Sunday, January 7, 2024, 1pm Pacific Time Zone

Speaker: Glenn Dynner, PhD

Ukraine: The Cradle of East European Jewish Civilization

Description: If you are researching your Ukraine ancestral roots, this lecture with scholar Professor Glenn Dynner, PhD, is a chance of a lifetime!
This talk covers several centuries of Jewish creativity in Ukraine, including rich and varied movements like Hasidism, Haskalah, modern Jewish politics (Zionist, Socialist), and modern Jewish literature. We then examine the rise of pogroms and other manifestations of antisemitism from the end of the 19th century down to the Holocaust.

There was a reason that these lands were once home to three-fourths of the world’s Jewish population. For several centuries- notwithstanding the catastrophic 1648 Chmielnicki Uprising- Ukrainian Jews led a relatively secure, prosperous existence and created a flourishing culture. According to the musical Fiddler on the Roof, Jewish life in Eastern Europe was unremittingly bleak. “I know, I know,” quips Tevye, a character originally conceived by the Ukrainian Jewish writer Sholem Aleichem. “We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can’t You choose someone else?”

About Glenn Dynner
Glenn Dynner, Ph.D., is the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Professor of Judaic Studies and Director of the Bennett Center at Fairfield University; Editor of the journal Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies; and a recent Guggenheim Fellow. He is author of “Men of Silk”: The Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewish Society (Oxford University Press, 2006), and Yankelʼs Tavern: Jews, Liquor & Life in the Kingdom of Poland (Oxford University Press, 2014). His new book is entitled The Light of Learning: Hasidism in Poland on the Eve of the Holocaust (forthcoming on Oxford University Press).

Sunday, January 28 and February 18, March 17 1pm Pacific

Speaker: Rhoda Miller, Ed.D., Certified Genealogist

Jewish Genealogy 101: Overview (1.5 hrs each) plus a group mentoring study session with an expert researcher.

Description: Rhoda Miller leaves no stone unturned in this comprehensive workshop designed for both the beginner as well as a refresher for an experienced researcher.

Following this series, participants will have the opportunity to attend a one-time study group facilitated by an expert researcher to review questions related to the materials presented. A limited-time recording will be available for guest participants.

Part I- January 28, 2024
To enhance a successful start in your genealogy research, basic techniques will be reviewed. These techniques include the proper way to fill out a pedigree chart, use of the Genealogical Proof Standards as well as the basics of evaluating conflicting information in records in order to make sound genealogical conclusions.

There will be a review of analyzing original and derivative sources, primary and secondary information as well as direct and indirect evidence. Miller highlights the major genealogical websites with a brief discussion of search strategies and an understanding of spelling options in search engines to help mitigate name and town spelling variations and problems.

Records presented include use of city directories, Social Security applications, and vital records (birth, marriage, and death), synagogue records, cemetery research, gravestone analysis, obituaries and other newspaper resources including the database of burial societies (landsmanshaften).
Miller highlights indexed, unindexed and catalog records as well as online and onsite records at foreign and US National Archives. Examples will include both U.S. and Canadian record types.

Part II- February 18, 2024
There will be a discussion of both federal and state census records, naturalization papers, inbound and outbound migration records, and passenger ship manifests. Examples will include both U.S. and Canadian record types. The challenges of Eastern European research will also be presented. These challenges include geographic, historical, and mapping changes including border changes and Jewish migration.

Search websites presented include Holocaust records and resources,, GenealogyIndexer, translation resources and other resources for further research.

An overview will be presented of the extensive features on the JewishGen website including Town Finder, FamilyTrees, JOWBR burial registry, KehilaLinks, Yizkor books and the important Research Division. Miller will briefly highlight JRI-Poland, LitvakSIG and Gesher Galicia.

Part III – March, 2024
Now apply what you learned to your ancestral research. This is a hands-on mentoring workshop session facilitated by an expert researcher. Practice locating documents, records, gravestones, or ordering records. Perhaps compare several census records, evaluate conflicting information, create a research log and organize your citation records as you build your ancestral story and add to your family tree.

