PAST PROGRAMS
Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland

To see our schedule of Upcoming programs
Click Here

Wednesday
July 12, 2017
7:30 PM
at
Menorah Park

Soviet Jewry Oral History Project.

Sean Martin, Ph.D.,
Associate Curator for Jewish History,
Western Reserve Historical Society.

Dr. Sean Martin

Cleveland's Jewish community played an active role helping Soviet Jews emigrate from the Soviet Union and resettle in the United States, and especially in Cleveland, from the 1960s to the 1990s. Approximately 12,000 Soviet Jews came to Cleveland during these years. The recently completed the Soviet Jewish Oral History Collection documents the experiences of 81 of these immigrants. Dr. Sean Martin will discuss how WRHS worked with the local community on this project and share what he has learned about oral histories and the Soviet Jewish immigrants in Northeast Ohio.

Dr. Sean Martin has been Associate Curator for Jewish History at Western Reserve Historical Society since 2005. He studied Jewish, Russian, and East European history at The Ohio State University. Among his publications are Jewish Life in Cracow, 1918-1939; A Stitch in Time: The Cleveland Garment Industry; and the forthcoming For the Good of the Nation: Institutions for Jewish Children in Interwar Poland (Academic Studies Press, 2017). He has taught at Gratz College, John Carroll University, and Case Western Reserve University. Martin also serves as part of the curatorial staff for the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, and he served as a research consultant to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

Wednesday
June 7, 2017
7:30 PM
at
Menorah Park

Make the Most of Family Search.org

Betty Franklin
Westlake Family History Center

  Betty Franklin

Betty Franklin, a volunteer at the Westlake Family History Center will share how to use this free site for Jewish heritage research.

FamilySearch is an ever-growing site that aims to remain accessible to all. It provides records from around the world. Ms. Franklin will discuss the help center, wiki, the learning center, research strategies, and finding original records online or through microfilms. Betty Franklin’s background in family history extends over 20 years. She has been able to trace relatives to 1600 and notes, “It is so great to see pedigree sheets grow as people discover remarkable ancestors who overcame obstacles. We are a part of all who went before and can influence for good those who follow.”

Wednesday
May 3, 2017
7:30 PM
at
Menorah Park

NE Ohio Jews and the Civil War

Peter Haas,
Abba Hillel Silver Professor of Jewish Studies Emeritus
Department of Religious Studies, Case Western Reserve University

Professor Peter Haas

Professor Peter Haas will share his recent research on the role of Jews from Northeast Ohio in the Civil War at the Wednesday, May 3rd meeting of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland.

During the Civil War, Jews participated in the War as part of the communities in which they lived and worked, and were similarly affected by its various aftermaths. Jews were drafted into, or volunteered for, Ohio infantry units, fought in numerous battles, were wounded or killed along with their gentile neighbors, and occasionally even rose to high ranks. In contrast to Europe, the American Civil War showed that Jews here were facing an unprecedented level of social, political and economic openness.

Dr. Peter Haas received his B.A. from the University of Michigan after which he received ordination as a Reform rabbi from Hebrew Union College. He served as an active U.S. Army chaplain for three years, remaining in the Army National Guard Chaplain Corps for another 19 years. Rabbi Haas earned a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from Brown University. He joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 1980, where he taught courses in Judaism, Jewish ethics, the Holocaust, Western religion, and the Middle East Conflict. Dr. Haas moved to Case Western Reserve University in 2000 and was appointed chair of the Department of Religious Studies in 2003, a post he held until 2015; he fully retired in the summer of 2016.

He currently volunteers as a docent for the Maltz Museum, as a chaplain for the pastoral care department of South Pointe Hospital and as a CASA for Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. He prepared an article about the Jews of Northeast Ohio during the Civil War for a forthcoming publication of the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Wednesday
April 5, 2017
7:30 PM
at
Menorah Park

Reclaim the Records – via video conference

Brooke Shreier Ganz – Founder of Reclaim the Records

NOTE the DATE, TIME and LOCATION
change as we switch to our evening schedule

Reclaim the Records is a not-for-profit group that files Freedom of Information requests to get public data released back into the public.

The goal of Reclaim the Records is to get these record sets put online for free, for everyone. Reclaim The Records‘ first request was an attempt to gain access under the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) to an index of some old marriage documents that were stored only in the New York City Municipal Archives in lower Manhattan. It won this case and the data from 48 microfilms, which yielded nearly 80,000 scanned images and about 450,000 names, is now online and free for public use at https://archive.org/details/nycmarriageindex

Monday
March 20, 2017
7:00 PM
at
Menorah Park

Workshop for Advanced Beginners –
How to Use WWI Draft Registration Records

Ken Bravo,
Vice-President, IAJGS
and Past President, JGSC

Click here for a flier with further information
Click Here for a Registration Form

Sunday
March 5, 2017
1:30 PM
at
Park Synagogue East

Googling Grandpa:
Tips, tricks and hacks for finding your family online
using the most powerful search engine.

Mary Jamba - trustee of the Ohio Genealogical Society
and past president of the Greater Cleveland Genealogical Society

Sunday
February 5, 2017
1:30 PM
at 
Park Synagogue East

Lessons in Jewish DNA -
One Man's Journey and What he learned on the Journey

Israel Pickholtz, author One Family, One People

Genetic genealogist Israel Pickholtz will discuss how he enjoyed significant successes using DNA to sort out relationships in his family, despite the "Jewish problem" of marriages within the tribe. The lessons he will discuss are relevant to both Jewish and general genealogy.

Israel Pickholtz has lived in Israel since 1973 and now resides in Jerusalem. He has done serious family research for nearly twenty years. His flagship work is the Pikholz Project, a single-surname project to identify and reconnect all Pikholz descendants.

Alongside his work as a professional genealogist, taking clients in Israel and abroad, Pickholtz became heavily involved in genetic genealogy in 2013. He manages test kits of over ninety family members at last count. In August 2015 he published a book "ENDOGAMY: One Family, One People," available at www.endogamy-one-family.com . He blogs at http://allmyforeparents.blogspot.com and receives mail at IsraelP@pikholz.org.

