Washington DC: LOC, Latin-American Jewish Studies, May 17

Seeing this program with the mention of the Library of Congress’ Hispanic Division reminded me of an incident quite a number of years ago.

Our daughter was going to visit one of her friends, who was studying Spanish in Seville. The two were planning to visit, among many other places, a town near Zaragoza which might have had a connection to our family’s Sephardic ancestry.

I called the LOC and spoke to a very helpful young man in the Hispanic Division, and gave him the name of the town. He looked it up in an 18th century gazetteer, and among other interesting items, it noted “Hay muchos lobos y zorros” (there are many wolves and foxes).

When daughter and friend took a taxi out to the village from the city, the driver told them to be careful because “hay muchos lobos y zorros.” The two students, of course, were rather amused, and the driver was understandably confused.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

In any case, “Jewish-Latin American Historiography: The Challenges Ahead” is the May 17 lecture at the LOC. An increasingly popular area of academic inquiry, many institutions are offering related classes.

History professors Raanan Rein and Jeffrey Lesser will present the free joint lecture at noon, Monday, May 17, in the Mary Pickford Theater, (third floor, LOC’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, DC).

It is jointly sponsored by the Library’s Hispanic Division and the Hebrew Language Table in cooperation with the Embassy of Argentina and the Embassy of Israel. Reservations are not required.

Tel Aviv University’s Raanan Rein is the Sourasky Professor of Latin American and Spanish History and head of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies. Author and editor of more than 20 books and several dozen academic journal articles, he’s co-president of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association and a member of Argentina’s National Academy of History.

Emory University’s Jeffrey Lesser is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History and director of the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies. The author of “A Discontented Diaspora: Japanese-Brazilians and the Meanings of Ethnic Militancy, 1960-1980,” “Negotiating National Identity: Minorities, Immigrants and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil” and “Welcoming the Undesirables: Brazil and the Jewish Question,” he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of São Paulo and held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair of the Humanities at Tel Aviv University (2006-7). He is the former president of the Conference on Latin American History..

The Library’s Hispanic collections comprise more than 13 million items and are the most extensive such collections in the world.

Recognized as one of the world’s foremost centers for the study of Hebrew and Yiddish materials, the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division holdings include works in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Persian, Judeo-Arabic, Aramaic, Syriac, Coptic and Amharic. The section’s holdings are especially strong in the areas of the Bible and rabbinics, liturgy, Hebrew language and literature and Jewish history.

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New York: JDC Archival genealogy resources, May 16

The global archives director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee will speak at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of New York, on May 16.

The event opens with networking from 12.30-1.45pm, followed by the main program, at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street.

JDC’s director of global archives Linda Levi is responsible for archival centers in New York and Jerusalem. She is also assistance executive vice president for global archives. An NYU graduate, she holds an MA in contemporary Jewish studies (Brandeis University).
Since its inception in 1914, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC, known popularly as “the Joint”) has borne witness to the greatest events of twentieth-century Jewish history. The JDC Archives documents the organization’s operations, overseas activities and serves as a record of life in Jewish communities around the world.
Its extensive holdings include eye-witness accounts, correspondence, reports, logs, passenger lists, emigration cards, photographs, and much more. Participants will learn how the Archives are organized, see examples of rich genealogical records in the JDC archival collections, and find out how to conduct research at its repositories. New efforts to digitize the JDC collections will also be included in the discussion.

For more information, visit the JGSNY website.

Colorado: Memoir writing workshop, May 13

If you don’t write the history of your family, who will?

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Colorado, under the leadership of Ellen Shindelman Kowitt, is an active group offering several programs each month.

The next program is a “Memoir Writing Workshop for the Family Historian,” with Susan Jacobs, set for 6.30pm, Thursday, May 13, at Temple Emanuel, Denver.

Discover the joy of memoir writing in Jacobs’ stimulating and fun workshop for family historians, regardless of whether or not they’ve written anything previously.

Jacobs holds a BA in oral interpretation of literature (USC) and an interdiscplinary gerontology certificate (University of Denver). She has 30 years of teaching experience and 18 years teaching memoir writing at such venues as Regis University and the Denver Jewish Community Center.

In addition to monthly programs, the JGS of Colorado also offers a community genealogy education series for which it received some interesting grants which could be duplicated in other communities. For more information on the JGSCo’s programs, including resources and useful links, see the website above.

For more information, click here.

New York: Three Catalan Sephardic programs, May 2-4

The American Sephardi Federation has scheduled three programs from Sunday, May 2-Tuesday, May 4.

— A History of Jewish Catalonia
4pm, Sunday, May 2

A lecture on this book, along with a sale and signing, will feature authors Sílvia Planas and Manuel Forcano.

This beautifully illustrated book traces the rich and fertile history of the Jews in Catalonia from the time of the late Roman Empire and the Early Middle Ages, until the drastic decree of expulsion by the Catholic Monarchs.

It captures their wedding songs, the smells from their cooking pots, and reconstructs the soaring intellectual edifice they created despite the difficulties of a daily life fraught with religious persecution and social degradation.
 
