IAJGS welcomes three new members: the Jewish Genealogical Society of New Zealand, Sociedad Genealogica Judia Colombiana (Colombia), and the Upper Valley Jewish Genealogy Society (New Hampshire). For more information, see their listings on the Member Societies page.
IAJGS Salutes Shalom Bronstein of the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA). Read more about what Shalom does.
The Nominating Committee has presented its slate of candidates to serve as IAJGS Directors. See the Election of Board Members page for more information. (If you’re reading this post on the home page, click on its header to get to the page link or look under the “About” tab.)
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) is pleased to announce the results of the election of IAJGS officers, conducted at the 37TH IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy held recently in Orlando, Florida. All officers were elected to serve a two-year term.
Ken Bravo, of Ohio, was elected President of the IAJGS. Ken was Vice President of the IAJGS from 2015-2017 and also brings experience from his legal career and other non-profit board governance to the IAJGS. Ken was Co-Chair of the IAJGS Salt Lake City 2014 conference. Ken has served on the national board of the Alzheimer’s Association. He is a past president of both the Cleveland Bureau Jewish Education and the Great Lakes Region of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. He has served as both Treasurer and Vice President of The Park Synagogue. He currently serves on the board of Menorah Park Center for Senior Living and chair of its Government Affairs Committee. Ken is Past President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Cleveland and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Ken has been engaged in genealogy for 35 years and is a frequent speaker on a number of genealogical subjects.
Jay Sage, of Massachusetts, was elected Vice President of the IAJGS. Jay was a Director of the IAJGS from 2010 to 2013 and Co-Chair of the IAJGS Boston 2013 conference. Jay was Co-President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston (JGSGB) and served in other officer, director, and committee roles. Jay has been a key contributor to the IAJGS website, web developer for IAJGS LIVE! streaming, and advisor on other technical matters to both the IAJGS and other regional genealogical organizations. Jay received the 2009 IAJGS Outstanding Project Award for a Hebrew College course he co-developed. Jay received his PhD in Physics from Harvard University and is retired from MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
Avraham Groll, of New Jersey, was elected Secretary of the IAJGS having previously served a partial term as Secretary filling a vacancy. Avraham is the Director of JewishGen.org. Prior to his appointment as Director in February 2017, he served JewishGen in a variety of roles since 2008, including Administrator, Director of Business Operations, and Senior Director of Business Operations. Avraham holds an MBA from Montclair State University, an MA in Judaic Studies from Touro College, and a BS in Business Administration from Ramapo College.
Douglas Cohen, of Florida and Massachusetts, was re-elected treasurer of the IAJGS. Doug has 40+ years of financial experience, including serving as an independent consulting chief financial officer (CFO) and having been the CFO of four different Boston-area public and private companies. Doug has also served as the long-time treasurer of Temple Isaiah in Lexington, MA and is the treasurer of JGSGB. He has been researching his family for over 15 years. Doug holds an MBA degree from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree from Harvard College. He also received a Masters degree in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College.
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) held its annual Conference in Orlando, FL July 23-28, 2017. More than 900 participated in person and over the Internet. Participants attended more than 300 sessions and workshops with most extensive tracks on DNA and on Converso genealogy. More than 60 sessions were streamed live for those not able to be at the Conference and are available until November 1, 2017 at http://live.iajgs.org. Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. inspired the group
The climax of the Conference is the banquet evening where awards and grants are given out to outstanding individuals and groups. 2017 IAJGS award and grant recipients are:
IAJGS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Jan Meisels Allen
In recognition of many years of service to genealogy, both Jewish and beyond, we are proud to grant the IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award to Jan Meisels Allen. Jan is the founding president of the JGS of Conejo Valley, presently its programming chair, and she has been the program chair of the JGS of Los Angeles. She has served as board member and vice president of the IAJGS, and chairs its Public Records Access Monitoring Committee. Jan writes almost daily posts for the IAJGS Leadership List that keep the genealogical community well informed of current items of interest.