Sunday
January 8, 2017
1:30 PM
at 
Park Synagogue East

Before the Holocaust: Jews of Tetiev – documentary and oral history project

Susan Kirkman Zake
Assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication
at Kent State University

Susan Kirkman Zake

Susan Kirkman Zake will share her efforts to document Jewish families who fled a series of pogroms in Tetiev, Ukraine, from 1918 to 1920 during the Ukrainian War of Independence.

"Dante’s Inferno pales beside the realities of every day life [for Jews] in the Ukraine," according to a report issued by the Committee of Jewish Delegations in 1920. The pogroms perpetrated at this time killed an estimated one hundred thousand and were the most extensive massacres of Jews prior to the Holocaust. This documentary and oral history project tells the story of hundreds of Jews from the town of Tetiev who made their way to Cleveland, Ohio, and established vibrant communities on the city's East Side.

Susan Kirkman Zake is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University, where she teaches multimedia storytelling, web programming for multimedia journalism, reporting public affairs, data reporting and media ethics.

Before joining the faculty at Kent, Susan was the managing editor for multimedia and special projects at the Akron Beacon Journal, where she began work as a staff photographer in 1986. Over a 20-year career, she worked as an assignment editor, picture editor, graphics editor, assistant metro editor and assistant managing editor.

She also shares in three Pulitzer Prize team awards; for coverage of the attempted takeover of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.; for A Question of Color, which examined local attitudes toward race; and for coverage of Hurricane Katrina as part of a Knight Ridder editing team working for the Biloxi Sun Herald.

Sunday
December 4, 2016
1:30 PM
at
Park Synagogue East

ANNUAL MEETING - Election of Officers
and
Report on member attendance at 2016 IAJGS Seattle conference.

A panel on the recent International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) meeting will be our first winter program. Sylvia Abrams, Phyllis Bravo, Kenneth Bravo, Amy Wachs and Helen Wolf will report on the 36th Conference of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies held in Seattle.

The panel will share conference sessions and experiences such as: writing family stories; how to evaluate records based upon source type; special interest groups; and featured speakers.

The meeting will also include the annual election of officers and trustees.

Wednesday
November 2, 2016

7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Grant Gochin – activist on behalf of Lithuanian Jewry and
author of Malice, Murder and Manipulation: One Man’s Quest for Truth

A Genealogical Journey to Heritage Citizenship in Lithuania

Grant Gochin

Grant Gochin has litigated against the Lithuanian government many times over returning citizenship to those of Jewish ancestry and to force their hand in ceasing to honor Holocaust Perpetrators.

Citizenship and legal status affected every aspect of life in the “old country.” Mr. Gochin will relate a 100 year story of how the Lithuanian government abused national laws causing multiple Jewish deaths in 1922 and how that government continued that behavior four generations later. He will document one Jewish family’s deportations, deaths, abductions and movements.

Grant Gochin is a Litvak who has been researching his family history for the past 30 years. He is an activist for historical truth telling and accountability in Lithuania, and widely published on the subject. He is extensively philanthropically and politically engaged in Lithuania on Jewish issues. Grant serves as the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Togo in California. Originally from South Africa, he presently resides in California, where he works as a Certified Financial Planner and Wealth Advisor. He is married with one son. Grant's blog on his engagements in Lithuania is at www.ggochin.wordpress.com

Wednesday
September 7, 2016
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Rabbi Naphtali Burnstein, Young Israel of Greater Cleveland

How to read a Jewish tombstone

Jewish grave markers vary in size and style; they are often a key to discover a family’s history. Rabbi Burnstein will discuss how to decipher symbols, Hebrew names, dates, abbreviations, and quotations. He will tell ways families use the information on grave stones to uncover lost histories.

Rabbi Naphtali Burnstein has been the Rabbi of Young Israel of Greater Cleveland for the last 24 years. Prior to coming to Cleveland, Rabbi Burnstein served as Rabbi of Young Israel of Greater Buffalo for 6 years. His first rabbinic position was as the Assistant Rabbi to Rabbi Moshe Heinemann of Agudas Yisroel of Baltimore.

Rabbi Burnstein, a native of Washington, D.C., received his Semicha from Yeshivas Ner Yisroel of Baltimore. In addition, he has a Master’s Degree in Talmudic Law from Ner Yisroel, and a Master’s Degree in Computers from John Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering.

Wednesday
August 3, 2016
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Daniel Horowitz
Chief Genealogist of MyHeritage

Israel Genealogy on the Internet

Daniel Horowitz was a teacher and the study guide editor for over 15 years, of the family history project "Searching for My Roots" in Venezuela. Daniel holds board level positions at the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). He has a deep understanding of the needs of today's family history enthusiasts. Daniel is the Chief Genealogist of MyHeritage where he provides key contributions in the areas of product development, customer support and public affairs; contacting genealogy societies, bloggers and media, giving lectures and attending conferences around the world. Daniel is also heading the company's Translation department, where he has been instrumental in increasing MyHeritage's global support to 43 languages in the website and the software.

Mr. Horowitz will show how to access genealogical resources and other useful databases available in Israel, that can be accessed online to find relatives. He will share how English speakers can overcome the barrier of the language with a basic lesson of Hebrew and how to translate efficiently to English.

Israel has a growing number of websites and digital resources that can be searched via the Internet in English and in Hebrew. A fast introduction to Hebrew, the keywords needed and the translation tools available will assist with the vast array of places where one can find information about people that have been born, lived or died in Israel.

Wednesday
July 6, 2016
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Henry Bitterman

“A Story of Survival: All We Had Was Hope”
co-sponsored by the Kol Israel Foundation

Mr. Bitterman will share ways he researched how his father, Mayer Bitterman, survived the Holocaust, locations of the family throughout the Holocaust and those who were righteous among people encountered. Mr. Bitterman will illustrate ways to find lost family, explore different methods to recover World War II documents and provide web sites and contacts. He also will suggest procedures for saving the individual histories of victims of the Holocaust.

