JGSGB

2013 - 2014   Calendar

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September 29: Judy Russell - Building a Family Tree through Circumstantial Evidence
Sep 29

    
Building a Family Tree through Circumstantial Evidence:
Breaking through the Immigrant Brickwall

Judy G. Russell
“The Legal Genealogist”
This event will start at 1:30 pm at Temple Emanuel, Adelson Hall 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA

This talk will be preceded by a short slideshow about the Boston (IAJGS) Conference.

Judy Russell

When our immigrant ancestors leave behind not just their homes but any direct evidence of family relationships, what’s a genealogist to do? Most genealogists learn very quickly that it’s a rare family where direct evidence supplies all the proof needed to connect one generation to another and tie brothers and sisters to each other. In most cases, it’s necessary to build the case for family relationships from bits and pieces and hints and clues gathered from a wide variety of sources. Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, presents resources and strategies to show us how to build a family tree from circumstantial evidence.

Judy G. Russell is a Certified GenealogistSM and Certified Genealogical LecturerSM who blogs as The Legal Genealogist. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and on the faculty at several genealogical institutes. She holds a law degree from Rutgers Law School. Her popular blog at www.legalgenealogist.com is a useful resource for all researchers. In a recent poll of genealogists around the world, Russell was voted one of the three American “rockstar genealogists,” those “who give ‘must attend’ presentations at family history conferences or as webinars .”

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October 20: Logan Kleinwaks - Introduction to the GenealogyIndexer.org Search Engine
Oct. 20

    
Introduction to the GenealogyIndexer.org Search Engine
Logan Kleinwaks
This event will start at 1:30 pm at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA

Logan Kleinwaks Logan Kleinwaks, creator of GenealogyIndexer.org, will explain how to use the Genealogy Indexer to search historical directories, yizkor books, and other resources and present an update on newly added and expanded sources.

GenealogyIndexer.org is a free website that offers full-text searching of more than 400,000 pages of historical directories primarily from central and eastern Europe (business, address, telephone), yizkor books, Polish and Russian military documents, community and personal histories, Galician secondary school reports, and more. These sources contain millions of personal names—often with towns of residence, street addresses, and occupations, and sometimes with vital dates or patronymics. This huge and growing collection mostly comprises data from central and eastern European records not searchable elsewhere.

Logan Joseph Kleinwaks is the creator of free genealogy websites including GenealogyIndexer.organd ShoahConnect.org, which uses Page of Testimony research to reunite families separated by the Shoah, and the coordinator of the JewishGen Danzig/Gdansk SIG. He has a research background in physics. For creating and maintaining GenealogyIndexer.org, Kleinwaks received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Jewish Genealogy via the Internet, Print or Electronic Product from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies in 2012.

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November 3: Stanley Diamond - Workshop on Jewish Records Indexing-Poland – Learn & Ask
Nov. 3
9 am - 12 noon

Special Program on Polish Records Research -- Members Only
Workshop on Jewish Records Indexing-Poland – Learn & Ask

Stanley Diamond
Founder & Director
of JRI-Poland
Newton (specific location will be sent to registrants)
Stanley Diamond

The JRI-Poland Learn and Ask workshop will provide an opportunity to get deep inside the workings of Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, an award winning international project to create an Internet-searchable index of all surviving Jewish vital records of Poland. JRI-Poland’s founder and director, Stanley Diamond, will present an update on the current status of various indexing projects, the latest news on scanning of Jewish records in the Polish State Archives, and an overview of the not-yet-announced projects for which hundreds of thousands of records have already been indexed.

Both new and more experienced researchers will be able to ask questions directly related to their research and learn what records of interest may be available now and what might be expected in the near and foreseeable future. Diamond will also field questions about preparing for and visiting Poland and how to find the best guides and researchers. As an option, attendees may prepare and write up their questions in advance and send them to Stanley Diamond at .

Stanley M. Diamond is the founder and Executive Director of Jewish Records Indexing - Poland (jri-poland.org). He also researches a novel mutation of the beta-thalassemia genetic trait and documents the rare incidence of the trait in Ashkenazi Jewish families of the Diaspora. Diamond is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal and holds an MBA from Harvard. He is Founding President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal and the winner of the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

The November 3 workshop is sold out, but if you are interested in a future workshop, let us know by clicking and adding your name to an interest list, and if/when there's another workshop we'll notify you before we send out the public notice.