As conference Database Chairperson, Jan has been responsible for the resource room at IAJGS conferences for many years. Beyond Jewish genealogy, she has been a regular speaker at FGS and NGS conferences, at the invitation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and US Holocaust Memorial Museum, she spoke on access to Holocaust records, and has spoken on records access at European conferences. Her dedication to the cause of genealogical research and drive to work on its behalf has a continual far reaching effect. We are honored to name her as the recipient of this year’s award.
IAJGS VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Rose Avigael Feldman
This year’s IAJGS Volunteer of the Year Award honors Rose Avigael Feldman’s dedication, encouragement, creativity, and achievements in the world of Jewish genealogy. Rose was an active volunteer in the organization of two IAJGS conferences. By contributing her time and energy to a records scanning project, documents from Israeli archives will be accessible to researchers worldwide. Rose has been and continues to be tireless in her efforts to promote Jewish genealogy: training volunteers for database work, writing and publishing articles, answering search queries, lecturing, attending genealogy lectures, and networking between people and organizations. We are grateful for her tremendous efforts and in appreciation we recognize her contributions through this award.
IAJGS OUTSTANDING PROJECT
Reclaim the Records
This year we bestow the IAJGS Outstanding Project Award to Reclaim the Records. As such we recognize the leadership of Brooke Schreier Ganz in organizing a group of concerned individuals and advocating for governmental agencies to release public data into the public domain. Using Freedom of Information laws (FOIL) and Open Data initiatives, in just a short time the organization has secured the release of thousands of vital records indices and voters lists, with continued efforts ongoing for records throughout the U.S. This project has had and will have an important impact in making public records available without charge to the public at large.
RABBI MALCOLM STERN GRANT
JewishGen’s Subcarpathian SIG
The SIG has recently identified over 3000 vital record books in Ukraine’s archives covering the period from 1895-1940 as well as some late registrations dating to 1840. This grant will help them have the records photographed which will allow them to be indexed by volunteers. These records will then be posted online so they can be accessed at no charge.
JOHN STEDMAN MEMORIAL FUND AWARD
Reclaim the Records
Our goal is first and foremost to win the first-ever public access to the Missouri birth and death indices. We would put these records online for free public use, just as we have with every other record set we have won from government agencies and libraries since we began the Reclaim The Records project in 2015. This grant would help with the legal expenses they are incurring and also speed up the availability of the records.
Harvey has been a long-time supporter of the IAJGS and its conferences. Without Harvey’s support and vision, it is likely that the LIVE! streaming of our conference sessions would not have become a reality. He took the risk to underwrite the Internet support of LIVE! during its inaugural year. Since that time, LIVE! has not only provided Jewish genealogy education to those who could not travel to the conference. but also allowed us to build a Lecture Library for societies to use to augment their programs and events - a gift that continues to give.
Besides his love of genealogy, Harvey was the first major Wall Street player to believe in Israel as an investment opportunity. Very few have contributed as much to Israel’s place in the global economy as Harvey has.
|2017 IAJGS NOMINATING COMMITTEE|
|Jane Berenbeim||New Yorkfirstname.lastname@example.org|
We invite all candidates who are interested in serving as an officer on the IAJGS board to submit a completed Board Application Form on-line at /about/current-board/board-application-form/. Information about the election and nomination process is at elections.iajgs.org. The deadline for receipt of Board Application Forms is 5 May 2017 at 7pm EDT.
If elected, the term begins at the conclusion of the annual meeting and ends at the conclusion of the annual meeting two years later. Candidates should be aware that serving on the board requires a commitment of time and travel expenses. The elections will be held at the IAJGS Annual Meeting on Wednesday, 26 Jul 2017 at the location of the 37th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort in Orlando, FL. More information can be found at elections.iajgs.org.