About Rhonda Miller
Rhoda Miller a Certified Genealogist since 1998, working in Jewish research, Holocaust studies and DNA. She has served as President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island (JGSLI) and led the award-winning project which published the book, Jewish Community of Long Island. She is a genealogy researcher for Ancestry ProGenealogists, board member of LitvakSIG and Instructor for the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP).

Sunday, March 10, 2024, 1pm Pacific Time Zone

Speaker: Patrice Dabrowski, PhD

The East-Central European Jewish Homeland in Historical Perspective

Description: Dr. Dabrowski, a historian of Central and Eastern Europe, will presentthe region’s history over a period of about four centuries with an eye to the lived Jewish experience. If you are researching Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Latvia, Ukraine, Prussia/Germany, Austria, Hungary and Russia this scholar series is a must. Dabrowski will begin with the history of Jewish life in the extraordinary polity that was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, its territory comprising today’s Poland, Lithuania, and Belarus as well as parts of Ukraine, Latvia, and Russia. After the partitions at the end of the eighteenth century, Jews suddenly found themselves subjects of the three Central and East European empires of Prussia/Germany, Austria, and Russia, each with its own unique approach to the Jews in their midst.

It is worth noting that not only did Jews in the Commonwealth have their own self rule, they also played key roles within the broader economy. Dabrowski will discuss the new situation of Jews within these empires as well as how they and their neighbors encountered modernity during what has been called the long nineteenth century—this period of imperial rule. Her story will end in the twentieth century, with the demise of the region’s empires and birth of numerous (some short-lived) nation-states in their wake.

About Patrice Dabrowski

Patrice M. Dabrowski is a prize-winning, Harvard-educated historian. She has taught and worked at Harvard, Brown, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the University of Vienna. Dabrowski has authored three books: The Carpathians: Discovering the Highlands of Poland and Ukraine (2021), Poland: The First Thousand Years (2014) and Commemorations and the Shaping of Modern Poland (2004). In 2014 she was awarded the Knight & Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. Dabrowski’s prizes include the Mary Zirin Prize (2021) as well as two honorable mentions for her books in 2022.

Sunday, April 7, 2024, 1pm Pacific Time Zone

Speaker: Jeff Malka

Sephardic Genealogy Overview: Strategies, Resources and Tools

Description: Come learn about Sephardic genealogy with Jeff Malka, an internationally known authority on Sephardic genealogy. If you have Sephardic ancestry this presentation is a must.

After a brief historical overview and timeline of the Jews in Iberia, Malka will speak about Sephardic languages, culture, and religious customs as we learn the differences and similarities between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish genealogy.

Malka will share resources and tools for researching our Sephardic ancestry. Spain has extensive pre-expulsion archives where everyday Jews can be easily identified. Learn how to read and interpret these documents and the importance of understanding medieval name variants. Resources discussed will include online, digital and archival record collections, Sephardic surname repositories, Spanish archival records, specific websites, libraries and books.

About Jeff Malka

Jeff Malka is the author of “Sephardic Genealogy: Discovering Your Sephardic Ancestors and Their World” and the recently published 3-volume compendium ‘Sephardic Surnames Index of Research Sources: A Research Aid’. Malka is an internationally known authority on Sephardic genealogy. Malka was the recipient of the International Association of Genealogical Societies Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. Descended from a long line of Sephardic rabbis, Dr. Jeff Malka has accumulated unique expertise in the resources available to Sephardic genealogists while researching his roots.

Sunday, May 5, 2024, 1pm Pacific Time Zone

Speaker: Joe Everett

Advance Your Jewish Research in the Former Russian Empire with these Important Online Resources and Strategies

Description: Advance your Eastern European research with this comprehensive program with examples of research techniques and online records.

Overview of the landscape of records for Jewish Research in this area including JewishGen.

Major Genealogical Sites

  • FamilySearch: Review different ways to find images, with deeper look at the Images feature, important use of the catalog and locating unindexed records.
  • Brief Overview of Records on Ancestry, MyHeritage

Major Archive Sites

  • Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia State Archives sites – Dive into Tips for navigating records on these sites.
  • Ukraine Archives: Overview of the government archives portal, individual archive webpages and Alex Krakovsky’s site.
  • Russian Archives – overview of their government archives portal and individual archives webpages. Some examples of online records

Belarus Discussion

  • FamilySearch has some records digitized from microfilm done in the 1990’s and 2000’s.
  • Belarus Archives have not put their own records online
  • Records found in Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia archives
  • JewishGen, examples of indexed records.

