Past Programs - 2006


The following programs and workshops were held in 2006; they are shown here so that you may view the range of activities of JGSGW.


January 8, 2006
B’nai Israel, Stearman Auditorium

PROGRAM (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

Topic: The Ultimate Holocaust Project
Speaker: Dr. Sallyann Amdur Sack

The founding member and past-president of JGSGW will present a program regarding a new project which she is chairing. The concept is to use the Yad Vashem database to create family trees and use these to create virtual memorials to the destroyed cities and shtetls of eastern Europe.

February 12, 2006
B’nai Israel, Stearman Auditorium

WORKSHOP: (11 AM - 1 PM)

Topic: "Get Your Act Together....Organizing Your Research & Materials"
Presenter: Marlene Bishow

You interviewed the relatives.............
You have done lots of research.............
You collected old family photos............

Now, what are you going to do with it all? Methods, materials and strategies for protecting and preserving your research, photos and family documents.

DISPLAY: (11:00 AM – 4:00 PM)

Topic: Sharing Your Story

A presentation of family history books, cookbooks, and other items, created by members of JGSGW to share their genealogy research. Anyone wishing to contribute an item for display should contact Rita Margolis.

PROGRAM (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

Topic: Write Your Family History Now!
Speaker: Mike Karsen

We genealogists are very good at doing research and collecting many facts about our families. For any of a number of reasons, however, most of us delay publishing the results of this research. Mike Karsen shows how you can publish your findings in books that vary from a simple 30 pages to one that contains detailed biographies and places your family in historical context. Your goal should be to organize your findings and share them with your family as soon as possible.

A professional genealogy speaker and instructor, Mike Karsen is a member of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Genealogical Speakers Guild. He speaks on genealogy topics locally and nationally, teaches classes in genealogy and is on the faculty of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Mike has presented at state, national, and international conferences. He is the author of the JewishGen website "Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland" and has published articles on genealogy.

March 5, 2006
B’nai Israel, Stearman Auditorium

PROGRAM (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

Topic: "Jews in the Polish Lands and Poland: Making Choices and Responding to Modernity."

Speaker: Dr. Marci Shore

One common misconception is the envisioning of "Poles" and "Jews" as if they consisted if two monolithic groups. By the turn of the century, the heterogeneity was breathtaking and a bit dizzying. It was not at all uncommon for families to be split: the parents Hasids, one child a Zionist, another child a Polish communist, one a Yiddishist, one a Hebraicist, etc. Modernity (beginning, say, with the Haskalah in Germany) was both a thrill and a trauma, opening up an often bewildering array of dramatic choices, splitting families apart, transforming identities. 

Marci Shore is an Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Indiana University. She specializes in east and central European cultural and intellectual history. She has taught three different undergraduate lecture courses on modern central and eastern Europe; led undergraduate seminars on Polish-Jewish relations, Jews and cosmopolitanism, and intellectuals and Marxism; and conducted graduate colloquia on modern Polish historiography; the avant-garde ; and modernity in Europe and Russia.   

Her research interests include Marxism, revolution, aesthetics, gender, and Polish-Jewish relations.  Among her recent articles are "Czysto Babski: A Women's Friendship in a Man's Revolution" and "Engineering in the Age of Innocence: A Genealogy of Discourse Inside the Czechoslovak Writers' Union, 1949-1967," in East European Politics and Societies; "Children of the Revolution: Communism, Zionism, and the Berman Brothers" in Jewish Social Studies; and “Conversing with Ghosts: Jedwabne, Zydokomuna, and Totalitarianism”in Kritika: Explorations of Russian and Eurasian History. Her English translation (from the Polish) of the literary theorist Michal Glowinski's Holocaust memoir, The Black Seasons, was published this year by Northwestern University Press (  Her own book, Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation's Life and Death in Marxism, 1918-1968, is forthcoming from Yale University Press in March 2006 (  Currently she is beginning a new project on the avant-garde, linguistics and philosophy in East-Central Europe in the 1910s and 1920s. 

April 2, 2006
B’nai Israel, Stearman Auditorium

WORKSHOP (11:00 AM – 1:00 PM)

Topic: “26th IAJGS Conference in NYC”

Speaker: Linda Cantor 

Linda Cantor is the Co-Chairman of the 26th IAJGS Conference that will be held in New York in August, 2006. Learn about the lectures and special events that are planned for the conference. If time is available, Linda will also address questions regarding doing genealogical research in the “Big Apple.” 

PROGRAM (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

Topic “Cemeteries, Tombstones and Burial Customs: Advancing Genealogical Research”
Speaker: Jay Lewis, Sol Levinson Funeral Directors

This topic has been one of the most popular among our members in the past. The records of funeral homes and cemeteries can provide a wealth of information for the genealogist. Sol Levinson Funeral Directors has been the leading provider to the Jewish community of Baltimore for more than 100 years. At their facility in Pikesville, they hold funeral services, but for the researcher, they maintain copious records of past services. Mr. Lewis will address the symbols and customs, as well as how to go about getting the most from funeral and cemetery records, regardless of the locale.

