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Breaking News - 22 June 2007




Map Resources

  • Pre-WWI German military maps of the German Empire
  • Pre-WW I Austro-Hungarian maps of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • Intra-War Polish maps of Poland
  • Computers pre-set to access  various on-line map collections
  • You will be able to photograph these maps (with your own digital camera) and, for a fee, one of our vendors, Generation Maps, will convert your digital image into hard copy on a large, flat-bed printer.

Computer Resources (sponsored by

  • Full access to's 5 billion names and 23,000 searchable databases, worldwide
  • Access to's collection of UK birth, marriage, death and census records
  • Access to's UK outbound passenger lists, 1890-1919
  • Access to's collection of over 10 million American historical documents and photographs
  • Access to's collection of more than 10,000 databases, including both US and worldwide resources


  • A selection of genealogical resource books
  • Some unique databases contributed by participants
  • Translators to assist with short translations of family documents

FREE ANCESTRY DRAWING is sponsoring the computer resource center at the conference and providing free access to its full range of databases, both those covering American records and European databases as well. In addition, they will be holding a free drawing giving away:

  • One copy of The Source (3rd Edition), edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Luebking
  • One copy of the Official Guide to 
  • Several Flash Drives, and
  • A grand prize of an Annual World Deluxe Subscription to

The drawing will be held on Thursday, July 19 at 1:30pm and the winner must be present to take away these free prizes.

Below are prior Breaking News announcements



US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is planning a Genealogy Program that may be "live" by year's end. This new fee-for-service program is designed to streamline and improve the search and acquisition of genealogical and historical records and provide reference services to genealogists and others seeking documents. USCIS is the successor agency to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

Ave M. Sloane, Chief, Genealogy Section, USCIS, Historical Records and Genealogy Branch, along with Gil Jacobs, assistant to the director, Office of Records Services, USCIS, will explain the new service at the 27th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. This important session, to be held at 6:30 pm, Tuesday, July 17, was just added to a schedule already packed with the more than 250 presentations, films, computer labs and meetings.

Available records under this program will include Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files) 1906-1956; Alien Registration Forms 1940-1944; Visa Files 1924-1944; Visa Records 1944-1951; Registry Files 1929-1944; Registry records 1944-1951; and Alien Files numbered below 8-million (contents prior to 1951).

Sloane anticipates "going live" by end 2007/beginning 2008.

Other planned top-of-the-news sessions include Paul Shapiro of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on "The Archives of the International Tracing Service"; Stephen Morse on "One-Step Webpages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools"; Susan King, Warren Blatt and Michael Tobias on "JewishGen: the first 20 years and beyond"; Gary Frohlich, MS, CGC on "Our Heritage & Our Health - Genetic Conditions among the Ashkenazim" and Dan Rottenberg on "Finding Our Fathers: 30 Years Later."



Some exciting items have been  added this year:

  • Canada
    The 1911 Canadian census films have been catalogued and will be available for the conference.
  • Boston
    Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society card file for Boston (1882-1929) are on nine microfilm reels. At the last conference in Salt Lake City we accessed the Philadelphia HIAS records. Now Boston is available.
  • Lviv Archives
    In 2006, some major Jewish record groups were filmed in the Lviv archives. Among them are metrical records (B,M,D) for many Galizianer communities. One 33-reel set covers more than 60 places (1820-1939), while another 10-reel set covers Lviv records (1801-1889). Six reels cover Brody (1815-1871). An archival register has 376 files of Jewish congregational records in Galicia. For more information on these holdings, go to and type in "Lviv Jewish".
  • Vienna Archives
    The Vienna archive Jewish metrical books (B,M,D) includes 398 reels (1826-1943). For more information go to and type in "Matrikel 1826-1943, Judische Gemeinde".

Godfrey Library - Family Search Center Partnership


Connecticut's private Godfrey Memorial Library has been digitizing its thousands of genealogy books and extensive hand-written materials not available elsewhere, and produces the American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) with millions of records.  It has just announced a partnership with 4,500 worldwide LDS FamilySearch Centers, including Salt Lake City's FHL. The material will be available free of charge to center visitors. For more information, click here .

Due to the wonderful response with registrations, we have extended the early registration deadline until May 15 for the 27th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy.   Go to and click on the Registration button to make your reservation!

Please share this exciting news with your JGS members and friends! Remember on May 15 the registration fees go up from $230 to $275 for initial registrant and from $140 to $160 for a spouse/companion.




