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Past Programs - 2013

The following programs and workshops were held in 2013; they are shown here so that you may view the range of activities of JGSGW.


 
January Sunday, January 13, 2013
Program:
We are Here: A Lithuanian Encounter
Location:
Time:
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Ellen Cassedy (click here for bio)

Ellen Cassedy set off into the Jewish heartland of Lithuania to study Yiddish and connect with her Jewish forebears.

When she read something given to her by an uncle, she learned something she had never suspected, and her journey to Lithuania changed her forever. What had begun as a personal quest expanded into a groundbreaking exploration of how people in Lithuania – Jews and non-Jews – are confronting their Nazi and Soviet past in order to move forward into the future.


February Sunday, February 10, 2013
Program:
"The Stones Speak: Recent Genealogical Findings from the Bulgarian Zone of Occupation in Greece”
Location: 
Time:
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos (bio)

Due to the brutality of the Bulgarians in the Occupied Zones of Northeastern Greece (Thrace and Macedonia) there are few descendants to shed light on Jewish genealogy (from 97-100% of the Jewish population perished in the Holocaust). Only amid the weed-covered tombstones do we get a glimpse of centuries of Jewish presence. Join us as Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos reveals recent genealogical findings from the Bulgarian Zone of Occupation in Greece. Ms. Ikonomopoulos is the Museum Director of Kehila Kedosha Janina in New York City.


March Sunday, March 10, 2013
Location: B'nai Israel
Workshop: Beginner's Workshop
Instructor: Marlene Bishow
Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
 

The role of the family archivist and historian will be explored in the context of the how to begin researching your Jewish ancestors. Where do you start and where to go next? Collecting and preserving family photos and interviewing family members will be discussed, as well as getting started with JewishGen.


Participants will receive a copy of the JGSGW publication “Jump-Start Your Jewish Genealogy Research: A Beginner’s Guide.”
 

Participation in this workshop is a benefit of membership in JGSGW. Reservations are required; send an email to Class limited to 20 participants.


Program:
"Searching New York Roots"
Time:
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Avrum Geller (bio)
New York City has for two centuries been the golden door into which Jewish immigrants entered America. Avrum Geller will explore the wealth of resources to discover family roots and connections through New York area resources. This will include both great buildings and the stuff inside them, and also many online
resources. Quite a number of these resources are hidden in plain sight, and it will be revealed where to find them and how to use them. He will focus on New York City archival and library resources with an emphasis on finding the less obvious treasures which lie therein. He will also give practical tips on conducting your on-site research in New York City, getting below the surface when you visit an archive, a library, a courthouse, etc. and throw in some tips on going below the surface to arrive there.

Avrum will be available after the meeting answer questions on a one-to-one basis.

Click here for the meeting handout - Searching New York Roots.


April Sunday, April 21, 2013
Location:  
Workshop: Intermediate Workshop
Instructor: Jonina Duker
Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
 

What can be learned from the study of the Jewish tombstone (matzevah)? 
 

This workshop will explore customs and symbols associated with Jewish burials, including a discussion of the Hebrew calendar, as well as the history and meaning of personal names and surnames.
 

The workshop will also address the basics of effective search queries in Google, as well as an introduction to Ancestry.com and optimizing searches there.

Participants will receive a copy of the new JGSGW publication: “Intermediate Topics in Jewish Genealogy Research.”

Participation in this workshop is a benefit of membership in JGSGW. Reservations are required; send an email to Class limited to 20 participants.

 
Program:  
"Routes to Roots in the 'Old Country': Where are the Surviving Documents and How to Obtain Them?"
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Miriam Weiner, President, Routes to Roots Foundation (click here for bio)
This presentation will focus on the Routes to Roots Foundation website (RTRF) at www.rtrfoundation.org including a live “tour” of various components of the website. Our speaker, Miriam Weiner, has worked officially with the archivists throughout Eastern Europe beginning in Poland in 1989, then Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Lithuania. She has received unprecedented cooperation from the archives in identifying and publishing information about surviving Jewish and civil records.

The RTRF website includes a comprehensive searchable archive database by town name, covering document holdings relevant to Jewish life in five countries (and portions of two others) in Central and Eastern Europe, an image database, and multiple searchable name databases for various localities. The website is updated regularly with new/revised archive data, additional name databases and images as well as articles by archivists, historians and others.

In addition, Miriam will discuss the new collaboration between RTRF and the Center for Jewish History (CJH) in New York City. The CJH website features its Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) which integrates the holdings of CJH’s five partners into one searchable database, as well as separate pages for each of the five partners and a page for the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute.

