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March 2020

Genie Milgrom: Journey Back in Time: In Search of Crypto-Jewish Ancestors

March 25 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
New England Historical Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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 This program is presented in partnership with the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center, The Vilna Shul, and JGSGB. Tracing her family back 15 generations to 1405 pre-Inquisition Spain, Genie Milgrom was able to unravel the web of lies and deceit that her family had spun around themselves in order to survive the Spanish Inquisition. Born in Cuba to a Catholic family, Genie Milgrom has traced her maternal lineage back 600 years to the Jews of pre-Inquisition Portugal and Spain. In this…

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

March 29 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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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. Lisa Cooper is a British writer, journalist and artist. While spending a year…

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April 2020

Film: Joseph Lovett – Children of the Inquisition: Discovering Their Jewish Roots

April 23 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
at Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road
Newton Centre, MA United States
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This program is co-sponsored by Hebrew College and JGSGB Join us for a special showing of the documentary film “Children of the Inquisition,” followed by a Q&A with the film’s director, Joseph Lovett, and Rabbi Or Rose, Director of Hebrew College’s Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership. “Children of the Inquisition” is a re-examination of history and identity that unearths 500 years of hidden history. The film looks at what happened to the families forced to convert to Catholicism…

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

April 26 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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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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Schelly Talalay Dardashti and Maria Apodaca – Sephardic/Converso Experience: History, Migration, DNA and Personal Journeys: One Program in 2 Parts

April 30 @ 7:45 pm - 9:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Sponsored by Temple Emanuel and JGSGB Schelly Talalay Dardashti digs deeply into Sephardic Jewish history in discussing the post-1391 and post-1492 migrations from Spain and Portugal into the Balkans, North Africa, and the New World. She also addresses Sephardic DNA project results and genetic medical conditions (including BRCA1). A journalist and genealogist, Schelly has written widely on Sephardic Jewish genealogy. She founded the enormously popular and helpful Facebook group “Tracing the Tribe” and has spoken at many conferences on Jewish…

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May 2020

Research Sunday

May 3 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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(Feldberg Meeting Room, lower level) Research Sundays are an opportunity to: Get help with using your genealogy software Consult experienced researchers for help with your research questions in 30-minute scheduled appointments Work with a strategist to plan your next steps Get translation help with documents written in various foreign languages in 20-minute scheduled appointments Learn how to read your DNA results or decide if DNA testing is for you Examine our extensive research collection of books and maps on your…

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Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz – Finding Vital Records from Poland Online

May 17 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Goodnow Library, 21 Concord Road
Sudbury, MA 01776 United States
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This program is co-sponsored by JGSGB and the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts. If you’d like to go beyond JewishGen and JRI-Poland to find vital records for your Polish-Jewish ancestors, this program will introduce you to major websites such as Metryki, GenBaza, Szukajwarchiwach (the Polish State Archives), Geneteka, and FamilySearch.  Our speaker, Julie Szczepankiewicz, will also review U.S. records that contain the specific places of origin of your immigrant ancestors, suggest resources to decipher misspelled place names, and identify the…

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Joan Nathan – Food: A Window on Jewish Life, Culture, and Genealogy

May 31 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Do you have your latkes with applesauce or sour cream? Does your family eat rice during Passover? Award-winning chef, food journalist, and author Joan Nathan will show us how the foods we ate growing up were influenced by our families’ ethnic and geographical origins. Dedicating her life to examining Jewish food through a historical perspective, she will explain how and why these customs started and “how the foods we eat share a deeper cultural connection than we might imagine.” Joan…

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June 2020

JGSGB Panel: Digital Storytelling: A New Way to Share Your Information

June 14 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459 United States
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Our stories keep memories alive. Digital storytelling, using computer-based audio visual tools, allows everyday people to share their stories in a 21st century way. Four JGSGB members, Linda Levine, Gilda Bruckman, Jill Roff and Jeanne Eberhart will each share their unique stories via short videos (each under 5 minutes) and explain how they turned genealogical research into a video using resources of the Cambridge Public Library and Cambridge CCTV. You will experience how compelling family stories can be when presented through this wonderful new…

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