15 July 2007

IAJGS: Opening Day in Salt Lake City

The first day of each annual international Jewish genealogy conference focuses on renewing connections with people we haven't seen for a year, sometimes two.

The evening event featured Paul A. Shapiro, director of Advanced Holocaust Studies of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, DC), who spoke on the background and latest updates concerning the International Tracing Service and the Bad Arolsen records. Tomorrow, he's scheduled for a two-hour morning Q&A session on the issues.

As readers know, I have interests in Sephardic Jews in Eastern Europe, so I was delighted when Shapiro spoke about his own family. Seems his mother's family is Kartaganer (from Cartagena), a Sephardic family that had migrated to Galicia (Austro-Hungary, Poland and today Ukraine) and then to the U.S.

There were many old friends to greet, and I was happy to see several students from our online Jewish genealogy classes (MyFamily.com and GenClass.com). The vendor room was my next stop to say hello to Gary Mokotoff (Avotaynu) and view the latest gen books, Bennett Greenspan (Family Tree DNA) and Suzanne Russo Adams (Ancestry).

The sold-out Jewish Records Indexing-Poland luncheon was held today, featuring an informative talk by JRI-P associate director Hadassah Lipsius (New York) on the detailed information to be found in Polish notarial records, covering everything real estate leases with detailed inventory lists, to pre-nuptial agreements, wills and more.

The annual management seminar for societies focused on fundraising and grant-writing for non-profits, and offered interesting techniques for societies that wanted to work on special projects but required funding.

Films were screened all day in the theater, with people popping in and out. I managed to see a large portion of the Israeli film "West Bank Story." Other offerings touched on two klezmer films, a synagogue in Wroclaw, the American South, Australian films on the "shmatte" (clothing) business and bagels, Jewish Drohobycz and still others.

Other sessions focused on a beginner's session, census and geographic searches, scanning and restoring old photographs, and using fashion clues to date photos.

The only tech glitch was an Adobe Photoshop computer workshop which I had signed up for to help improve my skills. The session has been rescheduled for Wednesday and I'm looking forward to it.

And this was only a half-day!

Tomorrow is a full day beginning with a breakfast with Family History Library regional experts.

Wish you were here!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Shelly,
    Glad you are reporting on the conference. Looking forward to all your reports.

    Hope you have a successful week.
    (Joan Parker)