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Past Programs - 2010

The following programs and workshops were held in 2010; they are shown here so that you may view the range of activities of JGSGW.


 
January Sunday, January 10, 2010
Program:  
Genealogy Fest: A Comprehensive "Brick Wall" Question and Answer Discussion
Location:  
Congregation Beth-El, Bethesda, MD
Time:  
1:30 PM - Business Meeting and Announcements
 
2:00 PM - Program
  We will have a broad-based "brick wall" session. Our plan is to have several "area" desks available, each supported by an expert in a particular area of research, to answer your questions. We will seek to cover as many areas of research as our members want to ask about. Please feel free to email your questions in advance of the meeting. Send them to and we will ask one of our experts to be ready to answer on January 10.

February Wednesday, February 17, 2010         *** Special Program - Evening Meeting ***
Program:  
How to Find Anyone, Anywhere, Anyhow, Using the Latest in Online Mapping, Tracking and Detecting Techniques
Location:  
Tikvat Israel, Rockville, MD
Time:  
8:00 PM - Business Meeting and Announcements
  Speaker: Ron Arons
 

Ron will give a presentation about websites that provide historical maps for genealogical purposes. He will then discuss a variety of online mapping facilities, including Microsoft Maps (http://www.bing.com/maps/), Google Maps (http://maps.google.com), Microsoft's MapCruncher facility, and IBM's ManyEyes.


March Sunday, March 7, 2010
Workshop: Beginner's Workshop, led by Rich Meyersburg
Location: 
B'nai Israel, Rockville, MD 
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  Jewish family history does not have to be a mystery. We and our ancestors all leave a paper trail that can unravel the story of our families for many generations, across the ocean and into the smallest of shtetls.  

Join us for our FREE* Beginner's Workshop

  • A great start for the novice...
  • Even if you have been a member of JGSGW for a while, a great way to get back to the basics...

This will be a 1-1/2 hour session jam-packed with resources, helpful hints and motivation.

   
Program:  
Whatever you wanted to know about Ashkenazi Jewish diseases;
a program about our heritage and our health
Location:  
B'nai Israel, Rockville, MD 
Time:  
1:30 PM - Business Meeting and Announcements
 
2:00 PM - Program
  Speaker: Gary Frohlich - click here for bio
 

The purpose of this program is to provide up-to-date information on the genetic conditions which occur more frequently in Jews of Ashkenazi descent.  Each of these disorders can be devastating, not only to those affected, but to the families involved.  This program will explore the diagnosis, management, and treatment of all eleven of the Ashkenazi Jewish Genetic Conditions with a focus on the most common Jewish Genetic disorder – Gaucher disease.  More than 9 out of 10 Jewish Americans are unaware of Gaucher disease. Approximately one in 850 people may have Gaucher, and the carrier rate is approximately 1 in 16.  Gaucher disease is two and a half times more common than Tay-Sachs!   

The objectives of the program are as follows:

  • To learn about “Founder Effect” among the Ashkenazim.

  • To gain knowledge about the eleven genetic conditions among the Ashkenazim.

Gary asked for those planning on attending the March 7 program who would like him to check their surname (the original name in Europe or elsewhere) and its connection to Founders effect, to submit their surname only (no personal information). He will not do personal research but rather use submitted names to illustrate Founder effect. Names should submitted to prior to the meeting.


April Sunday, April 18, 2010
Program:  
What It Was Like to Arrive in America Through Ellis Island
Location:  
Beth El, Alexandria
Time:  
1:30 PM - Business Meeting and Announcements
  2:00 PM - Program
  Speaker: Barry Nove
 
Barry Nove (click here for biography) will share the story and the techniques he used to learn what it was like for his ancestors and many of ours to arrive in America through Ellis Island.

