Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

US Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-CA

US Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies has a great interest in monitoring legislation that might limit access to genealogical source materials.

We have therefore established a Public Records Access Monitoring Committee to share information about new legislation and any  threat it may pose to genealogical researchers having access to the records they need to be successful in searching out their Jewish ancestry.

The Committee Members

  • Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, JGS Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV), California, USA
  • Teven Laxer, JGS Sacramento, California, USA
  • Mark Nicholls, JGS of Great Britain, Edgeware, Middlesex, UK
  • Catherine Youngren, Jewish Genealogical Society of British Columbia, Canada

Contact the the PRAMC by email at

  • Herbert "Bert" Lazerow, Esq., San Diego JGS, California, USA
  • Peter Graber-Lipperman JD, JGS, Inc. (New York), Connecticut, USA
  • Kenneth Bravo, ex officio, President of IAJGS, Ohio, USA

Documents and Information about Records Access

The IAJGS along with the rest of the genealogical community are concerned that legislators and regulators believe that access to vital records is a cause for identity theft, however, there is no proof that access to records is the cause of identity theft. We believe access to public records must remain open.

The IAJGS has joined with other genealogical organizations including the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), National Genealogical Society (NGS), and The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) in endorsing the position paper and calling on legislators to keep records open.

A group of professional genealogists within APG formed the Keeping Genealogical Records Open Workgroup (KGROW) in 2007 and prepared the position paper. "The Case for Open Public Records". The KGROW committee recommends in their paper that “lawmakers respond to the ID theft problem, not try to prevent a nonexistent problem.” Further, they encourage “private companies and government improve their protection of personal data.” The Case for Open Public Records position paper is available at:

Historical Documents