November 17: David Laskin - From Genealogy to History: Exploring the Jewish 20th Century through One Family’s Story
Nov. 17

Laskin     
From Genealogy to History: Exploring the Jewish 20th Century through One Family’s Story
David Laskin
This event will start at 1:30 pm at Temple Emanuel 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA

David LaskinIn his new book, The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the 20th Century, David Laskin tells the story of his mother’s family— eastern European Jews who split into three branches at the turn of the last century. Laskin will describe his genealogical research, which involved archives and resources on three continents—eastern Europe, the United States, and Israel—and how he used insights from family letters and memoirs and historical documents to enrich the family stories and understand the family history in the broader historical context of the Jewish 20th century.

Among other resources, he will discuss using archives in Israel; hiring researchers and guides in Belarus and Lithuania; using JewishGen, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services; and employing Facebook and Twitter to help find a “lost” branch of the family.

David Laskin is an award-winning author who writes about the intersection between ordinary people and the seismic upheavals of our time . He holds a degree in history and literature from Harvard and an MA in English from New College, Oxford. The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the 20 th Century is a book that reads like a novel, but is a work of history with every detail grounded in fact. “The Family is as rich and poignant as any novel, only all true and impeccably researched.”
—Erik Larson, New York Times Bestselling Author

For more information, see www.davidlaskin.com

12:30 (before the main program)

Ask the Experts - Bring your questions about U.S. research

First meeting of new Bessarabia Special Interest Group. 
Contact

 

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December 15: Rochelle Ruthchild - Belarusian Encounters: Travel, Family Research and Connections
Dec. 15

    

Belarusian Encounters: Travel, Family Research and Connections
Rescheduled to June 8, 2014.

Rochelle Ruthchild
This event will start at 1:30 pm at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA
Rochelle Ruthchild

Since 1966, when she was a participant in the US–USSR scholar exchange program, Rochelle Ruthchild has made seven trips to Belarus to visit surviving relatives and conduct family research. Ruthchild will discuss these trips and key aspects of what she learned about doing family research. She will also provide pointers for those planning to travel to Belarus and a brief overview of her experiences visiting and working in the archives.

The Dec 15 program at Temple Emanuel - has been cancelled due to snow.

Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild is Professor Emerita of Graduate Studies at The Union Institute and University, a Research Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard, and a Visiting Scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center. She holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Rochester.
Dr. Ruthchild’s research includes Russian women’s history and women’s movements. She is the author of Equality and Revolution: Women’s Rights in the Russian Empire, 1905-1917, and of articles about feminist and Jewish Bundist women activists in Russia and the Soviet Union.


This program will be preceded by a free help session on U.S. research - see "Ask the Experts" below."

The Bessarabia SIG will meet on Sunday January 15 at 12:15, before the main speaker. 
Contact kogan@jgsgb.org

The Poland SIG will meet at 3:00, after the main speaker.  Contact gordon@jgsgb.org

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January 5: Hasia Diner: Wandering Jews: Peddlers and the Discovery of New Worlds
Jan. 5

Annual Lecture     
Wandering Jews: Peddlers and the Discovery of New Worlds Hasia Diner
This event will start at 2:00 pm in Berenson Hall at Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA
Hasia Diner

How did peddling, an utterly prosaic and familiar occupation of Jews in the Old World, become an engine of opportunity for Jewish resettlement around the world?  What was the role of peddlers in Jewish migration and integration in nearly every place in the New World including the United States, the British Isles, North, South and Central America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand?

Professor Hasia Diner is a renowned authority on American Jewish history and U.S. immigration history. She is the Paul and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History, with a joint appointment in the Department of History and the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, where she also directs the Goldstein Goren Center for American Jewish History.  She is the author of many books and articles, and has received numerous fellowships and honors, including elected membership to the American Academy of Jewish Research and to the Society of American Historians. Her most recent book, We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence After the Holocaust, won the National Jewish Book Award in the category of American Jewish Studies. She is currently completing a book on global Jewish migrations and the history of Jewish peddling.

Reservations
This lecture is free and open to the public. However, space is limited and reservations are required.  To reserve a seat, go to jgsgb.org/annuallecture. For more information, contact annuallecture@jgsgb.org.

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January 19: Annual Help Day: Research and Translation Assistance
Jan. 19

    
Annual Help Day: Research and Translation Assistance  
This event will start at 1:30 pm at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA

Problem-solve with others who can help show you the way. Learn how to get started or get over that “brick wall” in your family research. Members will be able to consult with those more experienced for help with their family research.

You can bring your own laptops for online research.

