Jewish Genealogy calender

Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon

2009 - 2010 Calendar of Events


embroidery by Polina Olsen

General Meeting

3rd Tuesday each month Sept - June 7:00 PM.  

Most  meetings start with a thirty minute schmooze session.

Free to members 

$5.00 suggested donation from non-members.


Thursday, July 1, 2010 7:30 PM

 Congregation Ahavath Achim, 

3225 SW Barbur Blvd.

Portland, OR  


Please note change in usual meeting day for this program only.

Doors open by 7:00 PM for expert assistance with your genealogy problems and some ideas from our guest speaker about other genealogy and technology topics for which he has expertise.

Face Recognition Technology for Genealogy
Guest speaker Daniel Horowitz

About our Program:
Face Recognition technology can help you identify and tag people in your photos, discover related people and recover lost family connections. MyHeritage makes use of this technology as an excellent tool for genealogy research.

About our Speaker:
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Graduate from "Moral y Luces Herzl-Bialik" high school. Daniel received his BS.c. in computer engineering with specializations in education & management of educational institutions. He returned to his Jewish day school as a computer instructor & teacher/director of the genealogy project "Searching for My Roots," for which he created the educational materials. He also presented genealogy workshops for students and parents. Daniel received awards for this project including the "Gonzalo Benaim Pinto" Venezuela national award. Daniel’s students received 9 consecutive awards (1997-2005) at the "Beit Hatfutsot / Museum of the Diaspora" international annual competition: "My Family Story". He is a founding member and lecturer of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Venezuela – AGJUVE. Daniel has resided with his family in Israel since 2005. Currently he is a member and webmaster of the Israel Genealogical Society (IGS) and the Horowitz Families Association. Daniel has lectured at various International Conferences as well as at local genealogy groups. Daniel has working at MyHeritage, a site you can review on line at In 2008 Daniel was elected to the Board of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.
Admission is free to members of JGSO, $5 donation requested from non-members (can be applied to cost of membership if you join at the time).
For more information  contact Barbara Hershey, President/Program Chair at or 503-249-1976. 

Sunday  , doors will open early for schmoozing and research help.

Ahavath Achim, 3225 SW Barbur Blvd., Portland, OR   
$7 for members, $9 for non-members.  New members are invited to join at sign-in.


RSVP to with your name and the number of attendees or call Barbara Hershey  at 503-249-1976.

Sunday, May 16, 2010 Brunch with   guest speaker
Hal Bookbinder

Enjoy two programs with a tasty brunch sandwiched in between
Why did our Ancestors Leave a Nice Place like the Pale?
Locating Lost Classmates: or how your missing people can be found  
Why did our Ancestors Leave a Nice Place like the Pale?  In 1880 fully 80% of our ancestors lived in Poland and the Pale of Jewish Settlement in western Russia. We all know of the pogroms (organized violence) and mass exodus of our ancestors to points west over the next generation. This talk will provide background on the 120 years of the Pale from its formation at the turn of the 19th century to its dissolution during the First World War. It will provide some context to our ancestor's lives in the Pale, and of course, their decision to leave everything they had known to make new lives in the West.
Locating Lost Classmates This presentation will demonstrate techniques used by the speaker to locate missing classmates for a 45th reunion.  These techniques can be applied to finding lost relatives to help advance your family research.  The speaker graduated in 1965 from Ellenville Central High School in the heart of the historic Catskills’ “borscht belt”. The graduating class included 117 students, almost all of whom left the Catskills and scattered around the country. Over the years, the class has held a number of reunions and has built up and maintains a growing contact list of its members. In preparation for its 45th reunion a search was launched for 13 missing classmates. Eleven of these had never been located and two had later gone missing. The speaker volunteered to use his genealogically-honed research techniques to try to find them and he successfully located all but 2.  As this is being written, the speaker continues to search for the final two.

