Past Programs - 2005


The following programs and workshops were held in 2005; they are shown here so that you may view the range of activities of JGSGW.


September 11, 2005

A Day Trip by Motor Coac

h to explore “Jewish Philadelphia.” The morning walking tour of Society Hill was led by Harry Boonin, author, lecturer and genealogist. Visit historic synagogues and other structures that were so much a part of the environment where late 19th and early 20th century immigrant Jews settled in Philadelphia.

In the afternoon we visited the National Museum of American Jewish History, where we had a docent-led tour of the historic Mikveh Israel synagogue.

October 16, 2005
Beth El of Alexandria, 1:30

The gala 25th JGSGW Anniversary Luncheon. Gary Mokotoff will be the keynote speaker. His topic is “Genealogists As Historian.” Reservations are required. Dairy lunch included. Cost $36 per person.

November 13, 2005
B’nai Israel, Stearman Auditorium

WORKSHOP (11:00 AM – 1:00 PM)

Workshop Topic: “Lithuanian Research: Obtaining Maximum Results”
Speaker: Howard Margol

Whether you are an experienced researcher, exploring the resources of archives, internet databases or libraries, or beginner with little more than a surname of a Litvak ancestor; you will find that this presentation has something for everyone. Howard will provide a visual presentation on where to look, what to ask and how to link data to more data. Join us for an exciting afternoon. Howard Margol is a past president of the International Society of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Georgia. A quick GOOGLE search will verify that he has written extensively on the Lithuanian and other aspects of Jewish genealogy. For the past eleven years, Howard has taken a group of genealogists to Lithuania for more than a week of research and touring of the country. The trip includes visits to the various archives, synagogues, ghettos, Holocaust sites, meetings with Jewish leaders, sightseeing, guide/interpreters, and two days to visit and spend time in your shtetl or shtetlach of interest. He is active in growing access to Lithuanian Jewish records. He is on a first-name basis with the heads of the various archives.

PROGRAM (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

Topic:  “The Secret Jews of the Americas”

Speaker: Gloria Mound

Gloria Mound, Executive Director of Casa Shalom, Casa Shalom, the Institute for Marrano-Anusim Studies, will present a fascinating view of the secret Jews of South America, Mexico, and New Mexico. She will explore the history, rituals and customs of these people and also address their attempts to reach out to Israel and the Jewish community.

Casa Shalom is a center for the study and collection of material on individual and collective secret Jews from all over the world. Website:

November 16, 2005


TOPIC: “Uncovering the Resources of the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress"

The Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress is really a veritable "gold mine" for the researcher in the field of Jewish genealogy.  Knowing what is available and how to use it are of tremendous practical as well as heuristic value. The greatest benefit to the genealogist are the resources available, either material or human.  The Library has many cartographic materials ideally suited to someone researching his/her genealogy from a central or east European background.  Since many in the Jewish community of the metro area can trace their roots from these areas, these resources become extremely valuable.  The reference librarians in the division are all capable of dealing with this area and assisting the respective researcher.  All are familiar with the subtleties and nuances of the material available. 

A second and related benefit for the researcher is to become familiar with and know how to do genealogical research utilizing cartographic materials.  Knowing what basic information is required beforehand and the pitfalls and obstacles one might encounter in the process leads to a greater understanding of the entire effort.  Knowing what reference tools are available in the Division and how they relate to genealogy in general and to Jewish genealogy in particular is another benefit.  The satisfaction of successfully finding and locating a town or village that was heretofore only an abstraction in family discussion is immeasurable.  The individual's history becomes complete, and opened are new vistas of understanding.


December 11, 2005
B’nai Israel, Stearman Auditorium

WORKSHOP (11:00 AM – 1:00 PM)

Topic: Beginner’s Workshop

Instructor: Sharlene Kranz


Topic: “Questions You Have Not Had a Chance to Ask”

Discussion Leader:  Marlene Bishow 

An informal forum for seeking assistance from fellow genealogists regarding brick walls, research techniques, resources and generally anything you want to ask about or talk about.


PROGRAM (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

Topic:  Sunday Afternoon at the Movies (includes popcorn)

Movie: “Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies, and the American Dream”

Panel:  Eli Savada, Moderator, Jeff Miller, Ben Okner

This program is based on the acclaimed book of the same name written by Neal Gabler. The men who created Hollywood, men like Adolph Zucker (Paramount founder), Carl Loemmle (Columbia founder), and Louis B. Mayer (MGM founder) had a lot in common. They were all born or grew up within 500 miles of one another, all renounced their Jewish faith and ties, and all helped create Hollywood as it is today. Never-before-seen home movie footage, interviews with family, and extensive movie clips explain the rise of the American film industry, the lives of these important men, and the impact of the values still upheld by Hollywood. This program was the winner of the Best Jewish Experience Documentary award presented at the 1998 Jerusalem Film Festival.

This film discusses the effect on how major American films in Hollywood were influenced by the Eastern European Jewish culture that most of the major movie moguls who controlled the studios shared. Through clips of various films, the filmmakers illustrate the dominant themes like that of the outsider, the outspoken American patriotism, and rooting for the underdog in society.

How a group of impoverished Jews immigrants from Eastern European shtetls eventually became czars of the studio system: Carl Laemmle and Adolph Zukor at Universal, Louis B. Mayer at MGM, Harry Cohn at Columbia, and the three Warner Brothers. The movies they green-lighted were thematic affirmations of their own rags-to-unbelievable riches sagas: asserting that anyone with chutzpah can make it in the USA, including little guys and outsiders, that there's an inevitable happy ending at the end of the rainbow. Since everybody went to Hollywood movies, and breathed the utopian cant of studio product, these Jewish moguls could be said to have invented "the American Dream."

© 2014, Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, Inc.