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past meetings


Meeting Topic


J.D. Arden, Center for Jewish History

Exploring Your New York Family History Online


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. 

Dr. Liba Casson-Nudell

Shining a Light on Jewish Genealogy


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,,, local public libraries, and paid websites such as 

Kate Dietrick and Susan Weinberg

Finding Treasures in the Archives


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


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


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, Eva Moreimi, Tina Edstam

Czechs, China and the Holocaust


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


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

Dan Kastrul

Street-Smart DNA


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

Tina Edstam Phd

Never Again? Historical Themes & Genealogical Discoveries


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 and Researching Your Ancestors' Journey


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: Researching When Ancestors are Gone


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


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


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


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


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. Steven Heifetz

How I Found My Jewish Roots in a Wisconsin Barn


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


Tina Scott Edstam, Phd

The Jewish Czech Experience: Historical Overview, Personal Journey


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)


Bill Wolpert

Quick Start: Intro to Jewishgen


How to get started with Jewish genealogy. 

Susan Weinberg

Minneapolis Library Family History Fair


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

Joanne Sher

Translating Jewish Tombstones


Frederick Hertz

Finding David Blumenfeld


Susan Weinberg

Solving Genealogy Puzzles


Walter Elias

Jewish Roots: An Introduction to Jewish Genealogy


Susan Weinberg

The 20th Century Jewish Immigrant Experience


Ellen Engseth

How to Archive Your Genealogical Information


Bill Rosenbloom

Visit to Sons of Jacob cemetery


Steven Greenstein, Susan Weinberg

Breaking Down Brick Walls


Kate Dietrick

Using the Jewish Archives


Walter Elias

Helpful Tools: Viewmate


Susan Weinberg

Helpful Tools:


Joanne Sher

Genealogy Research: Basics of Jewish Genealogy


Susan Weinberg

Finding Your History


Telling Your Story (St. Louis Park Library)

Bill Wolpert

Intro to


Group tour

Tour of Family History Library-Crystal


Lesley Cafarelli

Genealogical Proof


Susan Weinberg

Capturing the Stories


Susan Weinberg

Intro to Jewish Genealogy - Engage program


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