Roundtables will be dedicated to topics such as:

  • Country and region-specific research (e.g., Polish, Lithuanian, Galician, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Romanian, Moldovan, Bessarabian, German)
  • Finding your ancestors using immigration, naturalization, and vital records
  • Getting started with Jewish genealogy (e.g., using the JewishGen and Steve Morse web sites)
  • Holocaust research (e.g., using the Internet, Yizkor books, Yad Vashem)
  • Translation of foreign-language documents (Yiddish, Russian, German, French, Polish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Romanian)

(Other topics may be added at a later date.)

Genealogical reference materials will be available for perusal.

Bring in your research questions and your foreign-language documents for translation.

If you plan on coming, please fill out our "Help Day" Questionnaire.


The Bessarabia SIG will meet from 1-2.  Contact kogan@jgsgb.org

The Poland SIG will meet from 1-2.   Contact gordon@jgsgb.org


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February 9: Jessica Antoline - Immigration from Lithuania
Feb. 9

    
Immigration from Lithuania Jessica Antoline
This event will start at 1:30 pm at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA
Jessica Antoline

Jessica Antoline will briefly recount the story of the migration of Lithuanian Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries and review the circumstances that prompted them to leave the land where they had lived for so many years and travel thousands of miles to new lands. Why did so many settle in Boston and its surrounding communities? What were their motivations, their hopes, and their struggles in di goldene medine as they tried to find affordable neighborhoods in which to live, communities of Jews to settle amongst, and employment?

Jessica Antoline is Program Manager for the historic Vilna Shul, now Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture. She holds degrees in History and Museum Education from Tufts, Religion and Historical Archaeology from BU, and studied eastern European and Jewish history at Univerzita Karlova in Prague. Her career has taken her around the world to research how museums and historic sites facilitate intercultural dialogue and help repair communities after conflict.

Spotlight Talk following main talk:
Dr. Arthur Rabson will give a supplementary talk on Jewish Migration from Lithuania to South Africa. Dr. Rabson is a member of the Pathology Department at Tufts Medical Center. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the son of 2nd generation immigrants from the Vilna area of what is now Lithuania.

12:30-1:15: Ask the Experts (see below)

12:30: Polish SIG meeting

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March 12: Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern - The Golden Age Shtetl
March 12

The Golden Age Shtetl
Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern
This event will start at 7:30 pm at Hebrew College, Newton Centre, MA

Professor Petrovsky-Shtern will discuss his new book The Golden Age Shtetl. The shtetl was home to two-thirds of East Europe's Jews in the 18th and 19th centuries, yet it has long been one of the most neglected and misunderstood chapters of the Jewish experience. Challenging popular misconceptions of the shtetl as an isolated, ramshackle Jewish village stricken by poverty and pogroms, Petrovsky-Shtern argues in his latest book that, in its heyday from the 1790s to the 1840s, the shtetl was a thriving Jewish community as vibrant as any in Europe.

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern is the Crown Family Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Jewish History at Northwestern University. He spoke at our 2011 Annual Lecture on Jewish Genealogy on "Drafted into the Tsar s Army: Russian Expectations, Jewish Experiences." Following his talk, Petrovsky-Shtern will sign copies of books purchased at the event.

Space is limited; advance ticket purchase is recommended.

General admission: $10 (purchase tickets here).

Free for JGSGB members and students (JGSGB members register here).
 


March 30: Bennett Greenspan - DNA and Jewish Genealogy
March 30

DNA and Jewish Genealogy     
DNA and Jewish Genealogy
Bennett Greenspan
There will be 2 lectures and an optional lunch, starting at 11 AM at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA

Bennett Greenspan, president and founder of FamilyTreeDNA, will give two presentations on the use of DNA for Jewish genealogy research.

Bennett Greenspan

11:00 am Understanding, Interpreting, and Using DNA Results  Greenspan will discuss the three different types of DNA tests—Y, Mitochondrial, and Autosomal—including what results look like, what they mean, and what to do next once results are received. He will explain what is typical for a Jewish person to see, what is not, and what the “typical” result for an Ashkenazi or Sephardi Jew will usually look like.


Lunch 12:30 pm (lunch reservation deadline has passed)

Please note: the Temple does not permit people to bring their own food from outside.


1:30 pm Haplogroups: What are They and What They Mean for Jews   DNA testing also tells us what haplogroup—the branch of the tree of mankind on which one descends—we each belong to. As romantic as it is to presume that all our ancestors stood at Mt. Sinai, in truth only some of our ancestors were Jews 3200 years ago. Our haplogroup can tell us about our most distant ancestors and even give us an idea of when our ancestors became Jews. It may also give us clues as to where our ancestors joined the Jewish people. The lecture will deal primarily with Ashkenazim, both males and females.