Henry’s interest in genealogy resulted from his father being a Holocaust Survivor and the murders of his grandparents, uncle, and many relatives by the Nazis in World War II. He has identified over a hundred family members on his father’s side. From his genealogy research he has uncovered events from the lives of his grandparents, uncle and father.

Wednesday
June 1, 2016
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

 Ed Abramson and Ellen Pill -- authors

Where the Horse Died, the history of Wooster, Ohio’s Jewish community

Authors Ed Abramson and Ellen Pill will discuss the experience of Jewish immigrants in Wooster -- and how their experience paralleled and differed from that of Jews in other communities. In the words of Ed -- "Although the horse died...we survived!"

Ed Abramson was born in Wooster, Ohio in 1926. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1948, and is married to Carolyn. They have three children. Ed's relatives have been in Wooster since 1884.

Ellen Pill, Ph.D., has worked for 35 years as a freelance writer, with numerous publications. She was born in Ft. Dodge, Iowa.

Wednesday
May 4, 2016
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Garri Regev
President, Israel Genealogical Research Association

Making the Most of JewishGen’s Resources

JewishGen’s free, easy to use website features thousands of databases, research tools and other resources to help those with Jewish ancestry research and find family members. Currently, JewishGen.org hosts more than 20 million records, and provides a myriad of resources and search tools designed to assist those researching their Jewish ancestry.

Ms. Regev will explore some of the hidden gems and present strategies for maximizing research with JewishGen.org, ALD (All Lithuanian Database) and Jewish Records Indexing-Poland.

Garri Regev did her undergraduate work in Education at Lake Erie College. She has lived in Israel since 1978 and was an elementary teacher for more than 20 years there. Garri has been doing genealogical research for over 20 years. She has lectured on Genealogy to many adult groups including AACI, Hadassah, Touro College, the Central Zionist Archives (CZA), the National Library of Israel (NLI), EVA/MINERVA and IAJGS Conferences. Garri currently volunteers at the Israel Museum, at the CZA and also at the NLI Genealogy Center. She was President of the Israel Genealogical Society and is currently the President of the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA). Garri serves on the IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies) Board of Directors. She was the Vice-Chair of the 2015 IAJGS Conference in Jerusalem and co-chair of program for the Conference.

Wednesday,
April 6, 2016
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Jennifer Souers Chevraux
Education Outreach Officer and Interim Executive Director,
ICA-Art Conservation

Caring for Your Collections at Home

Jennifer Souers Chevraux has over 20 years of experience in the museum field serving as curator, exhibits director, educator, board member, and President of the Ohio Museums Association. Currently, Jennifer serves as Interim Executive Director and Education Outreach Officer at ICA- Art Conservation, where her primary objective is to ensure the preservation of artistic and historic works in Cleveland and across the state through educational programming, public outreach, and advocacy for the importance of saving our shared cultural heritage for generations to come.

Ms. Cheveroux will introduce how to care for family heirlooms and other treasures. She will walk participants through the basics of collections care at home, introducing the agents of deterioration as well as the science behind preservation practices, and offering suggestions for properly handling and storing your precious artifacts. ICA – Art Conservation is the regional nonprofit conservation center in Cleveland, which has served museums, libraries, and collectors like you for over 60 years.

Monday,
March 28, 2016
7:00-9:00 PM
at Menorah Park

Beginners' Workshop
Instructors: Ken Bravo - Past President
and Cynthia Spikel, Membership VP

Sunday,
March 6, 2016
1:30 PM
at Fairmount Temple

Norman Henke
 NEOCAG - North East Ohio Computer Assisted Genealogy Society

Alternatives to Family Tree Maker

With the recent announcement that Ancestry.com will no longer distribute Family Tree Maker, genealogy novices and experts are seeking advice on what program to use in the future. Norm will demonstrate programs that organize genealogy data.

Sunday,
February 7, 2016
1:30 PM
at Fairmount Temple

Marlene Englander

Lost Shtetl-Revisited - Seduva Memorial

Ms. Englander recently returned from the dedication in Seduva, Lithuania of a restored cemetery, new memorials and monuments, and a forthcoming museum to commemorate its once-thriving Jewish community. She will share how a detour in one's genealogical research can lead to unusual and exciting circumstances.

Marlene Englander and her mother, Hinda Saul, worked together to publish the book, "My Dear Hindalla, Remember Me: Letters from a Lost World, May 1937-January 1940." The book was named a finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards.

Marlene Saul Englander holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Indiana University, a Master’s degree in Library Science from Case Western Reserve University, and is a Distinguished member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals. She has been a medical librarian at Cleveland Clinic for more than 20 years. Ms. Englander recently served as Membership Vice President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland.

Sunday,
January 10, 2016
1:30 PM
at Fairmount Temple

Installation of 2016 Officers

William C. Barrow
The Cleveland Memory Project

Mr. Barrow will demonstrate the project's web site, (ClevelandMemory.org), and show how to apply its contents to genealogy research.

Bill Barrow is the Head of Special Collections at Cleveland State's Michael Schwartz Library and a co-founder of the Cleveland Memory Project on the web (ClevelandMemory.org). He speaks on the history of Cleveland Memory, the over 60,000 local history resources found there and how to profitably use Cleveland Memory and Special Collections to do family history research.

Bill is a Cleveland native and has worked at Cleveland State for twenty years, having earned a BA and MA in History there and a Masters in Library Science from Kent State. He is on the boards of the Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve, the Cleveland Archival Roundtable, the Sculpture Center, and the Cleveland Heights Historical Society.

Sunday,
December 6, 2015
1:30 PM
at Fairmount Temple

Annual Meeting
Election of officers and trustees.

Sylvia Abrams, Phyllis Bravo, and Kenneth Bravo
A report on this year's meeting in Jerusalem of the
International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

Wednesday,
November 4, 2015
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Open Meeting
Report by the Nominating Committee

A panel from our membership will field research questions from the audience regarding items such as issues, roadblocks, software, useful web sites, etc.

