EventsSFBAJGS - Calendar of Genealogical Events


Saturday, February 28 and Sunday March 1, 2015

San Francisco History Expo

Time and Place:
Saturday 11am to 5pm, Sunday 11am to 4pm
The Old Mint
88 Fifth Street at Mission
San Francisco , CA
Map


More than 60 San Francisco organizations, including six genealogy groups, will showcase the diverse history of San Francisco's communities. In addition, there will be historic films, special programs, and more. This year's expo will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Panama Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco. Living history re-enactors in period costumes will circulate throughout the expo and mingle with visitors, giving impromptu performances of well known individuals from San Francisco's Gold Rush and Barbary Coast eras. The SFBAJGS will be one of the participating groups. Stop by and ask us about your family research, and we will do our best to provide helpful tips. More information.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

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, March 15, 2015

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:
Book 'em, Dano! Publishing Your Family's Story
Speaker:
Jeff Lewy

Learn how to create and publish the stories of your family history without having to become a professional author first. Jeff Lewy will explain how he wrote down the family stories he acquired from others, added old photos, filled in some of the gaps with his own research, and used an online publisher/printer to create an inexpensive book his relatives are buying and telling others about. This can be helpful for your research: documenting the family history, attracting other family members to share what they know, and sparking interest among younger family members to learn about their family history through storytelling.

Jeff Lewy is the treasurer of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society. He became interested in genealogy to make sense of family photos going back four generations in the U.S. and Europe and to learn about the people in the photos. Most of his family lines arrived in the U.S. in the 1840's and 1850's, mostly in Alabama, before settling in Chicago by 1870. His family tree now includes seven or more generations for most of his family lines, and lots of interesting stories about many of his forebears.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Meeting of Interest

Time and Place:
1:30pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA
Free parking: enter parking garage from Pierce Street
Map  
 
 
Topic:
Stolpersteine: Stumbling Stones
Presentation:
A film screening and panel discussion with Howard Shattner, Jacqueline Shelton-Miller, and German Consul General Stefan Schlueter

In Germany and elsewhere in Europe, victims of the Nazis are being remembered with Stolpersteine--brass plates, embedded in concrete, recording the details of each victim (some of whom survived the war) whose last address was at that spot. A project conceived and overseen by German artist Gunter Demnig, more than 40,000 remembrance plates have been installed to date.

In 2012, six members of Howard Shattner's family who were murdered in the Holocaust were commemorated with Stolpersteine embedded in the pavement in front of their former house in Berlin. Shattner has produced a 27 minute film, Stumbling Stones for My Family, documenting these Stolpersteine installations and the encounters he has had with ordinary Berliners at each site.

He will be joined by Stefan Schlueter, German Consul General in San Francisco, and by Jacqueline Shelton-Miller. Shelton-Miller spoke at the dedication of Stolpersteine for her father, grandmother, and aunt, and addressed a communal gathering in her father's native town of Gelsenkirchen, Germany in 2013. This program is co-sponsored by the SFBAJGS. More information.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

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.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Special Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland Family History Center
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Directions and Map
 
Topic:
Remembering the Holocaust through Family History Using the Resources of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Speaker:
Megan Lewis
Holocaust remembrance and Jewish genealogy closely intertwine. Arthur Kurzweil wrote, “When the Nazis rounded up our relatives, they took away their names and gave them numbers. What we genealogists are doing is taking away the numbers and giving them back their names.” By “giving back their names,” family historians humanize the history of the Holocaust in ways historians do not, often capturing the interest of the general public and thus furthering Holocaust remembrance. Megan Lewis will look at ways genealogists can use the resources at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), such as oral histories, to find the details of their ancestors’ lives that show the history on the human level. She will demonstrate how to use the museum’s online resources to do research from home and give tips on how to plan a research trip to Washington.
 
Megan Lewis started working at USHMM in 1998.  She spent 12 years conducting research on individuals working for the museum’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center. Since 2010 she has worked as a reference librarian in the Museum Library and Archives reading rooms. She has a B.A. in history and a Master's of Library Science, and has given presentations about the museum’s genealogical resources at IAJGS, numerous genealogical societies, the American Library Association conference, and several conferences/workshops about Nazi looted art.


Monday, April 13, 2015

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:
Remembering the Holocaust through Family History Using the Resources of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Speaker:
Megan Lewis
 
Holocaust remembrance and Jewish genealogy closely intertwine. Arthur Kurzweil wrote, “When the Nazis rounded up our relatives, they took away their names and gave them numbers. What we genealogists are doing is taking away the numbers and giving them back their names.” By “giving back their names,” family historians humanize the history of the Holocaust in ways historians do not, often capturing the interest of the general public and thus furthering Holocaust remembrance. Megan Lewis will look at ways genealogists can use the resources at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), such as oral histories, to find the details of their ancestors’ lives that show the history on the human level. She will demonstrate how to use the museum’s online resources to do research from home and give tips on how to plan a research trip to Washington.
 
