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Past meetings
 

Jakub CzuprynsKI

Genealogy Gems in the Polish Archives

03/24/2024

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society presented genealogist Jakub Czuprynski speaking on Genealogy Gems in the Polish Archives.  He spoke about documents that might help solve the most difficult genealogical puzzles and how to conduct in-depth research on the history of Jewish families who once lived in the territory of present-day Poland.

Carl Kaplan and Vasily Zaitsau

The Together Plan for Belarus Research

02/11/2024

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society presented genealogist Carl Kaplan, from the US, and researcher Vasily Zaitsau, from Minsk, Belarus, speaking on Engaging The Together Plan For Your Belarus Archives Research, about The Together Plan, which provides research assistance in the Belarus archives.

MErYL FRANK

Researching Shoah Family History

12/03/2023

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society together with CHAIM (Children of Holocaust Survivors Association in Minnesota) hosted Meryl Frank discussing her search, as documented in her book Unearthed, for her relative, Wllna actress Franya Winter, swallowed up in the Shoah.

Rabbi David Locketz

Visiting the Baltic States: A Roots Trip

10/15/2023

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society hosted Rabbi David Locketz discussing a trip he took to research his family roots in Latvia and Lithuania. His guide for the trip, Regina Kopilevich, connected to the program via Zoom from Lithuania. Besides telling his own story, Rabbi Locketz offered tips for doing genealogical research in Baltic countries.

Ron Arons

Researching Criminal Ancestors

8/20/2023

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society hosted Ron Arons, author of the book, The Jews of Sing Sing, presenting Researching Criminal Ancestors: Finding the Hidden Stories. Research like this enlivens family history as we follow our ancestors off the straight and narrow to a perhaps more crooked but colorful path.

Andy Grachuk

Publishing Your Family Story

6/25/2023

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society hosted Andy Grachuk, an award-winning master book designer, who took us through the process of assembling family history within a book, including the various printing options.

Glenn Kurtz and Bianca Stigter

Three Minutes in Poland

4/30/2023

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society presented Three Minutes in Poland: A Discussion with the Author and the Filmmaker, a moderated discussion between Glenn Kurtz, the author of the highly acclaimed book Three Minutes in Poland, and Bianca Stigter, the director of the award-winning documentary film Three Minutes in Poland: A Lengthening.

JANET HoRvath

Janet Horvath: The Cello Still Sings

3/19/2023

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society presented a program by Janet Horvath, discussing her latest book, The Cello Still Sings — A Generational Story of the Holocaust and of the Transformative Power of Music. She revealed how she unearthed family secrets about her parents’ experiences as Jewish musicians in Europe during and after the Holocaust.

Michael Morgenstern

Genealogical Gems in the Forverts

2/12/2023

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society presented a program by Michael Morgenstern, “Genealogical Gems in the Forverts.” The Forverts (Jewish Daily Forward) a leading Yiddish newspaper in the United States throughout the 20th century, is available to browse online providing hidden genealogical clues.

Susan Weinberg

The Fluidity of Names

12/11/2022

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society presented a program by Susan Weinberg, “The Fluidity of Names,” about Jewish given names, including the transition from Hebrew and Yiddish names to more "American" ones.

Risa Daitzman HeywooD

The Industrial Removal Office

10/23/2022

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society presented a program by Risa Daitzman Heywood, “The Industrial Removal Office: Scattering Jews Throughout the United States,” about a little-known organization in operation from 1900 to 1922 that moved Jewish immigrants from overcrowded neighborhoods of New York City to other parts of the country.

DAN KASTRUL

Understanding DNA Matches

8/14/2022

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society presented a talk by Dan Kastrul, author, musician, and self-described DNA geek, “Understanding Your DNA Matches: Practical Examples,” to help us make sense of those puzzling DNA matches.

DOROTHY GROSS NADOSY

What Yizkor Books Tell Us -- And Don't Tell Us

6/12/2022

The MNJGS presented MNJGS Board member and Yizkor book translator Dorothy Gross Nadosy speaking about Yizkor books, those books, many in English translation now, that memorialize Jewish communities that were lost in the Holocaust and also inform us of their earlier history.

Jennifer Mendelsohn AND Schelly Talalay Dardashti

Jewish Genealogy Facebook Groups

5/15/2022

The MNJGS presented a panel discussion on Jewish genealogy Facebook groups. Schelly Talalay Dardashti represented Tracing the Tribe -- Jewish Genealogy on Facebook, and Jennifer Mendelsohn represented the Jewish DNA for Genetic Genealogy and Family Research group.

Libby copelanD

DNA and Family History

3/6/2022

Journalist and author Libby Copeland answered questions about the impact of DNA testing on family relationships.  Particular items of interest were in “non-paternal events,” where a person’s DNA does not match the parents, such as adoptees looking for birth families.

