08 August 2013

Time for Blogging! IAJGS 2013 in Boston

Ah! My blog has been among the missing for several weeks. I won't provide any excuses - they'll all sound lame (and probably give you more information than you really want to know). I will say, however, that the last few days at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Conference in Boston have been whirl-wind and I'm just coming up for air.

The meeting started on Sunday, 4 August 2013 and I was initially busy with two time-consuming tasks: polishing my first-ever IAJGS presentation for Tuesday, 6 August, 8:15 AM delivery and serving as Volunteers Director of the JewishGen Ukraine Special Interest Group (SIG). 

On Saturday night before the conference started I checked out the St. James room of the Boston Park Plaza Hotel where I was to deliver my talk. My impression was that it seemed small, but that was somewhat of a relief - I didn't want a bunch of empty space.  I should not have worried, however. The presentation went well with extra chairs brought in, standing room only and serious concern about fire-code violations. 

My talk was titled: "Beyond the Manifest: Confirming One's Ancestral Origins Using Alternative Sources." It encouraged and provided examples of applying the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) to the problem of determining the name of one's Old World community. The big surprise was that more of the audience were not familiar with the GPS. I hope that I've whetted their appetite for further study of this critical part of conducting rigorous genealogical study. I've also decided that I will continue to beat the GPS drum next year at the IAJGS in Salt Lake City

On Friday morning I was pleased to hear Rhoda Miller, C.G., deliver another GPS-themed presentation: "Evidence Analysis: Determining the 'Right' Record." Rhoda talked about evaluation and analysis of sources, information and evidence. Her topic was similar to what is presented by Elizabeth Shown Mills in "Quick Lesson 17: Evidence Analysis Process Map" on her Evidence Explained website.

A few months ago I blogged about the choice of Aaron Lansky, MacArthur Award winner and Yiddish book collector, as keynote speaker for the conference. Lansky's presentation included a nice history of the Yiddish Book Center. I recalled several of his stories from his book. His talk displayed both his creative intelligence and humor - both extraordinarily admirable traits. I was pleased that my talk a couple of days later included reference to a source digitized and online at the Yiddish Book Center. To me, it helped illustrate the importance of his work for Jewish genealogists who may not have been familiar with the Jewish Book Center's website and their cooperative effort with the Steven Speilberg Digital Yiddish Library project and Internet Archive.

Aside from yours truly, there were quite a few other Jewish genealogy bloggers at the conference. Several were more successful at blogging the conference than I was. I counted:

Jenny Brown (J.S. Brown)
     "Among My People"
Ava Cohn (Sherlock Cohn)
Schelly Talalay Dardashti (Tracing the Tribe, now blogging occasionally for My Heritage)
Lara Diamond (Lara's Family Search)
     "IAJGS2013 Conference Next Week"
     "IAJGS2013 Conference - Day 1"
     "IAJGS2013 Day 1, Part 2
     "IAJGS2013 Conference - Day 2, Part 1"
     "IAJGS2013 Day2, Part 2"
     "IAJGS2013 Conference - Day 3"
     "IAJGS2013 Conference - Day 4, Part 1"
     "IAJGS2013 Conference - Day 4, Part 2"
     "IAJGS2013 Conference - Day 5"
Banai Feldstein (The Ginger Jewish Genealogist)
     "Packing for IAJGS 2013
     "IAJGS 2013 - Sunday"
     "IAJGS 2013 - Monday"
     "IAJGS 2013 - Tuesday"
     "IAJGS 2013 - Wednesday"
     "IAJGS 2013 - Thursday
     "IAJGS 2013 - All Done"
Smadar Belkind Gerson (Past-Present-Future)
     "Highlights from IAJGS International Conference of Jewish Genealogy" 
Elizabeth Handler (A Jewish Genealogical Journey)
     "IAJGS Conference Next Week
     "IAJGS 2013 Conference - First Half Report"
     "IAJGS 2013 Conference - Second Half Report"
Mark Nicholls (Jewish Genealogy? - blog of the JGS of Great Britain)
     "Another Year,.........Another Conference - Posting 1"
     "Another Year,.......Another Conference - Posting 2"
     "Another Year,.......Another Conference - Posting 3"
     "Another Year,.......Another Conference - Posting 4"
     "Another Year,.......Another Conference - Posting 5"
     "Another Year,.......Another Conference - Posting 6 and Last"
Israel Pickholtz (All My Foreparents)
     "August Abroad
     "Time To Go Home, But First A Few Words About The Last Few Weeks"
Eli Rabinowitz (EliRab)
     "The IAJGS International Jewish Genealogical Conference in Boston, MA, USA"
     "Boston Massachusetts - More on IAJGS"
Jane Neff Rollins (Kitchen Sink Genealogy)
Janice Sellers (Ancestral Discoveries)
     "IAJGS Conference, Boston - Day 1"
     "IAJGS Conference - Days 2 and 3"
     "IAJGS Conference - Days 4 and 5"
     "IAJGS Conference Wrap-Up, and Visiting Family and the Cemetery"
Jennifer Shoer (Scrappy Gen)
Philip Trauring (Blood and Frogs)
     "Genealogy Software for the Mac"
     "Routes to Roots, Improved"
Susan Weinberg (Layers of the Onion)
     "Informing Your Search Through Literature"
     "Making Sense of Genealogical Clutter"
     "Probate Records: An Often Forgotten Source"

If I missed anyone or anything for this list, please let me know.

I was able to meet and chat with most of the bloggers. I did not get a chance to meet Jenny, Phillip, Jennifer, Mark, Eli and Susan. My plan is to assemble all the attending bloggers at next year's conference in Salt Lake City for a dinner or lunch date.

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