Sunday September 18, 1 pm Pacific Time Zone

Speaker: Ellen Kowitt

New Jewish Resources on the Genealogy Giant Websites

This presentation is a MUST!  Enjoy this updated comparative overview of Jewish record collections and research tools found on the global powerhouse websites referred to as “Genealogy Giants.” Comparing Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast, and MyHeritage, this lecture includes many substantive record examples. Learn how each site can be helpful for documenting Jewish families, and get tips on each site’s best features or challenges. Current JewishGen partnerships with Ancestry and MyHeritage are featured.

About Ellen Kowitt

Ellen Kowitt (pronounced KO-witt, like KO-dak) is Director of JewishGen’s USA Research Division and National Vice Chair of Jewish Research for the Daughters of the American Revolution. She is past president of Jewish Genealogical Societies in Colorado and Greater Washington, DC, and she served for three years on the IAJGS board of directors. Ellen publishes articles in Family Tree Magazine and Avotaynu: The International Journal on Jewish Genealogy. She has completed the ProGen Study Group, attends genealogy institute programs, and is a member of the Colorado Chapter Association of Professional Genealogists.

Non-Members pay $5, Zoom link will be sent the week of the event. Members automatically receive a free Zoom link.

Sunday October 23, 2022, 11am Pacific Time Zone

 Speaker: Dr. Leon Gershovich, PhD

Jews of Belarus: History and Culture

Come learn about the history of the Jews of Belarus (previously known as Jews of Raysen)? Where did they come from? How did they live? What was their identity? How had their life and identity transformed through periods of time? What was their historical experience during the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth, Russian Empire, Soviet Union, and post-soviet Belarus? What was their fate during the Shoah? How did the Soviet state transform their Jewish identity, during the pogroms, 1917 and the collapse of the USSR. How many immigrated and where? What are their attitudes towards current regime in Belarus as well as Russian-Ukrainian war? king us to those who lived in the Middle Ages.

About Dr. Leon Gershovich
Dr. Leonid (Leon) Gershovich was born in Gomel, Belarus (then USSR) and made Aliyah at age 9 in 1991. He lives in Shlomi, on the Lebanese border, and works as educator. Recently he earned his PhD in Tel-Aviv University after defending his work titled “Jews and Jewish life in south-east Belarus (Gomel and surroundings) during the interwar period (1917-1941)”. His academic interests include the history of pre-soviet, soviet and post-soviet Jewish Life, Sloviet Zionism, world wide Jewish struggle to free Soviet Jews, aspects of Jewish identity and identification, history of the Holocaust, modern antisemitism, Zionist ideology.

Non-members pay $5.00  Zoom link will be sent the week of the event. Members automatically receive a Zoom link. 

November 20, 2022, 1pm Pacific Time Zone

Speaker: Yefim Kogan

Advance Your Research in Bessarabia (Former Russian Empire, Moldova, Romania & Parts of Ukraine)

This presentation is a MUST! Bessarabia Gubernia of the Russian Empire had about 230K Jews at the beginning of 20th century. This presentation will highlight the catalog and database of holdings as well as lesser known resources and links to a wealth of records. Learn about the Jewish history, culture, towns, shtetilakh, cemeteries, Kehilalinks and Yizkor books as we use tools and geographic maps to dive into your ancestral roots. Get your questions ready!

About Yefim Kogan

Yefim Kogan, is the Leader and Coordinator of Bessarabia SIG at JewishGen. Yefim organized the Bessarabia Special Interest Group in 2011 and developed the Bessarabia SIG website and several Kehilalinks. Some of his important projects are the Revision List, translations of more than 250,000 records and indexing and photo-graphing more than 80- Jewish cemeteries in the region many of which have been indexed and photographed. Yefim was born in Kishinev, Moldova and emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1989. He has a Masters in Jewish Liberal Studies from Hebrew College with focus in Jewish cultural history in Eastern Europe. Yefim has presented at all Jewish genealogical conferences on topics related to the Bessarabia/Moldova region. Published an article in Avotaynu on Migration of Jews in Bessarabia/Moldova.