CASSIO TOLPOLAR

Mamaliga Blues

1/23/2022

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society hosted filmmaker Cassio Tolpoloar discussing his film, Mamaliga Blues, about his family’s return to its roots in Moldova and the search for relatives. He also gave advice about planning a trip to ancestral towns.

SUSAN WEINBERG

Mining the Manifest

12/12/2021

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society hosted artist, writer, and professional genealogist Susan Weinberg showing us how to get the most from immigration manifests, particularly those prior to 1906. Using a case-study approach, the presentation explored some of the search challenges associated with immigration in the 1800s and early 1900s while building on the information in the manifest.

DEBORAH LONG

Out of the Whirlwind:

Finding Your Family Lost in the Holocaust

11/7/2021

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society hosted Deborah Long, who reviewed the best resources and methods for determining the fate of those involved in the Holocaust, including survivors and victims. Using examples from her own research, she demonstrated the documents and artifacts she discovered to reconstruct her tree and to find living family.

Risa Daitzman Heywood

The Power of the Catalog:

Unindexed Records and How to Find Them

9/19/2021

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society hosted Risa Daitzman Heywood presenting on locating unindexed records. Did you know that over 75% of the records available on FamilySearch cannot be accessed by a simple records search? Did you know that Ancestry has record collections that are available to browse but that cannot be searched because they are not yet indexed? This presentation showed us how to find and use these unindexed records to enhance our research.(recording available through 12/19/2021 for members).

PHIL GOLDFARB

The Power of Community: JewishGen Discussion Groups

6/27/2021

The Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society presented a Zoom program on JewishGen Discussion Groups (JGDG). This program addressed a range of topics including how to make effective use of this resource, accessing archival messages, use of hashtags, how to avoid having your message rejected or deleted, and, of course, some of the many success stories that have come out of the JGDG.

KEN BRAVO

You've Done Your DNA: Now What?

4/18/2021

This presentation addressed how to interpret DNA results, with emphasis on challenges faced in the Jewish community. It also explored the interrelationship between DNA and genealogical research.

Laura Hart,
Penny Douglas,
dan kAstruL,
Walter elias

A Detective Story Across Continents:

Finding the Birth Father of a 95 Year old Adoptee

2/21/2021

This session brought together two genealogists in New Zealand and Australia with two Minnesotans to apply both genealogy and DNA to solve a puzzle that crossed continents and connected families. This search explored records from New Zealand, the Netherlands and Holocaust records coupled with DNA to solve a life-time mystery.

Rod Martel,
Sheer Ganor,
Brad Prager
moderator-Walter elias

Family Secrets: A Panel Discussion of the film The Flat

12/13/2020

Many of us have had the experience of sorting through the belongings of departed family members.In the film The Flat, the filmmaker discovers some surprising secrets in the apartment of his German Jewish grandparents and embarks on a journey to understand them. Our panel explored the complex relationship of German Jews to the country and countrymen of Germany during and after the Holocaust.

J.D. Arden, Center for Jewish History

Exploring Your New York Family History Online

9/17/2020

Most of us had family that began their US experience in New York. Their New York experience is an important part of our story. This talk focused on immigrants to New York with an emphasis on resources available at the CJH Ackerman and Ziff Family Genealogy Institute.

liba casson
nudell phd

Shining a Light on Jewish Genealogy

7/12/2020 

This webinar was an introductory genealogy class focused upon the beginner-level researcher who wants to start an exploration of their family history and Jewish roots. It covered the basics of how to get started using Internet resources including free websites such as JewishGen, FamilySearch, CJH.org, MyHeritage.com, local public libraries, and paid websites such as Ancestry.com. 

kate
dietrick,
susan weinberg

Finding Treasures in the Archives

5/24/2020 

This webinar was presented from two perspectives, an archivist and a user. Kate Dietrick, archivist for the Berman Jewish Archives spoke of what you can expect when you visit the archives and Susan Weinberg, author and genealogist, shared the experience of a user of both the MN Historical Society and the Berman Jewish Archives and what she found on individuals and the broader Jewish community while doing research for her book.

kate dietrick

Saving Your Family History

4/12/2020

Many of us have them: piles of family papers stashed haphazardly in a box in the attic, photographs peeling off old photo album pages in the basement. As an archivist dealing with old and rare materials, Kate Dietrick offered expert tips to keep  memorable items safe for the long haul. 

susan weinberg

Crossing the Ocean

3/29/2020

Examined how to use US records to connect to family records in Europe, locating family in ancestral towns. Case studies in Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Belarus.

Joanie 
Schirm,
EvaMoreimi, Tina Edstam

Czechs, China and the Holocaust

1/25/2020

Presentation by authors and speakers on Czech Jews and their experience in the Holocaust. Joanie Holzer Schirm, author of My Dear Boy, Eva Moreimi, author of Hidden Recipes and Dr. Tina Edstam on Jewish-Christian relationships in the Czech Republic.

Liba Casson-Nudell, Carol Gurstelle, Tina Edstam, Susan Weinberg, Walter Elias

Visiting Your Ancestral Town

12/8/2019

Panel discussion of visits to ancestral towns, identifying the town, preparation, finding a guide, discoveries

dan kastrul

Street-Smart DNA

10/27/2019

Understanding the tools and terminology to find matches in your DNA data using GedMatch.

tina scott
edstam phd

Never Again? Historical Themes & Genealogical Discoveries

9/6/2019

Tina spoke about her travels to both the Czech Republic and Sweden to meet with living relatives. She shared her discovery of family while providing a historical context which connected to contemporary issues of antisemitism. 

Jeanne Bielke-Rodenbiker, Susan Weinberg

Library Genealogy Resources/ Your Ancestors' Journey

7/14/2019

Jeanne shared genealogical resources available through the Hennepin Library and Susan introduced ways to explore immigration records, followed by a working session.

Janet Horvath

Pursuing Our History:  When Ancestors are Gone

5/23/2019

Janet Horvath shared her search into family Holocaust history and a unique connection to Leonard Bernstein that makes her history sing.

Sally Abrams, Claude Riedel, Heewon Lee

Genealogy, DNA and Adoption: Blessings and Pitfalls

4/3/2019

Panelists: Sally Abrams, a Beth El member, who recently discovered through DNA analysis a half-sister she never knew she had. Claude Riedel, a retired psychologist, an adoptee himself, who specialized in adoption in his practice. Claude addressed the emotional aspects of searching for birth parents and siblings. Heewon Lee, also an adoptee, a graduate student in the genetic counseling program at the University of Minnesota. 

Panel moderated by Walter Elias, President of the MNJGS

susan
weinberg

A 3-D View of Immigration: Laws, Documents and Story

1/27/2019

​A 3-D View of Immigration, presents a perspective on immigration through the lens of laws, documents and family story. With a focus on the 1900s, Susan will examine the immigration laws that affected entry, the immigration documents that were created with changes in the law and the stories of the Jews of the 1900s who came to America. 

bennett
greenspan

DNA and Ancestral Jewish Roots

10/7/2018

The overwhelming majority of Jews living today can trace their roots back to the Middle East with a little DNA testing. Bennett Greenspan discussed what DNA testing has taught us about Jewish roots, shared the latest research and his expertise about how to use DNA to determine  ancestral Jewish roots, settle family disputes and connect to long-lost relatives. 

bennett
greenspan

Discovering Your Jewish DNA

10/6/2018

A private MNJGS evening with world-renowned Jewish DNA expert Bennett Greenspan, founder of Family Tree DNA. Bennett shared personal insights and answered questions about Jewish DNA.

Dr. Stephen
heifetz

How I Found My Jewish Roots in a Wisconsin Barn

7/01/2018

Dr. Steven Heifetz shared the discovery of his ancestral roots in a small town in Wisconsin and some amazing artifacts that played a role in his family today.

Jay sage

DNA Testing: A Genealogical Tool

4/14/2018

tina scott
edstam phd

The Jewish Czech Experience: Historical Overview, Personal Journey

3/4/2018

Tina Scott Edstam, Phd taught us about the Jewish Czech Experience through both personal and historical stories.

Susan
Weinberg

History & Impact of Immigration Laws in US

(jointly with Or Emet)

2/04/2018

Bill
Wolpert

Quick Start: Intro to Jewishgen

1/28/2018

Susan
Weinberg

Minneapolis Library Family History Fair

10/28/2017

A 3-D View of Immigration Laws, Documents and Immigrants

joanne
sher

Translating Jewish Tombstones

6/11/17

frederick
hertz

Finding David Blumenfeld

3/19/2017

walter
elias

Jewish Roots: An Introduction to Jewish Genealogy

2/18/2017

Susan
Weinberg

The 20th Century Jewish Immigrant Experience

10/30/2016

ellen
engseth

How to Archive Your Genealogical Research

9/18/2016

bill
rosenbloom

Visit to Sons of Jacob Cemetery

7/10/2016

steve
greenstein
susan weinberg

Breaking Down Brick Walls

4/19/2016

Kate
dietrick

Using the Jewish Archives

2/24/2016

Walter
Elias

Helpful Tools: Viewmate

12/13/2015

Susan
Weinberg

Helpful Tools: Stevemorse.org

12/13/2015

Joanne
sher

Basics of Genealogy Research

11/15/2015

Susan
Weinberg

Finding Your History: Telling Your Story

9/27/2015

Bill
wolpert

Intro to Jewishgen.org

6/14/2015

Group
tour

Tour of Family History Library - Crystal

5/12/2015

Lesley
cafarelli

Genealogical Proof

4/15/2015

Susan
Weinberg

Capturing the Stories

2/08/2015

Susan
Weinberg

Intro to Jewish Genealogy - Engage program

1/10/2015

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