21 July 2007

IAJGS: Award winners

The closing banquet at each conference features an awards ceremony. This year, the awards committee included chair Jay Sage, Bill Israel and Paul Silverstone of the U.S.; Martha Lev Zion, Israel, and Max Polanovsky, France.

This year's Rabbi Malcolm S. Stern Grant provided $2,000 to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to assist with the indexing the ITS-Bad Arolsen records.

Of four possible achievement awards, only two were given this year:

Lars Menk of Germany received the Outstanding Contribution for Print for his "Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames," which lists some 13,000 surnames from all over Europe, including places and years recorded. The award was accepted for Menk by Gary Mokotoff of Avotaynu.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Mathilde Tagger of Israel for 20 years of Sephardic genealogy work, translating, transliterating and indexing of materials, websites and co-author of "Sephardic and Oriental Genealogical Resources in Israel." (Avotaynu, 2006).

The remaining two categories received only one nomination each, which precluded consideration.

Awards committee chair Jay Sage of Boston encouraged attendees, who represented many Jewish genealogical societies, to submit nominations for worthy individuals and projects when next year's round is announced. Honorees will be announced at the Chicago 2008 conference.

For information on past awards and criteria, click here.

An additional award was made as Yad Vashem honored Don Hirschhorn of the JGS of Palm Beach County, Florida. Hall of Names director Alexander Avraham presented the award to Hirschhorn for his "activism, dedication and outstanding volunteerism as coordinator for the Shoah Victims Names Recovery Project. His tireless efforts to attempt to memorialize each individual Jew who perished during the Holocaust have served as a model for us all."

Hirschhorn is the Names Recovery campaign coordinator for the JGSPBC and has "personally coordinated the submission of close to 1,000 Pages of Testimony."

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