Jewish Genealogy Society
of Cleveland

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NOTE: Except for November, the monthly programs currently planned through the rest of 2022 will be scheduled to be on Zoom. The programs will be available to non-members at no cost, but space is limited, and priority will be given to members of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland. Advance Registration is required for each program and must be requested by noon on the day of the program.

Our annual joint program with the Case Western Reserve University - Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program (CWRU), on Sunday afternoon November 13, will be conducted as a hybrid event, with the live presentation being held at the Siegal Lifelong Learning facility in Beachwood, Ohio, with a streaming option for those who live outside our region or cannot attend in person. If Covid infection rates increase again, then the entire program will be conducted as a Zoom webinar. Registration will be managed by CWRU and will be free for members of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland and/or the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program. Others wishing to attend or watch the streaming option will be charged a small fee for each session.

Upcoming events

    • 10/12/2022
    • 7:00 PM
    • Virtual Zoom Event

    Get Ready for Veterans Day: Tips and Tools to Explore Military History and Make Family Connections

    Presented by Ben Kempner, Vice President - JGS of Southern Nevada

    Date and Time: Wednesday, October 12, 2022 @ 7:00 pm EDT

    Discover how to use a variety of websites to learn more about your military ancestors at low or no cost. Sites like Fold3, Ancestry, FamilySearch, and JewishGen will reveal military documents including draft registrations, enlistment records, transport lists, military registers, and separation documents.

    We will discuss how to find your military ancestor's unit, what they did, and where they did it. We will also weave in a case study of the highest-ranking Jewish general from WWII, Maurice Rose. What better way to honor and thank our ancestors for their military service!

    As a child of Holocaust survivors, Ben's interest began with a scrap of paper from his mother with a sparse family tree consisting of 10 people. That interest lay dormant for decades until he took a Genealogy course at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2015. Since then, he has grown his tree to over 250 people. He began volunteering at the Las Vegas FamilySearch Library (affiliated with the Salt Lake City Family History Library) in 2016 and regularly teaches classes there and elsewhere on, using social media for genealogy, DNA, and other topics. He has been actively involved in the Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Nevada for the last 7 years and has been Vice President since 2020.

    Ben has a BA in Psychology and an MBA from the University of Denver. He spent 39 years with IBM in a variety of sales, marketing, and management roles.

    • 11/13/2022
    • 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

    Exploring DNA Testing for Genealogy Research

    Date and Time: Sunday, November 13 2022, 1:30 - 2:30 pm and 3:00 - 4:00 pm


    Exploring DNA Testing for Genealogy Research: 2-part program in partnership with the Case Western Reserve University Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program

    Part 1 (1:30-2:30 pm): 200,000 MATCHES! HELP!


    Part 2 (3:00-4:00 pm): Online DNA Tools and your Brick Walls

    Presented by Gil Bardige

    1:30-2:30 pm - Session 1 - 200,000 MATCHES! HELP!

    Genetic testing can be a powerful tool for genealogical research. DNA results can generate clues that can help people confirm or deny relationships. But DNA results can also be confusing and frustrating. In this presentation, Gil Bardige will share proven methodologies to help you prioritize your top 50 matches so that you can have the highest probability of finding a common relative on a family tree, and provide you with actionable processes that you can really use in your genealogy research.

    2:30-3:00 pm - Break/reception

    3:00-4:00 pm - Session 2 - Online DNA Tools and your Brick Walls

    Do you have endogamy in your family tree? You are probably wondering what the best online tools are to use in your family history research. Gil Bardige will discuss strategies and challenges when using popular 3rd party tools in such cases. He will demonstrate how to use – or not use – different online tools, including Ethnicity, Shared Matches, Clusters, WATO (What are the Odds) and SCMP (shared centimorgan project). After this lecture, you will find yourself more productive and effective in applying your DNA matches to your genealogy.

    Gil Bardige, born and raised in Chicago, lives in the Columbus Ohio area. A graduate of the New York Institute of Technology, Gil retired in 2019 after a long career in air conditioning and refrigeration most recently as a National Business Development Leader for Trane.

    At the “instruction” of his mother, Gil began his genealogy adventure in 1979 with 54 people in his tree. Today his family tree including Mishpocha, is over 2300 people tracing 4 branches back to his 5th great grandfathers born about 1740. His families arrived in Chicago in the early 20th century in the early 1900s.

    For over 15 years Gil has expanded his knowledge base to Genetic Genealogy, testing at each of the four major DNA companies and currently manages three y-DNA projects at Family Tree DNA as a Volunteer Administrator. He loves to help people manage their expectations and begin to remove confusion from the DNA results whether it’s, Y-DNA, mtDNA, or Autosomal DNA. He had spoken at dozens of local events and international conferences, including at IAJGS in Orlando, Cleveland, Virtual San Diego, and Virtual Philadelphia.

    Gil is the Chair of the Genealogy Committee of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society (JGS). Gil co-hosts live Genetic Genealogy Q&A sessions at JGS Illinois and JGS Toronto. He developed and hosts the monthly Kvel & Kvetch genealogy Q&A in Columbus. Gil manages the Mentoring Program for IAJGS and co-hosts the Apple Users and Jewish Genealogy Facebook page and monthly virtual BOF (Birds of a Feather) meeting.

    Gil is a firm believer that you can use DNA results as a tool in your genealogical research as it generates clues that can help people confirm/deny relationships. His speaking style is high energy (you won’t be bored) and he loves to take questions. People have said of his presentations, “Thank you, Gil, I am no longer confused!”


    The Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program of Case Western Reserve University.

    There is no cost for this program for members of Lifelong Learning nor for members of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland.

    The cost for non-members is $10.00.


    • 12/07/2022
    • 7:00 PM
    • Virtual Zoom Meeting

    Annual Meeting: Save the date

    Date and Time: Wednesday, December 7, 2022 @ 7:00 pm EDT

    Details: More details coming soon...

Copyright 2022.  The Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland, Inc. (JGSC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (EIN: 34-1648203).  All Rights Reserved.

27100 Cedar Road
Beachwood, Ohio 44122