Most of us embarking on our genealogical journey go straight to ancestry.com and familysearch.com - both wonderful resources. The excitement in finding a piece of our ancestor’s story – their travel from the ‘old country’ or a census record listing their family members we knew nothing about keeps us thirsty for more.
Truth is, as we learned from our most informative speaker Ted Gostin, those two sites just scratch the surface. If you were not at Sunday’s Orange County Jewish Genealogical Society’s meeting, then you missed the opportunity to learn about the vast resources available to research our family’s past. Ted Gostin, a professional Genealogist spoke about the ways we can go beyond what is available on the ‘go-to’ genealogy websites. By category (Newspaper, Government, Library, etc.) he cited sources we can turn to for searching for vital records and more. A handout was distributed listing URLs, making it a great reference for all in attendance who are looking to explore beyond the basics. Members may retrieve the handout online in the members’ section of the OCJGS website.
Mr. Gostin opened our eyes to the simple ways to dig deeper providing entertaining examples; tidbits about the noted musician Ravel, Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas and famed actress Claire Bloom.
Mr. Gostin's handouts are available online at http://tinyurl.com/ocjgs-handouts
Michelle helped the beginners get started with the why and how of Jewish Genealogy.
Michelle's handout, which includes a comprehensive list of websites and significant books that every Jewish Genealogist should be familiar with, is available online at http://tinyurl.com/ocjgs-handouts
Joel Weintraub, a New Yorker by birth, is an emeritus Professor at California State University Fullerton and has won awards for his science teaching. He volunteered for nine years at the National Archives and Records Administration.
Joel has created search tools for the U.S. and New York City censuses that are freely available on the Steve Morse "One-Step" website. He and Steve are currently developing locational tools for the 2022 release of the 1950 federal census.
Joel is our friendly-neighborhood nationally-acclaimed expert on NYC and Federal census research, immigration and naturalization, biographical research, and Jewish genealogy topics, and has published articles on many of those topics.
Rabbi Frank Stern was the founding President of our society. In addition to a long and distinguished career as Rabbi of Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Ana, Dr. Stern has served as Executive Director of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia, President of the Orange County Board of Rabbis, and President of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis (seven western states).
Rabbi Stern is the author of the book A Rabbi Looks at Jesus’ Parables, and is an expert on (among other subjects) the meaning and history of Jewish surnames.
An archaeologist by training (B.A., and M.A.), Emily H. Garber has been researching her Jewish ancestry since 2007 and holds a certificate from Boston University's Genealogical Research program. In 2013 she traveled to Ukraine to visit archives and family villages.
Emily is a blogger (http://www.extrayad.blogspot.com), chair of the Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group and owner of Extra Yad Genealogical Services.
When several communities in Eastern Europe have similar names and their names have been changed over the years, it may be difficult to unambiguously identify one’s family shtetl of origin. Emily presented The Genealogical Proof Standard, which provides the rigor necessary when conducting genealogical research. She also point out resources including landsmanshaft burial data, online archival material, and Shoah databases.
Megan Lewis spent over an hour describing the extensive International Tracing Services (ITS) resources available at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (We also learned that the museum's name is NOT to be abbreviated. So there!)
The ITS was established by the Allies after WWII to help reunite families separated during the war and to trace missing individuals. Located in Bad Arolsen, Germany, the ITS archive contains more than 100 million documents relating to millions of victims of Nazism who were subjected to arrest, deportation, murder, forced labor, slave labor, and displacement. Until recently, the only way to see their records was to correspond with them in Germany (assuming they answer your correspondence). But now there are copies of the archives in 11 countries; the US copy is at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
You've found the OCJGS Archive Of Past Events. This archive contains speaker's handouts, presentations, and whatever other digital detritus we manage to collect during the event.
Or at least, that's the theory. We've gone several years without anyone maintaining this page. Hopefully, that's all behind us now and this page will continue to grow as long as we keep having events!
Program Archive Search