Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland


Upcoming Programs

At the present time, all programs will be scheduled as virtual meetings.
We will post updates if there are any new developments.




June 3, 2020
7:00 pm

Web based
presentation A Mid 2020 Review

Betty Franklin has been busy making enhancements to its website. The goal is to have as many items free and available online as possible. In addition there are learning centers, community groups, activities to involve the whole family and new ways to add sources to Family Tree or to merge individuals. We will discuss the changes and some of the upcoming changes to

Betty Franklin, a volunteer at the Westlake Ohio Family History Center, is a retired preschool special education teacher who loves helping others research their families. She has a bachelor of science in education degree from Northern Illinois University and a masters degree in curriculum and instruction from Cleveland State University.

She has volunteered in the Westlake Family History Center for twenty-five years and loves seeing pedigree charts and family group sheets grow. Her own research has taken her back to the early 1600's in Germany. She recently has broken down walls on her husband's Swedish and United States lines. The covid 19 isolation has afforded extra time for researching and updating family records. She loves turning the names and dates into remarkable people by using the records to read between the lines.

Betty has presented workshops for local conferences and genealogical organizations on beginning genealogy, FamilySearch, FamilySearch Wiki, FamilySearch Family Tree, state census records, German research, reading old handwriting such as early American and German script and working with the various premium sites available at Family History centers.


Date to be announced

  Topic to be announced
Professor Ravenel Richardson

July 8, 2020
7:00 pm

Web based

Problem with "Grave" Errors in our Cemeteries

Rabbi Akiva Feinstein

The use of words, names and phrases on Jewish headstones is an ancient way of remembering a soul when they can no longer speak for themselves. Jewish custom is rich with traditions, insights and guidance on how to write these expressions. This presentation will review the common expressions, naming conventions, calculation of dates and certain other aspects while focusing on the need for accuracy and completeness. Our speaker, who worked as a chaplain for many years, will share his concerns and offer possible solutions to preserve this beautiful tradition for those unfamiliar with Hebrew names and conventions. Many examples will be cited to highlight important laws and customs. One does not need to have a strong Hebrew background to benefit from this presentation and learn how to decipher Hebrew names and dates on headstones.

Rabbi Akiva Feinstein is the Director of Spiritual Care at Montefiore Home and Hospice in Beachwood, Ohio. He has worked as a chaplain for more than 15 years. Born in South Africa and raised in Los Angeles, he is very interested in Jewish genealogy—especially the customs of Jewish life as they relate to naming and burial. He has done research on his own family’s departure from Lithuania (Memel) and immigration to South Africa. Some years ago he presented to our group on the mystery and true identity of the Ansel Cemetery.

August 5, 2020
7:00 pm

  The Ethical and Legal Implications of DNA Testing
Dr. Aaron Goldenberg

September 9, 2020
7:00 pm

  To be Announced

October 7, 2020
7:00 pm

  Why you should examine original records, and how to find them
Russ Maurer

November 15, 2020
1:30 pm

  Title to be Announced
Renee Carl
Co-sponsored by Siegel Lifelong Learning of CWRU

December 6, 2020
1:30 pm

  Annual Meeting
Board Election
"Brick Wall" session with a Panel of Experts