Prices go up on May 1 for the IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. While it will still be well worth the price, why pay more? Go to today and click on the Registration button to reserve your place at the Jewish genealogical event of the year.

  • Film Festival!
    Conference registrants will be able to participate in an amazing festival featuring 40 varied films. Read about them at The theater is right on the conference floor. (The Conference venues are accessible to all registrants, including the disabled.)
  • SIG Activities!
    Many of the SIGs have worked with the conference program committee to create focused half-day programs covering specific interest areas, often including a luncheon. Interested in a specific SIG? Go to, type the SIG name in the "Session Title" box and press Search. Or, select "Special Interest Group" from the Session Topic pull-down menu to see the wide range of SIG programming, luncheons and meetings.
  • Lectures, Labs, Luncheons and more!
    The overall program of lectures, computer labs, luncheons, meetings and films includes well over 200 choices -- something for everyone. One special focus will be genetics, with a full day of programming. Interested? Visit and select "Genetics and DNA Research" from the Session Topic pull-down menu.
  • Make the most of the Library!
    Want to maximize your research experience at the largest genealogical library the world? Prepare by visiting and plan your research visit -- and ensure that the films you want to review will be waiting at the Library. Also, consider signing up for one or more "Breakfast with the Experts," which will provide information on the Library's latest resources and techniques for using them.
  • Free access to ALL of!
    Want free access to all of the U.S. and International databases offered by or to conveniently access maps and other geographic materials about your town? The Ancestry Resource Room will provide no-cost access to the huge and growing array of Ancestry databases, and through arrangements with the FHL, a great map resource center will be available.
  • Free Internet Access!
    Want to use your own laptop computer to stay in touch or pursue your research? There will be free 24/7 access to the Internet throughout the main conference floor. Don't have a computer but still want to stay in touch? Use the cyber cafe to check your mail.
  • Computer Labs!
    Want to hone basic or advanced computer skills? Consider signing up for one of 18 computer labs, including a beginner's series covering the Internet, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and JewishGen. If more advanced computer training is your cup of tea, check out the dozen specialized sessions (there is a fee and seating is limited). For more information, visit and select "Computer Training Workshops" from the Session Topic pull-down menu.
  • And more!
    Along with all this, view a museum quality photographic exhibit, visit Salt Lake City area sites or take a guided tour of some of the most breathtaking areas of the U.S. Want to learn more and keep up with conference announcements? Check out and, or just go to and explore. Then, sign up for the conference discussion group (hosted by JewishGen).


Western Leisure will be offering various tours for conference participants and their families. Full information will be available by April 15th, at which time you will be able to book any of the tours below. You will be able to access the special Western Leisure reservation site from the conference website:


  • Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks, 3 Days Fri Jul 13, 2007 - Sun Jul 15, 2007


  • Yellowstone, Tetons & Jackson Hole, 3 Days Fri Jul 20, 2007 - Sun Jul 22, 2007

During the conference:

  • Alps of Utah, including Robert Redford's Sundance Resort, the Swiss village of Midway, and Park City, Sunday Jul 15, 2007, 1-8PM
  • Gardens of Salt Lake, including the gardens of Temple Square and Red Butte Garden, Wednesday Jul 18, 2007, 1-5PM
  • Crossroads of the West City Tour with Mormon Tabernacle Choir Rehearsal, Thursday Jul 19, 2007, 6-9PM
  • Snowbird Mountain Resort, including an aerial tram ride to the "Roof of the Rockies", Friday Jul 20, 2007, 9AM-1PM
  • Daily Tour to Wendover, Nevada, home of 5 world-class casinos. There are two departures daily.


Amtrak offers discounts for AAA members (10%) and seniors over 62 (15%). If you are not eligible for these ongoing discounts, you can still get a 10% discount using Convention Fare Code X03P-915, which has been arranged for our conference attendees. It can be used for travel to Salt Lake City between July 12 and July 23, 2007. To book your reservation call Amtrak at 1-800-872-7245, Valerie Wilson Travel (1-800-776-1116, ask for Paul) or your local travel agent. The special Convention Fares is only available by phone and cannot be booked on the Internet.


The Resource Room will offer both the German and Austrian pre-World War I military map series, on loan from the Family History Library. The printed version of these maps is normally not accessible to FHL patrons. 

As the FHL series is incomplete, the Conference Committee is arranging with the Library of Congress for copies of the missing maps. So, you should be able to conveniently access all maps in the two series. Finding aids will be available and you will have the ability to print (for a fee) oversize copies of each map.


The Forward has graciously agreed to contribute complimentary copies to conference registrants.


