EventsSFBAJGS - Calendar of Genealogical Events

Handy 2017 Calendar as pdf

San Francisco History Days
March 4 & 5, 2016


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Brainstorming with the Mavens

Time and Place:
Noon to 2pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA
Free parking: enter parking garage from Pierce Street
Map  

Volunteers from the SFBAJGS will be on hand to help individuals with their family history research. The session includes group brainstorming, suggestions for problem solving, and research using the Jewish Community Library's extensive reference collection and Internet connections. Bring your materials and questions. Registration is requested but not required at (415) 567-3327, ext. 704.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Membership Meeting

The talk is free and everyone interested is welcome.

 
Topic:
A Kindertransport Survivor Tells His Story
Speaker:
Ralph Samuel

Time and Place:

Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Map

 

Ralph Samuel was born in Dresden, Germany in 1931 and at age 7 1/2 was sent alone on a Kindertransport (http://www.kindertransport.org/) to England to escape the Holocaust. He will talk about his experiences, including his reunion with his mother in England during the war. He encourages participation from audience members and welcomes (and expects!) questions and interaction.

 Ralph Samuel was educated in England and at age 27 immigrated to the United States. He worked as a land economist and in public agency real estate before retiring in 1977. Since his retirement, he has been am active member of the Speakers Bureau of the Northern California Holocaust Center, now part of San Francisco Jewish Family and Children's Services.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Brainstorming with the Mavens

Time and Place:
Noon to 2pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA
Free parking: enter parking garage from Pierce Street
Map  

Volunteers from the SFBAJGS will be on hand to help individuals with their family history research. The session includes group brainstorming, suggestions for problem solving, and research using the Jewish Community Library's extensive reference collection and Internet connections. Bring your materials and questions. Registration is requested but not required at (415) 567-3327, ext. 704.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome
Topic:
From Cottage to Estate in One Generation: A San Francisco Family
Speaker:
David Fleishhacker
. Time and Place:
Doors open 1pm, Program begins 1:30pm
Rhoda Goldman Plaza Map
2180 Post Street, San Francisco 94115
Parking Information: Rhoda Goldman Plaza has a private, locked garage on Sutter, between Pierce and Scott.  It is in the middle of the block and large writing on the building says "Parking for Rhoda Goldman Plaza".  Pull up to the gate, press the RGP button on the box on the driver's side, say you are there for the genealogy society meeting, and the gate will be opened.  Then drive down the ramp to RGP's visitor parking.  Take the RGP elevator to the first floor, then make a right and a quick left turn, and walk down the hallway to the lobby.  There you register and the front desk staff will direct you to the Olive Room on the same floor.
 
 

David Fleishhacker will outline how a Jewish immigrant (his ancestor) from Bavaria came to the U.S. in 1840 and prospered in the gold country, then in Virginia City, then in trading mining shares in San Francisco, and finally by founding a paper box company so that his sons could learn about business, which they did, becoming major investors and bankers. Like Sutro and Levi Strauss (although much less known), the family was able to prosper in the West and become important figures in California, especially in San Francisco. The San Francisco Zoo, the Hetch Hetchy water system, and Coit Tower all owe their existence partly to Aaron Fleishhacker and his sons, whose descendants still live here. As one of them, David will outline the research that revealed the triumphs and disasters of the family over the past 120 years.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Palo Alto is the new location for the Peninsula meetings:

Topic:
Writing Your Family History
Speaker:
Heidi Lyss
Time and Place:
Doors open Doors open 7pm, Program begins 7:30pm
Congregation Etz Chayim Map
4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto, CA 94306

As genealogists we spend much time collecting family information and organizing it into trees and notes. In this seminar, we will discuss how you can enhance the sharing of your research by writing narrative family stories, or histories. These histories may be about your relatives and/or about your own experiences, and may be as short as one paragraph or as long as a book. We will consider how to choose whom to write about, identify your audience, structure your work, address information gaps, and include photos and documents. We will look at examples of family histories and briefly touch on considerations for sharing your work in print and electronically.

