EventsSFBAJGS - Calendar of Genealogical Events


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Map
 
Topic:
A Very Short Course in Hebrew for Family History Researchers
Speaker:
Vivian Kahn

Have you ever wandered around a cemetery looking for ancestors, found a document written in Hebrew in a box of family memorabilia, or come across photos or postcards with notations or messages that seem to be written in Hebrew? Headstone inscriptions, ketubahs (wedding contracts), yahrtzeit cards, and other sources can provide valuable clues if you know what to look for, even if you can't read Hebrew. This presentation will provide a brief introduction to the Hebrew alphabet and the words and terms that most commonly appear in inscriptions and other family documents. Participants will receive handouts that will help non-Hebrew speakers identify first names and parents' names, decipher dates, and recognize other clues on headstones and in common records.

Vivian Kahn is a New York native and one-time substitute Hebrew school teacher with 5 years of after-school Hebrew education. She is an experienced researcher who has presented workshops on Jewish genealogy and, in particular, Hungarian Jewish family research at the annual conference on Jewish genealogy and for other groups. Vivian's investigation of her roots in pre-Trianon Hungary has taken her to Hungary, Slovakia, Israel, and Salt Lake City.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 7pm, Program begins 7:30pm
Congregation Beth Am Rm. 5/6
26790 Arastradero Road
Los Altos Hills, CA
Map
 
Topic:
Odessa: the Jewish Soul of a Cosmopolitan City
Speaker:
Valery Bazarov

You are invited to a biased (Odessa is the presenter’s native city) review of a history of Jews in Odessa, which is only a few years younger than the United States of America and looked “just like an American city” to Mark Twain. Constructed between the green infinite steppe and the blue endless sea by order of an empress and embellished by the best architects of France and Italy, Odessa's first builder was the same person who helped George Washington in the battle of Yorktown. Jews participated in city management in Odessa, unlike other cities in the Russian Empire, almost from its first years. The Jews of Odessa were different—as was everyone  residing in this unusual city.  Jewish contribution had a huge impact on Odessa's culture, its traditions, folklore, music, literature and a special language that belongs only to this city and now can be heard in almost all corners of the earth and beyond (one of the Russian cosmonauts was born in Odessa). Come and find out what the expression “To live like God in Odessa” meant for the Jews. You will also find out what happened to the Jews of Odessa from 1941 to 1944 and why the Jews who were always loyal to their city (except for the time of the pogroms) started to leave en masse in the 1980s-1990s. Now Jewish life in Odessa has been reborn—but for how long?

Valery Bazarov immigrated to the US from the former USSR in 1988 and joined HIAS (The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) the same year. As a Director of HIAS Family History and Location Services, he helped immigrants of different generations find family members and friends with whom they had lost contact over the years. Valery is committed to finding and honoring the heroes, Jewish and non-Jewish, who rescued European Jews during the Holocaust. Valery Bazarov is a frequent lecturer at the international and national conferences on Jewish genealogy. In the beginning of 2013 he retired, and he recently moved to the Bay Area with his family.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

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.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Meeting of Jewish genealogical interest

The meeting is free and open to the public.

Time and Place:

7pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA
Free parking: enter parking garage from Pierce Street
Map  
 
 
Topic:
The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century
Speaker:
David Laskin
David Laskin chronicles how the tide of history affected three branches of his mother's family during the Jewish upheavals of the twentieth century: mass immigration to America, the founding of the state of Israel, and the Holocaust. Beginning in Russia in the mid-1800s with his great grandfather Shimon Dov HaKohen, a Torah scribe, in his book Laskin traces members of his family to the U.S. (where one relative, Ida Rosenthal, founded the Maidenform Bra Company); to pre-state Israel, where members of a branch of his family were idealistic pioneers; and to Eastern Europe, where an entire branch of his family perished.  

David Laskin is the author of several nonfiction books and was keynote speaker at this year's conference of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. This presentation is co-sponsored by the SFBAJGS.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome.
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.
 
Topic:
Assimilation and Difference in Jewish Immigrants to Latin America: Voices from My Family Tree
Speaker:
Judith Berlowitz

While researching my family tree, I found that a sizeable number of Jewish relatives originating in central and eastern Europe ended up in Latin America. I found, and established contact via e-mail, with people in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Chile. On considering the issues they must have faced—difference and/or discrimination within the country of origin, emigration in possibly dangerous circumstances, reception in the new land, changes they had to make to adjust to new cultures—I was curious about individual responses to difference and to the process of integration. So I designed and e-mailed a questionnaire (in Spanish and in Portuguese) that I hoped would reveal each person’s process of assimilation and ideally some personal details about the process. I already had received photos, stories, documents, and even poems from some of the relatives and had visited one family personally. This presentation is my summary of the responses of five people in four countries, accompanied by photos and other pertinent documents.

Dr. Judith Berlowitz holds a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from UC Berkeley and is a federally certified translator. Her publications are based on research in the Judeo-Spanish romancero, ethnomusicology, and genealogy. She sings alto in the Oakland Symphony Chorus and is a member of the board of the East Bay Performing Arts consortium. Since retiring from teaching, Judith dedicates her time to peace activism, music, genealogy, and her living family, which includes a husband, three superstar daughters, and three grandsons (the doctor is 17, the rocket scientist is 10, and the lawyer is 4).


Monday, November 17, 2014

Meeting of Jewish genealogical interest

The meeting is free and open to the public.

Time and Place:

7pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA
Free parking: enter parking garage from Pierce Street
Map  
 
 
Topic:
Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland
Speakers:
Glenn Kurtz and Leslie Swift
Traveling in Europe in 1938, one year before the outbreak of World War II, David Kurtz made a color film of three minutes of ordinary life in Nasielsk, a small predominantly Jewish town in Poland. These three minutes of home movie footage became the sole surviving moving images of the town. Now, as part of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's permanent collection, the film serves as a memorial to an entire community that was annihilated in the Holocaust.

Glenn Kurtz has written a book describing his four years of research trying to indentify the people in his grandfather's images. Rarely seen archival footage will be shown during a conversation between Kurtz and Museum film researcher Leslie Swift. This presentation is co-sponsored by the SFBAJGS.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

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.


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