Megan Lewis started working at USHMM in 1998.  She spent 12 years conducting research on individuals working for the museum’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center. Since 2010 she has worked as a reference librarian in the Museum Library and Archives reading rooms. She has a B.A. in history and a Master's of Library Science, and has given presentations about the museum’s genealogical resources at IAJGS, numerous genealogical societies, the American Library Association conference, and several conferences/workshops about Nazi looted art.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland Family History Center
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Directions and Map
 
Topic:
Using Historical Online Jewish Newspapers for Genealogy Research
Speaker:
Janice M. Sellers
 
Many historical Jewish newspapers are now available online, with more being added regularly. Most are on free sites. This class gives an overview of what is online and where it is, suggests access strategies, discusses what to do if you don’t read Hebrew, and shows sample search results.

Janice M. Sellers is a professional genealogist specializing in Jewish, newspaper, and forensic genealogy research. She edits three genealogy journals, including ZichronNote and The Galitzianer (for Gesher Galicia). She is vice president of the SFBAJGS and is a board member of the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California and California State Genealogical Alliance, and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy, Genealogical Speakers Guild, California Genealogical Society, and Gesher Galicia.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

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, May 3, 2015

Meeting of Interest

Time and Place:
2pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA
Free parking: enter parking garage from Pierce Street
Map  
 
 
Topic:
Poland: A New Jewish Frontier
Presentation:
Ellie Shapiro

For decades, until 1989, Poland's rich Jewish legacy lay buried under the ashes of the Holocaust. Since then, Poland's return to democracy has opened new possibilities regarding the country's Jewish heritage. For the last 11 years, Ellie Shapiro has been a witness and participant in this process. She spent the past year living in Cracow researching Jewish cultural initiatives that are currently taking place in Polish small towns. In this multimedia presentation, she shares what is new in the Old Country--and why it matters.
 
Ellie Shapiro spent 2013 to 2014 in Poland as a Fulbright Fellow and is currently a doctoral student at the Graduate Theological Union. She has directed the Jewish Music Festival for the past 15 years. This program is co-sponsored by the SFBAJGS. More information.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

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, June 14, 2015

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland Family History Center
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Directions and Map
 
Topic:
Social Media for Genealogists
Speaker:
Meredith Sellers

Social media are valuable tools for connecting and communicating with relatives, potential cousins, and fellow genealogists. Navigating various social media platforms and understanding their privacy controls can be daunting, however. As a member of the Web-savvy“Millennial Generation”, Meredith will provide case studies illustrating how social media can complement your current research endeavors. She will also address the pros and cons of different social media platforms and outline ways for you to maintain a secure,
controlled online presence.

Dr. Meredith Sellers holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and works as a Senior Engineer at Exponent Failure Analysis Associates. Meredith has leveraged social media since 2008 to assist her personal genealogical research in New York City, St. Louis, Eastern Europe, and the British Isles. Before relocating to the Bay Area, Meredith volunteered and taught for organizations including the Champaign Family History Center, Champaign County Genealogical Society, and Olive Branch Cemetery Restoration.


Monday, June 22, 2015

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 and Speaker:
To Be Determined.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

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:
20th Century Immigration and Naturalization Records
Speaker:
Marisa Louie

The National Archives maintains a wealth of records relating to immigration and naturalization in the 20th century. This includes more than 400,000 Alien Case Files or "A-Files" at its facilities in San Francisco, California and Kansas City, Missouri. Created beginning in 1944, these files relate to noncitizen alien residents of the United States and are a potential wealth of genealogical information. At this presentation, you'll discover more about what's in A-Files, who is documented in them, and how to find them at the National Archives. We’ll also explore other unique records relating to naturalization and the stories of Jewish refugees detained at Angel Island Immigration Station.

Marisa Louie is an avid researcher and genealogist who specializes in federal records. She formerly worked as an archivist at the National Archives at San Francisco and is co-author of the article "The A-Files: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors", published in the Spring 2013 issue of Prologue magazine. She is knowledgeable about the A-Files and other types of immigration case files maintained by the National Archives, having served as a research assistant for the book Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America. A fifth-generation Chinese American, Marisa first delved into federal records as a college sophomore researching her own family's history in the United States. She holds a B.A. in American Studies and Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and is a past participant in the "In Search of Roots" program.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland Family History Center
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Directions and Map
 
Topic:
Bring Your Own Brick Wall
Speaker:
Panel of experienced SFBAJGS researchers

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 provide information and suggestions that will show your next steps and may help you solve some family mysteries.


