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Events for January 1, 2016 - December 11, 2016

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January 2016

Meredith Hoffman – Getting the Most Out of JewishGen.org

January 10, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Many people use one or two features of JewishGen.org and are not aware of the variety of additional resources and how best to use them. JewishGen is a vast and growing treasure trove for researchers at all levels of experience.  Meredith Hoffman will survey a selection of these valuable and often overlooked resources with abundant real-life examples in the first part of her presentation. In the second part, she will demonstrate tools to determine how personal names varied across countries…

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Israel Pickholtz – Lessons in Jewish DNA – Inspiration From One Man’s Successes

January 31, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Cong. Beth El, 561 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA United States
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Are you concerned about understanding and interpreting your DNA test results?  DNA results are especially complicated for Jews, who have largely married “within the tribe” for hundreds of years, a practice known as endogamy. In this presentation, Israel Pickholtz will tackle this challenge head on. Since every family is different, rather than taking a “how to” approach, he will demonstrate how he dealt with endogamy in his family and identify general lessons that apply to all DNA research. His goal…

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February 2016

Research Sunday

February 7, 2016 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Reservations for expert help are now closed, but you can still examine our extensive research collection on your own or with the guidance of our librarians.  The next Research Sunday will be on April 10, 2016. Sign-ups will be a month before the date. Research Sundays are an opportunity to: Consult experienced researchers for help with your research questions in 20-minute scheduled appointments Work with a strategist to plan your next steps Get translation help with documents written in various…

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Bernard P. Fishman and Dr. George L. Mutter – Historic 3-D Photographs of Jewish Communities in Europe and the Ottoman Empire Before WWI

February 28, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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We will be treated to a virtual tour of the vanished Jewish world before the mass migrations of the early 20th century, as seen through never-before-shown historic stereo photographs more than a century old. These images, taken between 1860 and 1915, will be shown in actual 3-D as they were originally meant to be seen. A Jewish universe of diversity and tradition will be revealed in its complexities and contradictions, spanning the cities of Western Europe, the shtetls of Eastern…

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March 2016

JGSGB Genealogy Course at Hebrew College: Foundations of Jewish Genealogical Research (registration required)

March 1, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road
Newton Centre, MA United States
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The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston will be offering its award-winning, intensive introductory course on Jewish Genealogy for the 8th year starting Tuesday, March 1, 2016.  The course is designed to provide serious adult students with the skills and knowledge to research their Jewish family origins. It is taught at Hebrew College in Newton  by experts from the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston. The course includes relevant world history and geography, research methodology and strategies, and guidance in…

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Joseph Lovett – Children of the Inquisition: Discovering Their Jewish Roots

March 20, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Children of the Inquisition, a documentary in the making, follows descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions on their quest to determine and embrace their Sephardic Jewish roots. Many whose families fled the Inquisition 500 years ago were raised as traditional Jews, while others, whose ancestors were forced to convert, are just discovering their Jewish roots. Director Joseph Lovett will show film clips from this work-in-progress and present a fascinating re-evaluation of history and identity, exploring what happened to these…

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April 2016

Janette Silverman – Two Talks: Ukrainian Research and Online Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

April 3, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Our speaker will make two presentations - a lecture on Ukrainian research, followed by a shorter spotlight talk about online Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Finding records about our Ukrainian ancestors presents special challenges and obstacles, including the recent political situation in Ukraine. Janette Silverman will draw on her travels to Ukraine, research in several Ukrainian archives, and experience with other Ukrainian resources to show us how to navigate this difficult terrain. She will also present several ways of doing Ukrainian…

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Research Sunday

April 10, 2016 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Reservations for expert help are now closed, but you can still examine our extensive research collection on your own or with the guidance of our librarians. Research Sundays are an opportunity to: Consult experienced researchers for help with your research questions in 20-minute scheduled appointments Work with a strategist to plan your next steps Get translation help with documents written in various foreign languages in 20-minute scheduled appointments Learn how to read your DNA results or decide if DNA testing…

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May 2016

Polish Books of Residents and Other Valuable Polish Resources

May 1, 2016 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Goodnow Library, 21 Concord Road
Sudbury, MA 01776 United States
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A Special Program Co-Sponsored by JGSGB and the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts. Click here for handout of Polish Genealogy Research Resources There are many valuable genealogical resources in Poland beyond vital records, some of which are now available online. The most informative are Books of Residents (Księgi Ludności). These are 19th–20th century municipal registration books that have survived for many towns. They contain detailed information about all the inhabitants in each household who had their legal residence in that…

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Andrew Zalewski – Galician Portraits: Jews, Gentiles and Emperors

May 15, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Austrian Galicia (1772–1918) once spanned parts of today’s Poland and Ukraine. Andrew Zalewski’s story covers centuries of Jewish history in the region, before and after Galicia existed. Large cities, small towns, and tiny farming villages are the tale’s backdrop. In them, people from a variety of ethnic groups lived alongside a large community of Israelites. Dr. Zalewski illustrates his talk with archival pictures of Galicia, genealogical findings, and old maps of Galicia. Dr. Andrew Zalewski is a cardiologist who has…

