IAJGS Achievement Awards 2018

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IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award 2018: Mark Halpern

The IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to Mark Halpern, read as follows.

Mark’s impact in the field has been international in scope. He was President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia, and currently serves as the Vice President for Programming. He was Chair of the IAJGS 2009 Philadelphia conference, Program Chair of the 2013 Boston conference, and Advance Coordinator of the 2018 Warsaw conference.

Playing a key role in the leadership of JRI-Poland, Mark is a long-time member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. He is Coordinator of the JRI-Poland AGAD Archives project, under whose leadership millions of records have been made available to researchers, and continues to serve in other leadership positions in the organization. "Mark's willingness to share his broad knowledge acquired over many years of research both in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe speaks to his commitment of time, dedication, and patience." We are honored to name him as the recipient of this year's award.

IAJGS Volunteer of the Year 2018: Carol Hoffman and Max Heffler

The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to both Dr. Carol Hoffman of Israel and Max Hoffman of Houston.

Hoffman’s award recognized her leadership and dedication in the worlds of Israeli Jewish genealogy and Lithuanian research. Carol has played a number of roles in the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA): as the organization’s secretary, editing website publications, and serving on the database committee. She was an active volunteer in the 2015 IAJGS conference in Israel.  For the LitvakSig, she has served on the board, developed a strong and vital relationship with Lithuanian archives over many years, facilitated the redesign and development of the web site, and worked with countless volunteers.  Carol “gives of her wisdom, her talents, and herself to all projects she volunteers for.”

Heffler was recognized for his ongoing commitment to advancing the research of Jewish genealogy.  A long-time JewishGen volunteer, he has been webmaster for a number of Kehilalink towns and coordinated a team that reformatted spreadsheets from Yizkor necrologies into a standardized format.   He compiled a database of lifecycle events listed in Houston newspapers and coordinated many other projects. He is also an active volunteer for JRI-Poland, indexing thousands of vital records for Warsaw alone.

IAJGS Outstanding Project Award 2018: Banai Feldstein for Crowd-Sourced Indexing Project

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Utah won the Best Project Award for the Crowd-Sourced Indexing project created by Banai Feldstein of Salt Lake City.  Feldstein created a website that allows anyone with Internet access to participate in indexing a database without downloading files, “a crucial piece of the pipeline that leads from records identification and acquisition to full publication.”  In addition, project administrators may easily oversee progress. The software is free and has to date been utilized for Jewish genealogy projects as well as for other genealogy initiatives.

IAJGS Outstanding Publication Award 2018: Venturing Into Our Past, JGS of Conejo Valley (California)

The Outstanding Publication Award went to the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County and recognized the outstanding work of Allan Linderman and Jan Meisels Allen for Venturing Into Our Past, the outstanding electronic monthly newsletter of the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County.

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