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Events for January 1, 2014 - January 11, 2015

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January 2014

Hasia Diner – Wandering Jews: Peddlers and the Discovery of New Worlds

January 5, 2014 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road
Newton Centre, MA United States
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How did peddling, an utterly prosaic and familiar occupation of Jews in the Old World, become an engine of opportunity for Jewish resettlement around the world? What was the role of peddlers in Jewish migration and integration in nearly every place in the New World including the United States, the British Isles, North, South and Central America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand? Professor Hasia Diner is a renowned authority on American Jewish history and U.S. immigration history. She is…

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Annual Help Day: Research and Translation Assistance

January 19, 2014 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Problem-solve with others who can help show you the way. Learn how to get started or get over that “brick wall” in your family research. Members will be able to consult with those more experienced for help with their family research. You can bring your own laptops for online research. Roundtables will be dedicated to topics such as: Country and region-specific research (e.g., Polish, Lithuanian, Galician, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Romanian, Moldovan, Bessarabian, German) Finding your ancestors using immigration, naturalization, and vital…

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February 2014

Jessica Antoline – Immigration from Lithuania

February 9, 2014 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Jessica Antoline will briefly recount the story of the migration of Lithuanian Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries and review the circumstances that prompted them to leave the land where they had lived for so many years and travel thousands of miles to new lands. Why did so many settle in Boston and its surrounding communities? What were their motivations, their hopes, and their struggles in di goldene medine as they tried to find affordable neighborhoods in which to live, communities of…

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March 2014

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern – The Golden Age Shtetl

March 12, 2014 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road
Newton Centre, MA United States
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Professor Petrovsky-Shtern will discuss his new book The Golden Age Shtetl. The shtetl was home to two-thirds of East Europe's Jews in the 18th and 19th centuries, yet it has long been one of the most neglected and misunderstood chapters of the Jewish experience. Challenging popular misconceptions of the shtetl as an isolated, ramshackle Jewish village stricken by poverty and pogroms, Petrovsky-Shtern argues in his latest book that, in its heyday from the 1790s to the 1840s, the shtetl was…

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Bennett Greenspan – DNA and Jewish Genealogy

March 30, 2014 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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There will be 2 lectures and an optional lunch, starting at 11 AM at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA Bennett Greenspan, president and founder of FamilyTreeDNA, will give two presentations on the use of DNA for Jewish genealogy research. 11:00 am Understanding, Interpreting, and Using DNA Results Greenspan will discuss the three different types of DNA tests—Y, Mitochondrial, and Autosomal—including what results look like, what they mean, and what to do next once results are received. He will explain…

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April 2014

Fay Bussgang – Finding Your Ancestors in Polish Records

April 20, 2014 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Fay Bussgang More American Jews have roots in Poland than in any other country. Poland kept very good track of its citizens through metrical records (birth, marriage, and death), Population Registers, and other documents. While many of these records were destroyed during the war, a surprising number has survived and can be found in Polish Archives, even for localities no longer in Poland, particularly parts of present-day Ukraine. Through the efforts of JewishGen and JRI-Poland volunteers, information about and indexes…

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May 2014

Film Screenings: For a Woman. an historical family drama set in France

May 1, 2014 @ 7:00 pm - May 3, 2014 @ 7:00 pm
Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115 United States
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$12

JGSGB is a co-sponsor at JEWISHFILM.2014, the Film Festival of the National Center for Jewish Film.  For times, tickets and more information, see http://www.jewishfilm.org/filmfest/jewishfilm2014/calendar.htm

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Walking Tour of Boston’s Old Jewish South End

May 4, 2014 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
$25

Boston’s South End was home to an early Jewish community between the 1840s and the 1920s. Our tour leader, Robin Dexter, will take us to some formerly Jewish and now historic sites and will discuss the history of the South End. Several of the early synagogue buildings still stand, though their uses have changed. Cost $25. Tour is available to JGSGB members (you may join before signing up), and one accompanying guest. The walk will be at an energetic pace…

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Daniel Soyer – Landsmanshaftn: Jewish Hometown Societies in the New World

May 18, 2014 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Landsmanshaftn, mutual aid associations made up of immigrants from the same Eastern European town, were an important form of organization among turn-of-the-twentieth-century Jewish immigrants in the United States. At one time, thousands of landsmanshaftn provided their hundreds of thousands of members with health and death benefits, loans, and help in securing jobs and housing. They also served as arenas for social interactions, and evolved their own colorful internal culture. In this illustrated talk, Daniel Soyer discusses the development of these…

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June 2014

Walking Tour of Boston’s Old Jewish North End

June 1, 2014 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
United States + Google Map
$35

Boston’s eastern European Jewish immigrants of over a century ago lived in Boston’s North End—home of Colonial founders and Revolutionary War heroes, Boston’s Irish immigrants, and the southern Italians with whom they shared these historic, scenic streets. Come walk in their footsteps and visit sites that tie Paul Revere, Harvard ministers, small synagogues, grand churches, and basketball courts to Boston’s Jewish immigrant history. Our tour leader is Prof. Ellen Smith of Brandeis University, a leading authority on the history of…

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Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild – Belarusian Encounters: Travel, Family Research and Connections

June 8, 2014 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Since 1966, when she was a participant in the US–USSR scholar exchange program, Rochelle Ruthchild has made seven trips to Belarus to visit surviving relatives and conduct family research. Ruthchild will discuss these trips and key aspects of what she learned about doing family research. She will also provide pointers for those planning to travel to Belarus and a brief overview of her experiences visiting and working in the archives. Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild is Professor Emerita of Graduate Studies at…