Wednesday,
October 7, 2015
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Cynthia Turk and Laura Hine

An in-depth demonstration of the newly remodeled Cuyahoga Genweb site which has a multitude of links and instructions for genealogy and history in Cuyahoga County

Wednesday,
September 2, 2015
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Sunny Lane Morton
Urban Genealogy: How to Research Big-City Relatives.

Big cities have their own way of doing everything, including keeping and storing records. From the author of several of Family Tree Magazine’s City Guides, learn how to find records in large urban centers. We’ll talk about finding and using city directories, street maps, address locators, city v. county vital records, insurance atlases and more. You’ll get great tips on these well-known but underused sources and see several examples.

Sunny is the Genealogy Insider columnist and a Contributing Editor for Family Tree Magazine and the Editor of Ohio Genealogy News, as well as a Contributing Editor and Book Club moderator at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems web site (www.lisalouisecooke.com).

Wednesday,
August 5, 2015
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Jerry Pockar
From Latvia to Geneva—Memories of Molly

Local feature writer Jerry Pockar has a rare gift for storytelling and shares it with members and guests at our August meeting. Often his best subjects are ordinary people who have something extraordinary to say about their life experiences. People like Molly Kravitz who at the age of 96 received national media attention as the oldest of 10 women to participate in a group bat mitzvah at Menorah Park. Pockar, a volunteer for Hospice of the Western Reserve, has met over the past few years with 35 patients, often in the last stages of life, who want to document their personal histories. Learn how documenting life stories can have special meaning for loved ones and honor the lives of family members.

Wednesday,
July 1, 2015
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Geraldine Powers Volper
Discussing Her Recent Book
"Letters from Gelvan"
which is about 22 Yiddish letters written between 1909 and 1925
from her grandfather in Lithuania to her father in Cleveland.

Wednesday,
June 3, 2015
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Jeff Morris
Discussing his new book:
Haymarket to the Heights
The Movement of Cleveland's Orthodox Synagogues
from their initial meeting place to the Heights

Wednesday,
May 6, 2015
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Sean Martin
"Working with Yiddish Sources"

Wednesday,
April 1, 2015
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Note the Time and Place
as we return to Wednesday evening meetings

Arthur M. Stupay
Discussing His Recent Book
"Hope Expired Life Persists"

Sunday,
March 1, 2015
1:30 PM
at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple

RESCHEDULED from the cancelled February meeting

From the Spielberg Holocaust Project:
Survivor Sima Grozalsky Tells Her Story

followed by a Tour of our Library Collection

Sunday,
January 4, 2015
1:30 PM
at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple

Cynthia Spikell

How Is a Newsletter Editor Like a Sieve?

Sunday,
December 7, 2014
1:30 PM
at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple

Annual Meeting and Election of Officers
Report on the IAJGS meeting
and
Fred Livingstone's
Slides of his Trip to Ukraine

Wednesday,
November 5, 2014
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Richard Spector

How a Fish Became a Kitty:
A Cautionary Tale of How Careful Research
Can Be So Wrong

Wednesday,
October 1, 2014
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Phyllis Bravo

Ships of Our Ancestors

Wednesday,
September 3, 2014
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Ken Bravo and Ben Barzilai

Death Certificates, Obits,
Headstones, and Probate Records -
What Our Ancestors Have Been Dying to Tell Us

Wednesday,
August 6, 2014
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Amy Wachs

Back to the Shtetl: Finding Records in the Russian Pale

Wednesday,
July 2, 2014
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Sean Martin

New acquisitions at the
Western Reserve Historical Society
on the garment industry in Cleveland

Wednesday,
June 4, 2014
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Fred Livingstone

My Sobering Visit
to Tetiev and Odessa (Ukraine)

Wednesday,
May 7, 2014
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Jay Russell
owner of Respectful Interment Preservation
Medina, Ohio

Preserving History--Cut in Stone

Wednesday,
April 9, 2014
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Rabbi Edward Boraz

The Miracles of Project Preservation:
Restoring the Cemeteries of Eastern Europe

Sunday,
March 2, 2014
1:30 PM
at Anshe Chesed
Fairmount Temple

Sylvia Abrams

Tracing My Way Back to Europe

Sunday,
February 2, 2014
1:30 PM
at Anshe Chesed
Fairmount Temple

Sally Wertheim

Glimpses of
 Cleveland's Jewish History

Sunday,
January 5, 2014
1:30 PM
at Anshe Chesed
Fairmount Temple

Kevin Adelstein

Perspective and Insights into the
 Cleveland Jewish News
today and into the future

Ken is the Publisher and CEO of the Cleveland Jewish News

Sunday December 8, 2013
1:30 PM
at Anshe Chesed
Fairmount Temple

A Report on the 31st Conference of the
International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies by members who attended the conference.

Wednesday,
November 6, 2013
at Siegal Facility
 26500 Shaker Blvd, Beachwood
at 7:00 p.m.

STEVEN ZIPPERSTEIN
Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History Stanford University

MYTH & COUNTER-MYTH: THE SHTETL

Wednesday,
October 2, 2013
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Marilyn Baskin

Using Picassa to Organize your Pictures

Wednesday,
September 11, 2013
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Sean Martin

The Geography of Eastern Europe

Where was your family from? The answer is both simple and complex.  One's town of origin may have come under the control of several different states in the space of just a few decades. Understanding where your family was from, and who was in charge when, will help you to appreciate what life was like for your ancestors. It will also help you to learn more about the traces of Jewish life in Eastern Europe today.

