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.

Florida: Genealogy beyond the Internet, April 14

Genealogy beyond the Internet is the program at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County on Wednesday, April 14.

The meeting runs from 12.30-3pm, with a brick wall session, business meeting and main program, at the South County Civic Center, Delray Beach. Members are free; others, $5. SIG groups for Hungary and Ukraine will meet from 11.30am-12.15pm.

Mark Jacobson, Jerry Naditch and Dennis Rice will present the main program, as they discuss genealogy resources not generally available online.

Researchers tend to forget that genealogists discovered useful sources of information well before the internet existed!

The presentation will focus on several “hard copy” resources such as: vital records, grave markers, published obituaries, city directories and Social Security applications.

The speakers will demonstrate examples of source material; how and where to obtain it. They will review resources of the Family History Centers (FHC), sponsored by the Mormon Church.

Many valuable genealogical documents are available only on microfilm, which can often be ordered and read at the Boca Raton Family History Library and other Palm Beach County sites.

Submit questions in advance for the Brick Wall program.

For more information, visit the JGS of Palm Beach County.

Australia: Oldest Jewish person turns 109

Tracing the Tribe notes the 109th birthday of the oldest Jewish person in Australia.

The Australian Jewish News reported that Mary Rothstein celebrated her birthday Sunday in a Jewish Care home for the aged in Melbourne. Among the guests were her daughter, Ruth Cavallaro, two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Born in Russia on February 27, 1901, moved to the UK at 2, married Joe Rothstein in 1935 and migrated to Australia in 1958. She ran her own millinery business and made hats for the royal family before the move. In Australia, she worked at the famous Myer department store. She said she only lied about her age once to avoid a mandatory retirement at 65.

Rothstein can’t understand why she’s lived so long. “It doesn’t seem possible,” she told the paper.

Rosa Rein, who was the world’s oldest Jewish person, died in Switzerland at 112 in early February.

South Africa: Mendel Kaplan dead

The South African Jewish community suffered a major loss last week with the death of prominent leader Mendel Kaplan, 73, following a stroke in Cape Town, where the funeral was held on Sunday.

A major Jewish philanthropist, the billionaire industrialist was a citizen of both Israel and South Africa and lived in both.

Kaplan was also interested in Jewish genealogy, particularly the South African Jewish community’s Lithuanian roots. He had authored several books.

His grants enabled the computerization of the Registers of the Poor Jews’ Temporary Shelter and the database, -at the University of Leicester (UK) School of Historical Studies – is an important source of demographic, genealogical and migration information.

He founded the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Cape Town in 1980, and was involved in the founding of the South African Jewish Museum (via the Kaplan, Kushlick Foundation), opened in 2000 by Nelson Mandela. He funded the museum’s multimedia equipment as well as the reconstruction of a Lithuanian shtetl.

He promoted Soviet aliya after the Soviet Union’s collapse, was known for his commitment to Jewish education and the belief that unless education was at the heart of the Jewish community, the Jewish people would not continue, and he was involved in many social projects in both Israel and South Africa.

He was involved with many global Jewish organizations, serving as chair of the Jewish Agency’s board (1987-1995), Keren Hayesod’s World Board chair (1983-1987) and Keren Hayesod honorary president from 1995 until his death. Other major organizations also benefited from his leadership and he was Jerusalem Foundation chair (1995-1999), United Communal Fund of South Africa national chair (1974-1978), Israel United Appeal South Africa national chair (1978-1987) and South African Jewish Board of Deputies vice president.

In 1936, he was born in South Africa, graduated from Wynberg Boys’ High and the University of Cape Town with a law degree (1958) and earned an MBA from Columbia University (1960). His honorary degrees included UCT, Yeshiva University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

He is survived by his Jill Lazar Kaplan, two daughters, two sons and grandchildren.

For additional information, click here.

Carnival of Genealogy 81: The day the geneablogs died

Tracing the Tribe is hosting its first Carnival of Genealogy, and sincerely thanks geneacolleagues for sending in such interesting posts.

A special shout-out to footnoteMaven for her theme badge (see right).

Please remember that this was a virtual exercise – no blog sustained injuries or died during this 81st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. Certified blog wranglers were present at all times to provide proper care.