Heidi Lyss has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a Certificate in the Teaching of Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She has led creative writing workshops for adults on writing about history and on the Heroic Journey, and has taught undergraduate English composition classes. Two of her short stories received awards, and she has published creative nonfiction, poetry, and trade/academic articles. Heidi also has an MBA, works as a healthcare consultant, and serves as a board member of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Co-Sponsorship with The Jewish Community Library of San Francisco

The Milkhik State: The Surprising Jewish History of Wisconsin

Time and Place:
7pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA
Free parking: enter parking garage from Pierce Street
Map 

Speaker:Andy Muchin

Jews have lived in Wisconsin almost continuously since 1793, when Jacob Frank established a fur-trading outpost in Green Bay. Wisconsin's Jewish population peaked at more than 39,000 preceding World War II, dropping to approximately 26,000 today. Still, Wisconsin Jewry has contributed much to the world: an Israeli prime minister, the world's greatest escape artist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, elected officials (including two U.S. senators), an All-Star baseball outfielder, artists, activists, farmers, rabbis, and an honorary Winnebago tribal chief.

Andy Muchin is working as program coordinator at the Jewish Community Library. From 2003-2010, he was director of the Wisconsin Small Jewish Communities History Project, a nonprofit research effort based in Milwaukee. He wrote the Wisconsin entry for the Encyclopaedia Judaica, Second Edition (2007), and edited the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle weekly newspaper in the 1990s.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Membership Meeting

The talk is free and everyone interested is welcome.

Topic:
Digging for Gelt on JewishGen.org
Speaker:
Vivian Kahn

 
Time and Place:
Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Map
 

JewishGen.org is the home of Jewish genealogy online, and it is a big site with a lot of resources, which can sometimes be overwhelming. This class will provide an overview of what is available, including databases, special interest groups, e-mail discussion lists, KehilaLinks, online classes, and more.

Vivian Kahn is coordinator of JewishGen’s Hungarian SIG, moderates the Hungarian SIG discussion list, and is JewishGen's Vice President of SIG Affairs. She has presented workshops on Jewish genealogy and, especially, Hungarian Jewish family research at the IAJGS annual conference and for Jewish genealogy groups. Since she began researching her own family from pre-Trianon Hungary more than 20 years ago, she has identified and used a wide range of archival, print, and online resources and has visited Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Great Britain, and Salt Lake City to research her family and help clients searching for their Hungarian roots.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome
Topic:
The Western Sephardim, a Minority in a Minority in a Minority
Speaker:
Harold Zvi Rabbie
 
Time and Place:
Doors open 1pm, Program begins 1:30pm
Rhoda Goldman Plaza Map
2180 Post Street, San Francisco 94115
Parking Information: Rhoda Goldman Plaza has a private, locked garage on Sutter, between Pierce and Scott.  It is in the middle of the block and large writing on the building says "Parking for Rhoda Goldman Plaza".  Pull up to the gate, press the RGP button on the box on the driver's side, say you are there for the genealogy society meeting, and the gate will be opened.  Then drive down the ramp to RGP's visitor parking.  Take the RGP elevator to the first floor, then make a right and a quick left turn, and walk down the hallway to the lobby.  There you register and the front desk staff will direct you to the Olive Room on the same floor.
 
 

After their expulsion from Spain in 1492, many Sephardi Jews headed east, to the Ottoman Empire, but some chose to undergo insincere Christian conversions or head west to Portugal. Some made their way to Protestant countries of Northern Europe or to the New World, where they could revert back to Judaism. This is the story of the earliest Jewish communities in the Netherlands, England, and the Caribbean, which were founded by these Spanish and Portuguese Jews.

Educated in England and Israel, Harold participated in the explosive growth of the high-tech industry in Israel and in California and is now retired. He has been researching his Dutch Jewish ancestry for more than 25 years and is able to trace his family story back to Portugal in 1450.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome.

Palo Alto is the new location for the Peninsula meetings:

Topic:
The Western Sephardim, a Minority in a Minority in a Minority
Speaker:
Harold Zvi Rabbie
 

Time and Place:
Doors open Doors open 7pm, Program begins 7:30pm
Congregation Etz Chayim Map
4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto, CA 94306
 
 

After their expulsion from Spain in 1492, many Sephardi Jews headed east, to the Ottoman Empire, but some chose to undergo insincere Christian conversions or head west to Portugal. Some made their way to Protestant countries of Northern Europe or to the New World, where they could revert back to Judaism. This is the story of the earliest Jewish communities in the Netherlands, England, and the Caribbean, which were founded by these Spanish and Portuguese Jews.