Barry began his family history quest when he organized the first family re-enactment tour of Ellis Island, which was filmed by PBS as background material for a genealogy documentary series called Ancestors, which aired in 1997. Barry was granted unique access to the Ellis Island Museum, worked with the museum’s archivists, and gained an understanding and appreciation of what his great-grandparents and grandparents experienced coming to America. Barry obtained photographs of the ships that brought his family to America from the ports of Bremen (North German Lloyd Line’s Berlin), Danzig (American Line’s New Rochelle – originally Hamburg), Hamburg (Hamburg-American Line’s Graf Wandersee), and Rotterdam (Holland-America’s New Amsterdam, Noordam), naturalization documents and passenger manifests, and historical research.


May Sunday, May 16, 2010
Program:  
Following False Trails
Location:  
B'nai Israel, Rockville, MD
Time:  
1:30 PM - Business Meeting and Announcements
 
2:00 PM - Program
  Speaker: Sallyann Sack
 

Sallyann Sack will speak on "Following False Trails." Please feel free to email your similar experiences in advance of the meeting.  Send them to and we will ask Sallyann to be ready to discuss these experiences on May 16.

Sallyann Amdur Sack, PhD, is the only genealogist listed in Jewish Women in America. She was instrumental in founding the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy, Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Washington, International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, and Avotaynu. Dr. Sack has chaired or co-chaired six of the annual conferences on Jewish Genealogy, authored seven books of use to genealogists and has consulted on numerous projects. Read Sallyann's biography on the Avotaynu website: http://www.avotaynu.com/SallyannSack.html.


June

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Program:

Annual Meeting          Note: This meeting is for members only.
 Annual Luncheon and Volunteer Recognition Meeting

Location

Clara Barton Community Center, Cabin John, MD

Time: 12:30 PM - Luncheon    
 
1:00 PM - Program
  Speaker: Rand Fishbein
 

On June 6th Rand H. Fishbein, Ph.D. (click for bio), one of our members and a member of the Board of Governors of JewishGen, will be addressing us on the subject of JewishGen and ways it can be improved to serve the needs of its users.  He has asked that attendees come prepared for a lively dialog and ready to share any thought or ideas they might have on the organization and its role in fostering Jewish genealogy.  Dr. Fishbein is eager to bring your ideas back to the JewishGen Board of Governors, which is now developing a Mission Statement and Strategic Plan for the organization.  He is particularly interested in hearing your thoughts on the needs of the Jewish genealogical community, new research avenues JewishGen should be exploring, JewishGen’s relationship with Ancestry.com, ways to improve user access to data, the role of JewishGen in strengthening Jewish cultural literacy and identity and what we can do to attract the younger generation into the fold. 

Your active participation will be vital to the success of this session.  This is a great opportunity to share our thoughts on the operation of one of the most important tools now available to aid Jewish genealogical research.  Given that the Society will be hosting the 2011 conference, a discussion of the sort we will be having couldn’t be more timely.


September Sunday, September 19, 2010
Program:  
Genealogy From the Inside Out: Tracing a Family Secret From a Single Clue
Location:  
B'nai Israel, Rockville, MD
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Business Meeting and Announcements
2:00 PM - Program
  Speaker: Steve Luxenberg (click here for bio)
 

When family secrets alter our understanding of the family tree, when we learn about a hidden relative (or a hidden marriage, or a hidden divorce, or a hidden cause of death), how do we pursue that single clue?  Using a slide presentation of a secret involving his own family, Steve brings the audience along on the journey he took to write his award-winning book, Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret, published in 2009 and now out in paperback. He travels through burial records, birth certificates, hospital records, immigration documents and wartime records, and assembles them into a coherent paper trail. Copies of "Annies Ghosts..." will be available for sale and Steve has agreed to autograph books.


October Sunday, October 17, 2010    *** JGSGW 30th Anniversary Celebration ***
Program:  
Archival Research: Challenges and Strategies for Success
Location:  
Har Shalom, Potomac, MD
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Boris Feldblyum
 

There is no substitute for knowledge. To which I might add - and for patience; and for coolness and for clarity of mind; and for being methodical and systematic. These qualities are always helpful, especially when we expand research into a foreign country, where problems are compounded by strange languages, equally strange history, and still stranger working habits of local archivists. 