Hal Bookbinder has been researching eight lines for over 27 years, identifying 4,000 relatives and tracing two of these lines into the mid 1700s. A former president of JGSLA and IAJGS, he created and continues to edit the annual Jewish Genealogical Yearbook. Hal has spoken at numerous conferences, synagogues and society meetings on topics from computing to geography to brick walls. He is the director of IT infrastructure and operations for the UCLA Health System, teaches business, mathematics and information technology for the University of Phoenix and directs continuing job readiness programs at two substance abuse recovery facilities in Los Angeles; the Midnight Mission and its sister organization, the Family Housing Facility. He and his wife, Marci, who were both raised in the legendary "borsht belt" of New York's Catskills', have four children and four grandchildren.

Please RSVP for this Annual Brunch Program so that we can be prepared for all attendees. To RSVP, or for more information, send an email to with your name and the number of attendees.  Alternatively, you may call Barbara Hershey with the same info at 503-249-1976.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 7:30 PM

Doors open at 7:00 PM for schmoozing and assistance with your genealogy problems.

Where: Congregation Ahavath Achim, 3225 SW Barbur Blvd., Portland, OR  


Genetic Genealogy

Presented by Emily D. Aulicino

Genetic Genealogy, the use of DNA testing to aid traditional genealogical research, is a new and accurate field for the family historian as it can prove or disprove family connections.

In this program, packed with information, learn the basics of DNA testing and how it helps your research. Learn about different tests and the value of each.  Understand who to test and why. Find out why the new test, Family Finder, is the next generation in DNA Testing and goes beyond what tests three years ago could do. Emily will also respond to questions at the end of her presentation and can address issues such as privacy and engaging your family’s participation.


A $30 gift certificate toward a DNA test will be raffled at no cost to those attending her presentation.


About our Speaker:

Emily Aulicino is a retired teacher who has researched her family’s genealogy for over 40 years, traveling nationally and internationally for that purpose. She is a speaker and Regional Coordinator for the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG).


She teaches Genetic Genealogy at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon (Portland). For five years she has attended the annual FTDNA International DNA Conferences and was a speaker at the conference in 2007. In 2008, she spoke at the West Coast African American Summit in Bellevue, Washington. In February 2009 and 2010, she attended the genealogy and DNA conference in London called Who Do You Think You Are. Emily has made presentations to many other organizations. She administers thirteen DNA projects at Family Tree DNA, seven surname email lists on Roots Web, three genetic genealogy email lists on Yahoo, and another on Yahoo which helps genealogists and non-genealogists write their own family and personal memories. She manages thirteen DNA projects through Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) which include surname, geographical, and society projects.


Admission is free to members of JGSO, $5 donation requested from non-members (can be applied to cost of membership if you join at the time).

For more information please see the JGSO website or contact Barbara Hershey, President/Program Chair at or 503-249-1976.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010 

Doors open at 7:00 PM for schmoozing and assistance with your genealogy problems.

Time: 7:30 PM

Where: Congregation Ahavath Achim, 3225 SW Barbur Blvd., Portland, OR  


Digital Family History Scrapbooking with Photoshop Elements

Presented by Sarah Holmes - Our speaker says: "I keep learning new things each time I create a page. There is no better way to keep those brain cells growing than to learn something totally new. In this presentation you will be introduced to digital scrapbooking and see some of the unique things you can accomplish digitally.  There are many programs one can use.  I have chosen Photoshop Elements.  It is not too difficult and yet has lots of flexibility." 

Sarah Holmes is retired after 32 years in public child welfare.She started researching when she wanted to learn more about her father who died when she was 21. Like many of us, she had no intention of getting into genealogy.  A single trip to a Family History Center started her quest when one little piece of information told a story she had never before known. She was hooked!  Her journey has resulted in reconnecting with long lost cousins.  Through her search and sharing what she has learned she now has hundreds of old pictures.  Sarah needed to find ways to preserve them.  Since she is a little bit of a techno nut she was willing to try new things. When she learned about digital scrapbooking she found her path.

Admission is free to members of JGSO, $5 donation requested from non-members (can be applied to cost of membership if you join at the time).

For more information please contact Barbara Hershey, President/Program Chair at or 503-249-1976.

Sunday, February 21, 2010 1:30 PM

Congregation Ahavath Achim, 3225 SW Barbur Blvd., Portland, OR 

Doors open at 1:00 PM for schmoozing and assistance with your genealogy problems.