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July 2014

Nadia and Oleksiy (Elisha) Lipes – Resources in Ukrainian Archives for Jewish Genealogical Research

July 23, 2014 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road
Newton Centre, MA United States
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Ukrainian researchers Nadia and Oleksiy Lipes will discuss records in the Ukrainian archives that are relevant to Jewish family research, emphasizing archives in Kiev and eastern Ukraine, but Galician records will also be included. The different kinds of records, their unique features, and their availability will be discussed. Ukrainian archives include Metrical Books (parish registers); rabbinical records of births, deaths, and marriages; census tables 1795-1900; Jewish Population Census of 1875; Russian Empire Population Census of 1897; police records; lists of…

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IAJGS Conference – Salt Lake City, UT

July 27, 2014 @ 8:00 am - August 1, 2014 @ 5:00 pm
Hilton Salt Lake City Center, Salt Lake City, UT United States + Google Map

It’s not too late to sign-up for the 34th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in person or by subscribing to its live video streaming (and 90 day viewing) of the top 60 lectures. Click here for: Conference registration page 2 ½ minute video about IAJGS LIVE! Free 60-minute IAJGS LIVE! program on the SLC Family History Library There will be a special dinner-time gathering for New Englanders at the conference, so please let us know if you are going…

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September 2014

Zack Wilske – Beyond Passenger Lists: Documenting 20th Century Immigrant Lives

September 21, 2014 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Gann Academy, 333 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452 United States
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Historian Zack Wilske of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will present a variety of historical federal immigration and naturalization records available from the USCIS Genealogy Program and the National Archives. Topics will include naturalization records, alien registration records, immigrant visa files, and other records documenting lives of Jewish immigrants during the first half of the twentieth century. Researchers will see example of files, hear tips on connecting the records to each other, and learn how to advance their…

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October 2014

Tammy Hepps – Ten Things I Learned about My Family from My Couch

October 26, 2014 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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New to genealogy and short on time?  You can make amazing discoveries using online resources!  These true research examples, all taken from Jewish immigrant families, demonstrate the breadth of materials available, especially Jewish-focused web sites, and suggest next steps for when you have time to go deeper.  A number of Jewish-specific research techniques will be discussed to help you overcome the unique challenges of our ancestry. The handout for the talk can be found here. Tammy A. Hepps is the…

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November 2014

Annual Lecture: The Genetic History of the Jewish People – Dr. Harry Ostrer

November 2, 2014 @ 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road
Newton Centre, MA United States
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Our 8th Annual Lecture on Jewish Genealogy, co-sponsored by JGSGB & Hebrew College. In 1921, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to the Berlin rabbis in which he observed, “I notice that the word Jew is ambiguous in that it refers (1) to nationality and origin, (2) to the faith.” Population genetics research is adding new meaning to Einstein’s view of being Jewish by showing that the history of the Jews can be seen in their genes. Jews can be said…

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New: Research Sundays

November 9, 2014 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Examine our extensive research collection of books and maps. Consult experienced researchers for help with your research questions. For JGSGB members only. During months when the JGSGB is not holding its regular meetings at Temple Emanuel, where our extensive collection of books and maps is stored, we will offer special, member-only sessions called Research Sundays. Not only will our full collection of research materials be available, but experienced researchers will be on hand to help members with their research questions.…

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Ron Arons – What’s in a Name? Trouble! and Nifty Technologies for Genealogical Research Analysis

November 16, 2014 @ 10:55 am - 3:30 pm
at Cong. Beth El, 561 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA United States
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What's in a Name? Trouble! 11:00am - 12:30pm Ron Arons will discuss some of the research he did on his great-grandfather, Isaac Spier, who served time in Sing Sing Prison for bigamy and who committed other crimes. Through the years, Ron has come across records of other people with the same name who were born in the same general time frame, lived in the same places as his great-grandfather, and who, by some stroke of luck, also found trouble, either…

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December 2014

Sharon Pucker Rivo – Jews in Focus: Film Clips from Eastern and Central Europe between the Wars

December 14, 2014 @ 2:00 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Join Sharon Pucker Rivo, Executive Director of The National Center for Jewish Film, for a peek into the archive vaults. Attendees will view clips of rare films from the Center’s collections that document the diversity and vibrancy of Jewish life in Eastern and Central Europe between the Wars.   Sharon Pucker Rivo, Executive Director and Co-Founder of The National Center for Jewish Film, has been a leading force in the field of Jewish film and culture for more than three…

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Spotlight Talk (follows main lecture on 12/14): Leora Tec – I’m Not Polish: My Discovery of Identity

December 14, 2014 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Speaker: Leora Tec Join JGSGB member Leora Tec as she presents the story of the serendipitous journey to her own Polish identity. As the founder and director of Bridge To Poland (BTP), Leora Tec creates immersive intellectual and cultural experiences in Poland that examine the history of the Jews in Poland and how Christian Poles today are commemorating that history. Leora holds a BA from Wellesley College and a JD/LLM from Duke University School of Law. In addition to her…

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January 2015

Adam Brown – Collaborative Genealogy: A Revolutionary New Approach to Building Our Family Trees

January 11, 2015 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Cong. Beth El, 561 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA United States
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Collaborative genealogy is a process in which many researchers contribute to a common, extended family tree. Adam Brown will describe the ways in which Internet sites and social networking have already begun to bridge the gap between the collaborative trees, the family-specific trees, and the large record and DNA databases hosted by organizations such as JewishGen. As we take advantage of these exciting new developments over the next few years, our opportunities for making breakthroughs in building our family trees will…

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