Lisa Ezrol Curran
After a career that has included consulting for growth stage companies, founding a trade organization for FinTech companies in Chicago, and many years in strategic planning and emerging technology at leading financial services institutions, Lisa began researching her family history in 2017. She has traced her roots back to Poland, Lithuania and Belarus and has found and reconnected with cousins from several “lost” branches of her family.
Her research has verified several family stories (yes, her great grandmother was cousins with Sidney Skolsky), and helped answer relatives' questions like, “Who were those really tall guys at my Bar Mitzvah?”
Lisa's passion for sharing her skills and knowledge led her to the JewishGen Education Team.
After a career spent researching and teaching about topics at the
intersection of science and technology, Larry focused in
retirement on genealogical research. He has used most major
genetic genealogy sites and has met many new relatives through the
DNA matching process.
After twenty years in business, which included speaking to audiences around the country and teaching virtual classes to professionals, when Margie retired in 2016, after several years of taking care of family and traveling the world, she ventured into genealogy in preparation for a trip to Poland.
She was soon immersed into learning all she could about genealogy, spending hundreds of hours in educational courses as well as webinars from genealogy societies, sometimes attending as many as fifteen webinars a month.
As someone used to organizing work as efficiently as possible, she put attention into how best to organize, plan and keep track of her work. Then, as a natural teacher, she started to teach others how to do the same.
Educational courses include University of Strrathclyde Glasgow’s Basic Genealogy course, multiple JewishGen courses and multiple courses on DNA.
Margie is a member of JewishGen.org. and the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society.
B.A., University of Wisconsin, M.S., Pepperdine University; graduate
work in Clinical Psychology and Human Development. Los Angeles
Superintendent of Schools: Administrator; Los Angeles Child
Guidance Clinic: Special Education; Florence Crittendon, San
Francisco: Administrator of Education.
In her retirement, Nancy volunteered at the National Archives
Regional Branch-Laguna Niguel where she lectured on Jewish, Native
American, and Eastern European Genealogy.
She was a Past-President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los
Angeles and a Past President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of
Orange County; Past Editor of Shorashim,
the JGS Orange County Newsletter; the creator of seven Kehilalinks
websites for towns in Belarus and the Ukraine; Past Editor of
Roots-Key, the Journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles;
worked as the Project Coordinator for the Belarus SIG.
During the past 15 years, she and Phyllis Kramer developed and expanded
the JewishGen Education Department.
AWA Certified Facilitator Barbara Krasner is a former contributing
editor to Family Chronicle Magazine and Heritage Quest Magazine and
the author of Discovering Your Jewish Ancestors (Heritage
Quest, 2001). Her articles have also appeared
in Ancestry, Genealogical
Tree Magazine, Avotaynu, The
other trade publications. She holds an MA in History from William
Paterson University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the
Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her literary work based on family
history has appeared in Jewish
Literary Journal, Museum
of Americana, Consequence, South
85 Journal, Gravel, The
Smart Set, The
and other literary journals. She is a former member of the boards
of directors of both Jewish Records Indexing - Poland and Gesher
Galicia. By day, Krasner, a PhD candidate in Holocaust &
Genocide Studies at Gratz College, teaches in the Holocaust &
Genocide Studies program at The College of New Jersey and serves
as Director, Mercer Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights
Education Center housed at Mercer County Community College in New
Amy Mitchell has worked in creative industries as a production manager, graphics producer and writer/editor. She has also taught undergraduate level courses in a variety of film studies topics. Her obsession with genealogy only recently began, when she took her first DNA test for something fun to do during the pandemic. Since then, she has not only uncovered the origin town of her family surname, but traced her mother’s side back to the Puritan migration in the late 1600s.
Henry “Hap” Ponedel holds a B.A. in Biology and Zoology from Humboldt State University (1978). Working in construction and as a plumbing contractor for some 45 years, Hap became interested in genealogy and family history in 2003, joined the Jewish Genealogical Society of Willamette Valley Oregon in 2004 and currently serves as vice-president. In 2013 he became the translation coordinator and co-editor of the Telšiai Yizkor Book at jewishgen.org. Telšiai is one of the towns central to his genealogical study.