Ask the Experts will meet from 12:30-1:20. 

The Bessarabia SIG will not meet today.

The Poland SIG will meet from 12:30-1:20.   Contact gordon@jgsgb.org

The Litvak/Baltic SIG will meet from 12:30-1:20.   Contact joelrat1@hotmail.com


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April 20: Fay Bussgang - Finding Your Ancestors in Polish Records
April 20

    
Finding Your Ancestors in Polish Records
Fay Bussgang
This event will start at 1:30 pm at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA
Fay Bussgang

More American Jews have roots in Poland than in any other country. Poland kept very good track of its citizens through metrical records (birth, marriage, and death), Population Registers, and other documents. While many of these records were destroyed during the war, a surprising number has survived and can be found in Polish Archives, even for localities no longer in Poland, particularly parts of present-day Ukraine. Through the efforts of JewishGen and JRI-Poland volunteers, information about and indexes to many of these records are now accessible through the Internet. Fay Bussgang will describe what records exist and bring you up to date on new developments in accessing them.

Fay Bussgang received a B.A. from Wellesley and an Ed.D. from Harvard. She served as co-president of the JGSGB from 1998–2000. She has authored over 20 articles in genealogical journals and wrote the “Russian Poland” chapter of the Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy.

Fay and her Polish-born husband, Julian, have done extensive genealogical research during 13 trips to Poland. They have also translated two volumes of war-time accounts of child survivors still living in Poland (The Last Eyewitnesses) and edited two Yizkor Books that were recently published by JewishGen (for the towns of Brzeziny and Dzialoszyce).

Pronunciation Guide

Useful Web Sites and Addresses for Polish Genealogical Research


Ask the Experts will meet from 12:30-1:20. 

The Bessarabia SIG will not meet today.

The Poland SIG will meet from 12:30-1:20.   Contact gordon@jgsgb.org

The Litvak/Baltic SIG will meet from 12:30-1:20.   Contact joelrat1@hotmail.com


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May 4: Walking Tour of Boston's Old Jewish South End
May 4

    
Walking Tour of Boston's Old Jewish South End
Robin Dexter
This event will take place from 2 to 4 pm

Boston’s South End was home to an early Jewish community between the 1840s and the 1920s. Our tour leader, Robin Dexter, will take us to some formerly Jewish and now historic sites and will discuss the history of the South End. Several of the early synagogue buildings still stand, though their uses have changed.

Cost $25.



  • Tour is available to JGSGB members (you may join before signing up), and one accompanying guest.
  • Each walking tour is limited to 20 participants. You can reserve and pay by using Paypal.
  • The walk will be at an energetic pace and is not suitable for persons with limited mobility. Wear comfortable shoes and a hat.
  • Tours will go rain or shine (bring an umbrella, wear appropriate footwear).

May 18: Daniel Soyer - Landsmanshaftn: Jewish Hometown Societies in the New World
May 18

    
Landsmanshaftn: Jewish Hometown Societies in the New World
Daniel Soyer
This event will start at 1:30 pm at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA

Daniel SoyerLandsmanshaftn, mutual aid associations made up of immigrants from the same Eastern European town, were an important form of organization among turn-of-the-twentieth-century Jewish immigrants in the United States. At one time, thousands of landsmanshaftn provided their hundreds of thousands of members with health and death benefits, loans, and help in securing jobs and housing. They also served as arenas for social interactions and evolved their own colorful internal culture. In this illustrated talk, Daniel Soyer discusses the development of these unique organizations, and the important role they played in the Eastern European Jewish community between the 1880s and the First World War.

Dr. Daniel Soyer graduated from Oberlin College and holds a Ph.D. in history from New York University. He is professor of history at Fordham University and studies and writes about American immigration and American Jewish history. With Annie Polland he is author of The Emerging Metropolis: New York Jews in the Age of Immigration, 1840-1920, winner of the National Jewish Book Award. His previous book, Jewish Immigrant Associations and American Identity in New York, 1880-1939, won the Saul Viener Prize of the American Jewish Historical Society.


Spotlight Talk: Phyllis & Hersch Clopper will speak about Our Recent ShtetlSeeker Tour to Lithuania.
Phyllis and Hersch are long-time members of the JGSGB.


12:30 - 1:20 PM - Small Group Meetings:
Ask the Experts
(US research),
Bessarabia SIG
Litvak-Baltic SIG
Poland SIG.