Sean Martin is the Associate Curator for Jewish History at the Western Reserve Historical Society

Wednesday,
August 14, 2013
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Spoke about his wartime experiences

Michael Pupa

Michael had never told anyone of his war time experiences. His story was uncovered in 2011 when the National Archives in Washington, D.C. selected him to be featured as one of thirty-one individuals with special stories of their emigration. Mr. Pupa came from Manyevitch, Poland. In 1942 at age 12 he hid in the forests
After the war - spent time in four displaced persons camps in Germany  He Came to the U.S. in 1951, arrived in Cleveland and was placed with a foster family. Until the call came in 2011, not even his wife and children knew about his past

Wednesday,
July 10, 2013
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Using Deeds in Your Genealogical Research

Chris Staats

Chris Staats is a Cleveland-based genealogical researcher, writer, and speaker. His 15 years of research experience have been primarily focused in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and other neighboring states. Chris’ articles have appeared in Family Tree Magazine, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, Ohio Genealogy News, and other publications. He is a member of APG, NGS, OGS, and other state and local societies, currently serving as an OGS Trustee, Great Lakes APG Chapter representative, Genealogical Committee of Western Reserve Historical Society Seminar Chairperson, and East Cuyahoga County Genealogical Society Newsletter editor. Chris is currently “on the clock” for BCG certification, and is taking classes to earn a paralegal certificate.

Wednesday,
June 5, 2013
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

The Importance of Staying Organized

Deborah Abbott

Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D., is past president of the African-American Genealogical Society, Cleveland, Ohio (AAGS). She is a retired professor of Counseling from Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, Ohio. She holds both the Bachelor of Science and Masters of Education degrees from Tuskegee University (Alabama) and the Ph.D. degree from Kent State University (Ohio). She is an adjunct faculty member at the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research at Samford University (Alabama). She has presented lectures at a variety of local genealogical societies, libraries, schools, and churches throughout northeast Ohio and the surrounding states. Even though Dr. Abbott specializes in African American genealogy, she enjoys teaching genealogy methodology. Her love for genealogy shows through her talks as she lectures on a wide variety of topics suited for all levels of genealogist. She is presently working on a genealogy project which will contain a newly discovered court document entitled "The Register of Free Negroes in Boyle County, Kentucky, 1852". Dr. Abbott is a member of te Association of Professional Genealogist (APG), the National Genealogical Society (NGS), Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS), the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG) and many local genealogical societies. She has been researching in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky since 1990.

Wednesday,
May 1, 2013
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Forensic Genealogy & Finding Your 21st Century Relatives

Cynthia Turk

Cynthia is a member of the Computer Aided Genealogy Group - Cleveland Area, the Ohio Genealogical Society, the Columbiana County Genealogical Society, and the East Cuyahoga County Genealogical Society. She has also served as Chairman of the Lake County Cemetery Inscriptions Project.

Wednesday,
April 3, 2013
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Finding Frida

Ken Bravo

Ken is the Immediate Past President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland.

Sunday,
March 3, 2013
1:30 PM
at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple

This was a question and answer work session,
led by a panel of our members.

Sunday,
February 3, 2013
1:30 PM
at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple

The Tale of How I Found Cousin Willie
(including recordings of his Shtetl memories)

Richard Spector

Richard Spector, a Trustee and past president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland, has been pursuing genealogy for over a decade and has a special interest in DNA. He has traced his family tree from c. 1725 to the present, including two lines going back 300 years, making his grandchildren the 11th generation of his tree.

Sunday, January 6, 2013
1:30 PM
at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple

An appearance by "Rabbi Michaelis Machol"

Nate Arnold

Nate has been performing one-man shows for the past 20 years. He is a retired businessman and is currently volunteering as a docent at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood. Nate also leads tours of Old Jewish Cleveland and volunteers at various places both in Israel and here in Northern Ohio. He and his wife, Sue, have visited Israel 14 times for education, spiritual and volunteer purposes.

Nate will be appearing as Rabbi Michaelis Machol, who was minister of the Anshe Chesed Congregation here in Cleveland, Ohio from 1876 to 1906.

Rabbi Michaelis Machol (13 Nov. 1845-26 Aug. 1912) advanced moderate Reform Judaism in Cleveland as rabbi of Anshe Chesed (1876-1906); during his tenure, the temple, then Eagle Street Synagogue, instituted occasional English sermons , installed an organ and moved to uncovered heads. However, Machol demonstrated personal Conservative leanings in sermons and published articles, e.g., deploring the destruction of "every ceremony." He was born in Germany, one of 4 children of Zadek and Esther Machol. After graduating from the Theological Seminary of Breslau, Germany, and obtaining a doctorate from the university in the same city (both in 1869), he traveled to America. He settled first in Leavenworth, KS, and then became rabbi at Kehillath Anshe Maariv, Chicago, IL. As rabbi of Anshe Chesed, he oversaw the congregation's growth in the 1880s and the building of a new temple (1886). Active in advocating for the Jewish community, Machol joined other rabbis and lay leaders in protesting the 1901 decision of the board of the Cleveland Public Schools to begin each school day with the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the 23rd Psalm. Anshe Chesed designated Machol rabbi emeritus in 1907

Sunday, December 2, 2012
1:30 PM
at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple

Annual Meeting and Election of Officers

Databases for Genealogical Research

Jodie Grasgreen

Jodie is the Reference Librarian, at the Hudson Library

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Athletic Ancestors: All-Star Resources

The speaker will also demonstrate doing online yearbook and newspaper research.

Sunny McClellan Morton

Sunny is a genealogy writer, a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine, Expert Series author for Archives.com, editor of Ohio Genealogy News, and editor for Lisa Louise Cooke's internationally-known podcast, Genealogy Gems. The best way to describe her work is as an investigative journalist for the genealogy world: She educates, motivates, and shares what's new and great in the world of family history. Sunny is also the author of My Life & Times: A Guided Journal for Collecting Your Stories (Family Tree Books), which helps people capture their own life stories or those of a loved one, and she recently took the top prize for a published article for the annual writing competition of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors. Sunny is a graduate of West Geauga High School and Brigham Young University, and lives in Euclid with her husband and three young children.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Cuyahoga County Lineage Groups

Jean M. Hoffman, CG
and
Jerry Kliot

Jean is a retired computer programmer. She has been deeply involved in genealogy since retiring in 1998. She has followed Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky families and immigrants from Switzerland and Slovakia. She belongs to three Ohio Genealogical Society lineage groups, First Families of Western Pennsylvania, and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. She is an officer at CAGG (Computer Assisted Genealogy Group) and user group leader for The Master Genealogist (TMG). She is a member of the Genealogical Committee at WRHS. Jean became a Certified Genealogist in 2005. She is head judge for the Cuyahoga County Lineage Groups (CCLG.)

