JGSLA 2010: Belarus events set

As a charter member of the Belarus SIG, this group is dear to Tracing the Tribe’s genealogical heart.

Belarus SIG began life as a crowded birds-of-a-feather meeting spearheaded by Daveid Fox, at the Boston 1996 conference and became a SIG at the 1998 Los Angeles event. The speaker in Boston was a then-recent Mogilev immigrant to Brooklyn, Bella Nayer, who had been very involved in community affairs.
The map (above left) is a 1916 map of Belarus. 
The graphic (below right) is a woodcut of the Mogilev synagogue.

What does the SIG have planned for its return to its birthplace?

Tracing the Tribe has already covered the Belarus luncheon (Tuesday, July 13) speaker: Moscow born, Jewish filmmaker, researcher and travel professional Michael Masterovoy.

The luncheon description reads:

 “In 1793,the central part of Belarus, including Minsk, became a part of the Russian empire. In addition to being the capital of Belarus it was also a center of Jewish life and home of many Torah sages and Yeshivas that attracted students from all over Europe. Before World War II, Jews made up 40% of the total  population in the city. Join Moscow born, Jewish filmmaker, researcher and travel professional, Michael Masterovoy, as he takes you on a tour of a present-day Belarus, which resonates with the past. View a short video of several Belarusian shtetls, walk the streets of Movsha Shagal’s (Marc Chagall’s) Vitebsk with Michael (and view the museum) and learn about the positive aspects of travel to a socialist state with a human face, the land of vodka and honey that echoes with the footsteps of our ancestors.”

The luncheon is a fee-added event. Belarus SIG luncheons are always well-attended – sign up early and avoid disappointment.

The Belarus SIG business meeting is set for later the same day and will feature the group’s progress and achievements.

The group also plans to be part of the Sunday opening day Market Fair, from 2-4.30pm.

The Market Fair will feature experts and mavens staffing “pushcarts” and offering assistance and guidance, representing nearly every region where Jews once lived. “Wares” will include old maps, vital records, landowner records, historical photos and postcards, translation, crafts, cooking and much more.

Food (including kosher) will be available for purchase. And don’t miss the great klezmer concerts (yes – two of them!) by Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi, after the Market Fair and again in the early evening.

For more information on the Belarus SIG, its treasure trove of databases and much more, click here.

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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.

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.

New York: Gesher Galicia spring event, April 18

The Gesher Galicia Spring regional meeting is set for Sunday, April 18, at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th Street, New York City.

The two-part program begins at 11am.

Part 1: Update on the Cadastral Map and Landowner Records Project, with Gesher Galicia president and research coordinator Pamela Weisberger.

Cadastral land records and property maps are an excellent source of family history information. Studied together, they can show the exact location where a family lived in a shtetl. They can tell the story of neighbors or siblings who resided near each other and demonstrate how close a family lived to the synagogue, cemetery, schools, or the market square. Using house numbers gleaned from vital records, a connection can be made between these physical locations and the genealogical data. Landowner taxation books show the size and value of the properties that Jewish families owned or rented, adding greatly to the history of a family. These records are invaluable when other metrical records are not available, and in some cases they may be the only documented evidence relating to your ancestors.

Examples of maps and records from Phase 4 of the project will be shown and discussed, along with examples from a 1765 Polish magnate “census” book showing the Jewish residents of Grzymalow and the first appearance of Jewish surnames as derived from the occupations of the Jews who lived on the estate grounds. The next phase of the project (June 2010) will be detailed along with the return of the Lviv Street and House Photography Project in July 2010.

2. A Galician Childhood Recounted – The True Story of Feige Hollenberg-Connors Feige, who was born in Korolowka in 1933.

In addition to a house on the market square, her family had farmland outside of town, inherited from her Rosenstock grandfather. She led an idyllic childhood until war broke out and her family had to go into hiding. Hear her first-hand account of what it was like to grow up in this shtetl, until at age 14 she was hidden by a Ukrainian family that later betrayed her, escaped from the ghetto andlabor camp, and survived in the forest until the war’s end.

Feige returned to Korolowka last summer with cave explorer Chris Nicola, who will be on hand to add a coda to her story involving his discovery of “Priests Grotto” the seven-mile long cave where 38 Jews from the town hid until the war was over, and his tenacious path to both discover the identities of those who survived the horrors of war and to successfully reunite them.

There is actually a Part 3 to this program. After lunch, the JGS of New York will meet with speaker Roma Baran to hear her story of rediscoveringher family’s true identities.

A JGSLA 2010 preview will also be offered.

The meeting is free to all. Invite anyone who might be interested. Click here for directions.

JGSLA 2010: What you will find!

Don’t bother getting vaccinated for the genealogy bug – it won’t help! Just be prepared for an amazing genealogy immersion experience this year.

