Port of Los Angeles Archives in Danger

PortOfLosAngelesArchivesThe Port of Los Angeles created an archives program in 2010 to preserve its historic documents.  About 25,000 linear feet of archival materials have been identified, including photographs, ledgers, maps, blueprints, promotional material, and ephemera.  In early 2015, the Port closed its archives without notice and moved the historic materials to a facility that is not climate-controlled and is not appropriate for storage of important documents.

Please read more details about this situation and sign the online petition calling on the Port and the Los Angeles Harbor Commission to preserve the archives.

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San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society Presents San Francisco’s Own Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico

Norton-AmsterSunday, November 15, 2015
1:30–3:00 p.m.

Rhoda Goldman Plaza
2180 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(parking information available at http://www.jewishgen.org/sfbajgs/calendar.html)

A Jewish businessman originally from England and South Africa, Joshua Abraham Norton arrived in San Francisco in 1849 with $40,000, which after some shrewd investing increased to $250,000 (about $3 million today). After losing his fortune to a bad rice investment, Norton disappeared, returning to San Francisco in 1859 and declaring himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. In any other city, he would have been dismissed as a madman, but the people of San Francisco embraced his reign. He ate for free in restaurants, had the best seats in the theater, the police saluted him, and he even printed his own money, which was accepted as legal tender throughout the city. He issued numerous proclamations, calling for a bridge to be built across San Francisco Bay—in the exact spot where the Bay Bridge stands today. Other proclamations called for the founding of a league of nations to promote world peace, and the United Nations were founded in San Francisco in 1945; the erection of a Christmas tree in Union Square, where one has stood ever since he called for it; and banning use of the word “Frisco”, punishable by a $25 fine. When he died on January 8, 1880, he was given the biggest funeral the city has seen to this day.

About the speaker:  Joseph Amster, a displaced journalist with an acting background, wanted to create a walking tour with a twist, offering his patrons a unique experience. “I decided early on that I wanted to do my tour in character and researched the historical figures from San Francisco’s past,” says Amster. “The more I read about Emperor Norton, the more fascinated I became with him.” After completing his research, Amster took on the character of Emperor Norton, complete with uniform, beard, and plumed top hat.

The San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development, preservation, and distribution of Jewish genealogical knowledge and material, and the sharing of techniques and tools with others who may be researching their Jewish roots.  Meetings are free, and everyone interested is welcome to attend. Coffee and tea will be served.

For more information, visit our Web site or contact publicity@sfbajgs.org.

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How to Virtually Attend Saturday’s CSGA Board Meeting

meeting virtually

If you can’t make it to Santa Cruz for the GSSCC Genealogical Seminar 2015 on Saturday, you can still attend the CSGA Board Meeting from wherever you are!

Just log into the meeting via GoToMeeting on your computer, tablet, smart device, or telephone:

Saturday, October 17, 2015, 2:30 – 3:30 PM PDT
(The meeting space will open at 2:15 PM)

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States +1 (657) 220-3412
Access Code: 930-528-525

We hope to (virtually) see you there! :-)

Please note this service is limited to the first 25 attendees.

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CSGA Election: Seeking Director Candidates


Two candidates are currently being sought to serve the CSGA as Directors at Large for the 2016-2018 term. Ideally, one candidate would be from northern California and the other from southern California.

Directors at Large serve as advisers to individual societies, and perform other duties as the need arises.

Please note that voting for this election will be conducted electronically via ElectionBuddy. Please be sure that your contact information is correct in our database so you will receive an invitation to vote. Member societies should designate one person to vote on behalf of the society. Please contact the webmanager to update your contact information.

If you are interested in serving as a Director, or have questions about the election, please contact president Catherine Luijt.

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2015 International Jewish Genealogy Month

IAJGS_Logo_Final_ColorSince 2007, International Jewish Genealogy Month has been supported by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (http://www.iajgs.org/). It is an opportunity for local Jewish genealogical societies to promote Jewish genealogy and research resources.

SFBAGS_logo_color-SmInternational Jewish Genealogy Month falls during the month of Cheshvan in the Hebrew calendar. In 2015, Cheshvan runs from October 14 to November 12 on the Christian calendar. For this year’s International Jewish Genealogy Month the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society will host the following presentations: “JRI-Poland: Go for the Record!” on Sunday, October 18, in Oakland; “Chasing Portraits:  A Great-granddaughter’s Search for Her Lost Art Legacy” on Monday, October 19, in Los Altos Hills; and “Online Resources for Jewish Genealogy” on Wednesday, October 21, in Oakland.

San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society holds meetings in three locations in the San Francisco Bay Area:  Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Altos Hills. We hold about sixteen meetings during the year, featuring presentations on a variety of topics helpful to family history researchers. All of our meetings feature networking and brainstorming with other genealogists, and sometimes cousins have connected with each other. Our meetings are free, and everyone is welcome to attend. Visit http://www.sfbajgs.org/ for addresses, more details, and the rest of our calendar.

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