To add breakfasts with the experts, SIG luncheons, the banquet or computer classes once you are already registered, please do the following:

  • Go to the conference website: Click "Registration" and then "Registration Update".
  • A new window will open. Enter your family name and the password which was provided to you in a confirmation email when you registered (If you do not have it, click on "Forgotten your password" and it will be emailed to you again.)
  • Another window will open; click "Add Fee-Based Items".
     All added-fee items will appear: breakfasts with experts, SIG luncheons, computer workshops and the banquet. Scroll to the activity. Select the specific events you wish to add and click "Continue". Provide your payment method and click "Submit".
  • You will receive a confirmation within a few days. All added items are reviewed to ensure that a registrant does not inadvertently request a fee-based item already ordered or which might be in conflict with a previously-selected item. This is important as there are NO refunds or cancellations on fee-added items.


Day trips during the conference and three-day state and national parks tours just before and just after the conference, at special conference rates, will be available. The website through which you will be able to purchase these tours is now being set up and will be available by April 15th. There will be a link from the "Travel and Hotel" button on the website.


Only one month until early registration runs out and conference registration prices rise. So, if you have not yet registered, do so at discounted pricing.


Many of the fee-based items have limited seating. Once sold out, there will be no more. So, be sure to lock in your seat. The hotel is filling up fast. We have expanded our "room block" twice, essentially including all available hotel rooms. For some nights (mainly for the weekend after the conference), no rooms at conference rates remain. You can access the hotel's special conference registration website from by clicking on the "Travel and Hotel" button. This offers the deeply discounted rates available to conference attendees - so long as rooms remain available.


This is your opportunity to learn a new computer skill from scratch or add to your knowledge of more advanced techniques, databases and programs. Instructors include Steve Morse, Michael Tobias, Ron Arons, Gary Mokotoff and other experts. The workshops sell out quickly with only 26 seats for each.

Beginner/entry level classes ($15) are at 8 a.m. each day.

  • The Internet for Beginners
  • JewishGen for Beginners
  • Microsoft Word for Beginners
  • Microsoft Excel for Beginners
  • Microsoft PowerPoint for Beginners
More advanced classes ($25) include:
  • Introduction to the Census & Geographic Searches
  • Using Adobe Photoshop
  • JRI-Poland Database Search Techniques
  • Using Windows to Edit Images
  • Genealogy Treasure Hunt, use Internet Gen DBs and win Prizes
  • How to build a Genealogical website
  • Using Excel for Genealogical Databases
  • Using Word for Genealogy and other computer shortcuts
  • Southern African Gen Resources
  • Building one step search tools
  • JewishGen advanced
  • Advanced Family Tree Maker
  • Using Consolidated Jewish Surname Index and Shoah Victims Names Database


The 2007 Genealogy Film Festival line up, coordinated by Pamela Weisberger, will screen - at no charge - from early morning and until early evening, educational, entertaining and illuminating films covering many geographical and genealogical subjects. In April, the complete schedule will be announced.

Belzec: The Documentary - A chilling account about horrifically efficient Nazi death camp. In less than a year, at least 600,000 Jews, mostly from Galicia, were murdered

Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness - Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara who, when confronted with evil, risked careers, livelihoods and future - in defiance of government orders - to save more than 6,000 Jews in Kaunus, Lithuania, the second largest number of rescued Jews.

The Ritchie Boys - Jewish teens who escaped the Nazis train in intelligence work and psychological warfare at Maryland's Camp Ritchie. As US soldiers, they return to Europe with the greatest motivation to fight the war.

West Bank Story - Academy Award-winning short film. Israeli soldier David and Palestinian cashier Fatima are an unlikely couple who fall in love amidst the animosity of their families' dueling West Bank falafel stands. A musical comedy about the hope for peace.

Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer visits his Jewish roots in Ukraine and find the family that saved his grandfather from the Nazis.

Klezmer musician and filmmaker Yale Strom's works include the Hungarian Carpati: 50 miles, 50 years, and The Man from Munkacs; and Galician/Polish Klezmer on Fish Street and The Last Klezmer: Leopold Kozlowski, His Life and Music.

A Torah Returns to Poland - A Torah written in 1876 Alsace, France, accompanies the community's deportation to Auschwitz, survives the war, is found in New York, and is returned to today's living Jewish community of Poland.

From Kristallnacht to Crystal Day: A Synagogue in Wroclaw Glows Again - Retrospective of life in Wroclaw, Poland (formerly Breslau, Germany) from 1829 until today through the eyes of a synagogue.

