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2019
January, 2019
  Speaker: Eddy Portnoy An underground history of downwardly mobile Jews, Bad Rabbi mines the Yiddish press to expose the seamy underbelly of pre-WWII New York and Warsaw, the two major centers of Yiddish culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One part Isaac Bashevis Singer, one part Jerry Springer, this irreverent, unvarnished, and frequently hilarious compendium of stories provides a window into an unknown Yiddish world that was. In this talk, Portnoy will discuss the Yiddish press and the often strange stories about Jews that appear in it, as well as how it can be used as a genealogical ...
February, 2019
Speaker: Olivier Szlos This in-depth genealogy resource presentation describes the work of the "Grodzka Gate-NN Theatre" Centre to reclaim Jewish memory in Lublin, Poland. Specifically, it will explain its 43 Thousand Project and provide a hands-on approach to explore the public access database http://teatrnn.pl/people that can possibly add names to your family tree. The presentation will touch also on the Antwerp Lublin project, JRI-Poland.org and other sources of genealogy data for the Lublin region in Poland.   The Lublin. 43 Thousand project refers to the estimated number of the Jewish men, women, and children residing in the Polish city of Lublin in 1939 on ...
March, 2019
Speaker: Alan Shuchat  Records from the Russian Empire show that people were often registered as citizens of one town but lived in another. What was the system of registration and residence permits under the tsars and later in the Soviet Union? How were people divided into social estates? How did our ancestors obtain steamship tickets and travel from their shtetls to the steamship ports? How can these records and historical knowledge help us trace our families before they arrived here?   Alan Shuchat is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Wellesley College. He has researched his family’s history for several decades and traced branches ...
May, 2019
Speaker: Alma Gottlieb  Co-Sponsored with the American Sephardi Federation   From Poland to Brazil to New Mexico, many individuals, families, and communities around the world are discovering that they have Jewish ancestors who renounced and/or suppressed their religious identity. What happens when Christians today learn that some of their long-ago relatives were Jewish? The West African island nation of Cabo Verde offers an especially compelling place from which to explore this intriguing process because of the unexpected convergence of Jews and Africans on a remote archipelago in the North Atlantic. In this talk, Professor Gottlieb will discuss her research with Cabo Verdeans on and off the ...