About Joe Everett

Joseph B. Everett, AG®, MLS is the Family and Local History Librarian at Brigham Young University. In his 25-year career he has also worked for FamilySearch and Ancestry. He has a BA in Family History/Genealogy and Russian Language, and a Master’s in Library Science. He is accredited in German and Russian Empire research.

Joseph B. Everett, MLS, AG, is the Family History, Local History, and Microforms Librarian at the Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library. He has over 25 years combined experience in the genealogical field at BYU, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and Joe manages the collections and patron services of the BYU Family History Library and serves as a faculty liaison to instructors in BYU’s Family History undergraduate degree program and others involved in family history on campus.

At FamilySearch, Joe was a library program manager providing services for the more than 5,000 family history centers. Previously at FamilySearch, he headed the International Reference floor at the Family History Library, and worked for several years as a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records. He has served on numerous strategic planning and program development teams at FamilySearch.

At, he worked in content acquisitions and content product and project management, putting genealogical databases online. Joe earned a BA in Russian Language and in Family History/Genealogy (Germanic emphasis) from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University. He has been a member and officer in various library and genealogical associations and has lectured and published articles on U.S. and European family history research, historical geography, and migration. He is an Accredited Genealogist in German and Russian Empire research.

Sunday, June 9, 2024, 1:00 pm Pacific Time Zone

Speaker: Cyndi Ingle

The Hidden Web: Digging Deeper

Description: When Google and traditional search engines don’t return useful information, don’t stop there. We will explore resources that are invisible to Google and hidden deep within web sites and proprietary databases. The “hidden web” lies buried within the collections for commercial web sites, libraries, archives, and museums. We will also talk about the importance of indexes that deep-link into web sites online, thus uncovering hidden gems of information that may not be found easily through a search engine query.

The Deep Web or the Invisible Web is the part of the web that cannot be indexed by search engines. It is generally websites with pages that are dynamically created as a result of specific searches within databases hosted on the web site. The content is hidden behind the search forms.

About Cyndi Ingle

Cyndi Ingle is the creator and innovator behind the award-winning and globally recognized, a free categorized list of more than 320,000 links for genealogical research. Cyndi, a genealogist for more than 43 years, has an expertise in using technology for genealogy. Cyndi is the recipient of several awards and honors, she has served in several capacities for genealogical organizations, she is an internationally-known guest lecturer, and she has authored numerous articles and three books. Cyndi is the Executive Director for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. She is a columnist for the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.

Sunday, May 19, 2024, 10:30 am Pacific Time Zone

Speaker: Hailey Wentz

Part 2: Navigating Russian Records to Research Your Jewish Roots

Description: This 1.5 hour workshop builds on our past Russian workshop and review of records (metrical, revision and 1897 census).

We deepen our practice in Russian with key genealogy vocabulary and grammar essentials. Know and recognize key words, common vocabulary and abbreviations found in Russian language genealogical documents as well as deciphering additional parts of the document.

Next we will learn language strategies and searching skills to analyze and draw conclusions from Russian records and source documents. Know the difference between feminine and masculine names with surname gender variations, patronymic, and given names. Learn methods for tracing immigrant origins, how to navigate and locate relevant records and decipher additional parts of the Russian document.

About Hailey Wentz

Hailey Thompson (nee Wentz ) is an Accredited Genealogist (AG®) with an emphasis in Latin American research and Eastern European genealogy. A linguistics enthusiast, she has studied Spanish, Russian and Hebrew. Hailey has a passion for finding ways to make reading foreign language family history records easier to navigate. Hailey’s love for Jewish genealogical research began through her work at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, where she met many researchers with Jewish roots. The primary motivation behind her career is paying forward the knowledge she has acquired through teaching, both in individual and group settings. She married her best friend, Christopher, in January. He is also a genealogy enthusiast and they enjoy researching together in their free time.

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