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Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

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Upcoming events

    • 21 Aug 2022
    • 25 Aug 2022
    • Online

    The 42nd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is scheduled for Aug. 21–25, 2022, as an entirely virtual event. JGSI members Debbie Kroopkin and Steve Flack are among the speakers. 

    For more information, see: https://www.iajgs2022.org/ 


    • 28 Aug 2022
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • From the convenience of your home device.
    Register

    E. Randol Schoenberg to discuss legal issues of online family trees for the Aug. 28 JGSI meeting 

    “Privacy Issues with Online Trees” is the title of a presentation by genealogist and attorney E. Randol Schoenberg for the Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at 2 p.m. CDT. Register/RSVP by clicking the button at left.

    The talk reviews the legal issues with regard to online publication of genealogical information, and discusses the rules imposed by various online genealogy platforms. Randol will demonstrate that mostly what we call the right to privacy has little or nothing to do with what we do as genealogists. “Regular genealogical data regarding name, date and location of birth, marriage and death, the names of parents, siblings, spouses and children should seldom give rise to any claim for invasion of privacy, since these facts are usually not private, but are known by a wide range of people, and further are not offensive or objectionable to a reasonable person,” Randol said.

    Among the questions he will consider are: Do the deceased have privacy rights? And if so, how are they protected? He will also explain how companies such as Ancestry, MyHeritage and Geni have developed privacy standards, not as a result of legal requirements, but as a marketing strategy.

    E. Randol Schoenberg is an attorney known for his work recovering Nazi-looted artworks, as portrayed in the 2015 film “Woman in Gold.” Schoenberg graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor of arts in mathematics and a certificate in European cultural studies, and received his juris doctor degree from the University of Southern California. He is a board member of JewishGen.org, a volunteer curator for Geni.com, and the founder of the Jewish Genealogy Portal on Facebook. Schoenberg is currently working on a new documentary film, “Finding Fioretta” due in 2023, in which he traces his family back 500 years to the beginning of the ghetto in Venice, Italy.

    The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots. The JGSI motto is “Members Helping Members Since 1981.” The group has more than 320 members and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

    JGSI members have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members’ forum, more than 75 video recordings of past speakers’ presentations, monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more.

    Members as well as non-members can look for their ancestors on the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database.



    • 30 Oct 2022
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Details to be announced soon.

    Details will be forthcoming. 

    • 13 Nov 2022
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Details to be announced soon.

    Mike Karsen to present update on Chicago-area Jewish genealogy resources on Nov. 13

    “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland—What’s New” will be the topic of a presentation by genealogist Mike Karsen for the Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at 2 p.m. CDT. Registration/RSVP details will be forthcoming.

    For more information, see https://jgsi.org or phone 312-666-0100.

    This event will feature JGSI past president Mike Karsen giving his annual update covering various resources available to discover your Jewish roots in Chicagoland. He will include a wide range of records and research resources, including cemeteries, death certificates, death notices/obits, marriage records, birth records, and city directories. He will also cover some uniquely Jewish resources. Today, with so many records available online, you hardly have to leave your home to research your Chicago roots. Case studies will be utilized to demonstrate the research process.

    A professional speaker, Mike Karsen is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Genealogical Speakers Guild, and is a past president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. He has presented over 300 talks on genealogy topics locally, nationally, and internationally, including for the Newberry Library and the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. Mike is the author of the JewishGen website’s “Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland” and has published articles on genealogy.

    The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots. The JGSI motto is “Members Helping Members Since 1981.” The group has more than 320 members and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

    JGSI members have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members’ forum, more than 65 video recordings of past speakers’ presentations, monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more. Members as well as non-members can look for their ancestors on the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database.