Monday, August 17, 2015

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 and Speaker:
To Be Determined.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

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:
Researching Your Litvak Roots
Speaker:
Judy Baston

Numerous sources exist online and in various repositories for researching your Litvak heritage. Judy Baston will offer an overview of these sources and will detail the best ways to use key Litvak databases and websites to enhance your knowledge and expand your family tree. The presentation will include how to find out what records are available, how to read and understand search results, where the records are, and how best to access the information in them. The presentation will cover LitvakSIG and its All Lithuania Database, as well as numerous resources from JewishGen, Yad Vashem, and other sources.

Judy Baston, Vice President of LitvakSIG, has been researching her family history from Lithuania and Poland for more than 25 years. She has visited her ancestral shtetls in Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus and was involved in the filming of “There Once Was a Town”, about her father’s town of Eishishok (now Eisiskes in Lithuania). She moderates the discussion groups of LitvakSIG, JRI-Poland, BialyGen, and the Lodz Area Research Group and serves on the Board of Directors of JRI-Poland and of LitvakSIG, for which she coordinates the Lida District Research Group. She has been involved with the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco for 22 years and coordinates the Brainstorming with the Mavens Genealogy Clinic at the Library.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland Family History Center
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Directions and Map
 
Topic:
JRI-Poland: Go for the Record!
Speaker:
Robinn Magid

Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (http://www.jri-poland.org) has the motto "Go for the Record!", and its day has truly arrived. Now you can not only search its online index of approximately 5 million Jewish vital records housed in Poland today, but in many cases, it's possible to click a button, view, and even download your ancestors' vital records without charge. JRI-Poland makes genealogy dreams come true, and this presentation will show you what may be possible for your family from Poland, Galicia/Ukraine, and even Belarus and Lithuania if your ancestors' vital records survive in Polish archives today.

Robinn Magid is a long-time member of the SFBAJGS, a board member of JRI-Poland, and a compulsive genealogist since her retirement from Management Consulting with an international CPA firm in 1991. In 2001 she realized her childhood dream of visiting Poland and “walking a mile in her grandmother’s moccasins.” She has four children, a loving husband, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA. Her family genealogy research includes tracing Jews in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Galicia.


Monday, October 19, 2015

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:
Chasing Portraits:  A Great-granddaughter’s Search for Her Lost Art Legacy
Speaker:
Elizabeth Rynecki

Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943) painted the Polish-Jewish community in the 1920's and 1930's. Although he perished in the Holocaust, many of his 800 works survived, and the Rynecki family has about 100. The artist’s great-granddaughter will speak about her great-grandfather, her quest to find the missing pieces, and where the family’s story rests within the larger story of Holocaust art restitution. Read more.

Elizabeth Rynecki attended Bates College ('91), where she studied Rhetoric, and received a Master's degree in Rhetoric and Speech Communication at U.C. Davis ('94), where her graduate work focused on children of Holocaust survivors and the voice and role of the second generation within Holocaust discourse. Elizabeth is passionate about sharing her great-grandfather’s paintings with others and searching for the lost and missing pieces from the original collection.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

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:
San Francisco's Own Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico
Speaker:
Joseph Amster

A Jewish businessman originally from England and South Africa, Joshua Abraham Norton arrived in San Francisco in 1849 with $40,000, which after some shrewd investing increased to $250,000 (about $3 million today). After losing his fortune to a bad rice investment, Norton disappeared, returning to San Francisco in 1859 and declaring himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. In any other city, he would have been dismissed as a madman, but the people of San Francisco embraced his reign. He ate for free in restaurants and had the best seats in the theater, the police saluted him, and he even printed his own money, which was accepted as legal tender throughout the city. He issued numerous proclamations, calling for a bridge to be built across San Francisco Bay—in the exact spot where the Bay Bridge stands today. Other proclamations called for the founding of a league of nations to promote world peace, and the United Nations was founded in San Francisco in 1945; the erection of a Christmas tree in Union Square, where one has stood ever since he called for it; and banning use of the word "Frisco", punishable by a $25 fine. When he died on January 8, 1880, he was given the biggest funeral the city has seen to this day.

Amster, a displaced journalist with an acting background, wanted to create a walking tour with a twist, offering his patrons a unique experience. “I decided early on that I wanted to do my tour in character and researched the historical figures from San Francisco’s past,” says Amster. “The more I read about Emperor Norton, the more fascinated I became with him.” After completing his research, Amster took on the character of Emperor Norton, complete with uniform, beard, and plumed top hat. He now offers his tour to anyone with an interest in history (http://www.emperornortontour.com).


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