Welcome to the MNJGS!
When I first began my search into my family history I was surprised to realize there was no Jewish Genealogical Society in the area. I began to build a community outside of Minnesota with trips to the Family History Library meeting a group of Jewish genealogists from around the country. Many of them knew each other because of their local society. I listened with some envy as they discussed their speakers. Many trips to International Jewish genealogy conferences (IAJGS) and a trip to the International Tracing Service in Germany began to build my ties both nationally and internationally. Facebook of course helps to maintain many of those connections.
Despite this budding network, I always felt rather isolated here in Minnesota. I discovered the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest, a wonderful organization that preserves our Minnesota history, but as a Minnesota transplant my focus was New York and Eastern Europe. Periodically I would do talks on genealogy and each time I spoke it seemed there was an appetite for more information, but organizations require a driver who commits to making it happen.
Last year Walter Elias returned from the Salt Lake City conference infusing new energy into this effort. I soon received a phone call from him and he began to pull together others who were deeply immersed in their own family research. Soon we had a structure, a growing list of participants and now the beginning of a website and blog. We’ve had several meetings and look forward to more that will address the needs of both beginning and more experienced genealogists. In conjunction with our meetings we plan to document some of our presentations in this blog and hope we will have guest writers who will share their expertise in various areas. We will provide resource information on our website and information on upcoming and past meetings.
So welcome! Please share your thoughts on how this can be helpful to you and we look forward to learning from each other.