The program is in collaboration with and the support of NYU’s Catalan Center, an affiliate of the Institut Ramon Llull, and the European Institute of the Mediterranean

Fee: ASF members/students, free; others $5. It will take place at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, NYC. Reservations requested.

— A Certain Identity: Crypto Jews Around the World
6.30pm, Monday, May 3

Thousands of Iberian Jews went “underground” at the time of the Inquisition and the expulsion from Spain. They dispersed across Europe, across the ocean to South America and the Caribbean, to North Africa and the Middle East. With tremendous tenacity, they preserved their heritage, married among themselves, and passed it down from generation to generation.

Gloria Mound, Director of the Casa Shalom-Institute for Anusim Studies in Israel, will illuminate their fascinating history, their presence in the Caribbean and in European countries, as well as previously unsuspected links with French Huguenots.

Fee: ASF members/students, $5; others $10. It will take place at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, NYC. Reservations requested.

— Traces of Esther: The Jewish Presence in Contemporary Catalan Literature
6.30pm, Tuesday, May 4

Manuel Forcano, PhD (Semitic Philology), poet and essayist, will offer a Catalan perspective on Jewish culture as reflected in the writings of the great 19th and 20th century Catalan authors. Offering rich passages from the literature, Dr. Forcano will guide us from the negative stereotypes of the 19th century, through the fascination with Israel as both a religious and political inspiration, and the Bible and the Talmud as references, to the emergence of a modern, nuanced view of the place of Jewish culture in Catalonia.

The program is in collaboration with and the support of NYU’s Catalan Center and the European Institute of the Mediterranean.

Fee: no charge. It will take place at the King Juan Carlos Center, 53 Washington Square South (bet. Sullivan & Thompson Streets). Reservations requested.

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.

Southern California: ‘Genealogy in the round," May 2

“Genealogy In The Round: Share Your Successes, Failures, Artifacts and Brick Walls” is the topic at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County, on Sunday, May 2.

It begins at 1.30pm at Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks.

Sharing problems, solutions and other aspects of family history research helps everyone. One person’s experience may solve another’s problem.

Come and share a genealogical success, failure, brick wall, or genealogical artifact! This is your meeting – we all learn from one another – take this opportunity to share your genealogical story – success or failure, ask questions about your brick walls, and more!

If you wish to participate in the program, contact Jan Meisels Allen at president@JGSCV.org. Each participant will be given 5-10 minutes to share – depending on the number of presenters. Whether you are a JGSCV member or a potential member – we’d love to hear your genealogical story.

There is no fee to attend this meeting.

Los Angeles: Jamboree discounts end April 30

The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is just around the corner, June 11-13, at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center.

Some 1,600 attendees will benefit from 120 sessions, workshops and events; 50 internationally known speakers, and 70 exhibitors displaying products and services.

The geneabloggers will again be there in force with two special Blogger Summit sessions. Go from zero to blogging in only 60 minutes in the first, while the second will take you higher as you learn how to market your blog, make it more appealing and even more important issues.

Tracing the Tribe is on the panel for the second blogger session (11.30am-12.30pm, Saturday, June 12, “Now that You’re a Genealogy Blogger”) My genea-colleagues for that session are Lisa Louise Cooke, Kathryn Doyle, Thomas MacEntee and Craig Manson.

Later that day (2-3pm), I will present “The Iberian Ashkenaz DNA Project: The Administrator’s Viewpoint.” it will cover developing and building a DNA project from initial concept, project goal, criteria, participation and results.  

Early-bird discounts end April 30. Register by then and receive a $10 registration discount, $5 discount on all special events, and a free copy of the printed syllabus ($20 value).

More reasons – there are many – include:

Free Friday kids’ session for ages 8-16, as well as librarians and beginner researchers.

Free “Genealogy World” roundtable small group discussion sessions Friday morning – dozens of topics lead by experts (Tracing the Tribe and Daniel Horowitz will each lead one on Jewish research). Topics include regional and ethnic research, searching birth families, genealogy society management sessions. The Jamboree blog will detail these roundtables scheduled over three hours.

Free document and photo scanning provided by Ancestry.com.

Free webinar to help get the most out of any genealogy conference, including Jamboree. Click on the webinar image here.

— Friday morning tour of Evergreen Cemetery (Los Angeles), followed by lunch at Philippe’s Who says genealogy isn’t delicious? Philippe’s is where, according to legend, the French Dip sandwich was created!

— Excel, Word, Skype, blogging and Google applications in hand’s-on minicourses.

— Door prizes – worth thousands of dollars – include a week at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, a weekend at Strawberry Creek Inn or Bunkhouse B&B (Idyllwild, California).

— Beginner, intermediate and advanced classes.

— Live podcast Saturday – with Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems Podcast.

— Friday night banquet with Chris Haley, nephew of Alex Haley (“Roots”).

Free webinar Saturday morning with DearMYRTLE. Societies from across the US and Canada can participate from home via GoToWebinar. Join us onsite for breakfast (fee) or over the web.

Dates to remember:

April 30: Early bird registration ends at midnight.
May 1: Mini-sessions registration opens.
May 10: Marriott hotel discount ends.
June 1: Pre-registration closes.

Get all the details on Jamboree; click on the Jamboree logo.
Follow all Jamboree blog updates.

See you in Burbank!