19 December 2007

Chicago, Chicago: 2008 International Conference on Jewish Genealogy

The first official announcement of the 28th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy has been made. The event will be held August 17-22, 2008, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, in Chicago, Illinois.

It is co-hosted by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, the Illiana Jewish Genealogical Society and the IAJGS.

This conference is the longest genealogy conference in the US, running from Sunday to Friday. The daily schedule starts in the early morning and continues through evenings with special events and programs, as well as an annual banquet, film festival and many more activities.

Attendees from around the world gather each year to learn, share expertise and collaborate with those researching the same locations and names.

As details are announced, Tracing the Tribe will provide information and highlights. A sneak peek at 2008 was provided at last year's event in Salt Lake City; click here for that posting.

In addition to presentations in 20 research categories (see separate posting on the Call for Papers), Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Birds of a Feather (BOF) groups will meet to focus on specific topics.

Some 16 SIGs will meet on such topics as German-Jewish Genealogy, Ukraine, Poland, and Litvak Jewish Genealogy research. European/Eastern European specialists and/or archivists are expected to present and advise attendees about country-specific resources. Larger SIGs will offer luncheons with featured speakers.

At least 16 smaller BOF meetings will meet on Yiddish Theater, Suwalki Lomza, Posen Prussia and Lublin & Zamosc Area.

Special sessions include aspects of Sephardic ancestry, the Midwestern Jewish experience, computer sessions, immigration records and more, and a resource room will provide a wide variety of materials for attendees.

Genzyme Corporation is underwriting a special mini-symposium - "Genetics, Jewish Diseases, and the Role of Genealogists." Speakers will include Dr. Lee P. Shulman, MD; Prof. Anna Ross Lapham (Chief, Division of Reproductive Genetics, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University); Gary Frohlich, Certified Genetic Counselor with Genzyme Therapeutics; and a Chicago Center for Jewish Genetic Disorders representative.

This 2008 edition of the Film Festival will feature a wide range of films relevant to Jewish genealogy.

Chicago - home to a large active and historic Jewish community whose descendants live today around the world - offers many opportunities for research at such venerable Jewish institutions as the Spertus Institute of Jewish Study (Asher Library and the Chicago Jewish Archives); the renowned Newberry Library; and many public institutions (including the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk of Cook County, the Cook County Assessor’s Office, the Cook County Vital Records office) and the Great Lakes Regional branch of NARA (NationalArchives), as well as various university resources and special collections.

This event will make staying connected even easier as the hotel will provide free guest room internet service, as well as free access to onsite health facilities.

For more, click here.

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