All posts by Emily Garber

IAJGS 2016 Speaker Profile: Oleksiy Lipes

Oleksiy Lipes born at Sevastopol, Ukraine in 1984. From 2000 to 2007 he was active leader of Hillel FSU. From 2007-2012, he was a Yeshiva student in Ukraine and Israel.

From 2012 until the present time -he has been founder of (Jewish Genealogy Research at Ukraine) company.

His main research interests are Jewish genealogy research in Ukrainian archives, focusing on creation of an overall Jewish Families database based on census records (1795-1900), metrical books (parish registers), and population censuses  (1875 and 1897). He has also been creating a database and translating records of Jewish pogroms (1917-1922) from archive fonds.

Oleksiy has language skills in Russian, Ukrainian, English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Spanish.

Visit his website at

“Russian Empire Population Census 1897 as the Unique Jewish Genealogy Source” (Thurs-109), 3:00 – 4: 15 P.M.

The first Russian Empire Population Census  of 1897 was done in the whole territory of the former Russian Empire, but, unfortunately,  it was not entirely preserved. In general, it is in available for some communties just in some archives. The Kiev State Archive has a unique collection of the documents regarding the former Kiev Gubernia, including such cities like Berdichev, Chernobyl, Uman and many more that had mostly Jewish populations.

The presentation will include:

  • a short history overview;
  • the importance of this census as the connection to emigrant lists 1900-1925;
  • an overview of information included in the 1897 census;
  • nnique family history details in the census records; and
  • creation of the overall Russian Empire Population Census 1897 database.

Category: Beginning genealogists 

Topic: Ashkenazic research 

IAJGS 2016 Speaker Profile: Jennifer Moore Lowe

LoweJenniferJenny Lowe first started doing genealogy in 1968 when an uncle presented a family tree void of women, including herself.

After receiving her MBA, Jenny spent 33 years in management and operations analysis in the federal government and healthcare industry. Most of that time was spent asking questions and analyzing answers.

In 2009, she joined the Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado and served as a board member for three years until moving 25 miles east of Cotopaxi where she has devoted more time to documenting the Cotopaxi Jewish Colony.

Mayhem and Meshuganah for Jewish Settlers in Cotopaxi, Colorado” (Weds-105), 3:00 – 4:15 P.M.

Between 1882-1884, a Jewish agricultural colony was established in southern Colorado where terrain, weather, roads, and trains had an impact on its success. In this entertaining, informative, and instructional lecture, we’ll reconstruct the story of 77 Russian Jewish colonists from 17 families and locate over 1500 descendants utilizing unusual research techniques combining genealogy, history, and local public documents.

Techniques will include how to search Russian Jewish families based on first names only, things to look for when “translating” Yiddish, and why to ignore census indexing, and spend time looking at original records and ships manifests.

We’ll support oral histories with official documents; we will discuss how to get past the “guardian” of local records;  and we will explore how wild the west really was in 1882 – with Ute Indians still living in caves, the McCoy gang locked up in a territorial prison, and the murder/mystery of who killed Gold Tom.

Topics: Ashkenazic research, Jews of the Southwest United States, Jewish history and culture, Sephardic research, Specific countries or geographic areas

IAJGS 2016 Speaker profile: Ekkehard Hübschmann

Dr. Ekkehard Hübschmann has been conducting research on Jewish history in South Germany for more than two decades. Among his main occupations are emigration, deportation, restitution and compensation, family history and archival research.

His book The Kristallnacht and the persecution of Jews in Bayreuth was published in 2000, followed by many articles.

He lectured in Germany, Indianapolis and at all IAJGS conferences since 2012.

Since 2007, he has been a self-employed genealogist, family historian, genealogical tour guide, and transcriber and translator of handwritten German documents.

Visit his website at

Buried Treasures: Hardly Known Files of Genealogical Significance in German Archives – 19th Century” (Weds-128), 3:00 – 4:15 P.M.