Swiss Jewry: An Island in the Twentieth Century - Dormant bank accounts, Nazi gold and refugees through the eyes of the Swiss Jewish community.

The line-up also includes Watermarks, inspirational film about the Viennese women's swimming team from the sports club, Hakoah; Bernie, filmmaker Jay Heyman's Grandpa Bernie grew up in New York City's Hebrew Orphan Asylum; and Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust, Menachem Daum travels to Poland to find the Polish peasant family that hid his father-in-law.


The Downloadable and Printable registration form is now available if you prefer to use fax or mail rather than registering on line.  You will see the button for it when you click on Registration.  It contains all of the breakfasts, luncheons, computer workshops, the banquet and other add-ons.  It you wish to use it for a primary registrant and a spouse or companion, forms for both must be submitted at the same time.


Now that the conference program is available, you can now sign up for any fee-added items (breakfast with the experts, SIG luncheon, banquet, additional syllabus).

Find the login and unique password received with your registration confirmation. Click on the left-hand button REGISTRATION and go to REGISTRATION UPDATE. Enter your login and password and click LOG-IN. This opens your registration, and you can now edit details (personal/demographic information (name, address, e-mail, JGSs/SIGs memberships).

Misplaced your registration log-in? No problem. Just click on the button and it will be emailed to you at the address you initially provided.

To sign-up for additional fee-based items, click on the left-hand button ADD FEE-BASED ITEMS and click on items desired. For smooth, hassle-free registration, all additional fee-based items will be approved before the charge is processed. This assures that a conference attendee is not ordering a function which conflicts with an already scheduled activity. Remember: Fee-based items are not cancellable, nor refundable. Approvals occur within 1-2 days and a confirmation will be e-mailed to you.


Meliza Amity (Neve Monosson) is a member of the PhpGedView development team. PhpGedView (PGV) and Jewish Genealogy. PGV is designed for the Internet and as a desktop application, used to edit, research and collaborate; with built-in Jewish and Hebrew features, including Hebrew translation, Jewish calendars/Yahrzeits; and utilizing Hebrew or other languages.

Alexander Avraham (Jerusalem) has headed the Yad Vashem names computerization project since 1991. Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names - present achievements and new directions centers on collecting victims' names from various Jewish communities, including former residents, regional gatherings and the genealogical community.

Rose Feldman (Tel Aviv) will present two programs. Military resources in Eretz Israel for the genealogical sleuth, covering various Israeli archives, including the Central Zionist Archives, Haganah Historical Archives and others. The 1839 Montefiore Census of Eretz Israel was transliterated, providing a comprehensive picture of immigration from various countries.

Haim Ghiuzeli (Tel Aviv) is director of the Internet and databases department of Beth Hatefutsoth-Museum of the Diaspora in Tel Aviv. A Tool for an Innovative Approach to Jewish Genealogy presents the museum's new comprehensive computer system soon to be inaugurated, and centers on innovative research opportunities, search methodology, options for enriching genealogical research, resources for reconstructing Jewish life in the past and creating rich family trees.

Michael Goldstein (Jerusalem) is a professional genealogist who researches, mentors, lectures, and conducts workshops in Israel and North America, and guides North Americans in locating/connecting with Israeli family. To Be Found in Zion: A Wealth of World Jewish Records demonstrates Israeli archives and Internet sites with historical and contemporary collections about Jews from around the world. Advances have made access much easier and he will provide guidelines for contacting and accessing archives.

Israel Pickholtz (Elazar) created the Pikholz Project, a single-surname project to identify and reconnect descendants of all East Galician Pikholz families. Keeping Track of Given Names in Large Family Databases and Single-Surname Research Projects focuses on problems of tracking everyone with similar names, and makes it easier to keep track of frequently-appearing names, helps prevent or eliminate duplicate entries, recognize new references and identify relationships.

Mathilde Tagger (Jerusalem) is co-author of The Guidebook for Sephardic and Oriental Genealogical Sources in Israel. Military Genealogy: Algerian Jews in the French Army provides a history of Algeria's Jews and the resources for relevant information. Sephardic Genealogical Sources in Israel - New Findings(Sephardic SIG) focuses on Sephardic document language diversity, archival acquisitions and Jerusalem Sephardic Council computerized archives.


Get a head start on your visit to Salt Lake City and check out these websites:

The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau,
In the summer, mountain resorts offer music and scenery. Snowbird Resort will hold a folk & bluegrass festival July 13-15, and a rock & blues festival July 27-28.