May 7, 2006
B’nai Israel, Stearman Auditorium

WORKSHOP (11:00 AM – 1:00 PM)

Topic: TBA 

PROGRAM (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

Topic: Daily Life in Galicia
Speaker: Suzan Wynne

Did you ever wonder what your ancestors’ lives were like? Member and author, Suzan Wynne will speak about daily life in the cities and shtetls of Galicia. An ample Q&A session will follow the presentation, so be sure to bring questions.

Suzan is the author of “Finding Your Jewish Roots in Galicia,” a comprehensive guide to doing Galician-Jewish genealogical research. The book is currently out of print and is being revised and updated. Suzan Wynne, is the founding president of Gesher Galicia, the Special Interest Group for Jewish genealogy. She has been doing Galician genealogical research for more than 25 years. Before retiring to pursue a mental health consultation and supervision practice, Suzan developed and directed a large, private outpatient mental health center in Montgomery County.

June 11, 2006
Potomac Community Center

Joint Meeting with JGS-Maryland

PROGRAM (1:00 PM – 3:30 PM)

Topic: “Making Connections: Every Genealogist’s Dream”
Speaker: Schelly Talalay Dardashti

Join us for a dialogue with genealogy journalist, Schelly Talalay Dardashti. We will explore how fellow genealogists have overcome brick walls and found family in unexpected places.

Schelly knows first-hand how leads to information about one's ancestors can come from the most unexpected places. In the midst of one talk in Israel, as she was answering a question about the myth of
name changes, an elegant Indian woman in the front row broke in, "You know, the Menashe in Bombay were Dardashti." In shock, she replied, "Don't move. We will talk later." And they did, until 2.30 a.m., determining that her husband's grandfather was the missing brother of Schelly's husband's grandfather. They pieced together a story of four wives, the Baghdad branch moving to Bombay, and added 400 descendants to the tree.

Schelly Talalay Dardashti is a native New Yorker now living in Tel Aviv. She is a freelance journalist and Jewish genealogy contributor for She is a member of the Association of Professional
Genealogists (APG) and American Jewish Press Association (AJPA). Credits include JTA, Reform Judaism, Outlook, NGS News, Avotaynu, many North American Jewish publications. Schelly co-teaches two online Jewish genealogy classes (Ancestry.Com/My She taught Jewish genealogy courses abroad, speaks in Israel/abroad to community groups/genealogy societies, hands-on Jewish genealogy workshops including a Farsi-language program. She is President of the five-branched JFRA Israeli genealogy society. Her credits include presentations at annual conferences: of the International Association of Jewish Genealogy societies:  London (2001), Toronto (2002), Washington (2003) and Las Vegas (2005, IAJGS management seminar), and is part of the Teaching Genealogy to Adults panel at New York (2006). Since 1989, she has researched her TALALAY (Belarus/Spain) and DARDASHTI (Iran) families.

Potluck luncheon

Installation of Officers

Date:               Sunday, September 10, 2006
Time:               8:45 AM

Topic:              Bus Trip to the Jewish Museum of Maryland 

Have you ever vacationed in the Catskills, Miami, or Atlantic City or gone to summer camp?  If so, relive those wonderful memories; if not, come see what you’ve missed when we travel to Baltimore, Maryland for our first meeting of the 2006-2007 year.  On Sunday, September 10, we will be going on a field trip to the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  We have arranged for a docent led tour of two exciting new exhibits:           

The Other Promised Land: Vacationing, Identity and the Jewish-American Dream: This exhibit evokes the experiences and meanings in Jewish vacationing from the 1880s to the present, and shows how vacations represented the excitement and promise of America while shaping notions of Jewish and American identities. 

Cabin Fever:  Jewish Camping and Jewish Commitment: This interactive and atmospheric exhibit focuses on summer camps attended by Jewish Marylanders, and explores the impact of camp experiences on identity formation, and, particularly, on the development of Jewish identity on young people.   

Our trip also includes a tour of two historic synagogues, which are part of the Museum, and an opportunity to peruse documents in the Museum library and archives.  The Lloyd Street Synagogue (1845) and B’nai Israel (1876) tell the stories of two great waves of Jewish immigrants to Baltimore.  In the library you will find a cemetery database and files, Baltimore Jewish obituaries, the Jack Levin collection (funeral home records), as well as passenger records.  The Museum gift shop and other exhibits will be open for us to visit also. 

Lunch at a nearby deli (not Kosher) following our trip to the Museum.  Lunch is not included in the cost of the trip.  

Bus transportation will be provided from the Pike Center in Rockville in front of Bagel City.  Bagel City is located at 12119 Rockville Pike.  The bus will leave promptly at 8:45 AM so please be on time (not Jewish time).  The bus will leave from Baltimore at 2:30 PM and arrive back in Rockville by 3:30 PM.

