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January, 2021
Speaker: Deborah H. Long   The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, Deborah Long has been researching her family history and looking for family members for more than 50 years. She has found surviving cousins in Sweden, Hungary, Canada and Israel. Deborah will review the best (as well as some of the more obscure) resources and methods for determining the fate of those caught up in the Holocaust, survivors as well as victims. She will use examples from her own research to present the documents and artifacts she has discovered. Deborah Long grew up in Skokie, Illinois, and is a professional educator and speaker. She has written more than 20 books, including ...
February, 2021
Speakers: Yuri & Irina Dorn Yuri Dorn and his wife Irina will present a brief history of Jewish Belarus, followed by a description of the different record types available for research in Belorussian archives. They will explain which records you can expect to find and suggest the best strategy for approaching one’s research. Keep in mind that your Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and Polish ancestors may have migrated from Belarus to these other areas or vice versa.  Yuri Dorn is a well-known genealogist, specializing in Jewish genealogy and ancestral tourism to Belarus. In 2002 he founded the Jewish Heritage Research Group, which consists of professional historians, ...
March, 2021
Speaker: Jennie Milne In this presentation, Jennie Milne will describe her extraordinary journey to understand her mother’s mysterious background. Elizabeth Lis, Jennie's mother, was born to a Polish woman in London in 1943 and placed in a wartime babies' home in Devon, England. Elizabeth's mother, known only by the name on her daughter’s birth certificate as ‘Ellen Lis,’ did not return to collect her baby after the war ended as she had promised, and Elizabeth was subsequently raised by the matron of the Home and her surname changed. Elizabeth’s father was a highly decorated Polish Officer under British command. Ellen had also ...
April, 2021
Members-only Zoom visit to the newly opened ANU Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv. Founded 42 years ago as the Museum of the Diaspora Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum has been transformed and has tripled its space, making it the largest Jewish museum in the world.  During this virtual tour, a senior educator at the Museum will tell us about its new Core Exhibition, which explores the unique and ongoing story of the Jewish people. We will visit Synagogue Hall and the exhibition Hallelujah! Assemble, Pray, Study — Synagogues Past and Present, which portrays the diverse expression of global Jewish life related to the synagogue. ...
May, 2021
Speaker: Marian Smith Marian Smith will present an overview of three historical eras (1820-Present) of US immigration and naturalization records, illustrated with documents of Jewish immigrants. Using a timeline tool (included in the handout), she will demonstrate how plotting an immigrant’s life events can identify what records may exist for that particular immigrant and where these records can be found. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. Marian Smith retired in 2018 after thirty years as an Historian for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), later US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). She now speaks to groups on US immigration and ...
June, 2021
Speaker: Renee Steinig In the course of decades of genealogical research for family, friends, clients, and, occasionally, complete strangers, Renee Steinig has uncovered many a "skeleton in the closet" — cases of mental illness, illegitimate birth, infidelity, abandonment, and even murder, all hushed up for decades. A Viennese refugee whose baby was born in a New York State psychiatric hospital; a suburban businessman who led two lives; a Romanian immigrant hanged — or so his family thought — for "stealing horses;" a Jewish GI's love affair in Belgium during World War II; a young woman who married, had a baby, then ...