Non-members pay $5.00 Zoom link will be sent the week of the event. Members automatically receive a Zoom link.

December 18, 2022, 1pm Pacific Time Zone

Speakers: David Feldman and Paul Zoglin

Jewish Genealogical Records for Ancestral Towns in Belarus

We will cover various aspects of Jewish Genealogical research for the Belarus region. We’ll discuss what kinds of records have survived, where to find those records, how to search records that have been translated and the status of various translation projects managed by the JewishGen Belarus Research Division.

About David Feldman and Paul Zoglin

David Feldman is currently a senior partner in SDR consulting services, providing consulting, research, and advanced modeling services to hundreds of organizations, including many of the world’s largest companies and several well-known management and marketing consulting firms. Dave got involved with Jewish genealogy after taking a trip to his family hometown in Shereshevo, Belarus, in 2007. Since 2007 he has overseen the operations of the JewishGen Belarus Research Division (AKA Belarus SIG). Access to new sources of genealogy records has always been an issue for this research group, and he is currently co-developing a surname project that is anticipated to allow access to many more records sources at lower costs.
Paul Zoglin got involved in genealogy after a family reunion in 2004. Frustrated by the lack of translated records from Belarus (where his paternal ancestors are from), he volunteered to be the database coordinator for the JewishGen Belarus Research Division in 2010. Paul is a native of Kansas City but currently lives and works in New York City.

Non-members pay $5.00 Zoom link will be sent the week of the event. Members automatically receive a Zoom link.


Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 1:00pm Pacific time

Speaker:  Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz, Genealogist

“Locating Vital Records in Poland Using Online Records”


If you are researching your Jewish ancestral roots in Poland and would like to go beyond Jewishgen and JRI-Poland to find vital records this presentation is for you.   This program introduces major websites such as Metryki, GenBaza, Szukajwarchiwach (the Polish State Archives), Geneteka, and FamilySearch.  Learn more about the Polish partitions to introduce the history and geography of Poland.  Our speaker genealogist, Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz will illustrate the use of religious records, passenger manifests, naturalization records, and other documents from U.S. sources, to suggest resources and strategies to help you decipher misspelled place names, and discuss the next steps in your research: determining the parish and civil registry office using gazetteers, and obtaining birth, marriage and death records to determine one’s ancestral village accurately. Julie will rely heavily on online sources throughout her presentation, and show how you can trace your Polish ancestry without having to cross the ocean.

About Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz

Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz is a genealogist, writer and speaker, with over 20 years of experience in researching her familyʼs origins in Poland, Germany, the U.S. and Canada. She is the Secretary of the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts, contributes to a number of genealogy-related Facebook groups, and writes an informative genealogy blog, From Shepherds and Shoemakers.

 Non-Members pay $5,  Zoom link will be sent the week of the event. Members automatically receive a free Zoom link.


Sunday, February 12, 2023, 1pm Pacific Time Zone

Speaker: Emily Garber, Genealogist

Be a Expert: Create a Resource Guide


One of the greatest challenges when starting research in a new area is learning and understanding the resources that are available. Maps, gazetteers, archival finding aids, Yizkorbooks, and local histories are just a few of the resources needed to build a research toolbox. Learn to prepare a historical sketch and timeline, review a general record category list, topical guides and record types (i.e. archives, repositories, jurisdictions). This presentation will walk through the steps of building oneʼs own resource guide – a valuable tool that may 

About Emily Garber

Genealogy researcher, writer and speaker, Emily H. Garber, is ananthropological archaeologist by training (B.A. and M.A) and has been researching her family history since 2007. She holds a certificate from Boston University Genealogical Research program and owns Extra Yad Genealogical Services. She has an abiding interest family history methodology and historical context.

Emily has written two books and several articles on genealogical research that have appeared in Avotaynu. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of both the IAJGS and the Arizona Jewish Historical Society.

 Non-Members pay $5,  Zoom link will be sent the week of the event. Members automatically receive a free Zoom link.

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