German archives have real treasures for genealogists interested in the life of their ancestors. Whereas Jewish Registers starting around 1810 give information about the head of the family, the Jewish Cadasters even mention wife and children.

Most interesting are the proceedings to get permission for taking up residence. They were connected with the marriage intention files containing many information of both families or even marriage contracts.

Real property records teach how ancestors lived, when an estate was inherited or bought, if the house was owned by one, two or even four Jewish families.

Colored maps of the 19th century––published on the internet––show  houses and where fields and meadows where situated.

Files for obtaining emigration permits may be several pages.

Each type of file will be introduced by Bavarian examples supported by images.

Topics: Ashkenazic research, Repositories

Getting there: Planes, Trains and Automobiles


I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get excited about the IAJGS 36th Annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy!

  • hotel reservation – check
  • plane ticket – check
  • care-taker for the Rex-the-dog and Wally-the-turtle – check
  • completed prep for my new presentation (ugh…working on it)

I am also starting to think about how I will get from the airport to the hotel. The answer is at my fingertips in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) part of the IAJGS conference website. Check out the section on Transportation for more detailed information and web addresses.

The Sheraton Seattle Downtown Hotel is about 16 miles from the Seattle SeaTac International Airport. There are several methods for getting from the airport to the hotel:


DownTown Airporter (Shuttle Express) direct to the hotel. Travelers may access this in the airport’s parking garage. It leaves about every 30 minutes and runs 24-hours each day. Fees are $18 per person, one-way ($31, roundtrip). Reservations are recommended and they may be completed online.

Preferred Shuttle Express Town Car Service starts at $59 one-way to/from the airport.

Light Rail. If walking a couple of blocks is no issue for you (and your entourage), Light Rail is likely the best option available to get from the airport to the hotel. For $3.00 each way the train covers the 16 miles in about 35 minutes. Disembark at Westlake Station (near the  Nordstrom’s sign) and walk to 6th.


Private Car Service can be arranged with the Sheraton Seattle Hotel, using a limo, sedan, or van service.

I believe the transportation services in Seattle should be a bit more modern than depicted here(!).

IAJGS 2016 Speaker Profile: Dejan Süc

SucDejanDejan Süc was born in 1989 in Murska Sobota and started studying History and Geography at Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana in 2008. He successfully defended his Master’s thesis, entitled “The Jewish population of Dolnja Lendava in the interwar period,” in September 2015 and acquired a Master’s degree in History and Geography.

Dejan mostly researches the cultural, political and economic impact of Jews in Lendava from their settlement until nowadays. Apart from that, he is also looking for lost Jewish vital records and doing genealogical research for Jewish families in Zala and Vas Counties, Hungary.

The Sources for Genealogical Research in Zala and Vas County in Hungary” (Weds-104), 4:30 – 5:45 P.M.

Dejan Süc will present the main sources of knowledge for those researching their Jewish ancestors in territories in Zala and Vas county, which belonged to Hungary before the Treaty of Trianon, but were separated after it and belong to Slovenia and Croatia nowadays.

Based on the 1910 Census, there was an important Jewish community in the cities of Alsólendva (Lendava in Slovenia), Bellatincz (Beltinci in Slovenia), Muraszombat (Murska Sobota in Slovenia), Perlak (Prelog in Croatia), Csáktornya (Cakovec in Croatia) and Muracsány (Gorican in Croatia). Around 1910, there were 978 Jews living in those cities in Slovenia and around 1.600 Jews in Croatia, in both cases of Hungarian origin.

There are no online databases for those areas. The vital records were destroyed during the Second World War. The presentation will show the other options researchers can use to find their family members in those places.

Category: Beginning genealogists

Topics: Ashkenazic research, Cemetery research, Immigration and migration over the ages, Jewish surname adoption and naming patterns, Specific countries or geographic areas

IAJGS 2016 Speaker Profile: Susan G. Weinberg

WeinbergSusanSusan G. Weinberg left a long career in finance to focus on artwork, writing, public speaking and genealogy research/consulting. The thread that connects all of these pursuits is solving puzzles and telling stories.