The Salt Lake Weekly is SLC's alternative newspaper,
The publication will provide copies of their 2007 Salt Lake City Guide to attendees at the Hospitality Desk. The website also offers A Guide to the Best of SLC which lists familiar cuisine along with some exotic tables (Chinese vegetarian, Nepalese, Tibetan, kosher deli, New York and California pizza).


Congregation Kol Ami has invited conference participants to join its Shabbat services. During the summer, services are held in a sylvan setting or at the home of a member. More information will be provided later. Kol Ami holds Conservative and Reform services.

Rabbi Benny Zippel has written us that, Chabad Lubavitch of Utah would like to extend a warm welcome to Utah to all participants in this great conference. Please let me know if we can be of any help with Synagogue Services, Kosher Food, Mikvah and/or any other Jewish (and not) need that you may have while in Utah. Please e-mail us at


The conference program, containing over 180 events is now posted on the conference website. It contains a powerful search capability, allowing you to easily view subsets of the program, to find a specific program, to read a synopsis of each program, to view speaker's bios and pictures and to find all of the programs being given by any speaker. The computer labs and film festival are incomplete and will be posted when finalized.

All "Breakfasts with the Experts" and "SIG lunches" are posted. As attendance at these is limited, if you want to ensure a seat, please reserve it now. This is done through the registration process (only participants registered for the conference may register for breakfasts and luncheons). If you have already registered, you can log in using the ID and password that you received to update your registration to include additional fee items, like the breakfasts and luncheons.


Get a head start on your visit to Salt Lake City and check out these websites:

The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau,
In the summer, mountain resorts offer music and scenery. Snowbird Resort will hold a folk & bluegrass festival July 13-15, and a rock & blues festival July 27-28.

The Salt Lake Weekly is SLC's alternative newspaper,
The publication will provide copies of their 2007 Salt Lake City Guide to attendees at the Hospitality Desk. The website also offers A Guide to the Best of SLC which lists familiar cuisine along with some exotic tables (Chinese vegetarian, Nepalese, Tibetan, kosher deli, New York and California pizza).


Congregation Kol Ami has invited conference participants to join its Shabbat services. During the summer, services are held in a sylvan setting or at the home of a member. More information will be provided later. Kol Ami holds Conservative and Reform services.


Presenters this year include four European archivists from Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic, whose programs are included under GerSIG and Austria-Czech SIG programming.

Gerhard Buck, Idstein, Germany: "The Way Back to Jewish Ancestors in Germany in the 17th Century," will demonstrate how to overcome research obstacles back to renewal of Jewish life after the Thirty Years' War in 1648. This will include the Standesamtsregister from 1874, and other resources, and a history of name changes from traditional Jewish names to more common German names and from patronymics to family names. He will demonstrate how he reconstructed families in the same locality of the former Duchy of Nassau for 250 years.

Hubert Steiner, Vienna, Austria: "Nazi-era and post-war records at the Austrian Federal Archives," will explore records and files of this repository and the work of the Historians Commission in using the Federal Archives material.

Dr. Ingo Zechner, Vienna, Austria: "Rebuilding the Archive of the Jewish Community of Vienna." In 2000, community researchers found a vacant apartment filled with documents in cabinets and 800 cartons. The documents included 500,000 Holocaust-era pages of reports, letters, emigration and financial documents. He will address the challenge of rebuilding an archive, efforts to preserve, organize and categorize the materials.

Julius Muller, Prague, Czech Republic: "Jewish Census Records 1724-1811" and "Jewish Vital Records, 1788-2949, Bohemia and Moravia." The first program demonstrates the content of the Jewish Census of 1724, 1783 and 1811, while the second program illustrates the obligation of Jewish communities to keep vital records and the National Archives collections of some 4,000 books available to family researchers and historians.

Along with these experts, there will be speakers from Belgium, Hungary, Great Britain, and Israel. Israel will be very well represented, with seven individual speakers. The various North American speakers will be coming from three Canadian provinces and twenty U.S. states.


The conference hotel - the Hilton Salt Lake City Center - is offering special rates for the event, and these are available pre- and post-conference. However, there is limited availability. The conference committee advises that participants book rooms early and lock in the rates and the rooms. If you've been putting off reserving your room, you may want to do it now.

Go to the conference website,, and click on the left-hand button labeled "Travel and Hotel," click on "Hotel" and follow the instructions. Make sure to scroll down to start your reservation - do not click on the top Hilton banner - to access the proper links, which will show the special room mate, pre-, during, and post-conference.


