San Francisco: New Mexico’s Sephardic Legacy, April 29

Along our journey of discovery, we meet many people who inspire us, who teach us, who enlighten us as to topics that others consider esoteric.

One of Tracing the Tribe’s most interesting encounters years ago was with Dr. Stanley M. Hordes of New Mexico, who specializes in Crypto-Jews of that state. He treats those involved in his research with great dignity and understanding, and his skill in genealogical research and history has enabled many links to be made.

San Francisco residents will have an opportunity to hear Stan present “The Sephardic Legacy in New Mexico: A History of the Crypto-Jews,” on Thursday, April 29, at 7.30pm, at the Jewish Community Library.

During his tenure as New Mexico State Historian in the 1980s, Stanley Hordes began to hear stories of Hispanics who lit candles on Friday night and abstained from eating pork.

Hordes is adjunct research professor at the Latin American and Iberian Institute of the University of New Mexico and a Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies board member.

Puzzling over this phenomenon, Hordes realized that these practices might well have been passed down through the centuries from early crypto-Jewish settlers in New Spain. His theory was corroborated after hundreds of interviews and extensive research and led to his award-winning book on the history of the crypto-Jews in New Mexico.

Dr. Hordes will talk about the conversos from their Jewish roots and forced conversions in Spain and Portugal to their migration to central Mexico in the 16th and 17th centuries and their part in the colonization of New Mexico.

Using slides, he will describe customs and consciousness that have survived to this day, the recent reclamation of Jewish ancestry within the Hispano community, and the challenges of reconstructing the history of a people who tried to leave no traces.

His book (above left) – “To the End of the Earth: A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico” – received the Gaspar Perez de Villagra Prize in 2006 by the Historical Society of New Mexico for outstanding historical publication of the year.
If you have not yet read this book, do get a copy. It is a truly fascinating read. He is also working on another book, documenting the same culture in other New World communities.
The event is co-sponsored by the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society, Be’chol Lashon (In Every Tongue) and Lehrhaus Judaica.
For more information, click here.

Northern California: ‘Sharing, Preserving in Digital Era,’ April 19

Learn how to share and preserve family memories in a digital age with speaker Daniel Horowitz at the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society’s Peninsula branch in Los Altos, on Monday, April 19.

Doors open at 7pm, the program begins at 7.30pm at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Today researchers have many options for storing and sharing research material, including text, images, videos, documents and sound. Today’s tools range from “capturing” devices (such as audio/video recorders, cameras, mobile phones and scanners) to products for sharing (such as CDs, DVDs, portable disc, electronic photo frames) to the Internet itself.

For many, the Internet is the perfect place to share and preserve memories. Publish your material in a range of ways, from those that are completely private to completely public, everything between.

Ask for collaboration or confirmation or simply display the information; and you can control every aspect. Many easy-to-use tools and resources can facilitate the work of setting up websites, blogs, wikis or any other ways to publish the information.

Learn the different available options, establish your goals and decide the best way to publish your research and collected materials, and allow the younger generations to enjoy, help and collaborate in your project.

Born and raised in Caracas,Venezuela, Daniel Horowitz and his family have lived in Israel since 2005. He is translation and database manager at MyHeritage.com, a genealogical social networking site with many exciting features for connecting families around the world.

He’s a computer instructor and teacher/creator of the Searching for My Roots genealogy project for young people. A founder/lecturer for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Venezuela, he’s a member/webmaster of the Israel-based IGS/JFRA society and the Horowitz Family Association.

He’s a frequent lecturer at international Jewish and general genealogy conferences and is a board member/webmaster of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS).

Fee: Attendance is free to all. For more information, contact the SFBAJGS vice president and branch chair Rosanne Leeson.

Chicago: ‘My Uncle, The Hollywood Producer,’ April 25

Robin Seidenberg will present “My Uncle, The Hollywood Producer: A Fabulous Tale,” at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, on Sunday, April 25.
The program begins at 2pm at Temple Beth Israel, in Skokie.
Seidenberg, who will present this topic (with a slightly different title) at the upcoming JGSLA 2010, will demonstrate how she used online historical newspapers and other research tools to separate fact from fiction about her famous uncle.

Family whispers captured Robin’s curiosity about her uncle, the Hollywood producer. Having made millions in real estate and radio manufacturing, he was known as the zipper king when he arrived in Hollywood. Gregory Peck, James Stewart, Charles Laughton, Barbara Stanwyck, Angie Dickinson, Jane Powell and a future president of the United States starred in his productions.

Always amidst a bevy of beauties, he had several wives, including a Ziegfeld Follies star, a society heiress, and an actress called one of the most beautiful women in the world. Hear this fascinating story and learn how can research your family using online historical newspapers.
A former college French teacher, Seidenberg earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees (University of Chicago) and completed most of her PhD requirements (University of Illinois). A member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, Robin has been researching her family history since 1997. She is the JGSI’s executive vice president and Lake County Area Computer Enthusiasts president.

The day begins at 12.30pm, so members can access the JGSI library, and receive help prior to the program.

For more information and directions, click here.

San Francisco: Hidden Jewish Heritage, April 26

How would you react if you realized an important family secret had been kept from you?

What happens when adults discover their hidden Jewish heritage?

Find out on Monday, April 26, at 7.30pm, at a program co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Library (JCL) and the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society (SFBAJGS), at the JCL, 1835 Ellis St., San Francisco.
Four people from very different backgrounds discuss the discovery of their Jewish heritage, the circumstances surrounding the revelation, and how it affected their lives, their relationships, and their identities.

“Sudden Jews: When Adults Discover Their Hidden Jewish Heritage” brings together Marny Hall, Irene Reti, Jim Van Buskirk and Cecilia Wambach to discuss this topic, at the Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco.

Irene Reti is the daughter of two Holocaust refugees who hid their Jewish identities. She is the author of “Keeper of Memory: A Memoir and Kabbalah of Stone,” a novel about hidden Jews (conversos) in 15th century Spain. Reti is the director of the oral history research office at UC Santa Cruz.

Jim Van Buskirk, book group coordinator at the Jewish Community Library, is the co-editor of “Identity Envy: Wanting to Be Who We’re Not.” He is currently working on an intergenerational family memoir about discovering his Jewish heritage at age 54, “My Grandmother’s Suitcase.”

Marny Hall discovered she was Jewish at age 30. She is a sex therapist and author whose books include The Lavender Couch, Sexualities, and The Lesbian Love Companion. Hall is also the co-author of Queer Blues.

Cecelia Wambach is professor emeritus of mathematics education at San Francisco State University. For almost eight years, she has been involved in a project to research her father’s ancestry, which has taken her to the Czech Republic, Israel and Uruguay and is the subject of her forthcoming book, “Hide and Go Seek: The Search for My Father’s Family.”

The discussion is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the JGS San Francisco website.

JGSLA 2010: You don’t have to be Jewish!

1,000+ genealogists, 150+ speakers, 300+ programs, six days.

What do these refer to? Only one thing Tracing the Tribe knows: The 30th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, or JGSLA 2010, to those in the know.

It is open to all. You don’t have to be Jewish to love Jewish genealogy or to attend JGSLA 2010. Those who suspect Jewish roots or those who just want to learn from world experts, are welcomed.

This once-a-year event provides access to experts covering the diversity of Jewish genealogy and encourages networking and collaboration.

Programs start early Sunday morning July 11 and run through mid-day Friday, July 16, in Los Angeles.

Learn from scholars, archivists, authors and other experts. Enjoy a genealogy film festival (directors and Q&A), methodology/ technology workshops, musical performances, and network with a truly global genealogical community.

Many sessions and workshops have applications to general genealogy for all ethnicities.

Here’s just a glimpse of the event’s first day, Sunday, July 11. For the rest of the week, program abstracts and speaker bios, click JGSLA 2010 and click the top tab for Program (there will be additions and changes).

What can you expect? Take a deep breath, and away we go!

Day 1 offers three time slots each with many concurrent sessions, along with films, special lunches, computer/technology workshops, Market Square Fair, two klezmer concerts and official event opening.

9.30-10.45am:

— From DNA to Genetic Genealogy to the Animal Kingdom: everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask
— Genealogy at the Los Angeles Public Library
— Haunting Cemeteries: A Genealogist’s favorite pastime
— Only in New York
— Razzle Dazzle ’em: Using Technology to Present Your Family History Research with Pizzazz
— The Wonderful World of Genealogy Blogging
— Absolute Beginners: Computer Basics for Technology-Challenged Genealogists ($ computer lab)

11am-12:15am:

— Introduction to JewishGen: Beginners Computer Workshop ($ computer lab)
— Clued-in: Case Studies from Sherlock Cohn, The Photo Genealogist
— Jewish Genealogical Research Beginner Strategies, Part 1
— Demystifying the Hebrew Calendar
— My Uncle, The Hollywood Producer: A Spicy Tale
— Researching Your Criminal Ancestors
— Writing Jewish Family Stories and Memoirs, Part 1

2-3.15pm:

— DAVKA, The Survival of a People
— Finding and Using Los Angeles County Records
— From Shiterein to Showpiece: Cooking Jewish for the 21st Century
— Jewish Genealogical Research Beginner Strategies, Part 2
— Jewish Geography and DNA: A Player’s Guide
— Writing Jewish Family Stories and Memoirs, Part 2

There are two klezmer concerts, from 3.30-4.45pm and 5-6.15pm with master Yale Strom and friends.

The conference officially opens at the 7.45pm opening ceremony and keynote address, followed by a 9pm dessert reception.

Monday (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) bloom bright and early, from 8am breakfasts-with-the-experts ($), workshops ($), birds-of-feather meetings, five time slots with many concurrent sessions each, special lunches, and major evening sessions. Friday is a light day, offering “only” 15 sessions, ending at 12.30pm.

Click JGSLA 2010 for the full program (subject to changes and additions), registration for the event (early-bird discounts end April 30, so don’t miss out!) and the hotel (the JW Marriott at L.A. Live, downtown Los Angeles).

Have questions? Want more information?  Send an email. Sign up for the conference newsletter, blog, discussion group, or stay tuned to Tracing the Tribe for all the news.

Sacramento: Facial recognition technology for genealogy, April 18

“Facial Recognition Technology for Genealogy,” with Daniel Horowitz, will be the topic at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento (California), on Sunday, April 18.

The program begins at 10m, at the Albert Einstein Residence Center.

Facial recognition technology is used worldwide in the security industry. It can also help identify people in old family photos, discover other people related to you and enable reconnection of lost branches.

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Daniel has lived in Israel with his family since 2005. He is the database and translation manager for MyHeritage.com, a genealogy social networking site. Among his other “hats,” he’s the IAJGS webmaster and at the Horowitz Family Association. He was the founder of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Venezuela.

For additional information, directions and more, see the JGSS site or send an email.

Breaking News: JGSLA 2010 program now live!


BREAKING NEWS!

We’ve all been waiting anxiously for this announcement.

The program for the 30th IAJGS International Conference of Jewish Genealogy – JGSLA 2010 – is now live!

Just a cursory glance will leave you breathless as you peruse the amazing collection of programs.

CAVEAT: Some programs are not yet listed and there will be many changes, additions and adjustments to presentation times and days. Remember to check back frequently.

Have you registered? Do you have your hotel reservation? Your ticket to ride? Your T-shirt?

Time to get cracking, people, and enjoy early-bird registration discounts.

Tracing the Tribe will be spotlighting various program categories in the coming days, so stay tuned for much more.