Reading in Another Hand:  Deciphering Cyrillic and Hebrew Archival Documents from Eastern Europe. Presented by Natan Meir

This lecture/workshop will elucidate some of the foundational elements of Russian script used in the 19th and early 20th centuries. If time permits, we will also address Hebrew, both of which may be used in your genealogical documents from the Russian Empire. We will discuss the alphabets, their use in archival documents, key words and phrases that frequently appear and are of interest to genealogists and the structure of tsarist and Soviet archives. We will work together to decipher copies of actual documents.

Where: Ahavath Achim Synagogue, 3225 SW Barbur Blvd., Portland, OR 

When:  Sunday  Jan 24, 2010 at 1:30 p.m.



Program: Heirlooms, Mementos and Genealogy

Do you own old household items?  Photographs?  Letters?  Newspaper clippings?  Old jewelery?  Do you know to whom they belonged?  Toby Blake will discuss how items like these can aid in your research.  She is fortunate to have many mementos and heirlooms.  She will share some of these items and how they have impacted her research. 


Speaker: Toby Forim Blake received her MA in Jewish History from Baltimore Hebrew University.  She served on the Baltimore Community Board of Jewish Women's Archives where she was involved in personal history interviews as well as other phases of the project.  She has been a Jewish educator in the classroom, in administration, and for the Baltimore Board of Jewish Education.  Currently she is the International Baccalaureate Coordinator for the Primary Years Program at Portland Jewish Academy.  Toby has been researching family since the late 1980's. 

Where :Congregation Neveh Shalom,  2900 SW Peaceful Lane, Portland, OR   See the special note below.


When:  November 17, 2009


Special Note:  Please enter Neveh Shalom through the first door at the back of the building.Someone will be at door  from 6:30 pm until 7:00 only.  The program will start at 7:00 pm.


Questions and Research

Program:  A research work session with an opportunity to use JGSO's library resources and get assistance from other members.  Bring a laptop with wireless access, if you have one, and want assistance with any on-line resources.

call Barbara Hershey, Program Chair at 503-249-1976 or at


Where: Ahavath Achim Synagogue, 3225 SW Barbur Blvd., Portland, OR 

When: Oct. 20, 2009

Time:  6:30 pm  doors open for schmoozing; program will start at 7:00 pm.

For more information contact Barbara Hershey, Program Chair at 503-249-1976 or at


Not Your Grandfather's Synagogue

Religious and Secular (and In Between) in Turn-of-the-Century Eastern Europe

Program: To augment understanding of our ancestors’ way of life in Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s this presentation will be about the shift from traditional religious practice among East European Jews to a much more complicated religious landscape, including an Eastern European version of Reform and, of course, secularism.

Speaker: Natan Meir is the Lorry I. Lokey Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at PSU. He received his Ph.D. in Jewish history from Columbia University, taught at the University of Southampton (U.K.), and was a Yad Hanadiv postdoctoral fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His scholarly interest is modern Jewish history focusing on the social and cultural history of East European Jewry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His first book, "Kiev: Jewish Metropolis, 1861-1914", is forthcoming from Indiana University Press. He is working on his next project tentatively titled "Jewish Marginals in Eastern Europe," which explores the lives of widows, orphans, and disabled people in the Jewish communities of 19th centery Russia and Poland.


Where: Ahavath Achim Synagogue, 3225 SW Barbur Blvd., Portland, OR 

When:  September 15, 2009

Time:  6:30 pm  doors open for schmoozing; program will start at 7:00 pm.

For more information  contact Barbara Hershey, Program Chair at 503-249-1976 or at



New Year, New Ideas, New Info on your Family Tree

Program: JGSO's meeting is designed to get us all off to a good research start in 5770.  First, some of our members who attended the conference in Philadelphia this summer will talk about the new resources that were announced and the presentations that they found most helpful and enlightening. Next, we will offer some unusual research tips that are simple, yet effective.  Finally, we will try to break down some of the brick walls stalling your research.

We encourage you all to submit your research problems/dilemmas/questions to:, in advance.  You may bring questions to the meeting, but having the questions in advance will provide more time for us to try and find answers.



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