Jewish Special Interest Group
Purpose: For anyone with actual (or suspected) Jewish ancestral lines. Learn the terminology of the Jewish faith and race, and the various methods for researching these families. Emphasis is on cultural differences (from other races and creeds) which may require alternative genealogical research methods and records from those usually employed. Domestic (United States) and international aspects are both explored.
Leader: Elizabeth “Liz” Kutz
Current Activities: Jewish genealogy is often based on different records than traditional genealogy due to the lack of land ownership. Instead, Jews were in the professions and owned businesses in urban areas. Also Jewish surnames sometimes were incorrectly recorded when they came to America due to unfamiliarity with the language at the port of entry, and sometimes were deliberately changed due to persecution in their previous home. One of our members searched 36 versions of a surname without success, only to find her family under a previously unknown 37th version.
We also study articles in “Avotaynu”, the International Review for Jewish Genealogy for research methodology. This year we are developing a citation guide to the “Jewish Family History Sources” quick sheet (Sources Part 1). Members bring research problems and successes to each meeting for group discussion.
Where: J. Erik Jonsson Central Library (Directions), McDermott room on the 8th floor. All interested parties are welcome.
Meetings Dates (unless otherwise noted, meetings are held from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm):