Illinois: Midwest Jewish Genealogy Conference, June 6

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois has organized a one-day Jewish genealogy conference, “From the Shtetl to the 21st Century,” on Sunday, June 6, in Skokie.

The full-day event features experienced instructors on topics to expand knowledge of genealogical resources, including a two-part Beginners’ Workshop. Five time slots each feature three concurrent programs.

This event can also be considered a great lead-in and preparation for the main event of the Jewish genealogy year, the 30th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy – JGSLA 2010 – which runs from July 11-16, in Los Angeles.

Speakers at the Illinois event include Ron Arons (keynote speaker), Judith R. Frazin, Harriet Rudnit, Abby and Bill Schmelling, Ralph Beaudion, Leslye Hess, Robin Seidenberg, Irwin Lapping, Alvin Holtzman, Louisa Nicotera, Everett L. Butler and Mike Karsen.

Topics include: Beginners’ Genealogy Workshop, Using the Internet to Research Your Family History, Travel to Your Ancestral Shtetl, Find That Obituary Online, Holocaust Research in Libraries and Internet, Polish Translation Guide, Mining for Gold: Online Newspapers, Waldheim Cemetery, Basics of DNA Testing, Mapping Techniques, Cook County Genealogy Online, Genealogy Research Reasoning, Write Your Family History Now, Ask the Experts.

Before May 15, fees are: Members (of any Jewish Genealogical Society), $45; others, $50, Conference plus JGSI membership (new member only), $70. After May 15, each category increases by $10.

Download an event brochure, and find more program details, at the JGSIllinois website.

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Israel: Already preparing for 2014!

Every 10 years, the International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is held in Israel and 2014 is the next one.

The Israel Genealogical Society is already preparing a list of documents to convert into databases to be available at the event.

IGS webmaster Rose Feldman says that many families or parts of families immigrated to Eretz Israel. Some remained and built their lives in the country, and some moved on to other places.

Databases available now may be viewed here. Those which have been completely funded are available for viewing by the public.

The Montefiore Censuses are being prepared as a joint project of IGS and London’s Montefiore Endowment.

The IGS is currently considering the following collections:

—  Names changes as published in the official government publication Yalkut Hapirsumim through 1954;

— 1928 Pinchas Habogrim –  which is the equivalent of electoral lists of those over 18 years of age. Currently, they have been located in Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

They are already working on some early 20th century Mukhtar Ledgers of Jerusalem’s Ashkenazi population.

Readers who are aware of any other documents dealing with Eretz Israel covering the early 19th-century through 1930, are asked to contact Rose.

California: Jamboree mini-course registration begins May 1

In the Los Angeles area? Here are 14 more reasons to attend the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree (June 11-13), in Burbank).

Registration opens May 1 for these 14 mini-course workshops (one or two hours each) – a really good line up of classes and instructors. If you are interested, sign up fast (only online as of May 1). These will likely fill quickly with only 17 seats per class.

You may sign up for the workshops only if you’ve already registered for Jamboree, but you can do both at the same time. Each registrant may sign up for only one workshop. All workshops (except one) require attendees to bring laptops or netbooks.

Download the complete Jamboree program grid here, so you’ll be better prepared to organize your time.

Read instructor bios, class descriptions and whether there’s an advance assignment to complete. Some courses require attendees to download something, register for an account, bring family details, have a specific program on your computer.

Seating is limited, so choose a second if your favorite has already filled. 

Course times, titles and instructors:

  • Friday: Using Google Earth to Map Your Ancestor’s Home, Google Docs for Beginners, Using Excel in Genealogy.
  • Saturday: Platting Your Ancestor’s Land, FindAGrave, Skype – The Cool New Way to Talk to the Grandkids, Blogger for Beginners, WordPress for Beginners, Writing Your Family History Using Microsoft Word.
  • Sunday:  Using Your Computer, Video Camera and YouTube, Second Life: A New World of Online Genealogy, Using Excel in Genealogy, Scanning Tips and Tricks, Google Reader for Beginners.

For complete mini-course descriptions, instructors and requirements, click here.

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.

Washington DC: NARA Genealogy Fair, April 14-15

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Washington will participate in the Sixth Genealogy Fair sponsored by the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) on Wednesday-Thursday, April 14-15, in Washington DC.

Admission is free for the two full days of lectures and exhibits at the National Archives Research Center Lobby and Pennsylvania Avenue Plaza. National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC. Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue.

For the full NARA Announcement, program schedule, directors and more, click here. For more information on the JGSGW, click here.

Speakers include historian at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Zack Wilske; professional genealogists Susannah Brooks, Elizabeth K. Kerstens, Marie V. Melchiori, and Thomas Shawker M.D.; and National Archives experts Patrick Connelly, Rebecca Crawford, Damani Davis, John Deeben, Claire P. Kluskens, Trevor Plante, Constance Potter, Mary Frances Ronan, Rebecca Sharp, Katherine Vollen, and Reginald Washington.

