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A series of educational webinars with Jewish genealogical experts

Upcoming Programs: October/November 2022

Researching Jews in America: Overview of American Collections at the Center for Jewish History
Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Ellen Kowitt, Moriah Amit, Melanie Meyers, J.D. Arden

About the Talk

Join this expert panel for an American perspective of genealogy collections held at NYC's Center for Jewish History. Focusing on identifying Jews in America, learn how to navigate materials online, offline, and held elsewhere such as on and The American Jewish Historical Society will be featured, with special collections held at YIVO, Leo Baeck, and the American Sephardi Federation introduced, demonstrated, and explained.

About the Speakers

Ellen Kowitt is JewishGen USA Research Division Director; Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Jewish Task Force Chair; University of Denver OLLI instructor; and author for Family Tree Magazine, Avotaynu, and recently published client book, David Crystal: An American Family History. She has utilized JewishGen and served in a variety of volunteer capacities since 1994.

Moriah Amit is the Senior Genealogy Librarian at the Center for Jewish History in New York. For over a decade, Moriah has provided on-site and remote guidance to thousands of family history researchers of all ages, abilities, and levels of experience, Jewish and non-Jewish. She coordinates the Center's "Family History Today" monthly series of genealogy-themed public programs and is one of the co-hosts of “Genealogy Coffee Break,” the Center's popular tutorial video series on Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. In addition, Moriah is the creator and manager of the New York Historical Synagogues Map (, a free online tool for Jewish genealogy, which was awarded a grant from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies in 2019. She earned a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute.

Melanie Meyers is the Deputy Director of the American Jewish Historical Society, and Chair of Collections and Engagement. She has served as an adjunct lecturer at The Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University, where she has taught a variety of classes for the special collections/rare books specialization, including “History of the Book” and “Reference and Instruction in Special Collections.” She has served as a curator on multiple exhibitions, including “Nourishing Traditions: Jewish Cookbooks and the Stories They Tell,” and “Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit.” She has worked with special collections in a variety of settings, including private, non-profit, and academic institutions, and has served on outside evaluation teams for other repositories.

J.D. Arden is a reference and genealogy librarian at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan. He graduated from Brandeis University and received a master’s degree in library and information science from Pratt Institute.

How to Register

Registration is free with a suggested donation.
Dying to Find Out: Beyond Death Certificates
Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Avrohom Krauss

About the Talk

Death is the final genealogical event, but death records are often where research begins. How to understand their contents, what it says and equally important what it does not say will determine the accuracy of your story. With this in mind, we will examine death records and explore various complimentary records such as: cemetery and burial records, monuments, tombstones, undertakers, yahrzeit calendars, plaques, yizkor records, synagogue and society records as well as government issued records. Come and discover treasures buried in your documents- the things you are just ‘dying to find out’.

About the Speaker

Avrohom Krauss is a veteran educator and genealogist specializing in uniquely Jewish resources. He assisted in the original JewishGen's Online Education Course and is a frequent contributor to AVOTAYNU in print and Avotaynu Online. Since 2010, Krauss has presented at IAJGS conferences on topics such as immigration, landsmanshaftn, relief organizations, and the Hebrew calendar. In addition to his local genealogical society, the Israel Genealogical Research Association (IGRA) Avrohom has featured (virtually) or prerecorded at other societies’ meetings. He also belongs to Gesher Galicia, Litvak SIG, Belaus SIG and JGS (NYC). A native of Elizabeth, NJ, Avrohom resides in Telz-Stone, Israel.

How to Register

Registration is free with a suggested donation.
Researching Jews in America: American Synagogue Records as Genealogy Resource
Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Dr. Dana Herman, Mary Silverstein, Shulamith Z. Berger, Ellen Kowitt

About the Talk

Join a panel of experts from each of the rabbinic seminary repositories for a primer on where to find synagogue records, what genealogical material they include, and hear about the launch of JewishGen’s Shul Records America; the first of its kind inventory of American synagogue records.

About the Speakers

Dana Herman serves as Director of Research and Collections at The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) located on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is the 2022 recipient of the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) HUC Faculty Award. By cataloging, preserving, and providing access to these significant historical records, Dr. Herman has ensured that the extensive documentation of WRJ's contributions to the Reform Movement and North American Jewry will live on in the future.