Keeping in tune with the times, here’s Tracing the Tribe’s entry a la Twitter for the 81st Carnival of Genealogy:

ICYMI twitty cre8v fab 1st jugen blog TTT ded 2day @3+yo.b2006 w/2500 posts.#10 pop genblog + honors.J/K.L8R 4mor

In case you can’t read it, ask any 10-year-old. If you don’t have one handy, here’s a translation:

In case you missed it, the witty, creative, fabulous first Jewish genealogy blog Tracing the Tribe died today at 3-plus years of age. Born in 2006 and with 2,500 posts, it was the #10 ranked most popular genealogy blog and had other honors. Just kidding. Later for more.

There was even room for nine more characters!

Okay, back to our geneablogger colleagues. Some carnivals list submissions in alpha order or in a very subjective best-first. Tracing the Tribe will list them as they arrived. Do read all of them!

Amir Dekel: R.I.P. Dream-of-Genea at I Dream of Genea(logy). Amir’s work is always good for a giggle. I’m still grinning over this one.

The ‘I Dream of Genea(logy)’ blog died earlier this morning at about 5:30am in a private sector of underused disk space in the Blogger.com hosting facility. It was just a little over one year old at time of death and cause of death has not yet been determined although it is highly likely that the young blog died of boredom and neglect by its owner. Proper archiving and burial will take place later this evening and the final resting place will be at the owner’s external backup HD device. …

Sharon Klein: Thanks For The Memories at Genealogy. Sharon reported on how her deceased blog helped her connect with bloggers and family members and how two cousins found her while Googling for a mutual cousin. She’s not going anywhere – she’s hooked on geneablogging!

Earline Bradt: COG #81 – A Short But Full Life at Ancestral Notes. Earline covers the short life of her blog, ending with:

…Ancestral Notes can be viewed in the Google cache anytime, day or night. Private cremation of remains. Donations can be made to the Genealogy database of your choice in lieu of flowers.

Apple: What Is and What Could Be at Apple’s Tree. Apple wrote a 2019 obit when her blog’s circulation was 250 million, and a GeneaVillage Gazette editorial dated December 2009:

I have been unhappy with Apple’s Tree for several months now and perhaps I’ve been a little hard on myself – but only a little. Writing about what could be will hopefully point me back in the right direction. This was a very interesting exercise and harder to write than I thought it would be.

Ken Spangler: COG #81 ? Blog Obituaries at Beyond Fiction. Hopefully, this won’t happen soon but just in case, this is what would be on my blog!

…Arrangements have been made for the blog to continue to stay online for at least another year or so. No new posts will be added but those who would like to take one last look at Ken’s writings will have an opportunity to do so. After that, it will be left to the descendants of Ken Spangler to continue his quest.

Bill West: “WiNG-NUTS MOURN GENEABLOG’S PASSING” at West in New England. Although Bill claims this was a hard one to figure out, I’m still laughing:

… Rumor has it that a secret society of devotees known as WiNG-nuts are decrying the early demise of WiNG and some claim it’s not dead but merely the victim of a vast conspiracy of town hall clerks.

But whatever the case, we bid farewell to “West in New England” with a softly murmured “Well done, o good and faithful geneablog…”

footnoteMaven: The Day footnoteMaven’s Blog Died at footnoteMaven. fM’s work is always evocative, as her piece on Big Blue Bird demonstrates:

… The blog struggled for time, eventually succumbing to a vociferous bird, by the name of Twitter;

Twitter fed on time. And thus, it consumed all fM had left, until the blog was no more.

And only the memories remained…

Jasia: Creative Gene’s Obituary (COG #81) at Creative Gene. Jasia, the COG Queen, covered her blog’s life and beginnings, her heritage and more.

… Creative Gene is survived by an extensive network of genealogy blogs written by friends ….

Jessica Oswalt: If Something Were To Happen … at Jessica’s Genejournal. Her piece detailed her back-up plan in case her blog were to disappear. Good advice!

John Newmark: Writing a Blog Obituary posted at TransylvanianDutch. Rumors are that the cause of death for TransDutch was beverage-related:

… The Coroner’s Report is uncertain about cause of death. There are rumors that a programmer in Mountain View, California spilled a glass of orange juice on the servers and the bits and bytes containing two years worth of data were lost in a second. Author, John Newmark, hadn’t backed up the posts. …

Contributions should be sent to the Dead Blog Fund.