His work in mapping began in 2009 with a collection of historical maps of ancestral towns which compelled him to launch easteurotopo.org in 2012, a historical map website with Jewish content. In 2015 He received a grant from The Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture in New York to study Russian laws pertaining to anti-semitisim and to map border changes that resulted from some of the laws. He continues to update the map website adding new material and functionalities.
Hap also participates as Shabbat baal koreh at Temple Beth Israel in Eugene, Oregon, and at Temple Har Zion in Mount Holly New Jersey. He is husband and partner to Hazzan Dr. Evlyn Gould, University of Oregon Emerita, and father of Ben and Jesse Ponedel.
Intrigued by an email from an acquaintance who thought they were distantly related, Susan began filling in her family tree and was soon hooked on genealogy. Eventually she got to a branch that had long been a mystery. What had happened to her great-grandfather’s brother who had emigrated to South Africa? What had been his name? From what town was he and her direct ancestors?
These questions brought Susan to tentatively enroll in her first JewishGen class and to being exposed to the wealth of resources available there. The research skills and tools she acquired led her to solve the family mystery and to find descendants of her great-grandfather’s brother. She is honored to now be part of the JewishGen Education team, helping others uncover their past in order to leave a legacy for the future.
Barbara started her genealogical journey while planning her American-born grandmother’s 100th birthday celebration. Census and other records confirmed all the vital information her grandmother remembered and Barbara started to research additional branches of her family. A connection from an Ancestry tree turned out to be a 2nd cousin 1X removed who knew her grandmother well. She remembers the thrill she felt when she uncovered her other grandmother’s passenger record into the United States as a 6 year old, something her grandmother never spoke about.
These research experiences led Barbara to sign up for JewishGen classes with Phyllis Kramer where she learned to extract all the details from records and discovered unknown family branches in the US. Spellbound by genealogical research, Barbara joined Phyllis Kramer’s Galician research class and discovered records in Galicia for her family. Additional educational experiences include Basic Genealogy at the University of Strathsclyde and research at the Center for Jewish History in New York. Barbara enjoys solving puzzles and research so genealogy is a natural fit for her interests. She enjoys guiding others to make their own genealogical discoveries.
Wendy is an attorney who stopped practicing law in 1999 to focus on
writing and editing. She has served as a senior editor at a legal
publishing company and as a knowledge management specialist at a
major international law firm. She is currently a marketing
writer/editor at a national law firm.
Wendy began researching her family history in the mid-1990s, and she
continues to make new discoveries, expand her family tree, and
connect with newly found cousins. She is pleased to be part of
JewishGen’ s Education Team and to assist with enhancing
JewishGen’ s educational materials.
April started her genealogy journey in 2009 after a career as a biologist and chemist. She knew nothing about her Jewish ancestors, but her dream was to unlock the puzzle of that family lineage.
In her first JewishGen class, with the help of her instructor, she quickly discovered that her ancestors changed their surnames… FOUR separate times!
However, it was ten years later, when more records became available, that she was finally able to find the documentation that supported these changes.
She now has the privilege to give back by helping others pursue their genealogy goals.
In her free time, April enjoys time with her family, gardening, and volunteering at the Animal Shelter. She also struggles to wrangle an out-of-control cat.
Marion Werle began family history research 25 years ago, researching
family from Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus, who settled in the US,
Canada, UK, and Israel. She has been on the boards of JGSLA and
JGSCV (Conejo Valley/Ventura County) and is a past president and
founding member of the Latvia SIG (Special Interest Group). She is
currently on the board of the revitalized JewishGen Latvia
Research Division. A retired IT professional with master’ s
degrees in both European History and Library Science from UCLA,
she has written two unpublished family histories. One, The
Skuders from Skud,
traces her Litvak grandmother’ s family. She successfully
completed the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate
and recently completed the ProGen study group. She has an ongoing
interest in applying general genealogical methodology standards to
Jewish research. She is a member of the JewishGen Latvia and
Belarus Research Divisions, as well as the Litvak SIG. Marion has
also spoken at several IAJGS conferences and local genealogical
societies in the Southern California area. She was a member of the
Southern California Genealogical Society Writers Group for several
years, which gave her the opportunity to hone her family history