2017 IAJGS ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS COMMITTEE
- IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award
- Outstanding Project/Resource/Program
- Outstanding Publication
- IAJGS Member of the Year
- Volunteer of the Year
- Future Leader of the Year
Nominations are made through IAJGS member societies /membership/member-societies/. Please refer to /awards/iajgs-award-nominations/ for a list of all of the awards, the nomination rules, eligibility, and award criteria. At /awards/achievement-awards/ there is a list of past Achievement Award recipients. At /awards/award-nomination-form/ is the Award Nomination form.
The nomination deadline for submission of the Award Nomination Form and supporting documentation is 26 May 2017 at 7pm EDT.
- The nomination packages should be submitted only once when all information is complete.
- Nomination packages should include no more that five (5) personal reference letters.
2017 IAJGS RABBI MALCOLM STERN GRANT COMMITTEE
These grants are recommended by the Committee and must be approved by the IAJGS board of directors and the IAJGS membership at the IAJGS Annual Meeting held during the annual IAJGS conference. The grants are announced at the annual IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy www.iajgs2017.org.
Nominations may be made by an individual or group, IAJGS member society or non-member, or self nominated. The Committee can proactively pursue additional nominees. Please refer to /awards/iajgs-award-nominations/ for the Nomination Rules and Grant Criteria. At /awards/rabbi-malcolm-stern-grant/ there is a list of past Grant Award Recipients. At /awards/stern-nomination-form/ is the Grant Nomination Form.
The deadline for submission of the Grant Nomination Form and supporting documentation is 26 May 2017 at 7pm EDT.
Avraham Groll has joined the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) Board of Directors as Secretary. Avraham was appointed by the IAJGS Board to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mark Nicholls. He will serve out the remainder of the term until elections at the 2017 IAJGS Annual Meeting this summer. Mark served the IAJGS as a board member since 2012 and Secretary since 2013. Mark contributed much to improving the operations and marketing of the IAJGS during his time on the board.
Avraham Groll is well known in the Jewish genealogical community and, with his position at JewishGen, will help the IAJGS strengthen its partnership with the organization. Avraham is the Director of JewishGen.org. After studying in Israel at Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalayim for two years, he received a BS from Ramapo College, an MBA from Montclair State University, and an MA in Judaic Studies from Touro College.
Avraham joins the new board members elected August 10th at the IAJGS 2016 Seattle Conference. Jane Berenbeim and Binyamin (Binny) Lewis were newly elected to two year term – joining re-elected board members Nolan Altman, Quinton Atkinson, Daniel Horowitz, and Shipley Munson. (Relected board members’ bios are available at www.iajgs.org/blog/about/current-board.
Jane, an independent development consultant, brings to the Board more than 30 years of experience in non-profit fundraising and management. Past professional positions included serving as Development Officer or Director for a variety of NYC social service, educational, health care and cultural organizations, among them Columbia University, Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services. An amateur genealogist for nearly twenty years, Jane is a longstanding member of the Executive Council of the Jewish Genealogical Society, Inc. (JGS, Inc.) (New York) and currently its President. She holds an undergraduate degree from Vassar College, and graduate degrees from Harvard and Brandeis Universities.
Binny Lewis is the newest and youngest member of the IAJGS Board of Directors. His passion for discovering his family history has taken him on a journey and in-turn is taking the genealogy world by storm. Over the past three years, he founded and led the first JGS on a college campus, the Family Discovery Society. Starting with 3 members he grew the club to over 100 students in the first year. Having traced his family back hundreds of years with tools like JewishGen & MyHeritage, he has instructed dozens of University students to do the same. As a new board member, Binny is seeking to use his education and experience to advance the mission of the IAJGS for the younger generation. With over ten years of personal family history research and with multiple positions creating apps, websites, and running social media campaigns, he will be launching and leading the IAJGS Genealogy Technology Group (GTG). After launching InventYU, now the largest Jewish Hackathon in North America and seeing others find their personal meaning through family history, Binny is motivated to share with others and is ready to do the same with the IAJGS.