Logo SFBAJGS--Officers, Board Members, and Addresses


Current Officers and other members of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society:

Jeremy Frankel


Jeremy's foray into his family genealogy began during the 2nd night of Passover 1985 when his maternal grandfather asked him what he knew about the Levy family. That Jeremy's father ran the family printing business and by default got to print most of the bar mitzvah and wedding invitations meant interviewing his father was the first thing to do.
However real life and work intervened and the project was placed on a back-burner until the arrival of the internet and online databases. Jeremy's work in England as a cartographer for 14 years brought together two passions, history and geography. This helped enormously when studying families and migration patterns. Now the tree is burgeoning with 4500+ people.
Jeremy has been a member of the board since 2001 and like a number of experienced genealogists has offered his services as a professional genealogist with his partner Victoria Fisch, president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento. Jeremy is a member of several genealogical societies and is a frequent contributor to many online discussion groups. He has written extensively and lectured and taught classes throughout the bay area.

Janice Sellers
Editor, ZichronNote
Publicity (vicepresident(at)sfbajgs.org) (newsletter(at)sfbajgs.org) (publicity(at)sfbajgs.org)


Janice M. Sellers is a professional genealogist specializing in Jewish, black, forensic, and newspaper research. She is the editor of three genealogy journals: ZichronNote; The California Nugget, for the California Genealogical Society; and The Baobab Tree, for the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC). She is a board member of AAGSNC and California State Genealogical Alliance, and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy, Genealogical Speakers Guild, and California Genealogical Society. She has been on staff at the Oakland FamilySearch Library since 2000 and gives presentations on many genealogical topics at the local, regional, state, and national levels.
More information

Shellie Wiener
Recording Secretary


Jeff Lewy


Jeff's interest in genealogy began about 15 years ago with an album of family photos from the late 19th century. He has found records of his ancestors in Bohemia, Mecklenburg in Prussia, Prussian Poland, and the Rhineland back to the 1790s. He has traced relatives in the US in the South before the Civil War and followed their migration to Chicago, where he was born and raised. Jeff enjoys helping others learn how to do genealogy research and work through their brick walls. He regularly writes articles for the SFBAJGS journal ZichronNote and has also written three "slim volumes" for his relatives to document their common family history. He often donates his genealogy services to nonprofit organizations for their fundraising auctions.

Avner Yonai
Membership (membership(at)sfbajgs.org)


Avner is an Israeli who has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2001. He received his B.A. in Political Sciences & Criminology Studies from the Bar Ilan University in 1999 and his M.A. in International Relations and Human Rights Studies at the University of Malta in 2001. Avner is managing partner and leads the international business development department at the Over Seas Relocations Co. he helped found in 2004. He volunteers at numerous local and national organizations such as Jewish Family & Children Services. He is a Yad Vashem-certified interviewer of Holocaust survivors for the Names Recovery Project, which awarded him the Cal Lubran award in 2009 and the Mensch Award in 2010. Avner has joined excursions throughout Poland and Belarus to reconstruct desecrated Jewish cemeteries and synagogues in cooperation with Jewish communities in Poland and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. Avner is the founder and project manager of the Ger Mandolin Orchestra revival: a memorial project reconstructing the Jewish mandolin orchestra of the town of Ger (Gora Kalwaria) where Avner`s grandfather and great uncle were active members circa 1920-1930. The orchestra debuted in San Francisco in March 2011 and performed in Ger and in Warsaw as part of the eighth Singer Festival. A documentary film about the Ger Mandolin orchestra project is underway.