Date:               Sunday, October 22, 2006
Time:               2:00 PM
Location:         Adas Israel, Quebec Street, Washington, DC

Topic:              Once There Was a Shtetl
Speaker:          Yaffa Eliach, Ph.D. 

Professor Yaffa Eliach founded the Shtetl Foundation for the purpose of building an open-air Museum of East-European Jewish history and culture in the form of a life-size Shtetl. On 124 acres donated by the city of Rishon Le Zion and the State of Israel, the Shtetl Museum will bring back to life one thousand years of Jewish culture and tradition. To really understand that world in its entirety would involve walking its streets, visiting its houses, and strolling its market squares - which is, of course, an impossibility, since that world was laid waste by the Nazis and their local collaborators.  Comparable in scope and purpose to the recreation of colonial life that has attracted millions of visitors to Williamsburg, Virginia, the shtetl restoration will bring back to life a vanished past. Although many countries have done similar historical recreations, nothing like it exists to document the history of the Jews of Eastern Europe, or to demonstrate the ways in which that bygone world lives on in the culture and institutions of its descendants, now scattered around the globe.  

Professor Yaffa Eliach is a pioneering scholar in Holocaust studies and a Professor of History and Literature in the Department of Judaic Studies at Brooklyn College, with areas of specialty in Eastern European history, Russian intellectual history, Holocaust studies, and Hasidism. She is a founder of the first Center for Holocaust Studies in the United States and, an East European historian.  Her scholarship has included contributions to the Encyclopedia Judaica, the Women's Studies Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia of Hasidism, as well as to numerous scholarly, literary, and popular publications in the nationally and internationally.  Professor Eliach is the author of numerous books and is a recipient of many awards and honors.  She lectures frequently to academic and lay audiences and makes frequent appearances on television and radio both in the United States and abroad.

Date:              November 12, 2006
Time:              2:00 PM
Location:        Bnai Israel, Stearman Auditorium, Rockville, MD

Topic:             Organizit: Reducing Your Research Clutter
Speaker:         Rhoda Miller, Ed.D. 

Organizit presents creative solutions and problem solving ideas to genealogy researchers who are interested in getting organized in order to free up mental and physical space for more research!  The concept of clutter, how it happens, and what to do about it,  will be discussed.  The organization of computer and paper files, documents, photographs, correspondence, research projects, and research materials will be presented in a lively and entertaining manner.  Methods of approaching a genealogy project, or subparts of a project, as well as planning for a research trip, are also discussed. 

Rhoda Miller is a Certified Genealogist.  She teaches a credit-bearing course in family history at Dowling College, Oakdale, NY.  Rhoda has lectured widely at libraries, community groups, and genealogy societies as well as at IAJGS conferences in Toronto (2002), Washington, DC (2003) and New York (2006).  She has volunteered on genealogy projects such as New York City area naturalization databases and the World War II “Old Timer” registration.

Date:               December 3, 2006
Time:               2:00 PM
Location:         Bnai Israel, Gudelsky Auditorium, Rockville, MD 

Topic:              Not For Israel Only: Using Israeli Archives & Resources for Worldwide Jewish Records
Speaker:          Michael Goldstein 

Israel holds a treasure of data relating to Jews throughout the world who have lived in Palestine or Israel--as well as those who never set foot in the Holy Land. The presentation shall begin with an exploration of such prominent Israeli archives as The Hebrew University and National Library, the Joint Distribution Committee, The Central Archives of the History of the Jewish People, Yad Vashem, and more. Mr. Goldstein will touch on the importance of each as a repository for records, books, photos and documents, as well as their particular area of concentration. 

In addition, he will explore a range of known and lesser-known sources consisting of Israeli government databases, cemetery records, landsmenshafts, and others.  Whether members of your family came to Palestine in the 19th century as chalutzim or more recently as Holocaust refugees or part of the wave of Jewish immigration from the former Soviet Union, there is a good chance that somehow they reached Israel, if only for a short time. To help genealogists locate these relatives or their descendants, he will give tips in how to best overcome the Hebrew hurdle and the distance. And finally, Mr. Goldstein will brief participants on cultural and communications issues to keep in mind once they've tracked down the Israeli relatives and/or their descendants.  In the case of Yad Vashem, he will go much beyond the Pages of Testimony to look at the resources which help trace individuals (or their descendants) who gave testimony in the early 1950 and the resources of our lost communities. 

Michael Goldstein, born in Canada, is a Jerusalem-based genealogist who researches, mentors, lectures, and conducts workshops in Israel and North America. He specializes in guiding North Americans in locating and connecting with their Israeli family, facilitating the use of local Israeli research sources. His expertise is in tracing Israelis whose testimonies are found in Yad Vashem records.  He holds a BA from Concordia University and an MSW from Yeshiva University.  Michael Goldstein is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, The Israel Genealogical Society and the Jewish Genealogy Society of Montreal.

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