Much of her artwork and writing grew out of her interest in family history. Her most recent series of artwork, the Jewish Identity and Legacy Project, is based on a series of oral histories with Jewish elders.

Susan has created two Kehilalinks on her ancestral towns, speaks nationally and is active as an organizer, speaker and website creator for the new Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society.

See her website at

Her blog may be viewed at

The Jewish Identity and Legacy Project: Capturing the Stories” (Weds-110), 1:30 – 2:45 P.M.

The Jewish Identity and Legacy Project is an arts/ interview project with elders within Sholom Home, a Jewish elder facility in the Twin Cities. Most were in their 90s and spanned three groups: those who grew up in early immigrant communities; those who were survivors; and those who were immigrants from the former Soviet Union. A second set of interviews were cross-generational with children and grandchildren. These three groups represented the three strands of immigrants who came to the Twin Cities in the 1900s and explores their experience.

This presentation will make use of short video clips and artwork based on stories to understand the experience of immigrants from varied backgrounds that compose Jewish communities within the United States. Through story it will explore the legacy that these immigrants bring to their communities.

Observations on successful oral history techniques will also be provided.

Topics: Holocaust research, Immigration and migration over the ages, Jewish history and culture 

IAJGS 2016 Speaker Profile: Matan Shefi

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.06.32 PMMatan Shefi works at the Family Heritage and Jewish Genealogy Center in the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Poland. He is a History studies graduate from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and has been living in Poland for about three years.

Storytelling in Jewish-Polish Genealogy” (Weds-134), 1:30 – 2:45 P.M.

Genealogy is not only information finding, it is telling a story. Poland’s Jewish history is specifically traumatic and has many gaps, silences, and blind-spots in it. The proposed talk will present the spectrum of stories in the Jewish Historical Insitute’s Genealogy department, and will try to show how focusing on the story-telling quality of the Genealogical project, such critical problems can be tackled.

Topics: Genealogy and Jewish history related to WWI, Jewish history and culture, Poland

JGSLA Pamela Weisberger Memorial Lecture, Monday, August 8


Last fall when Pamela Weisberger passed away suddenly after a short but devastating illness, organizations impacted by Pamela’s leadership, energy, creativity, knowledge and influence, determined to create lasting memorials.

This year’s IAJGS conference, the first since her passing, will be a poignant reminder of her legacy. JGSLA, and all those who have donated to their Pamela Weisberger Memorial Lecture fund, will honor her memory with the

JGSLA Pamela Weisberger Memorial Lecture:

“History and Catastrophe: The Secret Warsaw Ghetto Archive of Emanuel Ringelblum”

Dr. Samuel Kassow, Charles Northam Professor of History at Trinity College, has been invited to deliver this first annual lecture.

Kassow received his Ph.D from Princeton University and is the author of several books, including Who Will Write Our History, which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and which has been translated into 7 languages. Roberta Grossman and Nancy Spielberg are currently making a documentary film based on this book. A child of Holocaust survivors, Professor Kassow as born in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany.

“The Secret Warsaw Ghetto Archive of Emanuel Ringelblum”

During World War II Jews resisted not only with guns but also with pen and paper. Even in the face of death they left “time capsules” full of documents that they buried under the rubble of ghettos and death camps. The Ringelblum archive in the Warsaw Ghetto buried thousands of documents. But of the 60 people who worked on this national mission, only three survived. This will be their story.

This special presentation will be delivered Monday evening, August 8, from 8:30-10:00 P.M. in Grand Ballroom C. All conference registrants are invited to attend.

IAJGS 2016 Speaker profile: Martin Fischer

FischerMartinMartin Fischer, vice president-publicity of JGS of Illinois, is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, and St. Louis Genealogical Society. He has been doing genealogy since the 1970s and has an extensive family history website.

