December 4, 2016
ANNUAL MEETING - Election of Officers
Report on member attendance at 2016 IAJGS Seattle conference.
A panel on the recent International Association of Jewish Genealogical
Societies (IAJGS) meeting was our program. Sylvia Abrams, Phyllis
Bravo, Kenneth Bravo, Amy Wachs and Helen Wolf reported on the 36th
Conference of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical
Societies held in Seattle.
The panel shared 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 also included the annual election of officers and
Grant Gochin – activist on behalf of Lithuanian Jewry
author of Malice, Murder and Manipulation: One Man’s
Quest for Truth
A Genealogical Journey to Heritage Citizenship in Lithuania
Grant Gochin spoke aboout how and why he litigated against
the Lithuanian government many times over returning citizenship
to those of Jewish ancestry and forcing their hand in ceasing to
honor Holocaust Perpetrators.
Citizenship and legal status affected every aspect of life in
the “old country.” Mr. Gochin related 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 documented one Jewish family’s deportations,
deaths, abductions and movements.
How to read a Jewish tombstone
Rabbi Naphtali Burnstein, Young Israel of Greater Cleveland
Jewish grave markers vary in size and style; they are often a
key to discover a family’s history. Rabbi Burnstein discussed how
to decipher symbols, Hebrew names, dates, abbreviations, and quotations.
He told of ways families use the information on grave stones to
uncover lost histories.
Israel Genealogy on the Internet
Chief Genealogist of MyHeritage
Daniel Horowitz showed how to access genealogical resources and
other useful databases available in Israel, that can be accessed
online to find relatives. He shared 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 was provided to assist with the vast array of places
where one can find information about people that have been born,
lived or died in Israel.
“A Story of Survival: All We Had Was Hope”
co-sponsored by the Kol Israel Foundation
Mr. Bitterman shared 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 illustrated ways to find lost family, explored different
methods to recover World War II documents and provided web sites
and contacts. He also suggested procedures for saving the individual
histories of victims of the Holocaust.
Where the Horse Died, the history of Wooster, Ohio’s Jewish
Ed Abramson and Ellen Pill -- authors
Authors Ed Abramson and Ellen Pill discussed 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!"
Making the Most of JewishGen’s Resources
President, Israel Genealogical Research Association
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
Ms. Regev explored some of the hidden gems and present strategies
for maximizing research with JewishGen.org, ALD (All Lithuanian
Database) and Jewish Records Indexing-Poland.
Caring for Your Collections at Home
Jennifer Souers Chevraux
Education Outreach Officer and Interim Executive Director,
Ms. Cheveroux told how to care for family heirlooms and other
treasures. She walked 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.
March 6, 2016
Alternatives to Family Tree Maker
NEOCAG - North East Ohio Computer Assisted Genealogy Society
After the announcement that Ancestry.com would no longer distribute
Family Tree Maker, genealogy novices and experts were seeking advice
on what program to use in the future. Norm demonstrated programs
that organize genealogy data.
February 7, 2016
Lost Shtetl-Revisited - Seduva Memorial
Ms. Englander, who had 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, shared how a detour in one's genealogical research can
lead to unusual and exciting circumstances.
January 10, 2016
Installation of 2016 Officers
The Cleveland Memory Project
William C. Barrow
Mr. Barrow demonstrated the project's web site, (ClevelandMemory.org),
and showed how to apply its contents to genealogy research.