Examples of Past Events

24 Jul 2022 “The Power of the Catalog – Unindexed Records and How to Find Them” by Risa Daitzman Heywood
26 Jun 2022 Kvell and Tell 2022 annual JGSI meeting
12 Jun 2022 Join us on June 12, 2022, at the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival
22 May 2022 “Getting the Most from Revision Lists” by David R. Brill
24 Apr 2022 “Conflict Management: Evaluating Evidence of Identity” by Emily H. Garber
27 Mar 2022 “Ich bin ein Berliner: (Re)uniting 5 Half-siblings from 4 Different Mothers” by Michael Tobias
27 Feb 2022 “What Can We Learn about Our Ancestors from Jewish Surnames Adopted in Eastern Europe?” by Alexander Beider
23 Jan 2022 “Navigating Your Jewish DNA Results” by Adina Newman
14 Nov 2021 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland—What’s New” by Mike Karsen
24 Oct 2021 “Here Comes The 1950 Census: What To Expect” and “Finding Difficult Passengers on the Ellis Island Manifests” by Joel Weintraub
07 Oct 2021 "Researching Belarus Records for Genealogy" by Paul Zoglin and Dave Feldman
29 Aug 2021 “What the Genealogist Needs to Know About Jewish Family Names” by Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus
25 Jul 2021 “A History of Jewish Name Changing in America” by Kirsten Fermaglich
27 Jun 2021 JGSI annual meeting with 'Kvell and Tell' talks
23 May 2021 “Journeys from Shtetl to Shtetl” by Eli Rabinowitz
25 Apr 2021 "Three Guides, Four Countries: A Daughter of Holocaust Survivors Travels to Their Ancestral Villages" by Deborah Long
21 Mar 2021 “Finding Your Kaplans” by Mindie Kaplan
21 Feb 2021 “Clued-In: Interpreting Real Photo Postcards from the Diaspora” and photo analyses by Ava Cohn
24 Jan 2021 “JRI-Poland Update and More” by Stanley Diamond
22 Nov 2020 “Using FamilySearch for Jewish Research” by W. Todd Knowles
25 Oct 2020 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland—What’s New” by Mike Karsen
30 Aug 2020 “Out of the Whirlwind: Finding Your Family Lost in the Holocaust” by Deborah H. Long
26 Jul 2020 "Comparing Jewish Resources on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage and JewishGen” and “What Would Nancy Drew Do in the Quest for Missing Family" by Ellen Kowitt
31 May 2020 “A Case Study in Getting Past a Genealogical Brick Wall” by Martin Fischer
03 May 2020 "When DNA or Documents Reveal Life-Altering Origin Secrets” by Steven Flack
23 Feb 2020 “Unique Aspects of Jewish Genealogy” by Debbie Kroopkin
26 Jan 2020 “Family History Resources from the Library of Congress” by Tina Beaird
17 Nov 2019 “Using Periodical Literature for Genealogical Research” and “More than Surname Surfing: Best Practices for Using the Internet for Genealogy” by Curt B. Witcher
27 Oct 2019 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland—What’s New” by Mike Karsen
15 Sep 2019 “A Guide to Sephardic Genealogy” by Sarina Roffé
25 Aug 2019 “More Stories about Things I’ve Learned from Doing Genealogy” by Zalman Usiskin
02 Jun 2019 DNA: Tests, Tools and Tales -- A one-day conference
06 May 2019 “A 3-D View of Immigration" by Susan Weinberg
28 Apr 2019 “Three Hershberg Mysteries” by Barry Finkel
07 Apr 2019 “Resurrecting Grandpa’s Store” by Scott Meyer
24 Mar 2019 “The Margarine Moonshiners from Minsk” and “Conducting Story-Driven Research” by Tammy Hepps
03 Mar 2019 “Who Was B. Berman? A Case Study in Getting Past a Genealogical Brick Wall” by Martin Fischer
24 Feb 2019 “Write It! Tips for Saving and Sharing Family History" by Martin Fischer
27 Jan 2019 “Courthouse Finds” by Tina Beaird
Pre- and post-pandemic:  Monthly Meetings are usually held at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook.  Please check for any changes in venue by reading the event details.  The Temple will open at 12:30 pm for the help desk and library. JGSI members will be available to help answer genealogical questions, help with Internet searches, and help in the library. Scheduled programs will begin at 2:00 pm.

LINK TO FAQ: How to add the event to your calendar.
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JGSI is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.