From gold-rush pioneers to goniffs, from geo-tagging to gazetteers, and many other exciting topics, JGSLA 2010 has gathered experts, archivists, professors and authors from around the world to share their knowledge of a diverse range of fascinating topics with you and your fellow conference attendees.

These experts will bring genealogy – and possibly your personal genealogy – to life and present a new world of possibilities.

Regardless of whether you identify as a mind-mapper, Google geek, PC-pusher, Mac-Maven, Litvak, Galitzianer or “somewhere in Russia,” JGSLA 2010 is for you!

In fact, you don’t even need to be Jewish or researching your Jewish heritage – many programs provide general information, no matter what you are personally researching.

You’ll never know whom you’ll connect with at lunch, having a cup of coffee or taking a workshop. A long lost cousin? Descendants of your ancestral village? Someone investigating your family?

Will this be the year you find someone to share your research, to collaborate with others, to design a website for your research interests? Will a new resource or database provide that all-important clue enabling a major breakthrough?

You won’t know unless you come to this year’s conference!

A few tidbits:

— Ancestry will provide classes and a free (by-appointment) digital scanning service for attendees.

— JewishGen’s Warren Blatt and Michael Tobias will present “JewishGen LIVE at L.A. LIVE” on their latest databases and search capabilities.

— Steve Morse, a household genealogy name, will present a series on his website’s resources, but his new program, presented with daughter Megan, will be “DNA and the Animal Kingdom: Evolution and Genealogy in the Natural World.”

Stay tuned for news on workshops, special interest groups, birds-of-a-feather groups, films, breakfasts and tours. Everything you need to know is at JGSLA 2010.

JGSLA 2010: Blondes, Poles, Pix, Razzle Dazzle

No matter your personal research interests, JGSLA 2010 holds something for somebody regardless of your ancestry, ethnicity, research skill or genealogical knowledge.

Here are just a few of the topics in store for you at JGSLA 2010, July 11-16, in Los Angeles.

Research techniques for family scandals

Unearthing scandals will be demonstrated by Robin Seidenberg, who will show how historical newspapers and old-fashioned detective work will find family history in Hollywood and the Jewish Roaring 20s crowd in Chicago. She’ll talk on “My Uncle, the Hollywood Producer: A Spicy Tale” and “The Kissing Blonde.”

Warsaw’s Jewish Genealogical Learning Center

It will be great to again see Yale Reisner and Anna Przybyszewska-Droz, from Warsaw’s Jewish Genealogical Learning Center.

Their topics include “How to Do Genealogy Research in Poland And How Not to: Potential and Pitfalls,” “Grandma’s Name Was Rosenberg: Am I Jewish?,” “Uniquely Jewish Surnames – What They Prove and What They Don’t,” “The Lost Tribes of Poland: Apostasy, Intermarriage and Jewish Genealogy in Poland” and “A Different Memory: Poles, Jews & What We Think We Know About Them.”

Thinking out of the box, photographically.

“Photo Detective” Maureen Taylor will analyze photographic questions posed on JewishGen’s Viewmate over the years and also provide private consultations while Ava (aka Sherlock) Cohn (with ancestors from Belarus, Romania, Ukraine and the Austrian Empire), will demonstrate how to find clues our immigrant ancestors left for us in their photo portraits.

Technology and journalism to razzle dazzle

TV news producer and reporter Leron Kornreich will show how to use multi-media and reporting skills to document family history in “Razzle Dazzle ‘em: Using Technology to Present Your Family History Research with Pizzazz” and “Breaking News: A Reporter’s Guide to Genealogical Research and Using Video to Capture Roots & Shtetl Travel.”

For all conference details, check out JGSLA 2010.

JGSLA 2010: Postcards, Sephardi Ketubot

A picture is worth a thousand words, according to the JGSLA 2010 program committee.

Since 1869, European and American Jews participated in the new postcard phenomenon.

As early as the 14th century, Jews sent New Year’s greetings. The Maharil, Rabbi Jacob of Moellin (1360-1427) documented the custom and recommended that, during Elul (the Hebrew month when the High Holidays are celebrated), Jews should include wishes for a good year in all written correspondence.

Both postcards and greeting cards are popular collectibles today. Researchers can find postcards of their ancestral towns and villages, or find greeting cards sent to their ancestors. A popular genealogy blogging event is the Carnival of Postcards, for which geneabloggers write about a postcard they might have. Find out more about postcards in general at Geneabloggers.com.

At JGSLA 2010, Professor Shalom Sabar of Hebrew University will present “Between Germany and Poland — Jewish Life and Rituals on Late 19th to Early 20th century Illustrated Jewish Postcards.”

a fascinating visual resource, Jewish postcards provide rare documentation of important events in Jewish life and Jewish history.

Sabar’s second lecture will be “Sephardi Ketubah – Before and After the Expulsion (as a research tool for genealogy) and Childbirth and Magic – Jewish Amulets and Popular Beliefs in the Pre-Modern Era.” Included in that program will be an exploration of Jewish midwife customs.