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June 2016

Family History Pop-Up Exhibit

June 5, 2016 @ 12:30 pm - 4:00 pm
at Cong. Beth El, 561 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA United States
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        You are invited to participate in JGSGB’s first “Family History Pop-Up Exhibit” at our monthly program. Bring your family history books, booklets and scrapbooks to be viewed by and to inspire your fellow genealogists! The exhibit will accompany a presentation by Mike Karsen on how to "Liven Up Your Family History with Images". Drop off your work between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm, and pick it up from 4 to 5 pm the same day.  Advance…

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Mike Karsen – Liven Up Your Family History With Images

June 5, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Cong. Beth El, 561 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA United States
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A family history can contain phenomenal research with every event documented with precision, but yet no one is interested in reading it.  This is a likely outcome when the history consists mainly of names, dates and text.  If we want our painstaking work to be appreciated, it needs to be a vehicle for “time travel,” taking us back to the days when our grandparents and great-grandparents lived and raised their families. The use of contemporary images can bring histories to…

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August 2016

36th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy

August 7, 2016 - August 12, 2016
The Sheraton Seattle Hotel, 1400 6th Avenue
Seattle, WA United States
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September 2016

Todd Knowles – Getting the Most Out of FamilySearch

September 25, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
at Cong. Beth El, 561 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA United States
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FamilySearch.org is the largest free genealogical website in the world. It contains the records of over four billion people worldwide and is sponsored by the Church of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Todd Knowles will demonstrate how we can make the most of this vast resource as we search for our Jewish ancestors. In addition to the basic searches, we will learn some tricks to finding the records of our families, including the fast growing collection of online…

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October 2016

Beginners Workshop in Jewish Genealogy

October 16, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Workshop handouts: Naturalization Military Immigration Census Information Carol Clingan Carol Clingan and Debbie Lerner, who together have more than 30 years of genealogy research experience, will present a workshop tailored for beginners on the process of researching your family tree. They will describe in detail the sources and records that are most helpful to beginners and present a case study demonstrating a successful search. Their core message is that you CAN research your family tree and will be off to a great…

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Nolan Altman – The Genealogical Value of Jewish Burial Records

October 16, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Jewish headstone inscriptions and burial records can provide crucial information to family historians. Hebrew name inscriptions that are based on patronymics can link together two generations of Hebrew names unlike any other source document. This can be especially helpful when trying to connect first generation American ancestors with their European families. Using photographs and case studies, Nolan Altman will explain the symbols and details found on headstones and describe how this information can provide important data and context for your family research. He…

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Workshop on Polish Records Research with Stanley Diamond (FULL)

October 30, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location TBA MA United States + Google Map
$15

Location: TBA (in Newton) Registration is closed for the Workshop on Polish Records Research since the 30 available places have been filled.   This is a rare opportunity to get deep inside the workings of Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (JRI-Poland), an award winning international project to create an Internet-searchable index of all surviving Jewish vital records of Poland. JRI-Poland’s founder and director, Stanley Diamond, will present an update on the current status of various indexing projects, the latest news on scanning of…

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Research Sunday

October 30, 2016 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Reservations for expert help are now closed, but you can still examine our extensive research collection on your own or with the guidance of our librarians. Research Sundays for 2016-17 will be held on October 30, January 29, and April 30. Research Sundays are an opportunity to: Consult experienced researchers for help with your research questions in 20-minute scheduled appointments Work with a strategist to plan your next steps Get translation help with documents written in various foreign languages in 20-minute…

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November 2016

Harold Rhode – A Litvak Traces his Roots to Sicily and Ancient Israel Using Y-DNA

November 13, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Main Lecture: Forty-five years of painstaking research allowed Harold Rhode to trace his family back 2,000 years to the ancient land of Israel, Eretz Yisrael.   Rhode relied on Y-DNA analysis, documentary evidence, interviews, and family lore to discover ancestral homes in Lithuania and Sicily. He turned up a DNA connection to Maronite Christians in Lebanon, who have family traditions indicating ancient Jewish ancestry, that makes a plausible case for his family’s Jewish origins in ancient Israel. Spotlight Talk: Adventures in…

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Glenn Dynner – Yankel’s Tavern: Jews, Liquor and Life in Eastern Europe

November 20, 2016 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road
Newton Centre, MA United States
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10th Annual Lecture on Jewish Genealogy, co-sponsored by JGSGB and Hebrew College In the 18th and 19th centuries, much of the economy of Eastern Europe was based on vodka and Jews were believed to be the only group sober enough to be entrusted with its production and sale. The Jewish-run tavern, leased from the local nobleman, became the center of leisure, hospitality, business and other aspects of local life. However, as peasant drunkenness reached epidemic proportions, reformers and government officials…

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December 2016

Eric Silverman – Jewish Dress and Cultural History: What You Can Learn From Grandma’s Photos

December 11, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
at Cong. Beth El, 561 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA United States
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Eric Silverman will discuss how something as mundane as clothing can help illustrate the complex social worlds in which Jews have always lived.  For most of Jewish history, but especially beginning around the time when the ancestors of most American Jews migrated to the United States, clothing illustrated a tension between dressing Jewish and dressing like everybody else – that is, clothing communicated messages about the different ways one could be Jewish in a particular era. Prof. Silverman is a professor at…

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