Educated in England and Israel, Harold participated in the explosive growth of the high-tech industry in Israel and in California and is now retired. He has been researching his Dutch Jewish ancestry for more than 25 years and is able to trace his family story back to Portugal in 1450.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome

Topic:
Reclaim the Records: Using Freedom of Information Laws for Genealogical Research
Speaker:
Brooke Schreier Ganz

Time and Place:

Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Map

Tired of being told by state archives or libraries that the records you want are inaccessible? Reclaim the Records is a not-for-profit group filing Freedom of Information requests to get these “off limits” genealogy records released back to the public and put online for free. Learn how we successfully challenged the NYC Municipal Archives in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, and our upcoming plans.

Brooke Schreier Ganz is a genealogist, computer programmer, and open-data activist. She works on making archival records more accessible to the general public through technological solutions and legal remedies. She is a former Vice President of Gesher Galicia, and designed and built the Gesher Galicia Web site, including its innovative and free All Galicia Database. Brooke won second place in the 2012 RootsTech Developer Challenge for the underlying search engine codebase, named LeafSeek.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome

Topic:
Ketubah: The Jewish Marriage Contract and What It Really Says
Speaker:
Steve Morse
. Time and Place:
Doors open 1pm, Program begins 1:30pm
Rhoda Goldman Plaza Map
2180 Post Street, San Francisco 94115
Parking Information: Rhoda Goldman Plaza has a private, locked garage on Sutter, between Pierce and Scott.  It is in the middle of the block and large writing on the building says "Parking for Rhoda Goldman Plaza".  Pull up to the gate, press the RGP button on the box on the driver's side, say you are there for the genealogy society meeting, and the gate will be opened.  Then drive down the ramp to RGP's visitor parking.  Take the RGP elevator to the first floor, then make a right and a quick left turn, and walk down the hallway to the lobby.  There you register and the front desk staff will direct you to the Olive Room on the same floor.
 
 

Vital records (birth, marriage, death) have always been a valuable source of family information and sought after by genealogists. The Jewish marriage contract (ketubah) is no exception. The information in the Jewish record actually complements the information in the civil record: The civil record typically identifies the bride and groom by giving their family names, whereas the Jewish record gives their fathers’ names instead. There is a basic difference between the civil and religious marriage records in that one focuses on the union and the other on the termination of the union. This talk covers what is contained in the Jewish marriage contract, tells what it really means, and provides information that can be useful to family historians.

Steve Morse is the creator of the One-Step Website, for which he has received both the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Outstanding Contribution Award from IAJGS, the Award of Merit from the National Genealogical Society, the first ever Excellence Award from the Association of Professional Genealogists, and two awards that he cannot pronounce from Polish genealogical societies. In his other life Morse is a computer professional with a doctorate degree in electrical engineering. He has held various research, development, and teaching positions, authored numerous technical papers, and written four textbooks, and holds four patents.

 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Palo Alto is the new location for the Peninsula meetings:

Topic:
The Power of Digital Photography for Family History
Speaker:
Ron Madson
Time and Place:
Doors open Doors open 7pm, Program begins 7:30pm
Congregation Etz Chayim Map
4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto, CA 94306

After beginning his journey of researching his genealogy about 11 years ago, Ron realized that his 20+ years of photography experience could help with his family history research. He will share his tips so you can use a digital camera, smartphone, and other smart technology to help with your research. This class is for the novice to the experienced camera user. We’ll discuss the benefits of storing items in a digital format and getting started. This class will encompass the entire process, including:
• capturing images
• transferring them to a computer
• editing them with image editing applications
• labeling them
• and then filing them

Ron Madson's 45 years of data and image-processing experience helped him develop methods for image editing, labeling, and digital organization that greatly assisted all aspects of his family history research. With a BS and MS in math, he served seven years as the educational coordinator for the largest international IBM computer users group and ten years as the technical education coordinator for an international insurance company.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Panel of SFBAJGS experts
Bring Your Own Brick Wall: One on One Help with Your Family Tree


Time and Place:
Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Map

Stuck on a genealogy problem while the Mavens are on summer hiatus? Bring your problems, questions, and documents (copies, please, no originals), and a panel of experienced researchers will brainstorm to provide information and suggestions that will show you your next steps and may help you solve some of your family mysteries.