Even genealogists need a break, and Utah is a great place to take one. It is home to some of the world's most beautiful natural wonders.

Many fascinating historical and cultural sites are in Salt Lake City and environs. Winter ski resorts, easily accessible from the city, offer outdoor summer concerts and spectacular scenery.

Arrange to arrive early or stay late to take advantage of these attractions when making your conference travel arrangements. Website links for many Utah destinations are now on the Conference homepage. Click "Utah Sites," and start planning your trip.


The Conference's opening session on Sunday evening, July 15, will feature keynote speaker Paul A. Shapiro who will address another long-awaited genealogically important opening - that of the International Tracing Service's archives in Bad Arolsen.

Shapiro is director of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, (Washington, DC). He will discuss the history of efforts to open the archives to researchers, the holdings and organization, the current state of access and digitization of copies.

With degrees in government, international affairs and history from Harvard and Columbia, Shapiro serves on the U.S. Interagency Working Group on Nazi War Crimes Records and the Academic Advisory Committee of the Center for Jewish History. He was a member of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania (chaired by Elie Wiesel).

Earlier, Shapiro managed the Fulbright Program and other major exchange programs at the U.S. Information Agency and edited the journals Problems of Communism and Journal of International Affairs. Additionally, he served as consultant to the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations and conducted research that led to the denaturalization and deportation of the Romanian Archbishop of the U.S.


When Finding Our Fathers: A Guidebook to Jewish Genealogy appeared in 1977, following the Roots series and Kunta Kinte, a mass of people realized that they could also trace their families and the modern Jewish genealogy movement was launched.

Author Dan Rottenberg will speak on "Finding Our Fathers: 30 Years Later," as the Banquet Keynote speaker on Thursday, July 19. He will look back at his book, the movement it launched, and address predictions about new developments and how we as genealogists can fulfill these goals.

A journalist, Rottenberg has been chief editor of seven publications, most recently, a cultural arts website launched in January 2006 with the support of the University of the Arts. He has written more than 300 articles for a host of magazines including the New York Times Magazine, Forbes, and many others. He was a consultant to Forbes magazine in 1981 when it launched its annual Forbes 400 list, and his syndicated film commentaries appeared in monthly U.S. city magazines from 1971-1983.


There's a new button, "Special Needs," on the website's left-hand menu.

Click here for a list of Salt Lake City providers if you will require a wheelchair, scooter or other medical equipment. Contact the companies directly for rates and service. They will deliver and pick-up from the conference hotel.


If you are a DNA or genetics junkie than Wednesday, July 18th will be your day. Beginning bright and early at 8:15am with Syd Mandelbaum's program "Helping to Find Those Who Were Lost, The DNA Shoah Project" and finishing up with the evening program "Our Heritage & Our Health-Genetic Conditions Among the Ashkenazim" presented by Gary S. Frohlich, MS, CGC.

Among the DNA and genetic programs, Bennett Greenspan will present "Genetics 2007" and both he and Syd Mandelbaum will host one hour Q & A sessions. In the afternoon, Mandelbaum will be conducting a DNA collection. The DNA Shoah Project strives to establish a genetic database of those who lost family in the Holocaust. Visit for more information and to download the necessary forms to be included in the collection.

In the afternoon Mr Jon Entine will present "Abraham's Children: Race, Identity, & the DNA of 'The Chosen People' " Entine, a noted author will tell you how DNA is transforming our understanding of biblical history & Jewish ethnicity.

Wednesday evening's program by Gary Frohlich will be followed by a dessert buffet sponsored by Genzyne Corp. This alone is worth the price of admission.


Pamela Weisberger is again coordinating the conference's Film Festival, and is organizing a great line-up of offerings. The first film announced is a new film, Swimming in Auschwitz, by Jon Kean. The film has been screened in Los Angeles and will be shown at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

One of the women (all are Los Angeles residents) in the production, Renee Firestone, also appeared in the Steven Spielberg-produced, Academy Award-winning documentary, The Last Days, which was screened at NY 2006.

Six Jewish women from different countries and backgrounds are deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Instead of dwelling on the physical hardships, the women speak of camp families and faith, uplifting each other while trying to remain human. This spiritual resistance led to their ability to survive with healthy minds and spirits despite their surroundings. It provides another perspective of the camp and of the Holocaust.

The women, all Los Angeles residents, are Eva Beckmann, Rena Drexler, Renee Firestone, Erika Jacoby, Lili Majzner and Linda Sherman


If you would like to use your Hilton Honors Points for your hotel stay during the Conference, you may certainly do so. But, you will need to call the 1-800-HILTONS rather than registering on the dedicated website. Be sure to tell them you are with the IAJGS Conference at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center July 15-20, 2007.