May Sunday, May 5, 2013
Program:  
"Genealogical Travel: How to plan and get the most from your trip"
Location:  
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: see below
 

Have you ever dreamed about walking where your ancestors may have walked? Most genealogists have experience that fantasy on an occasion, but some lucky ones get to fulfill their dreams. Hear what five of our JGSGW members have to tell us about various aspects of their trips – the the planning through the execution. 

This program will be a series of presentations by JGSGW members. Each will focus on a specific location and each will address an aspect of the planning and execution of that trip. Each of the presentations will be accompanied by slides from the trip. 

Jeff Miller                Lithuania
Faith Klein               Ukraine
Ben Terner               Kishinev, Moldova
Jeff Malka               Transcarpathia
John Hirschmann      Germany
 

At the end of the program, there will be ample time to ask questions of the panel.


June

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Program:

 Membership Appreciation Luncheon
"Clued-In: Case Studies from Sherlock Cohn, The Photo Genealogist"
         Note: This meeting is for members only.

Location

Potomac Community Center

Time: 12:00 PM - Meeting and Luncheon    
(This is a pot-luck luncheon; members are requested to bring a dish to share with 8 people. More information will be forthcoming.)
 
1:00 PM - Program
  Speaker: Ava Cohn, AKA Sherlock Cohn The Photo Genealogist (bio)
   

Step aside NCIS and CSI! There are no greater detectives than Jewish genealogists when it comes to loving the hunt for information about our ancestors, and no greater tool to find out about the people and the personalities in our family trees than through our family photographs.  

In this fun and informative talk, Sherlock Cohn, the Jewish genealogy sleuth, will introduce attendees to the discipline of Photo Genealogy. She’ll explore how and why it is important to find the clues our ancestors left for us in their photographic portraits. The program leads off with a definition of Photo Genealogy and explodes commonly held myths about dating Jewish photos. Participants will learn what clues an expert looks for in photos, how to organize your approach to dating and interpreting photos and how to match photo information with vital records to tell the stories within the photos.  

 In the second half of the presentation, Sherlock will present two of her challenging cases, “The Case of the Mistaken Date” and  “The Case of the Immigration Snafu.” In the true cerebral style of a Basil Rathbone character, she’ll offer examples of how accurate photo dating, identification of individuals in our photos, knowledge of fashion and decorative arts, and the process of matching photographs with vital records can illuminate our relatives’ lives and the social context in which their photos were taken.   

After the presentation, Sherlock will help attendees get started on exploring the dates and answers to other questions they may have about their own photographs. Attendees may bring their photo for evaluation. Limit is one photo per person, unless a second photo is brought for purposes of identifying the person in the first photo. Due to time constraints, not all attendees will be able to have their photos evaluated. Selection of attendees to have their photo evaluated will be by lottery.


August Sunday, August 18, 2013
Program:  
"JRI-Poland - Learn and Ask!" (A webinar) and
"Ask the Experts" session
Location:  
Har Shalom, Potomac, MD
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Stanley Diamond (click here for bio)

The story of Jewish Records Indexing - Poland is well known. But researchers want to know how the database and ongoing indexing work in Poland will be of benefit to their personal family history projects. 

This webinar will include a very brief overview of the current activity, focusing on what's new and what can be expected in the months and years to come. However, the main emphasis will be on answering questions from attendees, to provide answers that may not be readily apparent on the JRI-Poland website and to share news about data that is not yet online.

After the presentation, there will be an Ask The Experts session to be moderated by Dr. Eugene Alpert. Participating on the Experts panel will be a number of senior JGSGW members with expertise in a broad set of topics. Each expert will talk a bit about their own area of expertise and give a short list of tips for beginning family researchers.


October Sunday, October 13, 2013 
Program:  
Obscure Records of Citizenship and Nationality
Location:  
GW Hillel, 2300 H. St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Marian L. Smith
This presentation will focus on lesser-known federal records of derived citizenship, repatriation, and correspondence covering a variety of citizenship-related problems and topics.  While the records discussed were created after 1906, some involve events that occurred years or decades before.  In addition to case studies and examples, the presentation will provide guidance for researching the records at either USCIS or the National Archives.

Click here for Marian Smith's bio.


October Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Workshop: Ancestry Workshop
  10:15 AM
Ancestry techniques and tips: Learn ways to improve your results on Ancestry.com and work individually with the JGSGW Librarian on your Ancestry research.

The workshop will be in the JGSGW Library at the Chod Media Center, B'nai Israel.

