Events 1998

European History for the Jewish Genealogist

Jack Arbeiter

Tuesday, December 8, 1998 — 7:00-9:00pm
Temple Reyim, West Newton

Have you ever tried to find Prussia on a map? Did you ever wonder why vital records in Poland were kept in Russian instead of Polish after 1868? Are you curious about what made so many Russian Jews decide to emigrate after 1881? This lecture will answer these questions and provide an overview of European history specifically for people with little or no knowledge of the subject. The discussion will focus on areas which have significance to today’s Jewish genealogist, but will also include a general overview of the events which shaped the Europe of our ancestors. Topics will include the partitions of Poland, the French revolution and the Napoleonic conquests, the various states of the German confederation, and the border changes that occurred following World War I and World War II.

Jack Arbeiter is an amateur historian who specializes in Modern European History. He has travelled extensively throughout Europe and other parts of the world, visiting sites of historical significance. Jack has previously lectured at the 15th Annual Summer Seminar on Jewish Genealogy. He currently works for Raytheon Electronic Systems as an Engineering Manager.

Please join us. Refreshments will be served.

$3 fee for non-members. No charge for members. You may join at the door.

Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street (Route 16), Newton (near the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, between Routes 128 and 30 — a short walk from the Woodland Stop on the Green Line). Click here for directions.


Polish Jewry Between the Two World Wars

Sunday, November 15, 1998 — 2:00-5:00pm

Holiday Inn
1200 Beacon Street, Brookline

This program is being held in association with the Workmen’s Circle and Boston University Hillel. The keynote speaker is Professor Antony Polonsky of Brandeis University. Halina Nelkin will describe the life of Polish Jewry between the two world wars through painting and art objects. Daniela Harpaz will perform a concert of Yiddish songs. Marek Lesniewski-Laas, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland, will make some remarks.

A talk on genealogical research in Poland will follow the presentations. After the formal part of the meeting, there will be a genealogical workshop, and books will be sold.


New England Regional Genealogical Conference

October 23 to October 25, 1998
Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, Maine

The Fifth New England Regional Genealogical Conference, “Connecting to Your Cousins”, will be held Fri-Sun, October 23 to 25, 1998 with pre-conference activities on Thursday October 22, 1998 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, Maine.

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference is a consortium of more than 20 genealogical and historical societies which assemble to promote a major genealogical conference every 18 to 24 months in a different New England state. The first conference in September 1992 at Sturbridge, MA, was hugely successful with over 750 attendees. Conferences were subsequently held in Manchester, NH, Burlington, VT, and the most recent and most successful to date at Cromwell, CT, in April 1997.

The JGSGB is a sponsor of this three-day event…   dozens of lectures…   over 50 genealogical vendors…   over 500 genealogists…   don’t miss it!

See the conference information and full schedule at http://www.maine.com/photos/event.htm or http://users.rootsweb.com/~maplymou/conf/confmain.htm.


An Evening at the National Archives

Wednesday, October 14, 1998 — 6:30pm-9:00pm

National Archives, New England Region, 380 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA.

The National Archives, New England Region holds many records for research, including the U.S. Federal Census (1790-1920); Passenger Arrival Records for Boston and other New England ports; New England Naturalization Records, New England WWI Draft Registration Cards, and the Russian Consular Records. For a complete list of holdings, see Resources for Jewish Genealogy in the Boston Area, (Boston: JGSGB, 1996).

This meeting will include an orientation lecture and two hours of open research time. Archives staff and experienced JGSGB members will be available to help anyone who needs assistance. Microfilm copiers are available, so bring quarters.

This meeting is open to JGSGB members only — you may join at the door.

Directions: From Route 128: Exit at Trapelo Road (Exit 28A) and continue east on Trapelo road for 2.8 miles to the Archives, on the right side of the road.


Beginner’s Workshop

Sunday, September 13, 1998 — 6:30-9:30pm
Tuesday, September 15, 1998 — 6:30-9:30pm

Temple Reyim, West Newton

Are you interested in unlocking your family’s history? Is your goal to develop advanced techniques or brush up on dusty genealogy skills? The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston (JGSGB) will feature a two-part Jewish Genealogy Beginners’ Workshop.

Over two evenings, the workshop will guide you through the maze of census, probate, ship, obituary, cemetery, and naturalization records; Mormon resources; overseas research; and Yiddish and Hebrew names. The course will also cover the increasingly valuable internet resources for genealogy research.

