Washington, DC: Sephardim and the Holocaust, Dec. 19

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will present “Judeo-Espagnol and the Holocaust: A discussion with Haim-Vidal Sephiha,” at 1pm, Wednesday, December 19.

The program will address the little understood and under-researched fate of Judeo-Spanish through the experience of Auschwitz survivor Haim-Vidal Sephiha, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Universite Paris IV-Sorbonne, and President of Judeo-Espagnol Auschwitz in Paris.

Sephiha was born in Brussels to a Sephardic family of Turkish origin, and was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943. He joined the Sorbonne faculty in 1963, authoring seven books, 10 booklets, more than 400 articles and directed directed more than 400 master’s and Ph.D. theses on Judeo-Espagnol history, linguistics and culture.

He will discuss his personal Holocaust experiences, his life’s work on the study of Judeo-Espagnol and opoprtunities for future research. The interview will be conducted by Radu Ioanid, International Archival Program Division director at the USHMM’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.

On the eve of World War II, the Judeo-Espagnol community was concentrated in the Balkan countries of Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania, with main centers in Salonika, Sarajevo, Belgrade and Sofia. During the Holocaust, these centers of were almost totally destroyed and unique language and traditions nearly eradicated.

For more information, click here.

Maryland: German Jewish records, Dec. 16

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington will present a two-part program at B’nai Israel Congregation (Rockville, Maryland) on Sunday, December 16.

The Beginner’s Workshop – for members only – is set for 11am-1pm and will feature resources, tips and more, as well as a free copy of “Jump Start to Jewish Genealogy. Presenters are Marlene Bishow and Jeff Miller; advance registration is recommended.

At 1:30pm, Ralph N. Baer will present “Researching Pre-World War II German-Jewish Genealogy.”

According to the JGSGW announcement:

Jewish research in Germany can best be divided into three eras: prior to about 1800, from about 1800 to soon after German unification in the 1874, and post-unification. It is simplest to start from the most recent and work backwards. Copies of vital records starting in 1876 can be obtained from the local Standesamt (registrar’s office) but are currently only available to direct descendants.

In the middle period, vital records usually started to be kept at approximately the time permanent family names were adopted in the Kingdom, Principality, Duchy, etc., of interest. This date depends upon the place but is usually prior to the 1830’s. The content and form of these records greatly vary.

In some regions, Jewish records were kept separately from Christian records, and in some cases they are together with them. Prior to this day there is even more variability, and almost every town has different types of records available. Examples of records will be shown and methods of obtaining them will be discussed.

Born in New York City in 1948, Dr. Baer’s parents, grandparents and great-grandparent fled their native Germany in the 1930s. He has a doctorate in mathematics and has worked as a research scientist in Naval Research Laboratory’s Acoustic Division in Washington, DC, since 1974. His interest in personal genealogy was piqued by a 1977 vacation in Germany, and he has conducted additional research on his family there. He is a JGSGW charter member and has given several previous presentations. He is the author of articles in Stammbaum: the Journal of German-Jewish Genealogical Research, Avotaynu and Mishpacha.

For address, directions and more, click here.

New York: 19th-century Holy Land photos

Yeshiva University Museum in New York has opened the first exhibition of 19th-century photographs of Israel by James Graham (1806-1869) and Mendel Diness (1827-1900). It will be open through April 6, 2008.

“Picturing Jerusalem” offers 70 rare prints of the Holy Land by Diness and Graham, and original items used by them. It features some of the earliest known images of the city.

The exhibit is the result of a garage sale discovery in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1989, an American photographer found old boxes of glass plate negatives, silver prints, ntoebooks and other materials.

The last known showing of Graham’s work was in 1862 in London, and this exhibit is an international traveling exhibit; the last stop will be the Israel Museum.

A Scottish missionary, Graham was among the first Europeans to travel to the region under Ottoman rule in the 1850s. He documented landscapes, temples, tombs and other historic sites, and was one of the first photographers to live in Jerusalem.

Graham’s student, English-born Mendel John Diness, a former watchmaker, became the first Jewish photographer in Jerusalem. He later converted to Christianity, eventually settled in the U.S. and became a preacher.

The exhibit includes unique albums by both men, photographs of historic sites, related paintings and prints, a camera lens, a wooden negative box and notebook. Images include the Dome of the Rock, the Temple Mount and Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity. The notebook holds Diness’ handwritten notes (1853-1857, Jerusalem).

A unique album of 87 Graham photographs was donated in 2005 to the Center for Jewish History and the Israel Museum by Katja B. Goldman and Michael W. Sonnenfeldt, as inspired by James Garfinkel, in honor of the Center for Jewish History’s former executive director Peter A. Geffen. This album is jointly owned by the Center for Jewish History and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. “Picturing Jerusalem” was organized by the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and curated by Nissan N. Perez, senior curator of the Noel and Harriette Levine department of photography.

The Yeshiva University Museum is located at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St, in New York City.

