16 March 2010

New York: Sephardic Research with Jeff Malka, March 21

Sephardic research expert and author Dr. Jeffrey S. Malka will speak at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Long Island (New York) on Sunday, March 21.

The program is set for 2pm at the Mid-island Y-JCC, 45 Manetto Hill Road, Plainview.

Whether you have Sephardic roots or not, you'll enjoy Jeff's expert knowledge in this field. When he spoke in Barcelona, Spain a few years ago, more than 100 people of all backgrounds attended, including Tracing the Tribe.

An American pioneer of Sephardic genealogy, he'll offer an overview of Sephardic genealogy resources, how Sephardic names have evolved, their importance in archival research, review of pre-Expulsion Spanish archives, Inquisition archives and other Spanish notarial documents.

The creator of SephardicGen.com - an essential site for Sephardic researchers - and author of the award-winning book (Avotaynu, revised/expanded second edition, 2009) "Sephardic Genealogy: Discovering your Sephardic Ancestors and their World," Jeff is descended from a long line of rabbis back to 14th century. His grandfather was the chief rabbi of Sudan (1906-1949).

As most Sephardi researchers know, the tools and resources for Sephardi genealogy differ from those for Ashkenazi research. Languages, countries, available records are different, as well as the places to which they immigrated. Time and historical events impacting Sephardi research mean that different methodology is required in different countries and at different times.

Contemporary research has shown that Sephardim immigrated to Eastern Europe in larger numbers than previously thought, and DNA genetic genealogy has shown the links between Ashkenazim and Sephardim, confirming the stories in numerous Eastern European families who passed down Sephardic oral histories.

Although Sephardim, like Ashkenazim, were impacted by the Holocaust, other historical events, such as the Inquisition and 1492 Exile, must also be investigated.

Jeff authored several Sephardic genealogy articles in Etsi, the Journal of the Sephardi Genealogical and Historical Society, and several chapters in the Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy. He has spoken at several IAJGS conferences, at the Library of Congress, to many Jewish genealogical societies and internationally (US, Canada, Spain, Istanbul).

A retired orthopedic surgeon, Jeff was an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Georgetown University, and chairman of the Inova Fairfax Hospital (Virginia) department of orthopedic surgery.

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