Participants will also have time to discuss specific questions with experienced genealogists and opportunity to to research with the society’s extensive reference collection.

Please join us. Refreshments will be served.

$10 fee for non-members. No charge for members. You may join at the door.

Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street (Route 16), Newton (near the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, between Routes 128 and 30 — a short walk from the Woodland Stop on the Green Line). Click here for directions.


Summer Gathering: Review of Los Angeles Seminar

Sunday, August 16, 1998

David Kohen’s home, 121 Rachel Road, Newton Centre

Our annual informal summer gathering, at a member’s home.

A dozen JGSGB members attended the 18th International Summer Seminar on Jewish Genealogy in Los Angeles, July 12-17, and will report back to us about the activities there.

Bring a switsuit and towel if you want to use the pool.

Please RSVP to David Kohen at (617) 527-8082 or dkohen @ bje.org.


“Hollywood Chai” — The 18th Annual Summer Seminar on Jewish Genealogy”

July 12-17, 1998

Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles, California

The week-long annual gathering of Jewish genealogists, featuring dozens of speakers. For details, see the JGSLA’s web page at “http://www.jewishgen.org/jgsla/seminar.htm”.


Annual Meeting
Sallyann Amdur Sack, PhD, President of the Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies: “Israel at 50 and Jewish Genealogy”

Sunday, June 14, 1998 — 1:00-4:30pm

Temple Reyim, West Newton

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, we are proud to have visionary AJGS President Sallyann Sack speaking at our annual meeting. Dr. Sack will discuss how her recent negotiations in Israel will lead to connections between the Goldman Genealogy Center (at Beth Hatefutsoth, the Museum of the Diaspora in Tel Aviv) and the rest of organized Jewish genealogy. She will also speak about other recent initiatives including seeking funding for a full-time executive director for the AJGS, and the new Family Tree of the Jewish People.

Dr. Sack is editor of Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, and co-author of A Guide to Jewish Genealogical Research in Israel and Where Once We Walked.

Outgoing JGSGB President Fred Davis will deliver a brief recap of the past three years of our society, and some challenges for the future.

 

We will elect next year’s Board members at our Annual Meeting.

There will be opportunity to do research with our resource materials.

Please join us. Refreshments will be served.

$3 fee for non-members. No charge for members. You may join at the door. Only members may vote.

Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street (Route 16), Newton (near the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, between Routes 128 and 30 — a short walk from the Woodland Stop on the Green Line). Click here for directions.


Hidden Children of the Holocaust and Revealed Family Stories

Sunday, May 17, 1998 — 1:00-4:00pm

Temple Reyim, West Newton

Professor Ingrid Kisliuk will speak about her new book, Unveiled Shadows, a compelling and moving memoir. This is a personal, touching, terrifying account of a young child’s flight with her family from Vienna, Austria in 1938 to forced exile, and a chronicle of hiding in German-occupied Belgium until Liberation in 1944. She will also explain how she researched the records compiled by Steinberg and Klarsfeld.

In 1991, Dr. Kisliuk attended the first gathering of 1600 former hidden children and is now active with the The Hidden Child Foundation. Besides her interest in Holocaust studies, she is a scholar of French Literature (Ph.D. Tufts University) and is also fluent in German, Spanish, and Dutch. A resident in the U.S. since 1950, she now writes, teaches, translates, and lives with her husband in Newton.

Postscript: Fay and Julian Bussgang, JGSGB members, will discuss The Last Eyewitnesses: Children of the Holocaust in Poland, which they translated from Polish. Just published, this book contains 65 wartime accounts of child survivors who still live in Poland.

Both new books will be available for purchasing and signing.

JGSGB President Fred Davis will also report on the efforts of the international Jewish community to pressure the Vatican to open records which might reveal instances of Jewish children being adopted or baptized during World War II.

Resources for Jewish genealogical research, both international and domestic, will be available as time allows. Resources include: shtetl-finding aids; the JewishGen Family Finder; guides to Jewish surnames in old Russia and Poland.

Free for members; $3 for non-members. You may join at the door.

Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street (Route 16), Newton (near the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, between Routes 128 and 30 — a short walk from the Woodland Stop on the Green Line). Click here for directions.


Cousins Apart for a Century:
Looking for Jewish Family in the US and the Former Soviet Union

Sunday, April 5, 1998 — 1:00-4:00pm

Temple Reyim, West Newton

Joint Program of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston and Action for Post-Soviet Jewry.