Jerry is an avid and active genealogist.  He is a member of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland (CJGS), the East Cuyahoga County Genealogy Society (ECCGS), and NEOCAG.  Jerry has served as Webmaster for our group, and is currently a Trustee of CJGS.  Jerry has been recognized by the Cuyahoga County Lineage Groups as a Centurian for his family's long residency in Cuyahoga County. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Seeking Kin

Sol Factor

Mr. Sol Factor was born in a Displaced Persons hospital in Munich, Germany in 1946.  In 1947 he was brought to the United States to be adopted. He has been a Holocaust educator for over thirty years. He is now retired from a public school teacher's position where he taught an elective entitled "The Lessons of the Holocaust". He is currently an adjunct instructor at Kent State University in their history and Jewish Studies departments.

In 1998 he was awarded a Mandel Fellowship thru the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. As a part of that fellowship, Mr. Factor created the teacher guide for the book; Tell Them We Remember by Susan D. Bachrach.

In addition Mr. Factor created the teacher guide for the documentary, Hidden: Poland produced by the World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors. He has presented at numerous conferences and workshops. His focus has been on the roles of children during the Holocaust.

Since 1990 he has been on a search for his natural mother. He will share the results with us at the meeting.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
 7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

What's a girl like me doing in a story like this? My dear Hindalla remembers me.

Marlene Englander

Marlene Saul Englander was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in Library Science from Case Western Reserve University. She has lived and worked as a medical librarian in the Cleveland area for most of her life, including at Cleveland Health Sciences Library, University Hospitals, and Kaiser, as well as a number of hospitals that no longer exist. She has been a medical librarian at Cleveland Clinic for the past 20 years.

She became more seriously interested in genealogy about 15 years ago when she received a call from a woman in California wondering if her family and Marlene’s husband’s family were related. They have gone through years of sleuthing and finally met for the first time 4 years ago. In addition to genealogy, in her spare time Marlene is a flutist in a number of orchestral and wind ensembles, including Heights Chamber Orchestra, the Hillcrest Concert Band, and the Cleveland Clinic Concert Band. After brief stints living in Houston, Texas and Dubuque, Iowa, she and her husband, Jon, and their daughter, Samantha, returned to Shaker Heights twenty years ago.

Marlene’s most recent project was working on the book, “My Dear Hindalla, Remember Me: Letters from a Lost World” with her mother, Hinda Saul. The book was recently named an award-winning finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards in the category of Non-Fiction: Narrative.

On August 1, Marlene will present, “What’s A Girl Like Me Doing in a Story Like This?” The presentation will address how she entered the genealogy world; how, and why, a folder of Yiddish letters evolved into a book and the role the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland played in that transformation; and some surprises she found along the way - from traditional genealogy databases and a trip to Lithuania, to other less known print and online resources.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

What's New and Old at WRHS

Ann Sindelar

Ms. Sindelar is Reference Supervisor at the Western Reserve Historical Society

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

What You Don't Know Can't Help You:
The Value of the Medical Family History

Dr. Shawn McCandless

Dr. McCandless earned his MD at Temple University and completed Pediatric Residency training at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He worked as a Pediatric Registrar in Gloucester, England, then as a general pediatrician at the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, NM. He completed a fellowship in Medical Genetics and Metabolism at Case Western Reserve University before joining the faculty of the Departments of Pediatrics and Genetics at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
Dr. McCandless is now a member of the Departments of Genetics and Pediatrics at Case and part of the Center for Human Genetics and the Center for Inherited Disorders of Energy Metabolism.

Wednesday May 5, 2010

Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland Commission on Cemetery Preservation's Database Project Update

“Using 21st Century Technology To Find Your 19th Century Ancestors –-- Jewish Cleveland’s New Cemetery Database”

Susan Hyman

A new database compiled by the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland's Commission on Cemetery Preservation. A dozen volunteers, some of them from the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland, spent about six years compiling some 71,000 records of burials in 14 Jewish cemeteries and in Jewish sections at two other cemeteries.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Finding a Relative in one click with
MyHeritage Genealogy Super Search Engine

Please note that the meeting will be on the SECOND Wednesday of April to accommodate our Speaker.

Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is the Chief Genealogist at MyHeritage.com, providing key contributions in the areas of product development, customer support and public affairs; contacting genealogy societies, bloggers and media. Daniel is also heading the company’s Translation department, where he has been instrumental in increasing MyHeritage’s global support to 38 languages. A power genealogist, researcher and lecturer himself, Daniel holds board level positions in a few genealogical societies. With a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering and a Specialization in Education & Management of Educational Institutions, he has a deep understanding of the needs of today’s family history enthusiasts.

Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 1:30 PM
at Park Synagogue East

What's New at the Archives

Judith G. Cetina

Judith G. Cetina, Ph.D., CA, is the Cuyahoga County Archivist 

Sunday, February 5, 2012 - 1:30 PM
at Park Synagogue East

Locating and Using Naturalization Records – A Tool for Finding Your Family’s Shtetl

Ken Bravo

Ken is the Immediate Past President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland.

Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 1:30 PM
at Park Synagogue East

Doing Genealogy with DNA: How Useful Is It? A non-technical survey of the uses and misuses of genealogical DNA

Richard Spector

Richard Spector, a Trustee and past president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland, has been pursuing genealogy for over a decade and has a special interest in DNA. He has traced his family tree from c. 1725 to the present, including two lines going back 300 years, making his grandchildren the 11th generation of his tree.

Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 1:00 PM at Park Synagogue East - Social Hall
(Note location and starting time)

Annual Meeting and Elections
and a celebration of Jewish Book Month
with the Association of Jewish Libraries,
Greater Cleveland Chapter

Lithuanian Encounter: How One Woman’s Journey Into the Old Jewish Homeland Changed her View of Bystanders, Rescuers, Victims – and Herself

Ellen Cassedy

Ms. Cassedy, who lives in suburban Washington, DC, has explored the world of the Lithuanian Holocaust in the land of her Jewish forebears for ten years. Her work has been published in Hadassah, The Forward, Lilith, and other publications. She is a former columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and the author of two books for working women. Her play, “Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn,” was made into an award-winning film.

Her new book is "We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust" (University of Nebraska Press, 2012).

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 6:15 PM
at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple

Join the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland and Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in a Celebration of the move of the Genealogy Society Library to Fairmount Temple, the beginning of the 30th year of the Genealogy Society, the 25th anniversary of the Arthur J. Lelyveld Center for Jewish Learning which houses the Fairmount Temple Library, and Jewish Book Month.

Friday night services, followed by a Festive Oneg Shabbat

Celebrating Jewish Genealogy: How Connecting to Our Roots Helps Us Build an Ethical Future

Ellen Cassedy

Ms. Cassedy, who lives in suburban Washington, DC, has explored the world of the Lithuanian Holocaust in the land of her Jewish forebears for ten years. Her work has been published in Hadassah, The Forward, Lilith, and other publications. She is a former columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and the author of two books for working women. Her play, “Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn,” was made into an award-winning film.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
 at Menorah Park

Report on the recent IAGS Conference

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
7:30 PM
Menorah Park

Lost: Tracing Unknown Family History From a Single Clue

Using original documents, Steve will reveal some of the specific techniques he used to unearth his own family secret and offer practical suggestions for obtaining hard-to-get records. For genealogists of all levels.

Steve Luxenberg

Steve is a Washington Post associate editor and award-winning author who has worked for more than 30 years as a newspaper editor and reporter.

His award-winning nonfiction book, Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret, has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in Parade Magazine. It was named to The Washington Post’s Best Books of 2009 list, and chosen as a Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan. The former president of the National Genealogical Society, Jan Alpert, called Annie’s Ghosts a “great non-fiction read for genealogists.”

Signed copies of his book will be available for purchase at the meeting.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011
7:30 PM
Menorah Park

Remembering: Cleveland's Jewish Voices

Sally Wertheim

Sally will discuss "Remembering: Cleveland's Jewish Voices", which was recently published by KSU Press. Sally was the co-editor of the book, and is also a former President of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. She is Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of the History of Education at John Carroll University. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase the book the evening of the program.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011
7:30 PM
Menorah Park

Rocks, Readings, And Rubbings -
Getting the Most from your Cemetery Research

Cynthia Turk

Cynthia is a member of the Computer Aided Genealogy Group - Cleveland Area, the Ohio Genealogical Society, the Columbiana County Genealogical Society, and the East Cuyahoga County Genealogical Society. She has also served as Chairman of the Lake County Cemetery Inscriptions Project.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
7:30 PM
Menorah Park

Breaching Stone Walls

Ken Bravo and Gary Silverstein

Ken is the President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland , and Gary is a past Program Chairman of the Society.

Ken and Gary will discuss what types of "Stone Walls" can cause problems that stop your research, and how to solve those problems by going through, over, around, and under those walls. Members and other attendees should come to the meeting prepared with the challenges that have stopped them from going further in their research, and solutions they have found for past problems.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011
7:30 PM
Menorah Park

The Jewish Connection: Jews and Crime in Twentieth Century Cleveland

Sean Martin

Sean is the Associate Curator for Jewish History at the Western Reserve Historical Society

Wednesday, May 4, 2011
7:30 PM
Menorah Park

Secrets That Photos Reveal

Lois Wheeler

Lois is a member of The Lakewood Photographic Society, The Ohio Genealogical Society, the Ashland County Chapter Ohio Genealogical Society, and the East Cuyahoga Genealogical Society.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
7:30 PM
Menorah Park

Researching Genealogical Resources in Israel from Your Couch

Daniel Horowitz,

Daniel is the Chief Genealogist and Translation Manager at MyHeritage.com, a Board Member and Webmaster of the Israel Genealogical Society (IGS) and a Member of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS)

Monday, March 28, 2011
7:15-9:30 PM
Menorah Park

Computer Genealogy Tools for Beginners

 

Presented by the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland

Ken Bravo, President Jewish Genealogy Society
and
Cynthia Spikell, Editor of the Kol

This special workshop featured Wi-Fi internet and access to Ancestry.com, which will be available (for the first 20 registrants) if they brought their own Wi-Fi enabled laptop.

The program was free to paid up JGSC members and $15 for non-members. Non-members could have their fee applied to membership but no later than the conclusion of the program.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Using Family Finder DNA Analysis To Unravel an Intricate Problem

Richard Spector

Richard is Immediate Past President of Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Family Tree Maker - What It Can Do and What It Can't Do for You.

John Stoika

John is a Past President of the Cuyahoga Valley Genealogical Society(CVGS), a Member of the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group (CAGG), and a Member of the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS). He gave a presentation on the Family Tree Maker computer database program, and how it, and similar commercially available programs, can assist genealogists in their record keeping.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Why the New York Times is Wrong -
Using Basic Genealogy Tools and Methods to Show That Your Family Name Was Not Changed At Ellis Island.

Ken Bravo

Ken is President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland, and spoke on how to use basic tools to find the names of your ancestors when they came to the USA, and when those names changed to their current forms. Ken showed examples of cases where he found that the popular theory that clerks at Ellis Island changed names of new immigrants is false.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Growing Up Jewish in Glenville in the 1920's.

Maury Feren

Maury is a well known Community Fixture, with a Radio and TV career and expertise in Foods. He is active in many Jewish organizations, and a physical fitness buff. The old neighborhood acame to life during his talk.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Community Building and the Fir Street Cemetery

Judge Raymond L. Pianka and Jonathon Holoday

This was a presentation about the community based renovation of the Fir Street Cemetery by the major forces behind the renovation.

