Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland

Between April and November, unless noted otherwise, we meet at 7:30 pm on the first Wednesday of each month in the Miller Board Room on the second floor of Menorah Park, 27100 Cedar Road, Beachwood. For a MapQuest map, click here.

Between December and March, we will normally meet at 1:30 pm on the first Sunday of each month in the Men's Club Lounge at Park Synagogue East, 27500 Shaker Blvd, Pepper Pike. For a MapQuest map, click here.

Meetings are free and open to members, their guests and other interested persons.

Upcoming programs

October 22, 2017
at 2:00 pm
Laurel School-Lyman Campus
1 Lyman Circle
Shaker Hts.

NOTE the DATE, TIME, and LOCATION for this special meeting, which will replace our regular October meeting.

Searching for Individuals in the International Tracing Service at the USHMM

Dr. Diane Afoumado
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Dr. Diane Afoumado

Learn about one of the largest Holocaust archives in the world, the International Tracing Service (ITS). Dr. Diane F. Afoumado, of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will share how to use the ITS digital collection.  Forms to request ITS searches will be available.

ITS, located in Bad Arolsen, Germany, was the largest closed Holocaust archive in the world. The archive was established by the Allied powers after World War II to help reunite separated families and trace missing family members. The Allies placed in the ITS millions of pages of documentation captured during the war. Opened in 2007, the ITS collection contains about 200 million digital images of documentation, such as camp arrival lists, grave locations, transport lists, prisoner cards, forced labor lists, death lists, displaced person applications for assistance, deportation lists, emigration applications/questionnaires, registration and work cards, sometimes with photographs.

Dr. Afoumado is chief of the Research and Reference Branch at the Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Formerly assistant professor of contemporary history at the University of Paris 10-Nanterre and the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris, she worked for the two French commissions related to compensation to Jewish victims. She also worked as a historian for the archival division of the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine - Mémorial de la Shoah. She has written several books and more than 20 articles related to the Holocaust.

For more information and to register for the event, contact the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program at or 216-368-2091. Information can also be found on the website: Advance registration is preferred.

Dr. Afoumado’s appearance is sponsored by
The Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland
The Kol Israel Foundation
Siegal Life Long Learning Program of Case Western Reserve University
Laurel School
and The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

JGSC and CWRU logos Laurel - USHMM - Kol Israel logos

November 8, 2017
1:30 PM
Menorah Park

How A SIG Can Further
Genealogy Research

Amy Wachs
Russ Maurer

Amy Wachs Russ Maurer

Special Interest Groups, or SIGs, bring together family history researchers with common interests. In Jewish genealogy, SIGs are organized around region of origin or special topics. Amy Wachs and Russ Maurer have extensive experience with a variety of SIGs, as users, volunteers, and in leadership positions. In their presentation, they will draw on their knowledge to explain how SIGs work and how SIGs can help genealogy research.

Amy Wachs is the current President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland. She is a member of the Board of LitvakSIG, and Coordinator for the Trakai District Research Group. Wachs is a retired attorney and university instructor; was a Fulbright Scholar and taught law in Latvia. She later returned to Eastern Europe to teach law in Moldova, as a two-time Fulbright Senior Specialist. While living in Eastern Europe, Wachs travelled extensively throughout the region. She has done research on-site at state archives in Lithuania and Poland, and visited archives in Ukraine and Moldova. In June, she taught a full-week course on Eastern Europe genealogy research at the Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburgh. She often speaks to local groups and at conferences on Eastern Europe and Jewish genealogy topics.

Russ Maurer is active in Jewish genealogy, including serving as a member of the board of LitvakSIG and coordinator for the Klaipeda district research group. He will assume responsibility for coordinating records acquisition and translation for LitvakSIG and is a volunteer indexer and translator for LitvakSIG and Gesher Galicia. Maurer is the administrator for the Jewish Tarnów FaceBook group and is active on other FaceBook groups including Jewish Genealogy Portal and Genealogy Translations. He has been part of a long-term collaboration with Polish colleagues regarding the Jewish cemetery in Jodłowa, his ancestral village, and helps support the Tarnów cemetery restoration. Maurers’s expertise includes on-the-ground research in Polish archives and genealogy related travel in Lithuania and Ukraine. Russ Maurer retired in 2014 from a career in science education, including Case Western Reserve University and Hawken School.

December 3, 2017
1:30 PM
Park East

ANNUAL MEETING - Election of Officers
Report on the 2017 IAJGS Orlando conference.

change as we switch to our winter schedule


To see a listing  of our past programs
Click Here

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