Have you ever wondered whether you might have “long-lost” relatives in the US or the former Soviet Union? At this meeting, we will bring together two groups who have been separated for generations: Americans whose Jewish ancestors came from the Russian Empire many years ago, and Jewish emigres from the Former Soviet Union who have sought refuge in the US in the recent wave of immigration.

Program highlights:

  • Judy Patkin, Director of Action for Post-Soviet Jewry: “Report on the Current Status of Jewish Communities”
  • Glen Dynnen, Brandeis Univ. graduate student in 20th century Eastern European Jewish History, “The Jewish Experience in the Soviet Union, 1880-1945”
  • Two genealogy tutorials to help individuals from each group locate “cousins.”
    • “How To Connect with the Descendants of Those Your Grandparents Left Behind”
    • “How to Get Started Finding Your American Cousins”
  • An opportunity for those with an interest in the same geographic regions within the Former Soviet Union, such as Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, to mingle and share information about the status of the Jewish population, past and present.

Recent, major developments in genealogical resources accessible to anyone in the greater Boston area will be featured, such as: U.S. ship arrival and census records; the worldwide JewishGen Family Finder; shtetl-finding aids; ShtetlLinks; and archival records of the former Soviet Union available by mail, world wide web, and microfilm.

Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street (Route 16), Newton (near the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, between Routes 128 and 30 — a short walk from the Woodland Stop on the Green Line). Click here for directions.


The Best Missing Link

Sunday, March 15, 1998 — 1:00-4:30pm

Temple Reyim, West Newton

This meeting will provide us with an opportunity to share our favorite genealogical success story (or perhaps our most perplexing unanswered question) with fellow genealogists. We will break into small groups, each with a facilitator. Each person will describe a successful (or perhaps unsuccessful) effort in making the connection to an immigrant ancestor or shtetl. Each group will select the best story, and the winners will present their stories to the whole group. The group will award a small prize to the “best” overall story, with initiative and inventiveness being the criteria used for selection.

Postscript by Warren Blatt: JewishGen Family Finder and the Family Tree of the Jewish People.

Resources, many new, will be available before and after the speakers for research on-site.

Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street (Route 16), Newton (near the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, between Routes 128 and 30 — a short walk from the Woodland Stop on the Green Line). Click here for directions.

Fee: Free for members; $3 for non-members. You may join at the door.


Intermarriage in Biblical Times and Today — Implications for Jewish Genealogy & Our Family Stories

Monday, February 23, 1998 — 7:00-9:30pm

Temple Reyim, West Newton

Our speaker will be Dr. Paula Brody, Director of Reform Jewish Outreach at the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) / Northeast Council.

Intermarriage has affected our Jewish family histories in past and current generations. Our speaker will reflect on the impact of intermarriage on biblical genealogy, and will discuss societal influences contributing to the rate of intermarriage today. Dr. Brody has been at the forefront of evolving responses to Jewish intermarriage. This talk promises to be of interest to all.

Postscript session: “Jewish Given Names and Naming Patterns”, by Warren Blatt.

Speaker begins at 7:30. Resources available as time allows.

Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street (Route 16), Newton (near the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, between Routes 128 and 30 — a short walk from the Woodland Stop on the Green Line). Click here for directions.

Fee: Free for members; $3 for non-members. You may join at the door.


Jewish Theater of New England

Sunday, January 25, 1998 — 2:00pm

A social program, a performance of the Jewish Theatre of New England at the Newton JCC. Farewell Cracow is a dramatic concert recounting Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter of Cracow — “a touching journey in time and space”.

Reception 4:00-5:00pm. $25.00.


Maps for Genealogy

Sunday, January 18, 1998 — 1:00-5:00pm

Temple Reyim, West Newton

Maps are useful tools: in doing genealogical research, and in understanding better the world of our ancestors. Our speakers will discuss how to use, read, and understand maps, primarily of Eastern Europe. The talk will describe the amazing map collection at the Pusey Library of Harvard. You will have a chance to see some of the historic maps of the Russian Empire in the era of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Resources, many new, will be available before and after the speakers for research on-site.

Postscript session afterwards on “Finding Your Shtetl”, by Martin Kessel.

Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street (Route 16), Newton (near the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, between Routes 128 and 30 — a short walk from the Woodland Stop on the Green Line). Click here for directions.

Fee: Free for members; $3 for non-members. You may join at the door.