Leslie Mehana: RIP Genea-Rooter: You Made a Good Start at Rooting Around Genealogy.

… But buck up, old girl, you made your Wordless Wednesdays, you added some wisdom to the search. Better luck next time. …

Randy Seaver: Genea-Musings dies – blogger goes… at Genea-Musings. Randy asks: When a blog dies, what happens to the blogger? Vacation? Funny Farm? Rest and recuperation? Back to real life? All of the above? Are there enough beds at the Farm for all of us?

…the writer of Genea-Musings was admitted today to the Geneaholic wing of the Geneabloggers Sunnybrook Farm in Salt Lake City, Utah for rest and rehabilitation. His lovely wife is there with him… trying to pry his fingers off the wornk eyboard thatk eeps makingt ypographic error sin everyp ost. He just keeps repeating “Control-C, Control-V, spell check, damn fingers, genealogical proof standard, it’s not all on the internet, Ancestry is…, they’re coming to take my blog away! it’s Carnival time, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun rocks…”

What comes next? It’s the call for submissions for the 82nd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, of course. The deadline for entries is October 15. So sharpen your virtual pencils and get ready to write:

The guest host is Kathryn Doyle of the California Genealogical Society and Library blog, and the topic is:

What’s your favorite genealogical society?
Do you belong to a society?
Tell us why! Or if not, why not?

Kathryn’s COG will be the inaugural edition of the all-new GenSo Blog Carnival, which will focus strictly on genealogical societies and will begin in January 2010. She’ll provide more details about the GenSo Carnival in her post, so stay tuned for more.

Carnival of Genealogy: An unusual topic, October 1

Some time ago, Tracing the Tribe wrote a post entitled “If your blog died today.”

The idea came from ProBlogger Darren Rowse, who asked “If your blog died today, what would it be remembered for?”

Jasia of Creative Gene – our Carnival of Genealogy Queen – ran with the idea and Tracing the Tribe is hosting the 81st edition of the COG:

“Your Genealogy Blog’s Obituary: If your blog ended or was lost/deleted today, how would you write its obituary?

What were the highlights of your blog?

What is its history?”

The deadline for submissions is October 1. Submit your blog article to the 81st Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form.

Darren’s post was a two-part assignment which will provide more input. Here are some questions that might help:

– What do you want people to say about your blog?
– How do you hope it will have been perceived?
– What will people miss about it the most?
– What ground has it broken?
– What has it achieved?
– How has it helped people?

– Write an obituary for your blog as you think others see it now.
– What would they say about it?
– What would people miss about it?
– What has it achieved?
– How has it fulfilled a need or service in people’s lives?
– What ground has it broken?

Tracing the Tribe is rubbing its virtual hands in glee over the prospect of reading all your submissions.

Remember to please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the “comment” box of the blog carnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you’ve written about and interest them in clicking on your link.

Thank you to footnoteMaven for creating the excellent 81st COG badge above.

I’m looking forward to reading your posts.

Los Angeles: UCLA Yiddish studies benefactor dies

The Los Angeles Times published the obituary of TV writer-producer Michael Ross, 89, who endowed a UCLA academic chair in Yiddish language and culture. He died May 26.

Born Isidore Rovinsky in 1919 in New York City, he grew up in a Yiddish-speaking household that he once said was permeated by “the essence of Yiddishkeit,” or Jewish way of life.

After his wife died in 2000, he had no heirs and decided to give most of his fortune to Jewish causes.

Last year, Ross donated $4 million to UCLA to endow an academic chair in Yiddish language and culture. He gave an additional $10 million to his alma mater, the City College of New York, to create Jewish studies programs and establish another Yiddish chair.

David N. Myers, director of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, called the gift “nothing short of transformative,” one that “allows us to do a number of really extraordinary things, beginning with the development of a first-rate program in Yiddish studies.

Since 1992, he had also donated to Cal State Northridge’s Jewish studies program.

He explained his interest in Jewish culture: “I was born of immigrant parents. I loved their attitude, their ways, their morals. I don’t want to see that lost.”

He was involved in such shows as “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” and “Three’s Company.”

Read more at the link above.