July 23-28, 2017

 

IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
Orlando, Florida


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Topic:
Nontraditional Resources for Genealogical Research
Speaker:
Janette Silverman

 
Time and Place:
Doors open 1pm, Program begins 1:30pm
Rhoda Goldman Plaza Map
2180 Post Street, San Francisco 94115
Parking Information: Rhoda Goldman Plaza has a private, locked garage on Sutter, between Pierce and Scott.  It is in the middle of the block and large writing on the building says "Parking for Rhoda Goldman Plaza".  Pull up to the gate, press the RGP button on the box on the driver's side, say you are there for the genealogy society meeting, and the gate will be opened.  Then drive down the ramp to RGP's visitor parking.  Take the RGP elevator to the first floor, then make a right and a quick left turn, and walk down the hallway to the lobby.  There you register and the front desk staff will direct you to the Olive Room on the same floor.
 

The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York is often off the radar screen for many genealogists, but the library is home to almost half a million volumes including manuscripts, rare books, and archival material. The archives are a treasure yet to be explored by so many of us and yet are a rich repository of records of Jewish communities, institutions, and prominent individuals in the U.S. and Europe. Included in these archives are transcriptions of notes, memos, and correspondence between the State Department and offices in Vienna, St. Petersburg, Warsaw, and Bucharest from 1863-1906 that concern the legal position and persecution of Jews; and correspondence and notes about the Jewish community in France from the 1700's until after World War II.

Dr. Janette Silverman is a Senior Genealogist Research Manager at AncestyProGenealogists in Salt Lake City. She devotes her "spare" time to being the Ukraine SIG coordinator and a JewishGen moderator. The Seattle 2016 IAJGS Conference found her as the Lead Cochair. Janette began her genealogy path as a "hobby" with her dad. Today, 35 years later, it has developed into a profession and perhaps an obsession, and her dad is still her best research partner. Janette's doctoral dissertation, In Living Memory, discusses the unique attributes of Jewish genealogical research and traces the paths of four branches of her family from Europe to the United States, contextualizing their individual experiences within a larger historical framework.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome.

Palo Alto is the new location for the Peninsula meetings:


Time and Place:
Doors open Doors open 7pm, Program begins 7:30pm
Congregation Etz Chayim Map
4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto, CA 94306
 

Topic:
Travel and Research in Ukraine
Speaker:
Janette Silverman

Using a trip I took to Ukraine in 2009 to meet my own family as a backdrop, we will discuss resources that are (or are not) available in Ukraine and why, and speak about the resources of Ukraine SIG, talk about current projects, and provide insights for the system(s) in place for discovering your ancestors’ background. As examples, we will look at some of the navigation the Ukraine SIG site and understand the resources and processes of Ukraine SIG to acquire and index data.

Dr. Janette Silverman is a Senior Genealogist Research Manager at AncestyProGenealogists in Salt Lake City. She devotes her "spare" time to being the Ukraine SIG coordinator and a JewishGen moderator. The Seattle 2016 IAJGS Conference found her as the Lead Cochair. Janette began her genealogy path as a "hobby" with her dad. Today, 35 years later, it has developed into a profession and perhaps an obsession, and her dad is still her best research partner. Janette's doctoral dissertation, In Living Memory, discusses the unique attributes of Jewish genealogical research and traces the paths of four branches of her family from Europe to the United States, contextualizing their individual experiences within a larger historical framework.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

TBA
Oakland


 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Topic:
My Family: I Could Write a Book
Speaker:
Joan Adler

 
Time and Place:
Doors open 1pm, Program begins 1:30pm
Rhoda Goldman Plaza Map
2180 Post Street, San Francisco 94115
Parking Information: Rhoda Goldman Plaza has a private, locked garage on Sutter, between Pierce and Scott.  It is in the middle of the block and large writing on the building says "Parking for Rhoda Goldman Plaza".  Pull up to the gate, press the RGP button on the box on the driver's side, say you are there for the genealogy society meeting, and the gate will be opened.  Then drive down the ramp to RGP's visitor parking.  Take the RGP elevator to the first floor, then make a right and a quick left turn, and walk down the hallway to the lobby.  There you register and the front desk staff will direct you to the Olive Room on the same floor.
 