Boris Feldblyum  is president of FAST Genealogy Service, an organization formed in 1992. His expertise is in East European archival research, missing relatives search, probate search, English translation of archival documents,  and consulting. He is an outstanding professional photographer. A collection of his photographs, primarily from eastern Europe, may be found at http://www.bfcollection.net/subjects/shtetl.html.   Among his many accomplishments is his book, "Russian-Jewish Given Names: Their Origins and Variants".

He has been a long-time member of JGSGW.

This celebration meeting will be enhanced with special goodies from "Confections by Sue." There will be a drawing for Door Prizes. Fun for all.

November Sunday, November 21, 2010
Workshop: Beginner's Workshop, led by Rich Meyersburg
Location: 
B'nai Israel, Rockville, MD 
Time: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  Jewish family history does not have to be a mystery. We and our ancestors all leave a paper trail that can unravel the story of our families for many generations, across the ocean and into the smallest of shtetls.
Join us for our FREE* Beginner's Workshop.

  •  A great start for the novice...
  •  Even if you have been a member of JGSGW for a while, a great way to get back to the basics...

This will be a 2-hour session jam-packed with resources, helpful hints and motivation.

No charge for JGSGW members. Non-members wishing to participate in this workshop may join JGSGW up until the day of the workshop and participate if there is space available.

   
Program: 
How to Read a Jewish Tombstone
Location: 
B'nai Israel, Rockville, MD 
Time: 
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Steven Venick, Fram Monument Company (click here for bio)
 

Jewish tombstones are an excellent source of information for genealogists. This is especially true if you are familiar with Hebrew and the rules, customs and symbols. Steve Venick will provide some historical background and demystify the reading and interpretation. Attendees are encouraged to bring photos of family tombstones for him to translate. First in line will be those photographs that are sent in advance to .


December Sunday, December 12, 2010
Program: 
The Heavens Are Empty: Discovering the Lost Town of Trochenbrod
Location: 
Beth El, Alexandria
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Avrom Bendavid-Val (click here for bio)
 

Settlement of the village that became Trochenbrod started in the early 1800s in a small clearing in the forest in what is today northwest Ukraine. Jews began settling there and farming because under Czarist decrees, only by doing that could they avoid oppressive anti-Jewish laws, including having their sons conscripted to serve in the Russian army until age 45. As Trochenbrod grew to its final population of about 5,000 people it became the only freestanding town created, populated, and self-governed entirely by Jews ever to exist outside the biblical Land of Israel. Trochenbrod became a thriving regional commercial center that had a highly diversified and largely self-sufficient economy.

Trochenbrod was "…a magical place,” according to the memoir of one visitor in the 1930s, and also according to the few Trochenbrod natives who survive. This magical place was the only town to completely and permanently vanish in the Holocaust. In August and September 1942 the Nazis and their helpers murdered the people of Trochenbrod. The town had been created by anti-Semitism and it was destroyed by anti-Semitism. Because there had been none but Jews in Trochenbrod, no one was left there, and all traces of the town soon vanished.

The book, The Heavens are Empty: Discovering the Lost Town of Trochenbrod, is the product of twelve years of research by Washington, DC resident Avrom Bendavid-Val, including nine visits to the site where Trochenbrod once stood and the surrounding region. He tells its history not as a scholarly presentation, but as a story, including a little bit of how he uncovered what happened in this vanished place. The book is unique in the variety of first person accounts he draws on, including those of Ukrainians and Poles who knew the town as children. It’s also unique in the large number of photographs and maps it contains. The emphasis is on the life and vibrancy that was there, not just on the town’s destruction.

Avrom will have copies of his book available for sale and signing.


                          

                © 2012, Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, Inc.