Jonathon Holody is Chair of the Lorain to Fir Block Club, a board member of the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, and works for the Cuyahoga County Department of Development. He and his family live on Fir Street across from the cemetery and has a keen interest in preservation having restored his own home. He was a leader in the renovation of the Fir Street Cemetery

Jonathan is a Program Officer with the Cuyahoga County Department of Development. In 2009, he joined the department’s Housing Division to assist in the administration of nearly $20 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds. Prior to that he worked in the Economic Development and Brownfield divisions.

He holds a Master of Urban Planning, Design and Development degree from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Public Administration degree from Ohio University, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Growth Capital Corporation, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization and The Peninsula Valley Historic and Education Foundation.

Ray Pianka is the presiding and administrative judge of The Cleveland Municipal Court's Housing Division, and a former City of Cleveland Councilman.  Judge Pianka is committed to the making Cleveland Housing Court serve the community with innovative programs while administrating the fair and impartial justice the law requires.  A lifelong resident of the City of Cleveland, Judge Pianka was educated in the Cleveland public school system and received his Bachelors degree in Political Science from Cleveland State University. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Pianka was the first Director of Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization for 10 years, founding member of Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition and President for 2 years and he served as councilman of Cleveland’s Ward 17 for ten years.

Judge Pianka began serving as the City’s Housing Court Judge in 1996. During the past fourteen years, Judge Pianka has instituted several innovative programs, including a Selective Intervention Program for first time offenders in the Housing Court, a Warrant Capias Program to eliminate an inherited backlog of outstanding warrants and capiases, and a Placarding Program designed to provide information to neighborhood residents regarding the legal status of vacant and abandoned property. In addition to these programs, the Judge has called for hearing dockets in which corporations served with the process required by law and having failed to appear are tried in absentia.   In 2007, Judge Pianka ran for Housing Court Judge unopposed and was also given an “Excellent” rating by all Bar Associations.

His private interests are historical research, genealogy, and use of DNA for genealogical research.

 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Researching Eastern European Archives.

Richard Spector

Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland member, Richard Spector, presented "Researching Eastern European Archives". Contrary to common impression, there are huge numbers of family records in archive locations in Eastern Europe. These archives contain more than 100,000,000 names, some going back 300 years. New records useful to genealogists are being discovered every day. Although some of these records are available on the Internet, the majority must be accessed in other ways. This presentation provided an overview of some of the available Eastern European sources of family information, how to research these sources, and what they can contribute to your family tree.

Richard Spector, immediate past president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland, has been pursuing genealogy for over a decade and has a special interest in DNA. He has traced his family tree from c. 1725 to the present, including two lines going back 300 years, making his grandchildren the 11th generation of his tree.

Wednesday September 1, 2010

The 30th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy -
Ya Shoulda Been There!



Jerry Kliot

Jerry shared his impressions of the convention and gave an overview including highlights of films, live theater, history, research techniques, and writing family history.

Jerry Kliot is a long time member of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland and has served the organization in multiple positions, including Board of Directors. He is an active member of North East Ohio Computer-Aided Genealogical Society (NEOCAG).

Wednesday August 4, 2010

Suddenly Jewish.

In August 2008, at the age of 61, Roma Baran received a stunning e-mail from a Jewish genealogist looking for heirs to a small estate of a Holocaust survivor -- her father's cousin - and learned that her casually Christian parents, and the whole rest of her family were not Polish Catholics, but Jews, including a rabbi and a Warsaw ghetto leader, and that her parents had survived the Holocaust under assumed names. Roma learned that not only were her family's names and identities false, but that she had actually lived in Israel from 1949 to 1951.

Roma Baran

Ms. Baran described -- with photos, documents and maps -- how she systematically reconstructed her past over the last year. She focused on the Galizianer side of her family, and included her new research on her father's Warsaw family. She traced her parents' war-time escape from the Przemysl ghetto to Tarnawa, Krakow, and other towns, and their post-war journeys to Israel and Canada. She also examined the emotional consequences of uncovering family secrets of staggering proportions.

Roma Baran, producer, engineer, musician, attorney, grew up in Montreal, and has lived in New York City since 1976. She has produced many albums, in the US, Canada and Europe. For 12 years, she produced most of Laurie Anderson's recorded work, from "O Superman" which shot to the top of the British pop charts, to Grammy-nominated "Strange Angels," and, most recently worked on Anderson's soon-to-be-released "Homeland." With co-producer Vivian Stoll, she has produced two Grammy-nominated albums for artist Rosalie Sorrels, and won 2006 CFMA Best Canadian Folk Album award for a CD with Canadian artist Penny Lang. She has also worked on a number of film soundtracks as composer, sound designer, and music producer, from Lizzie Borden's "Working Girls" to "Jonathan Demme's "Swimming to Cambodia." She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary for producing "Bernard Herrmann: Music for the Movies." As an attorney, she specializes in forensic audio, and has represented many indigent criminal defendants.

Wednesday July 7, 2010

Myths And Mistakes: What To Avoid When Researching Jewish Families.

Cynthia Spikell

Our own Cynthia Spikell exposed some common assumptions, myths, and mistakes in doing Jewish family research and told how to avoid and overcome them.

Wednesday June 2, 2010

Researching At Fairview Park Library: One Day In The Life Of A Family Historian.

Joni Mihelich

The Genealogy Specialist at the Fairview Park Branch of the Cuyahoga County Library discussed the genealogy resources available at that library by using a case study.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 7:30 PM
at Menorah Park

Kishniev, 100 Years Later

Amy Wachs Fellner

Amy Wachs Fellner,  is a lawyer, university instructor and avid family historian with considerable hands-on research experience in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics.  Amy taught as a Fulbright Scholar in 2002 at the Riga Graduate School of Law in Latvia and more recently in 2006 and 2007 as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Chisinau (formerly known by its Russian name of Kishinev and site of a violent pogrom in 1903), capital of the Republic of Moldova. She took advantage of these professional opportunities to do extensive genealogical research at state archives in Eastern Europe  Educated at the University of Rochester and the University of Michigan Law School, Amy is a trained mediator and arbitrator.  She has spoken extensively on genealogy topics and taught genealogy workshops throughout the United States.


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