One large branch of the Straus family moved from the Rheinpfalz area of Germany to the northern most parts of Washington State, where their experiences differed greatly from what they had known back in Germany but also from those of their German immigrant counterparts who settled in the eastern United States. This colorful bunch showed its spunk by accepting, even embracing, the rugged and often difficult life of a Jewish immigrant in the American frontier. Using their stories I will show how to flesh out the lives of these people by writing vignettes about them and how to publish these stories in book form or post them on a family Web page with photographs where available. This is one way to truly bring these people to life and to connect with your ancestors with a novel approach.

Joan Adler has been the executive director of the Straus Historical Society for the past 25 years, an organization she created. She considers her overall function to be social historian: placing the lives of the people in the Lazarus Straus family within the historical, political, and social contexts in which they lived. Genealogy provides the facts, but additional research including oral histories, writing, researching in newspapers, books, articles, and other documents provides the "color."


Monday, October 16, 2017

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome.

Palo Alto is the new location for the Peninsula meetings:


Time and Place:
Doors open Doors open 7pm, Program begins 7:30pm
Congregation Etz Chayim Map
4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto, CA 94306
 

Topic:
My Family: I Could Write a Book
Speaker:
Joan Adler

One large branch of the Straus family moved from the Rheinpfalz area of Germany to the northern most parts of Washington State, where their experiences differed greatly from what they had known back in Germany but also from those of their German immigrant counterparts who settled in the eastern United States. This colorful bunch showed its spunk by accepting, even embracing, the rugged and often difficult life of a Jewish immigrant in the American frontier. Using their stories I will show how to flesh out the lives of these people by writing vignettes about them and how to publish these stories in book form or post them on a family Web page with photographs where available. This is one way to truly bring these people to life and to connect with your ancestors with a novel approach.

Joan Adler has been the executive director of the Straus Historical Society for the past 25 years, an organization she created. She considers her overall function to be social historian: placing the lives of the people in the Lazarus Straus family within the historical, political, and social contexts in which they lived. Genealogy provides the facts, but additional research including oral histories, writing, researching in newspapers, books, articles, and other documents provides the "color."


International Jewish Genealogy Month
October 21 to November 18, 2017


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Presentation for International Jewish Genealogy Month

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome.

Time and Place:

Doors open 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Map

Topic:
The Charytan-Berman Family Story: An Unintended Geneaological Quest
Speaker:
Eshel Haritan

Growing up in Israel, Eshel Haritan always wondered why he could recite his maternal family history, one of early settlers and pioneers, seven generations back but why he didn’t know anything about his father’s family. His paternal grandparents immigrated to Israel from Poland in 1934 and did not share their story, implicitly saying that their story was not worth telling. In 2011 Haritan was able to convince his father and uncle to go on a roots trip to Poland, but where would they go? What should they do? These questions started an unintended three-year research quest that led to an unforgettable family trip to Poland. The presentation will describe the research process he went through, peeling the onion, one layer at a time.

Eshel Haritan was born in Israel and has a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science. In 1996 he moved with his wife and two sons to Silicon Valley and has been working in electronic companies, including some start-ups. In 2014, after three years of research, he organized a family roots trip to Poland with 20 family members. The research and trip were followed by a family history book and soon by a family history video.


 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome.

Time and Place:

Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Map

Topic:
Documenting The Vilna Ghetto Library
Speaker:
Judy Baston

Vilna – known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania – had a strong cultural tradition that endured and flourished after the Vilna Ghetto was established in 1941. Many historians believe the most important cultural institution in the Ghetto was the Vilna Ghetto Library, which became the center for Jewish secular cultural life. In the two years in which the Vilna Ghetto Library functioned, it had 6,800 readers. Documentation from the Vilna Ghetto Library includes lists of readers and in the library, and even a list of readers who did not return books. Most of these lists are from the Lithuanian State Central Archive in Vilnius and are also available in the Yad Vashem Archives in Jerusalem. The presentation will offer an overview of the significance of the Vilna Ghetto Library and will detail the various lists that have survived.

Judy Baston, LitvakSIG Vice President and board member of LitvakSIG and JRI-Poland, moderates the discussion groups for LitvakSIG, JRI-Poland, BialyGen, and Lodz and coordinates LitvakSIG’s Lida District Research Group. She has been involved with the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco for 25 years and coordinates its monthly genealogy clinic. Judy received the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 IAJGS Conference in Jerusalem.


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