Michigan: HMC Library resources, Feb. 21

Learn about genealogical resource gems at the Holocaust Memorial Center with librarian Feige Weiss, at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Michigan, on Sunday, February 21.

The meeting begins at 11am at the Holocaust Memorial Center, in Farmington Hills. The full name of the institution is the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus (HMCZFC), and the JGSMichigan library is house there as well.

Feiga Weiss is the head librarian and began working there the second day it opened 25 years ago – when it was located next to the JCC in West Bloomfield.

Before coming to Michigan, Weiss worked for many years at the Library of Congress and was the Hebraic Section’s Senior Reference Librarian.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the HMC Library – and to utilize its resources after the meeting.

Fee: Members, free; others, $5. The HMCZFC is at 28123 Orchard Lake Road. Hours are Sunday-Thursday 9.30am-3.30pm and Friday 9.30am-12.30pm.

For directions and more information, click here; RSVPs suggested.

Podcast: Save the deli!

The Book of Life offers podcasts on books and Jewish life.

The newest one at Book of Life.com covers the book launch for David Sax’s “Save the Deli!”

Anne Dublin recorded the event live at Caplansky’s Deli in Toronto, speaking with the author and fans, and capturing an a capella song about pastrami written especially for the occasion.

Listen to live event here:

Save the Deli! sound bite
See the accompanying book trailer video here:

Listen to other Book of Life podcasts here.

Only in America: The Jewish experience

The new Philadelphia-based National Museum of American Jewish History has produced a video, “It’s Your Story.” Perhaps it should be titled “Only in America.”

The new National Museum of American Jewish History is dedicated to telling the still-unfolding story of Jews in America, who embraced freedom with its choices and challenges as they shaped and were shaped by our nation.

The Museum envisions its new home as a place that welcomes all people, inviting them to discover what they have in common with the Jewish experience in America, as well as to explore the features that make this history distinctive.

Rising five stories above Independence Mall, in the heart of historic Philadelphia, the National Museum of American Jewish History will join Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell and other landmarks at the hallowed site of America’s birth. There could not be a more fitting place for a museum that will explore the promise and challenges of liberty through the lends of the American Jewish experience.

Tracing the Tribe recommends the video, which demonstrates various aspects of the American Jewish community’s achievements.

View it here or below

JGSLA 2010: Daniel Mendelsohn, keynote speaker

Researching and interviewing living relatives is a matter of urgency, according to author Daniel Mendelsohn, a genealogist from a “tender young age.”

Author of the international bestseller, “The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million,” he will be the keynote speaker at the opening session (Sunday, July 11, 7.30pm) for the 30th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, July 11-16, in Los Angeles. Registration is now open; see all conference details at JGSLA 2010.

According to Mendelsohn,

“Once a person has died it doesn’t matter if the space that separates us from knowing them is 12 years or 12 minutes, a second or a century. The closest we can get is to know those who were close to them. Then those who were close to them start to die and we get that much further.”

His ground-breaking genealogical memoir concerned his exacting search for six members of his family from Bolechow who perished in the Holocaust. He is the founder of the Bolechow Jewish Heritage Society.

According to conference co-chair Pamela Weisberger, the topic of his address is not yet known, but Tracing the Tribe will announce it as soon as it is confirmed. Whatever Mendelsohn chooses to speak on will be fascinating; those who have heard him previously can attest to that.

An international best seller, “The Lost” has received rave reviews and many awards, such as the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Jewish Book Award; and been praised by such as Elie Wiesel. The French translation (“Les Disparus”) was a 2007 best seller, called “the masterpiece of the season. It has been translated into a dozen additional languages.

He also writes book, film and theatre reviews and essays on literary topics for The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review, as well as being a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. He has authored six books to date.

Mendelsohn’s honors include: 2005 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship; 2008, Richard Holbrooke Distinguished Visitor, American Academy, Berlin. Later this month, he will be Critic in Residence at the American Academy, Rome.

Read more about Mendelsohn here.

San Francisco: Hungarian research, Feb. 21

“Family Research in Greater Hungary” will be presented by Vivian Kahn, at the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society’s next meeting on Sunday, February 21.

The program begins at 1pm, at the Oakland Regional Family History Center.

Vivian will provide an overview of the history of Hungary’s Jewish community and discuss resources available to those researching roots from the current and former territory of Hungary, including archival records in Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, and Hungary and sources such as burial and military records.

The session will describe and provide tips for searching JewishGen’s All Hungary Database, – one of JewishGen’s largest all-country databases with nearly a million records -with information on individuals living in areas in present-day Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, northern Serbia, northwestern Romania, and subcarpathian Ukraine.

Vivian will discuss some of the SIG’s current projects and demonstrate additional online resources.

The Hungarian SIG coordinator, she moderates its discussion group.

An experienced researcher, Vivian has presented workshops on Jewish genealogy and, in particular, Hungarian Jewish family research at the annual international Jewish genealogy conferences and for other groups.

She’s been investigating her ancestral roots in pre-Trianon Hungary for some 18 years, and has traveled to Hungary, Slovakia, Israel and Salt Lake City. Additionally, she is familiar with the wide range of resources for information on Jewish families in her areas of interest. See her family website here.

JewishGen vice president for SIG Affairs, Vivian is coordinator for SIG and Research Group participation for JGSLA 2010.

For more information, click here.