For more information, click here

Washington, DC: Sephardim and the Holocaust, Dec. 19

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will present “Judeo-Espagnol and the Holocaust: A discussion with Haim-Vidal Sephiha,” at 1pm, Wednesday, December 19.

The program will address the little understood and under-researched fate of Judeo-Spanish through the experience of Auschwitz survivor Haim-Vidal Sephiha, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Universite Paris IV-Sorbonne, and President of Judeo-Espagnol Auschwitz in Paris.

Sephiha was born in Brussels to a Sephardic family of Turkish origin, and was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943. He joined the Sorbonne faculty in 1963, authoring seven books, 10 booklets, more than 400 articles and directed directed more than 400 master’s and Ph.D. theses on Judeo-Espagnol history, linguistics and culture.

He will discuss his personal Holocaust experiences, his life’s work on the study of Judeo-Espagnol and opoprtunities for future research. The interview will be conducted by Radu Ioanid, International Archival Program Division director at the USHMM’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.

On the eve of World War II, the Judeo-Espagnol community was concentrated in the Balkan countries of Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania, with main centers in Salonika, Sarajevo, Belgrade and Sofia. During the Holocaust, these centers of were almost totally destroyed and unique language and traditions nearly eradicated.

For more information, click here.

Maryland: German Jewish records, Dec. 16

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington will present a two-part program at B’nai Israel Congregation (Rockville, Maryland) on Sunday, December 16.

The Beginner’s Workshop – for members only – is set for 11am-1pm and will feature resources, tips and more, as well as a free copy of “Jump Start to Jewish Genealogy. Presenters are Marlene Bishow and Jeff Miller; advance registration is recommended.

At 1:30pm, Ralph N. Baer will present “Researching Pre-World War II German-Jewish Genealogy.”

According to the JGSGW announcement:

Jewish research in Germany can best be divided into three eras: prior to about 1800, from about 1800 to soon after German unification in the 1874, and post-unification. It is simplest to start from the most recent and work backwards. Copies of vital records starting in 1876 can be obtained from the local Standesamt (registrar’s office) but are currently only available to direct descendants.

In the middle period, vital records usually started to be kept at approximately the time permanent family names were adopted in the Kingdom, Principality, Duchy, etc., of interest. This date depends upon the place but is usually prior to the 1830’s. The content and form of these records greatly vary.

In some regions, Jewish records were kept separately from Christian records, and in some cases they are together with them. Prior to this day there is even more variability, and almost every town has different types of records available. Examples of records will be shown and methods of obtaining them will be discussed.

Born in New York City in 1948, Dr. Baer’s parents, grandparents and great-grandparent fled their native Germany in the 1930s. He has a doctorate in mathematics and has worked as a research scientist in Naval Research Laboratory’s Acoustic Division in Washington, DC, since 1974. His interest in personal genealogy was piqued by a 1977 vacation in Germany, and he has conducted additional research on his family there. He is a JGSGW charter member and has given several previous presentations. He is the author of articles in Stammbaum: the Journal of German-Jewish Genealogical Research, Avotaynu and Mishpacha.

For address, directions and more, click here.

New York: 19th-century Holy Land photos

Yeshiva University Museum in New York has opened the first exhibition of 19th-century photographs of Israel by James Graham (1806-1869) and Mendel Diness (1827-1900). It will be open through April 6, 2008.

“Picturing Jerusalem” offers 70 rare prints of the Holy Land by Diness and Graham, and original items used by them. It features some of the earliest known images of the city.

The exhibit is the result of a garage sale discovery in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1989, an American photographer found old boxes of glass plate negatives, silver prints, ntoebooks and other materials.

The last known showing of Graham’s work was in 1862 in London, and this exhibit is an international traveling exhibit; the last stop will be the Israel Museum.

A Scottish missionary, Graham was among the first Europeans to travel to the region under Ottoman rule in the 1850s. He documented landscapes, temples, tombs and other historic sites, and was one of the first photographers to live in Jerusalem.

Graham’s student, English-born Mendel John Diness, a former watchmaker, became the first Jewish photographer in Jerusalem. He later converted to Christianity, eventually settled in the U.S. and became a preacher.

The exhibit includes unique albums by both men, photographs of historic sites, related paintings and prints, a camera lens, a wooden negative box and notebook. Images include the Dome of the Rock, the Temple Mount and Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity. The notebook holds Diness’ handwritten notes (1853-1857, Jerusalem).

A unique album of 87 Graham photographs was donated in 2005 to the Center for Jewish History and the Israel Museum by Katja B. Goldman and Michael W. Sonnenfeldt, as inspired by James Garfinkel, in honor of the Center for Jewish History’s former executive director Peter A. Geffen. This album is jointly owned by the Center for Jewish History and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. “Picturing Jerusalem” was organized by the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and curated by Nissan N. Perez, senior curator of the Noel and Harriette Levine department of photography.

The Yeshiva University Museum is located at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St, in New York City.

For more information, click here