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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Genealogy Seminar 2015 Hosted by GSSCC and CSGA

GSLOGO-300x290The Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County will host the October board meeting of the California State Genealogical Alliance. The meeting is open, and all are invited to attend.

When: Saturday, October 17, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Santa Cruz Main Library, 224 Church Street, Santa Cruz, upstairs meeting room

In addition to the board meeting, a seminar featuring three popular CSGA speakers will offer a full day of presentations for anyone with an interest in family history.

  • Wendy Elliott – “Finding Wives’ & Daughters’ Names”
  • Mary Ann Vincent – “Mapping Our Ancestors; They Went Where? Why?” 
  • Janice Sellers – “Read All About It! Using Online Newspapers for Genealogical Research”

This seminar is free and open to the public. For more information, please download the flyer, or visit the GSSCC website.

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Family History Month at SBCGS

Sahyun Library, SBCGS

October is Family History Month, and the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society is celebrating with an open house and a month-long list of events and classes!

The annual Open House will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2015, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, at the Sahyun Genealogical Library, 316 Castillo Street, Santa Barbara. Visitors can tour the library, meet SBCGS’s expert genealogists, connect with Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and find out how they can jump-start their family research. The SIGs include DNA genealogy, Jewish Genealogy, Italian Genealogy, Writing Support, German Genealogy, Nikkei Genealogy, Technology and Genealogy, French CanadianGen, and World War I Genealogy.

In addition to the Family History Month Open House, many other classes and events are available to the public. Classes are free for SBCGS members, but registration is required, and seating is limited. Non-members: $10/class, please pay at the door.

For full details and descriptions, please visit the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society’s website.

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San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society Presents “Researching Your Litvak Roots”

JudyAcceptingAwardSunday, September 20, 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)

Numerous sources exist online and in various repositories for researching your Litvak heritage. Judy Baston will offer an overview of these sources and will detail the best ways to use key Litvak databases and websites to enhance your knowledge and expand your family tree. The presentation will include how to find out what records are available, how to read and understand search results, where the records are, and how best to access the information in them. The presentation will cover LitvakSIG and its All Lithuania Database, as well as numerous resources from JewishGen, Yad Vashem, and other sources.

About the speaker: Judy Baston, Vice President of LitvakSIG and recent honoree for lifetime achievement in genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, has been researching her family history from Lithuania and Poland for more than 25 years. She has visited her ancestral shtetlach in Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus and was involved in the filming of There Once Was a Town, about her father’s town of Eishishok (now Eisiskes in Lithuania). She moderates the discussion groups of LitvakSIG, JRI-Poland, BialyGen, and the Lodz Area Research Group and serves on the Board of Directors of JRI-Poland and of LitvakSIG, for which she coordinates the Lida District Research Group. She has been involved with the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco for 22 years and coordinates the monthly Brainstorming with the Mavens Genealogy Clinic at the Library.

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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August is the Right Time to Tell Your Senators About Your Record Access Concerns

Most of you are aware of the concerns the genealogical community has regarding the loss of access to the full Death Master File, commercially known as the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) and the impediments –financial and logistical—to them imposed by the Section 203 of the 2013 Bipartisan Budget Act, which went into effect 29 March 2014. 

For this to be changed we need YOUR help.

In late July, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved SB 1073, Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act. We—the genealogical community as represented by the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC)–of which the IAJGS is a sponsoring member, want to have an amendment added to the bill. Our desire would amend Section 203 of the 2013 Bipartisan Budget Act so the information in the Death Master File can be released to the public except for the Social Security Number. For this we need you to write/visit your Senator to ask them to support such an amendment and perhaps co-sponsor it.  For more information and for a one-page talking point paper to assist you in understanding the issues and for talking with your US Senator see http://www.fgs.org/rpac/  and see the posts on 1 April 2015, “DMF—Comment Period on Proposed Final Rule Closed 30 March,” and under the Publications tab, “SSDI Timeline, 19 January 2015.”. Congress is currently recessed until 7 September 2015. Now is a good time to contact your Senators, either in person or by writing a letter.

Thank you for your support.

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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