Events 1997

An Evening at the National Archives

Tuesday, December 2, 1997 — 5:30-8:30pm

National Archives, New England Region, 380 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA.

The National Archives, New England Region holds many records for research, including the U.S. Federal Census (1790-1920); Passenger Arrival Records for Boston and other New England ports; New England Naturalization Records, New England WWI Draft Registration Cards, and the Russian Consular Records. For a complete list of holdings, see Resources for Jewish Genealogy in the Boston Area, Boston: JGSGB, 1996).

This meeting will include an orientation lecture and three hours of open research time. Archives staff and experienced JGSGB members will be available to help anyone who needs assistance. Microfilm copiers are available, so bring quarters.

This meeting is open to JGSGB members only — you may join at the door.

Directions: From Route 128: Exit at Trapelo Road (Exit 28A) and continue east on Trapelo road for 2.8 miles to the Archives, on the right side of the road.

Resources for Jewish Genealogy — A half-day Seminar

Sunday, October 26, 1997 — 12:00noon-5:00pm

NEHGS, 101 Newbury Street, Boston

Join us for a half-day Seminar on Jewish Genealogy, co-sponsored by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston.

Schedule for the Day:

12 noon – 12:30pm
12:30 – 1:30pm
Unique Methods and Sources for Researching Jewish American Genealogy. Warren Blatt.
1:30 – 2:30pm
Memories of Our Fathers and Mothers: The World of East European Jewry. Leon Jick.
3:00 – 4:00pm
How to Locate the Descendants of Family Members who Immigrated in the Early 20th Century: A Case Study. Nancy Arbeiter, C.G.R.S.
4:00 – 5:00pm
Guided tours of the NEHGS Library with an emphasis on resources for Jewish and immigrant genealogical research. Non-members of NEHGS will receive a complimentary library pass valid for the week following the seminar (Oct. 23 – Nov. 1).


  • Nancy Arbeiter, C.G.R.S. specializes in Jewish family research in Massachusetts, Maine, Amsterdam and the Netherlands. She is on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston.
  • Warren Blatt is Vice President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston, and on the Board of Directors of JewishGen, the principal presence of Jewish genealogy on the Internet. He is the author of FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Jewish Genealogy and Resources for Jewish Genealogy in the Boston Area.
  • Leon Jick is the Helen and Irving Schneider Professor Emeritus of American Jewish Studies at Brandeis University.

Registration is $40. Please make checks payable to “NEHGS”. Mail to: One Day Seminar, NEHGS, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116-3007.

Please register early since space at this seminar is limited.

Mormon Family History Center

Monday, September 15, 1997 — 7:00pm-9:00pm

LDS Family History Center, 130 Brown Street, Weston, MA

An introduction to LDS (Mormon) Family History Centers, and what resources are available for Jewish genealogy there.


  • Introduction: Maude Bentall, Director, Weston FHC
  • Presentation: Marcia Melynk, on LDS resources
  • Videos: Using a Family History Center, and How to Use the Family History Library Catalog.
  • Library Tour and research time:
    (Social Security Death Index; FHLC Locality catalog; Indefinite loan resources, such as NYC BMD indexes, 1860s-1960s).

Marcia Melnyk is a reference librarian and lecturer at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). She has taught genealogy courses at community colleges, and has developed and leads NEHGS’ “Genealogy 101” program. She was a founding member, and is current president of the Italian Genealogical Society of America. Marcia is currently compiling the 4th edition of NEHGS’ Genalogist’s Handbook for New England Research, as well as other projects.Directions: The church is a beige brick building on the south side of Route 30, located 3.2 miles west of Route 128.

Summer Gathering: Review of Paris Seminar

Sunday, August 10, 1997 at 3:00pm

David Kohen’s home, 121 Rachel Road, Newton Centre

Our annual informal summer gathering, at a member’s home.

A dozen JGSGB members attended the International Summer Seminar on Jewish Genealogy in Paris, France, July 13-17, and will report back to us about the activities there, and the follow-on trips to Eastern Europe.

Bring a switsuit and towel if you want to use the pool.

Please RSVP to David Kohen at (617) 527-8082 or

The Shtetl on Celluloid and Annual Meeting

Sunday, June 22, 1997 — Noon-5:00 pm

Temple Reyim, West Newton

In conjunction with our annual meeting and election of board members, we will be showing movies depicting Jewish life in the shtetl. Documentary shorts and a full-length video will be scheduled for repeat showings in classrooms. The large meeting room will be filled with our many resources. Videos include documentaries of pre-World War II Jewish life in Warsaw, Vilna, Bialystok, Lvov, and Vilna. A full-length feature will give a portrayal of life in the old country. Our brief annual meeting begins at 12:30, movies to begin immediately after.

Come by, check out the resources, shmooze, take in some videos — enjoy! No Fee. Members Only. Non-members may join at the door.

Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street (Route 16), Newton (near the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, between Routes 128 and 30 — a short walk from the Woodland Stop on the Green Line). Click here for directions.

The Lost Paper Trail: Jewish Genealogical Records in the Archives of the Former Soviet Union

Sunday, May 4, 1997 — 1:00-3:30 pm

Temple Reyim, Newton

Chae Ran Freeze, author and scholar, will make a presentation based on her specialized area of study and her first-hand experiences doing research in the Former Soviet Union. The program promises to be a highlight of our 1996/97 program year. The presentation will provide a basic guide to sources for Jewish genealogy in the archives of the former Soviet Union. It will not only examine familiar records such as metrical books and poll-tax registers, but also ‘unusual’ sources such as wills, educational records, petitions for resident rights, and court files. Practical suggestions on how to undertake a trip to the archives will also be provided (e.g. visas, archival access, procuring photocopies, research conditions).

The program will begin promptly at 1:00 pm on Sunday, May 4th. Any time left at the end of the presentation will be used for networking and chat time with fellow genealogists.

Cost: $3.00 non-members, no charge for members. Non-members may join at the door.

Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street (Route 16), Newton (near the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, between Routes 128 and 30 — a short walk from the Woodland Stop on the Green Line). Click here for directions.

Boston Public Library tour

January 29, 1997

A tour of the Boston Public Library‘s main research library at Copley Square. Genealogical resources and the in-progress renovations will be highlighted. 6pm-9pm.