to Inform and Captivate Readers, available after the meeting or on Amazon.


The workshop is free to JGSGW members; no preregistration is required.

   
Program:  
From the Spanish Inquisition to the Present: A Search for Jewish Roots
Location:  
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Genie Milgrom (bio)
Genie Milgrom will share the details of her journey back in time as she searched for her Crypto-Jewish ancestors. She was able to trace an unbroken lineage of 15 grandmothers going back to the early 1500s in Fermoselle, in the province of Zamora in Spain. She was also able to prove that her family were Converso Jews from before the Spanish Inquisition.

April Sunday, April 19, 2015
Location:  
Program:  
TBA
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: TBA
   
Beginner's Workshop: 3:00 - 5:00 PM 
The workshop is FREE to JGSGW members but is limited to 20 enrollees.  Nonmembers may join JGSGW in advance of the workshop (if space is available).  To register, please send an e-mail to

May Sunday, May 17, 2015
Program:  
The Margarine Moonshiners from Minsk: Conducting Story-Driven Research
Location:  
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Tammy Hepps
   

June Sunday, June 7, 2015
Program:  
Membership Appreciation Luncheon      *** Members Only - no Guests ***
Location:  
Time:  
Noon - Meeting and Luncheon
1:00 PM - Program
  Speaker: Dr. Glenn Dyner: "Jews, Liquor, and Life in Eastern Europe"
   


                          
© 2014, Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, Inc.