30 July 2017

IAJGS 2017, Days 5 and 6 (Thursday and Friday, 27-28 July)

I had recovered from Wednesday's marathon of presentations and only had one to do on Thursday morning.

Emily Garber - LIVE! "Blogging Family History: Reading, Writing, and Sharing," 8:15-9:30 AM

This was  another new preparation for me and it was carried on LIVE! This was, basically, everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-blogs (that I could fit into an hour presentation). It included the basics of starting a blog on Blogger.

Professional Genealogists Birds of a Feather

I believe this group started in Boston at the IAJGS meeting in 2013 and every year since then I have been scheduled to speak at the same time the group has met. So, imaging my surprise when I discovered I could actually attend the BOF this year!

There were surprisingly quite a few in attendance and the discussion mostly revolved around business issues such as fees, payment problems and report formats.

Susan Kobren - "How to Maximize Your Reunion Software," 11:15 AM-12:30 PM

I am a long-term Reunion (for Mac) software user, so I wasn't expecting a bunch of new knowledge - just an opportunity to pick up a tips or two for efficient use of the program in my research. Success.

JewishGen/Jewish Genealogy Portal Luncheon: "The future of networking and connecting"

I have some mixed feelings about this new partnership, but I think JewishGen said all the right things. They took an opportunity to branch out in partnership with an already successful FaceBook page. I do not see the Jewish Genealogy Portal FaceBook page as replacing the JewishGen Discussion Group [complete disclosure: I am one of the moderators of the JGDG]. I am not sure the administrator of the Portal agrees with me on that.

Resource Room 

Resource Room, Thursday's P.M. Crew: Roy Ogus, Harriet Myer, Phyllis Kramer, Jane Berenbeim, Emily Garber [photo, Eli Rabinowitz]
I spent Thursday afternoon and Friday morning volunteering in the Resource Room. Thursday was the second day with access to the ProQuest databases. The place was packed with every computer in use.

Phyllis Kramer recruited me to handle the Resource Room. I did not say, "no." I was not, initially, looking forward to it, but Friday was actually rather pleasant. I got to help a few people find passenger manifests and a few other documents. That's always fun.


JewishGen Table - standing: Susanna Leistner-Bloch, Barbara Ellman, Avraham Groll, Max Heffler, Warren Blatt, Debra Zlot Kay; sitting: Emily Garber, Janette Silverman, Michael Tobias, Jane Tobias [photo by Chuck Weinstein]
Henry Louis "Skip" Gates spoke to us about the history of his involvement in "Finding Our Roots," his PBS program. That sounds rather boring - but it wasn't. He is an engaging speaker and wove in his family history and his fascination with genetic genealogy. He also showed a promo for the new season.

IAJGS announced their awards.  I think all these people/projects are incredibly well-deserving. The Awards Committee could not have made better choices! I understand that Reclaim the Records will use their award to off-set costs of going after Missouri for their intransigence in their dealings with Reclaim the Record's Freedom of Information request.

I include text from the IAJGS news release, below.


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 German government and US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 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.


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.


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. 

 Next year in Warsaw!!!

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