Mary Silverstein is a Processing Archivist at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. She was previously a Project Assistant Archivist at the Museum of the City of New York, where she was the Lone Arranger on this project. She has also worked in the archives of StoryCorps in New York, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and the Mount Sinai Hospital Archives in New York. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences (MLIS) and the University of Chicago (BA, English).

Shulamith Z. Berger is the Curator of Special Collections at Yeshiva University. She has an M.S. from the School of Library Service at Columbia University and an M.S. in modern Jewish history from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University. Among her articles are: “Tehines: Women and Prayer” and “Madison Avenue Comes to East Broadway: Advertising and the Jewish Immigrant Meet.”

Ellen Kowitt is JewishGen's USA Research Division Director; Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Jewish Task Force Chair; University of Denver OLLI instructor; and author for Family Tree Magazine, Avotaynu, and recently published client book, David Crystal: An American Family History. She has utilized JewishGen and served in a variety of volunteer capacities since 1994.

How to Register

Registration is free with a suggested donation.
JewishGen Symposium: Researching Your Roots in Bessarabia.
Tuesday, December 13th - Thursday, December 15th, between 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Yefim Kogan and other experts.

About the Symposium

The JewishGen Bessarabia SIG Research Division is proud to present a special symposium that will help researchers explore their Jewish roots in Bessarabia. Presentations will also explore topics related to other regions as well.

When will it take place? Does it cost anything?

The free event will take place between December 13-15, 2022 via Zoom (please note that sessions will take place over the course of 3 days).

What are the session topics?

Sessions will focus on: Laws for Jews in the Russian Empire ⧫ Researching Your Roots in Moldovan Archives ⧫ The history of Rashkov (Transnistria) ⧫ How to utilize family within Bessarabian Business directories ⧫ Teaching Holocaust Studies in Moldova ⧫ Teaching Family History to your children and grandchildren ⧫ Traces of Jewish Life in Ukraine and Moldova ⧫ Bessarabian music in the 19th-20th centuries ⧫ The Klezmer connection between Jews and Gypsy musicians ⧫ and more.

In total, there will be more than 15 presenters, who come from Canada, Germany, France, Brazil, Moldova, Ukraine, the United States, and other countries.

The detailed schedule is available by clicking here.

Will Sessions Be Recorded?

All sessions will be recorded, and ultimately made available on the JewishGen YouTube channel. 

Questions before Registering?

We look forward to your participation! If you have any questions before registering, please contact Yefim Kogan, Director of Bessarabian Research and the Bessarabia SIG Research Division, at

How to Register

Registration is free with a suggested donation.
DNA AND ENDOGAMY: Making Sense When Your Matches Don’t Make Sense
Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Dr. Adina Newman

About the Talk

Does your family tree resemble a tumbleweed? Do you have thousands upon thousands of DNA matches that make no sense? DNA matches that don't show up for your parents or matches that seem to all match each other? Do you just feel overwhelmed and frustrated with your DNA results? Don't give up! In this presentation, Dr. Adina Newman will provide strategies to navigate and combat the effects of endogamy at the major commercial DNA testing companies.

About the Speaker

Dr. Adina Newman, EdD, is the creator of My Family Genie, where she assists clients with research and blogs about her genealogy musings. Her specialties are in Jewish genealogy, genetic genealogy, social media, and New England, and she presents on these topics in a variety of venues, from major genealogy conferences to local genealogy societies. Her findings have received international media attention, including mentions in The Daily Mail, The Times of Israel, AP, and appearances on Boston 25 News. She volunteers as a moderator for a Jewish genetic genealogy Facebook group and on the program committee for her local Jewish genealogical society. She recently co-founded the DNA Reunion Project at the Center for Jewish Genealogy that aims to provide Holocaust survivors and their children with commercial DNA kits and raise awareness of the potential of DNA testing.

How to Register

Registration is free with a suggested donation.

Registration for JewishGen Talks webinars are free, with a suggested donation. Many programs are recorded, and available via the JewishGen YouTube Channel.

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