10 August 2009

JTA: Genealogy and technology story

As many Tracing the Tribe readers know, the blog was started at the request, in 2006, of JTA.org, a century-old international Jewish news agency.

Today's JTA.org Daily Briefing listed "Technology transforming genealogy research" as the first story. How could I resist?

Hillel Kutler wrote the very good story which spotlighted genealogy and technology. I knew he was working on it, but I didn't expect to be named in the second paragraph. That certainly made my day. Thanks, Hillel!

I'm also delighted that my good friend and researcher Maria Jose also made it in. She has done excellent work for many of today's researchers looking for their Sephardic roots, including Jeff Malka (SephardicGen.com), Judy Simon and others.
At a workshop she ran a few years ago in Barcelona on the role of technology in conducting genealogy research, Dardashti met a former attorney, Maria Jose Surribas. Surribas now works as a freelance genealogist and has helped Dardashti research her roots in the Catalonian town of Lerida.

Dardashti now can trace her family there to 1353, to Moshe Talalaya, a kosher winemaker.

“If not for technology, we’d be doing what we used to: dealing with the dust and the creepy-crawlies, like Maria does in Spain, wearing a face mask,” said Dardashti, of Tel Aviv, who writes Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog (tracingthetribe.blogspot.com).

“Technology has made it possible for people interested in the same topics to share, collaborate and learn.”

The story also extensively quotes my colleague at MyHeritage.com, Daniel Horowitz:

“Until now history and genealogy, which are related, are things that old people were said to be doing,” said Daniel Horowitz, manager of genealogy and translations for My Heritage, an Israeli software and Web company that operates in 36 languages.

That reality is changing, he said, as modern tools make learning about the past cooler.

“Definitely, technology plays a very important role in bringing young people into genealogy,” Horowitz said. “Once the computer and technology are used to research or share information, young people are attracted to it. The amount of young people getting involved in things like Facebook -- it’s incredible. In Israel, there’s a Facebook for kids 12-15 years old. That’s a very good catch to bring young people into genealogy.”
There are comments from other Philly 2009 conference attendees, and additional information as well.

Read the complete story at the link above.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, it was an excellent article and gave credit where it was due. It is good to see your work as well as Daniel's and Maria Jose's recognized.

    Judy Simon