For those who are registering directly through the website, our special rate of $119 per night plus tax (1-4 people in a room) is offered up to three days before to three days after the conference depending on room availability. These rooms are limited so get your reservations now. To access the hotel website, click on the left-hand button "travel and hotel" and follow instructions for the hotel.


Birds of a Feather (BOFs), Area Research Group (ARGs) or other individuals researching a common topic or locale are invited to reserve a meeting slot during the conference. Informal exploratory groups are often suggested by only a few individuals with the same interests and may later evolve into a full-fledged Special Interest Group (SIG).

A major case in point is the Belarus SIG, which began life at the Boston conference with a very large group of people crammed into a very tiny room as organizers tried to gauge interest in this new locale. Belarus SIG was born at the next conference.

If you are trying to determine interest in a certain topic or locale, already have a group organized, or wish to set a time for an established SIG business, board or general meeting, please email to reserve a room and time by January 31. Assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Requests received after this date will be accommodated if possible.


This year, the popular Breakfast with the Experts will feature Family History Library (FHL) experts speaking on resources available at the FHL and taking questions in their areas of expertise. The breakfast on Monday, July 16th will focus on "Eastern Continental European Resources". On Tuesday, July 17th the focus will be "US/Canadian Resources". On Wednesday, July 18th, "Western Continental European Resources". And, on Thursday, July 19th, "British Isles Resources". Buffet breakfasts feature kosher options, and reservations must be made. Their cost is $22.50 apiece. These morning events often fill to capacity very quickly.


As plans are finalized, many more announcements will be made. Subscribe to the SLC 2007 Discussion Group and you'll be the first to know what's happening.


Nancy Goldberg Hilton (formerly Nancy Goodstein) compiled the 2000 list of Jewish Records at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. This extensive listing includes many records which might have been missed as only containing non-Jewish content. Nechama's List (named for her grandmother) is a list of the new Jewish records added to the FHL Catalog from January 2001-November 2006. Both are on CD ROM which have been distributed to the various member societies of the IAJGS. They will be available in the Research Room at the Conference.


Continental Airlines has just been named an official conference airline offering discounts for travel to Salt Lake City from July 10-25. Discounts are valid for all markets, including Israel.

American Airlines discount is offered for flights to Salt Lake City between July 12-23 and covers all its markets including US/Canada, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Caribbean, Europe, Pacific, Mexico and Latin America, and by its OneWorld Alliance partners: British Air, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Finnair.

Reservations may be made directly through the airlines, through conference travel agent, Valerie Wilson Travel, or through your own travel agent.

For discount rates, special codes, contact numbers and other information, click on Travel & Hotel on the left side of the Conference homepage,


Following an excellent response to the Call for Papers, the Program Committee indicates that some 120 programs will be offered. Along with some favorites, many will be new programs that have not been offered at recent conferences.


The SIGs were offered half-day time blocks and Gesher Galicia, ROM SIG, Litvak SIG, GER SIG, Hungarian SIG, Latvia SIG, Sephardic SIG, Ukraine SIG, Austria/Czech SIG and Belarus SIG took up the offer. The groups will organize focused programs and meetings; some have invited specialists or archivists to speak. SIG luncheons will either lead into, or follow the themed slots. Watch for more information, and sign up for the luncheons.


"Our Heritage and Our Health: Genealogy, DNA and Genetic Conditions Among the Ashkenazi Jews", will be held Wednesday, July 18, followed by a dessert buffet sponsored by Genzyme Corporation of Cambridge, MA.

Gary S. Frohlich, MS, CGC, a patient care liaison/certified genetic counselor for Genzyme Therapeutics will talk about the importance of knowing our family health history, an integral part of genealogy, and the increased risks of inherited diseases among Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews.

Details taken from interviews and family documents can create a medical history of the family. Frohlich will explain why some diseases such as Tay-Sachs, Gaucher, Familial Dysautonomia and others are more common to our families. Come on the journey from the "fertile crescent" (in the Middle East) to the fields of Bavaria! Discover why some Jewish families would benefit from education, screening and testing for certain disorders.

Included in each registrant's conference bag will be a CD, "Recognizing Type I Gaucher Disease: Patient Perspectives" and information on genetic disease screening for persons of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.


The Hospitality Committee is holding discussions with the Utah State Historical Society to plan self-guided walking tours and bus tours of Jewish Salt Lake.

