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September 2020

Marian Smith – Researching US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Records

September 13 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
– Zoom Meeting, Virtual MA United States

Marian Smith presents an overview of three historical eras of US immigration and naturalization records, illustrated with documents of Jewish immigrants. Using a timeline tool (included in the handout), she demonstrates how plotting an immigrant’s life events can identify what records may exist for that particular immigrant and where these records can be found. Bio: 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).…

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October 2020

Lisa Cooper – A Forgotten Land: Growing Up in the Jewish Pale

October 25 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
– Zoom Meeting, Virtual MA United States

What was life like in the old country? Through the eyes of Lisa Cooper’s grandmother Pearl, we experience family life in the Russian Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the context of pogroms, World War I, the Russian Revolution, and civil war. Pearl's son recorded his mother's memories, which give a lively sense of life and culture in the Pale of our ancestors. Bio: Lisa Cooper is a British writer, journalist and artist. While spending a…

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November 2020

Jonathan Brent – YIVO’s Rediscovered Archives in Vilna and New York; and Spotlight Talk: Elliot Matz – Bringing Jewish Life to Lithuania’s “Sturbridge Village”

November 8 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
– Zoom Meeting, Virtual MA United States

YIVO’s collections include more than 2.5 million documents and 12,000 books that were long thought to be lost and represent over 500 years of Jewish history in Eastern Europe.  The landmark Edward Blank YIVO Vilna project will preserve and digitize these materials, making them available to researchers.  Dr. Jonathan Brent’s talk describes the project and the political and social roles these records play in contemporary Lithuanian society and 21stcentury Jewish identity. Jonathan Brent Dr. Jonathan Brent is the Executive Director…

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Annual Lecture: Steven J. Zipperstein – Myth and History in the Recent Jewish Past

November 15 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
– Zoom Meeting, Virtual MA United States

The Heidi Urich Annual Lecture on Jewish Genealogy cosponsored by JGSGB and Hebrew College Free and Open to All For many Jews, the Russian and East European Jewish past is little more than a miasma of misery. As often as not, the experience is summed up with little more than the word "pogrom" which has come to serve as a sturdy coda for all that transpired in what was, at the turn of the 20th century, the largest concentration of…

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December 2020

Deborah Munk Long – Out of the Whirlwind: Finding Your Family Lost in the Holocaust

December 6 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
– Zoom Meeting, Virtual MA United States

The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Deborah Munk Long reviews the best (as well as some of the obscure) resources and methods for determining the fate of those involved in the Holocaust, including survivors and victims. Deborah will use examples from her own research to demonstrate the documents and artifacts she discovered. Bio: Deborah Munk Long has been researching her family's Holocaust history and looking for surviving family members since she was 10 years old. Her research has led to the…

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January 2021

Amy Wachs – History and Geography-Tools for Eastern European Research

January 31, 2021 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
– Zoom Meeting, Virtual MA United States

Researching our Eastern European ancestry remains challenging in many countries, where missing records may lead to frustrating “brick walls”. This presentation offers guidance in using the region’s historical events and geography to help fill in gaps and move past brick walls.  It shows you ways to identify your ancestors, find the places where they lived, and trace their migrations. Bio: Amy Wachs, past president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland,  has been involved in Jewish genealogy for over 30…

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February 2021

Marian Burk Wood – Planning for your Family’s Past

February 21, 2021 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
– Zoom Meeting, Virtual MA United States

Old family photos, documents, and heirlooms are vitally important in preserving your family's past. Learn how to organize and store these special items safely, and discover an easy step-by-step process for deciding what to retain in your collection and what to give to relatives or institutions. Finally, you will get ideas for preparing a "genealogical will" to preserve your family's photos, documents, and heirlooms for future generations. Bio: Marian Burk Wood is a popular speaker and author. Her Planning a Future…

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March 2021

Nicka Smith – Reverse Genealogy: Finding Cousins and Chasing the Living

March 21, 2021 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Location TBA MA United States

This presentation is for you if you’ve done a great job finding your ancestors, but you’re not sure where to start to locate their living descendants. Learn tips and tricks that you can use to safely and respectfully discover the identities of your living cousins and perhaps make new connections. Bio: Nicka Smith is a professional photographer, speaker, host, and documentarian with more than 20 years of experience as a genealogist. She hosts BlackProGen LIVE, an innovative web show about…

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