Fischer has written for Avotaynu, APG Quarterly, St. Louis Genealogical Society Quarterly, and Chicago Tribune. He is a part-time copy editor at the Chicago Tribune, an adjunct instructor at the City Colleges of Chicago, and an associate faculty member at the University of Phoenix. He teaches social science and introductory college writing courses.

Finding Living Relatives: Techniques for Discovering Unknown Mishpocheh” (Weds-116), 12:30-1:15 P.M.

Martin Fischer will share tips and how-to information about researching, finding and contacting previously unknown living cousins and other relatives. His presentation will include anecdotes about his own discoveries of relatives whom he had never heard of before.

He will discuss death notices/obituaries; cemeteries, funeral homes and monument companies; census records; synagogues; Yad Vashem Pages of Testimony; JewishGen’s Family Finder and Family Tree of the Jewish People; how to find contact information for living people; and how to contact complete strangers who just happen to be related to you.

With today’s increasingly online world, creating a Web presence has become an important tool to enable previously unknown relatives to find you. Several options for developing a Web presence with be explained.

Category: Beginning genealogists

Topics: Cemetery research, Holocaust research, Repositories, Technology in support of genealogical research 

IAJGS 2016 Speaker Profile: Stephen T. Falk

Stephen T. Falk is a first generation American born to parents who got out of Nazi Germany in 1936. Over the last forty years, Stephen has become, progressively, a  more avid genealogist. With both parents from Breslau, that has always been the focus of his research. But, he has also followed family lines from towns in Silesia, Posen, West Prussia, and Poland, Moravia and Bohemia. Rabbinic ancestors include Zwi Hirsch Kalischer, Ezekiel Landau, Mordechai Jaffe and the MaHaRaL of Prague.

In 2013, after over 20 years as an intellectual property attorney in Philadelphia, Stephen and his wife moved to Point Roberts, Washington.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 3.43.10 PMGER SIG Luncheon*: “The Three Cemeteries of the Breslau Jewish Community” (Weds-115), 11:45 A.M. – 1:15 P.M.

This presentation to the GerSIG Luncheon will provide information about the three Breslau Jewish cemeteries: (1) the destroyed Claassenstrasse cemetery (1761-1856), (2) the Lohestrasse cemetery (1856-1941), now part of the Wroclaw Museum system, and (3) the Breslau-Cosel cemetery (1900-present), managed by the Wroclaw Jewish Community. There will be discussion of the cemeteries themselves and related archival materials.

Topics: Ashkenazic research, Cemetery research

*Note: Attendance at SIG luncheons requires registration for the event and an additional fee of $44 (non-Kosher meal) or $54 (Kosher meal) per person.  The date for registration for this event has passed. If you have not registered for this event, consider catching Stephen’s talk discussed below.

“Archival Resources on the Jewish Community of Breslau 1791-1941 (Breslau, Germany, now Wroclaw, Poland)” (Weds-111), 4:30 – 5:45 P.M.

This presentation reviews archival resources created or maintained by the Breslau Jewish community or about Jewish families or individuals from Breslau, primarily over the period from 1791 to the Community’s destruction in the 1940s and records now dispersed around the world.

Breslau, the capital of the German province of Silesia, was the home of the third largest Jewish community in Germany before the War. Its Jewish population grew throughout the 19th century as Jews from elsewhere in Silesia, from towns in Posen Province, and from elsewhere in Germany and neighboring countries (Russian Poland, Austrian Galicia, Moravia and Bohemia) migrated to this dynamic city, considered a trade and cultural crossroad between West and East.

Archival resources in Wroclaw, Poland (modern day Breslau), Warsaw, Berlin, Frankfurt, Jerusalem, London and New York will be discussed.

Topics: Ashkenazic research, Cemetery research, Jewish history and culture, Repositories, Breslau