The area's Jewish experience dates from the 1820s, when trappers, traders and explorers passed through. Just seven years after Salt Lake's founding in 1847, Isabella and Julius Brooks, German Jewish immigrants, arrived. They stayed for only a few months and moved on to California. But, in 1864 they returned and became the first permanent Jewish residents of Salt Lake City. For more fascinating information about the Brooks, click here.

Sites that may be included are the former congregation buildings of Bnai Israel, Montefiore and Sharey Tzedek; private homes formerly owned by prominent Jews Emanuel Kahn and Simon Bamberger (a former Governor of Utah) and a visit to the Exchange Place Historic District to see buildings developed by Jewish businessman-philanthropist Samuel Newhouse. Other buildings housed early Jewish businesses, such as the former Kahn Bros. Grocery Store and the Sweet Candy Co.

Bringing history up to date is Abravanel Hall, the home of the Utah Symphony and named after long-time conductor Maurice Abravanel, while still other possibilities include the Albert Fisher Mansion and Carriage House, the new JCC and Jewish cemeteries.


Two new entries have been posted to the extensive FAQ which covers all event details.

"What accommodations will be made by the Conference for participants with disabilities"? provides information concerning access, hotel rooms and the Family History Library.

"How does the scheduling of the Conference between 17th of Tammuz (July 3, 2007) and the 9th of Av (July 24, 2007) impact the observant"? provides information on vegetarian dining options during the conference and more.


The Conference Discussion Group has been set up to provide the very latest information about the conference and to provide a forum to ask questions and to discuss topics related to the conference. Use it to plan your trip and your research so that you have the most successful and rewarding experience possible. The Discussion Group is hosted by JewishGen and moderated by Joel Spector. For more information about the Discussion Group and how to subscribe, Click here. (p.s. Don't forget to check the Conference's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Click here to check it out.)


Following the success of the inaugural Jewish film festival at last summer's 2006 IAJGS conference in New York City, the second festival is being planned for the upcoming Salt Lake City event.

IAJGS film festival coordinator Pamela Weisberger's goal is to offer a slate of educational, entertaining and enlightening films, which will include:

  • Documentaries with genealogical and historical themes
  • Personal stories
  • Fiction films reflecting historical events or the Jewish experience in a historical or sociological context
  • Television specials focusing on genealogical research
  • Classics
  • Restored films
  • Testimonies
  • Videos focusing on a particular town or region, including those in commemoration or dedicating of Holocaust memorials
  • Films reflecting the Yiddish theatre experience.

Weisberger asks the Jewish genealogical community to participate in locating these for the Festival. Contact her,, to recommend films or to inform her about any recently completed documentaries. "If you have favorites from the New York event which bear repeating, let me know", she said.

She stresses that special interest and regional groups should inform her of presentations which will tie thematically to planned group meetings at the conference.

"I can research getting permission to screen this film and make sure it is scheduled to coordinate with your meetings", Weisberger said. "Your input will make this film festival a success."


The SIG luncheon schedule has been announced. JRI-Poland is all-kosher; all others have a kosher option; all luncheons include vegetarian selections. Kashruth is certified by Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, (

The following SIGs will meet to eat: JRI-Poland, German SIG (GERSig), Gesher Galicia, Litvak SIG, Ukraine SIG, Belarus SIG, South Africa SIG, Hungarian SIG (H-SIG), and Latvia SIG.

To see the luncheon schedule, Click here.


Many conference attendees will be working at the Family History Library (FHL), which offers on each of the three research floors equipment for photocopying, scanning, burning CDs or transferring to flash drives. Bring your own flash drive or blank CD, etc.; blank CDs are available for 75 cents each. For additional hints for preparing a research visit to the FHL, Click here.


A first for this conference is "Lives Remembered? Photographs of a Small Town in Poland 1895-1939," presents the work of Zalman Kaplan, the town photographer of Szczuczyn, Poland. It has been shown in Warsaw, New York and other major venues.

Kaplan?s grandson, fourth-generation photographer Mike Marvins of Houston, Texas has collected these images showing this shtetl?s vibrant, modern, secular daily life. The photos were gathered from the town?s immigrants who left from the 1900s-1939 to places around the world. They had taken the photos with them and received others from family back home.

This collection is unique as Kaplan's archives were destroyed during the Holocaust.

For more on this realistic look at life in a typical pre-Holocaust small town, go to


Have questions about the conference, registration, rooms or more? The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) button is now live. Click here to read all about it.