PRAMC Frequently Asked Questions

What is the IAJGS?

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) is the umbrella organization of 90 genealogical societies worldwide whose approximately 9,000 members are actively researching their Jewish roots. The IAJGS was formed in 1988 to provide a common voice for issues of significance to its members, to advance our genealogical avocation, and to coordinate items such as the annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy.

What are the objectives of the IAJGS?

  1. To collect, preserve, and disseminate knowledge and information with reference to Jewish genealogy
  2. To assist and promote the research of Jewish family history
  3. To provide opportunities for the sharing of Jewish genealogical information
  4. To encourage the publication of worthy material in the field of Jewish genealogy
  5. To promote membership in member Jewish genealogical societies
  6. To act as spokesperson for Jewish genealogical societies in areas of mutual interest
  7. To provide member societies with services to help them become more effective organizations
  8. To elevate Jewish genealogy among people who are searching Jewish roots and in the academic community
  9. To promote public access to genealogically relevant records
  10. To foster creation of Jewish genealogical organizations in unserved areas

What is the PRAMC?

The Public Records Access Monitoring Committee (PRAMC) was established by IAJGS in 2004.  PRAMC’s responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring activities and proposals of libraries and repositories of genealogically relevant documents, records and materials worldwide, in regard to changes in procedures for access, storage, maintenance, preservation, transfer, or incipient destruction of such genealogically relevant documents, records and materials. Included are legislative and regulatory activities in both governmental and non-governmental repositories which have records of genealogical value.
  • Communicating information about such activities to the President and the Board of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). Such communication will include recommended courses of action for the Board.
  • Assisting the Board of the IAJGS in responding to the activities and proposals of libraries and other repositories, and to pending legislation, through public and private activities.
  • Maintaining a historical record of positions taken and responses made by the IAJGS.

What is the IAJGS Records Access Alert?

The IAJGS Records Access Alert is an email announcement service which periodically provides information to its subscribers regarding access to public records and any challenges or restrictions to such access. The Alerts provide information on pending legislation and/or regulations affecting access to public records. In addition, the Alert will occasionally ask for assistance in lobbying for or against pending legislation/regulations when PRAMC deems it necessary.

How can I subscribe to the Records Access Alert?

Anyone who is interested in records access throughout the world may now go to:

Please note that you will need to list your organizational affiliation (genealogy society, genealogy publication, etc.) when you subscribe. You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized. At your discretion, you can receive Records Access Alerts in digest form or as email updates as generated.

How can I submit questions, suggestions, or comments to PRAMC?

The IAJGS Records Access Alert in an announcement list. While the moderator is the only person permitted to post, subscribers are invited to email the moderator and share their views at If the moderator determines the comments are appropriate they will be posted.

Questions, suggestions, and comments are welcome and can be submitted to PRAMC at

What is RPAC?

The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) today includes The National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) as sponsoring members.  The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen), the American Society of Genealogists (ASG), ProQuest and serve as participating members. RPAC meets monthly, and more often if needed, to advise the genealogical and historical communities, as well as other interested parties, on ensuring proper access to vital records, on means to effect legislation, and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices.  (

The chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee and moderator of the IAJGS Records Access Alert serves on RPAC.

Where can I find help on terminology in the Records Access Alerts?

The accompanying Glossary includes terms that often appear in IAJGS Records Access Alerts.

Note: The terms included in the following Glossary are predominately from the United States and while we have some European Union (EU) terms, it is recognized that every country has its unique legislative terminology. We agreed to focus on Canada, EU and the United States. This in no way minimizes the importance of your own country's terminology. The glossary is a living document and terms may be added that are determined to be of value to a significant number of readers.

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