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

Speaker:  Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz, Genealogist

“Locating Vital Records in Poland Using Online Records”

Description:  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, December 17, 2023, 1pm Pacific Time Zone

Speaker: Lisa Alzo, Genealogist Specializing in Eastern Europe

Finding Immigration and Naturalization Records: Advanced Strategies and Techniques

Description: Every immigrant has a story. This webinar will discuss how to leverage the data in passenger lists, naturalization records, and other documents of ethnic-based communities and neighborhoods (such as historic newspapers and oral histories,) to uncover key clues about your immigrant ancestors.

Learn strategies and techniques to find your elusive ancestor among others with the same name and how to deal with name changes, as well as how to locate missing manifests due to transcription or other database errors. A brief overview of how social history and migration patterns can help you track your ancestors on both sides of the ocean will also be provided.

About Lisa Alzo
Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A., is a freelance writer, instructor, and internationally recognized lecturer, specializing in Eastern European genealogical research and creative nonfiction writing. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. Lisa is the author of eleven books, including The Family Tree Polish, Czech and Slovak Genealogy Guide, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women, and hundreds of magazine articles. Lisa is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine and frequent contributor for Internet Genealogy. She also developed the Eastern European Research Certificate Program for the International Institute of Genealogical Studies and works as an online educator and writing coach. Lisa is a frequently invited speaker for national conferences, genealogical and historical societies, and webinars. An avid genealogist for more than 30 years, Lisa also chronicles her family history adventures on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist.

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

Sunday, January 7, 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).

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

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. (limited seating)

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.

Send us your brick wall questions and problems prior to our community study session on March 17.

A limited-time recording will be available for guest participants. Members please RSVP for this series.

Resource Handouts

Participants will receive a compilation of handouts to accompany this workshop. These include research guides, resource lists, online links as well as an in depth guide to JewishGen.

Forms will also be provided to organize your research including pedigree and fan ancestral charts, family group sheets, blank census forms, research checklist and log, and source summary sheets to organize your citation records.

About Rhoda 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).

Non-members pay $18.00 for this series which include limited recording access. Zoom link will be sent the week of the event.

This series is free to members, however, MEMBERS must register for this series by emailing Pam:

Sunday, March 10, 1pm Pacific Time Zone

Speaker: Patrice Dabrowski, PhD, Harvard Professor and Historian

The East-Central European Jewish Homeland in Historical Perspective

Description: Dr. Dabrowski, a historian of Central and Eastern Europe, will present the 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 M. 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.

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

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