Guest exhibitors include the Library of Congress, Washington DC Family History Center, FamilySearch, Federation of Genealogical Societies, and local county genealogical societies.

Programs will run from 9:30am-4:30pm both days and will showcase the diversity of Federal records located at the National Archives as resources for family history research. Speakers include National Archives staff, historians, and genealogy professionals. The fair will provide information and guidance for experienced genealogy professionals and novices alike. The event is presented in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives and with support from Ancestry.com.

Sessions include workshops on records relating to minority and ethnic groups including African Americans, Chinese, German, Irish, Japanese, Native Americans, and women, as well as a session on DNA genealogy testing, and an evening program on the new genealogy-based TV series “Who Do You Think You Are?”

National Archives staff will demonstrate how to use databases including the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) and Access to Archival Databases (AAD). Staff at the “Help! I’m Stuck” table will be available to assist researchers.

See the Complete schedule for Day 1 – Wednesday, April 14; and the Complete schedule for Day 2 – Thursday, April 15. View the condensed schedule for both days, showing session titles, times and locations. See the map of the fair, showing the locations of guest genealogy exhibitors, NARA genealogy exhibitors,and sessions.

Guest genealogy exhibitors include many archival, historical, libraries exhibitors, NGS, FGS, ethnic societies, and more – see the list at the link above.

Readers in the Washington DC area may be interested in other regional spring genealogy meets in addition to the NARA event:

April 10 – The Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society – Bowie, Maryland – brochure
April 10 – The Family History Institute of Southwest Virginia – Wytheville –
brochure
April 16-17, 2010 – The Virginia Genealogical Society 50th Anniversary Conference – Richmond – brochure

Like to plan ahead? The JGSGW will host the 2011 IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy at the Grand Hyatt Hotel (Washington, DC) from August 14-19, 2011.

JGSLA 2010: Volunteers needed

Frequent conference attendees will tell you that an excellent way to meet new people and connect with those sharing your interests is to volunteer in various ways before or during the conference.

JGSLA 2010 has put out a public call for volunteers, via conference volunteer coordinator Lois Rosen. (See below for some important jobs that need the right person now!)

A major conference like this relies on an army of volunteers in so many areas. Some jobs can be done from home prior to the conference, others are focused on helping during the conference.

Do you have time to help before or during the conference?

During the conference, help is needed in all areas to help staff important locations, such as registration, hospitality, resource and more.

Volunteering your time adds to the success of the event, and also helps you meet new people and make new friends.

Here are just some of the possibilities:
Hospitality volunteers/Greeters
Registration volunteers
Resource Room staff
Film Festival or Screening Room staff
Tour chaperones or guides
Translators
Computer or tech support volunteers
Outreach to are synagogues
Outreach to area Jewish organizations, schools, or youth groups

and many more opportunities!

Before the conference, there are other jobs that need to be done. Frequent conference attendees who arrive early know all about bag-stuffing! But there’s much more.

Volunteers needed now:

Banquet Journal: Volunteers needed for Ad Solictor and Ad Layout.

Volunteer Scheduling Coordinator: This is a major job and carries a perk (free conference registration).

Carpenter/Artist: For the handy creative types out there: A carpenter/artist volunteer is needed to create a directional sign post for the Market Square event. This needs include arrows showing the distance to, for example, Minsk or Warsaw. Tracing the Tribe is assuming distances will be measured from Los Angeles.

There are many other jobs you can do. See the next Tracing the Tribe post which details some ways that you can help, no matter where you live.

Click here to learn all about volunteering for the JGSLA 2010 event or email volunteer coordinator Lois Rosen for more information.

JGSLA 2010: Full schedule to come soon!

This year is certainly speeding by.

JGSLA 2010 is set for July 11-16 in Los Angeles. The full program will be announced in about a week, so stay tuned for news.

Have you registered? Have you reserved your rooms? Investigated airline tickets? There is even a special limited block of rooms set aside on a low floor for Shabbat-observant attendees. Checking in early? There will be special activities for you!

To keep up with all details and announcements, visit JGSLA 2010. Subscribe to the newsletter and read the conference blog.

Sneak preview:

Professor Vincent Cannato of the University of Massachusetts-Boston will give the Lucille Gudis Memorial Lecture this year, which will focus on his new book: “American Passage: The History of Ellis Island.”

The first full history of America’s landmark port of entry from immigration post to deportation center to mythical icon, American Passage captures a time and place unparalleled in American immigration and history.

His work articulates the dramatic and bittersweet accounts of the immigrants, officials, interpreters, and social reformers who all played important roles in Ellis Island’s chronicle.

Read about his book here.