March 1 is a busy genealogy day at the Jewish Museum and Archives of BC, with two workshops scheduled.
The Museum and Archives demonstrates 150 years of Jewish culture and history in British Columbia. It is also the home of the Jewish Genealogical Institute of BC (founded 1992), the Jewish Historical Society of BC, and the Nemetz Jewish Community Archives.
The Nemetz Jewish Community Archives Reference Room (NJCA) The NJCA Reference Room in the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia provides a quiet atmosphere for researchers. The Reference Room contains a small but definitive resource library and is equipped with an oral history listening area and access to the Jewish Historical Society’s Oral History Collection. Visitors can also access the Jewish Genealogical Institute of British Columbia’s reference library and the genealogical databases Ancestry.com and FindMyPast.com.
From 1-4.30pm, the Jewish Genealogical Institute of BC will present a beginning Jewish genealogy workshop, led by president Catherine Youngren, called "First Steps in Jewish Genealogy: Tracing Your Jewish Ancestry, Giving life to your ancestors." Participants will receive handouts and beginner's kit at the program. The cost is $35.
From 2-4pm, the Jewish Historical Society of BC will offer an oral history interviewer workshop for those interested in becoming involved with the JHSBC's Oral History Project.
This workshop will introduce participants to the steps involved in doing genealogy research and the challenges involved in telling and sharing your ancestor’s stories. Topics will include: collecting family documents, interviewing family members, using genealogical tools such as ancestral charts and family group sheets, and using genealogical websites and databases. Participants will be introduced to important online tools such as Jewishgen.org and Familysearch.org, and most useful online databases including Ancestry.com, Findyourpast.com, and Footnote.com.
Irene Dodek, who interviewed Holocaust survivors for the Shoah Foundation, and archivist Janine Johnston will lead the workshop. Cost is $20; $5 for those who are already interviewers with the JHSBC. For information on the oral history workshop, call 604-638-7286 .
The Museum's permanent interactive exhibit offers interesting details such as Gastown merchant Louis Gold, who jumped into Burrard Inlet to escape Vancouver’s Great Fire of 1886. Others include Vancouver's second mayor David Oppenheimer, called the “Father of Vancouver,” who was instrumental in opening beautiful Stanley Park.
There's a gift shop with relevant books (some of which I purchased on my last speaking visit to Vancouver) and even the kosher Nava Cafe. If you are visiting Vancouver, note that the museum is open from 10am-5pm, Sunday-Thursday, closed on legal and Jewish holidays, of course.