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June 1: Walking Tour of Boston's Old Jewish North End
June 1

    
Walking Tour of Boston's Old Jewish North End
Ellen Smith
This event will take place from 10 am to 12 noon

Boston’s eastern European Jewish immigrants of over a century ago lived in Boston’s North End—home of Colonial founders and Revolutionary War heroes, Boston’s Irish immigrants, and the southern Italians with whom they shared these historic, scenic streets. Come walk in their footsteps and visit sites that tie Paul Revere, Harvard ministers, small synagogues, grand churches, and basketball courts to Boston’s Jewish immigrant history. Our tour leader is Prof. Ellen Smith of Brandeis University, a leading authority on the history of Boston’s Jewish
community and co-author of The Jews of Boston.
Cost $35
- Registration Closed - Tour is Full.


  • Tour is available to JGSGB members (you may join before signing up), and one accompanying guest.
  • Each walking tour is limited to 20 participants. You can reserve and pay by using Paypal.
  • The walk will be at an energetic pace and is not suitable for persons with limited mobility. Wear comfortable shoes and a hat.
  • Tours will go rain or shine (bring an umbrella, wear appropriate footwear).

June 8: Rochelle Ruthchild - Belarusian Encounters: Travel, Family Research and Connections
June 8

    
Belarusian Encounters: Travel, Family Research and Connections Rochelle Ruthchild
This event will start at 1:30 pm at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA
Rochelle Ruthchild

Since 1966, when she was a participant in the US–USSR scholar exchange program, Rochelle Ruthchild has made seven trips to Belarus to visit surviving relatives and conduct family research. Ruthchild will discuss these trips and key aspects of what she learned about doing family research. She will also provide pointers for those planning to travel to Belarus and a brief overview of her experiences visiting and working in the archives.

Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild is Professor Emerita of Graduate Studies at The Union Institute and University, a Research Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard, and a Visiting Scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center. She holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Rochester.
Dr. Ruthchild’s research includes Russian women’s history and women’s movements. She is the author of Equality and Revolution: Women’s Rights in the Russian Empire, 1905-1917, and of articles about feminist and Jewish Bundist women activists in Russia and the Soviet Union.

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Resources and Links for Researching Belarus


12:30 - 1:20 PM - Small Group Meetings:
Ask the Experts
(US research),
Bessarabia SIG
Litvak-Baltic SIG
Poland SIG.

July 23: Resources in the Ukrainian Archives for Jewish Genealogical Research
July 23

    
Resources in the Ukrainian Archives for Jewish Genealogical Research Nadia and Oleksiy Lipes
This event will start at 7:00 pm at Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA

Ukrainian researchers Nadia and Oleksiy Lipes will discuss records in the Ukrainian archives that are relevant to Jewish family research. There will be an emphasis on archives in Kiev and eastern Ukraine, but Galician records will also be included. Useful records in the Ukrainian archives include Metrical Books (parish registers); rabbinical records of births, deaths, and marriages; census tables 1795 1900; Jewish Population Census of 1875; Russian Empire Population Census of 1897; police records; lists of army recruits; Kahal and pogrom records; and WWI Jewish refugee lists in Kiev. The different kinds of records, their unique features, and their availability will be discussed. 

Nadia and Oleksiy (Elisha) Lipes will be visiting Boston on their way from Ukraine to Salt Lake City, where they will speak at the International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. In a special preview for the JGSGB, they will present one of the lectures they have prepared for the Conference. Based in Kiev, Nadia and Oleksiy provide Jewish genealogy research and tour services.

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Admission is free for members, $5 for non-members. Refreshments will be served.

ASK THE EXPERTS  on Sundays from 12:30 to 1:20 PM 

We are introducing a new benefit for members called Ask the Experts. Members are encouraged to bring their questions about U.S. research to our panel of experts most months from 12:30 to 1:15 PM, preceding the regular program. "Ask the Experts" sessions will be announced in the regular email notices for upcoming programs.

This is an opportunity for beginners and more advanced researchers to break through their brick walls in doing U.S. research.  For help with foreign research or other subjects, members are encouraged to sign up for "1-on-1 Help". Contact for more information on Ask the Experts.

After the talks, there will be opportunities to do research and meet with other genealogists.

If you have any questions regarding the JGSGB or events, please call the JGSGB at 866-611-5698 (toll free) — the latest information will be on a recording. Or check your email for meeting cancellation information.

P.O. Box 610366 • Newton, MA 02461-0366 • 866-611-5698 (toll free) •