Pierre Hahn
Chair, Cemetery Project (cemetery(at)sfbajgs.org)


I was born in 1928 in Paris, France, escaped with my parents in 1941 to the United States, finished my education in the US as an Engineer. Worked in the aerospace industry, gravitating into the specialty of measurements, from helicopters, airplanes, missiles, satellites, biological experiments in orbit, circadian rhythms, sleep disorders and a few other side endeavors, ending prior to retirement to having a teaching and research position in the department of Psychiatry of the Medical School of SUNY at Stony Brook..
Retired to the San Francisco area where my children were located, and with my brother (a UCB Prof) we pick up on all the collected letters, birth and death announcements which my parents had kept (a multi shoe box collection), set up an organization (genealogical software) for them and from this start we now have a pretty good tree of our ancestors with a forest of cousins. This forest is mainly centered in Western Europe. So for the past 20 years I have honed my genealogical capabilities on finding data in France where a great part of my family lived, and co-moderated the FrenchSig of JewishGen with Rosanne Leeson.

Dale Friedman

Barry Klezmer

Heidi Lyss


Heidi delved into the world of genealogical research six years ago, upon receiving a book from her father on a relative who lived in the 1600s in Switzerland's Engadine Valley, and since has researched her family tree and those of friends and acquaintances. Her genealogical journey has included trips to Switzerland where she met recently discovered relatives, and Alsace in France to two ancestral towns. She became interested in Jewish Genealogical Research in particular upon discovering an unknown Jewish branch in her family tree in 2010, and she joined the SFBAJGS Board in 2013. Heidi has an MBA and an MFA in Creative writing, and has presented seminars to northern California genealogical societies on writing family histories. Her published pieces include fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and trade/academic articles. Heidi works as a healthcare consultant, focusing on health care delivery strategy and health policy.

Jolie Pearl

Jolie began researching her family in 2010 in the hopes of unraveling stories her mother and grandmother had told her about women done wrong. Along the way she’s met many new relatives and expanded both the Jewish and non-Jewish branches of her family tree. DNA technology has also introduced her to distant African American cousins, and she has worked with them to identify common relatives. Jolie is now embarking on a more formal oral history project with her elderly Jewish relatives, and the story of their migration from the Ukraine to Egypt to St. Louis to Boyle Heights (Los Angeles).
Jolie worked in public health for 20 years.  She has a Master of Public Health, and is a Registered Nurse. She currently works with public sector professionals as Leadership Development Coordinator and Union Organizer with the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE).
Jolie joined the board as member-at-large in 2017.

Barbara Stack

Barbara has been researching her family roots in Poland and Ukraine since the late 1980s when her sister met a maternal cousin, Joseph Chandler, of Portland, Maine, who had made an enormous hand-written family tree. Joe passed along a copy, and Barbara began to map it into Reunion. She also started exchanging letters with far-flung aunts and uncles. Many busy years passed. In late 2009, a mutual friend introduced her to Jeremy, who pointed to the LDS Family History Library in Oakland and to the SFBAJGS. A website became necessary to organize and share the mounting piles of research. Repeated gentle inquiries of the Chandler family led to a revised tree, a narrative history, a scrapbook and the hope of discovery of correspondence. And then there’s her mother’s father’s family and her father’s family from Nowy Dwor. A long story. If you do genealogy long enough it becomes something other than what it seemed at the outset. Barbara's most recent pleasures have been in reintroducing members of long-separated branches of the family. 1969: BA, Brandeis University, Economics; 1975: MA, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Linguistics. In her professional life Barbara has been a systems analyst, a fiddler, a youth orchestra ED, and most recently an archivist, editor, and writing coach.

Preeva Tramiel

Preeva Tramiel

Preeva Tramiel is an amateur genealogist and author of a memoir, The Girl On The Wall, who has been researching the Adler family of Mukacheve since 2008, including going back to Transcarpathia and Hungary to see where her family lived. She began regularly attending IAJGS conferences with the Washington DC meeting in 2011, and is going to Warsaw in 2017.



Newsletter exchange-- For other JGS chapters wishing to exchange emailed copies of their newsletters for emailed copies of ZichronNote:   ZNexchange@sfbajgs.org

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To contact the SFBAJGS by U.S. Mail, address your letter to:
P. O. Box 318214
San Francisco, CA 94131-8214

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