Members only. Send registration request to .


November Sunday, November 3, 2013 
Workshop: Beginner's Workshop
  10:00 AM - noon.
If you are new to Jewish genealogy or looking for some fresh ideas and new sources or how to approach a “brick wall,” then register for our Beginner’s Workshop. The workshop is a members-only benefit. Attendees will receive a copy of the JGSGW publication “Jump-Start Your Jewish Genealogy Research: A Beginner’s Guide.” Workshop limited to 20. Send registration request to .
Program:  
Cadastral Maps, Landowner, School, Magnate & Voter Records: New Horizons for Genealogists
Location:  
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Pamela Weisberger (bio)
Galician (Austrian, Polish and Ukrainian) cadastral, property, school and voting records are valuable genealogical resources, especially when vital records are sparse. Historical maps show locations of synagogues, cemeteries, and schools, often with the names of landowners written onto the plots. Using Gesher Galicia’s database and interactive mapping portal, you can chart a family over several generations. Landowner records show property valuation/inheritance patterns and voter records document the residents of a single dwelling, showing ages, occupations and place of birth. This presentation will cover their relevance as an alternative source of genealogical/community information and will also highlight other unique records that are now part of the "Galician Archival Records Project," such as "people who suffered during the war" and magnate records, which illustrate the relationships between Polish (and Jewish) nobles and the Jews who ran their mills, taverns and inns. Be prepared to expand your view on how these insightful -- and accessible -- documents can help to bring your ancestors to life.

November Monday and Wednesday, November 4 and 6, 2013 
Program:  
Private Guided Tour of “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage,” and Researcher Card Registration
Location:  
Time:   Monday, November 4: 1:15 PM
Wednesday, November 6: 10:50 AM
 

JGSGW has arranged for a two-part program at the National Archives and Records Administration.  The first part of the program is a private, guided tour of “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage,” featuring 24 artifacts recovered from a flooded basement in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters.  The NARA exhibition marks the first time these items have been on public display.  Display highlights include a Hebrew Bible with commentaries from 1568, a hand lettered, decorated Haggadah from 1902, and an official 1918 letter to the Chief Rabbi regarding the allotment of sheep for Rosh Hashanna.  The exhibit also explains details of records recovery and preservation.  While the exhibit is open to the public, the tour is limited to JGSGW members. 

A second, optional activity is the opportunity to register for or renew a NARA researcher card.  There will also be a lecture on research room regulations.  If you wish to renew a researcher card, please provide the card number with your registration information. 

Note: on Monday, Nov. 4, the first part of the program will be the lecture on research room regulations, and the tour will follow. On Wednesday, the tour will be first, then a break for lunch, and the research room regulations will be presented after lunch.

The same program will be presented on November 4th and November 6th.  Space for this program is limited – only 20 members per session by preregistration only.  To register, send your full name, address and telephone number (and NARA researcher card number if applicable) by October 15, 2013 to Jeff Miller, .

December Sunday, December 15, 2013 
Program:  
Genealogy and the Next Generations
Location:  
Time:  
1:00 PM - Schmooze
1:30 PM - Short Business Meeting, Announcements, and Program
  Speaker: Elijah Schulman, “Simcha in Selma: Back to My Family’s Roots”
When Elijah’s ancestors came to the United States, instead of staying in New York like most Jews, they went to the south, specifically Alabama. For his Bar Mitzvah Project, Elijah Schuman chose to raise funds for the Mishkan Israel Temple in Selma, Alabama.

The synagogue itself is a beautiful building that can still be visited today. But unfortunately, nearly all of the children of the congregation members left Selma for the big cities, and the congregation slowly died out. Now, there are only seven remaining members, all over the age of sixty. Since there are so few members left, the temple is used less and less, and has fallen into disrepair. That is why Elijah’s project is raising money to help restore the building. Once it is fully restored, the members may choose to donate additional funds to the Institute of Southern Jewish Life to be used as a museum.

Elijah Schulman, now 13 and a bar mitzvah, is a resident of Bethesda, MD. He is an 8th grader at Takoma Park Middle School. Please visit
www.elijahschulmanbarmitzvah.com for extra details, articles, photos
and links about Elijah’s project.

Following the main program, there will be a discussion of how to engage the younger generation in genealogy. The discussion will address current JGSGW projects involving the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy and the Charles E. Smith Day School, as well as plan for a NextGen program in D.C.

This program is particularly suited to younger audiences and we encourage students and NextGenners to attend and participate in the discussion. All are welcome!

 


                          
© 2013, Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, Inc.