06 December 2010

New York: HIAS photo archives, Dec. 19

A picture is worth a thousand words.

What is more precious to a family historian than the treasured photos of our families through the generations?

Valery Bazarov of HIAS will present “HIAS Photo Archives: Faces of Immigration,” at the JGS of New York's annual members-only brunch on December 19.

The event will begin with brunch at 11am, followed by the program at 12.40pm, at the Brotherhood Synagogue 28 Gramercy Park South (near 3rd Avenue), in Manhattan. Admission: JGSNY members, free; others, $5 at the door for the presentation at 12.30pm only.

In every family, such photos are treasured and relished – even more so in the family of HIAS that amounts to more than 4 million Jews who immigrated to America. Forty linear feet of the archival collection contain 22,000 images taken at the most crucial times, when ties with the past were severed and a new life was still unknown. These pictures chronicle a period that lasted more than 100 years.

Refugees from persecution, pogroms, and poverty, escapees from death and famine – they all pass before our eyes when telling the story of their suffering and hope. The first Seders on Ellis Island and Jewish children in Yokohama, the internment camps in Vichy France and displaced persons on board the military transports that brought them to safe havens, Hungarian and Cuban refugees, North African Jews and the Soviet Jewry exodus – these images will leave no hearts unmoved.

Valery will also present case studies of rescued and resettled families at different periods of immigration history.

He is the director of the HIAS Family History and Location Services, which helps immigrants of different generations find family members and friends – often in other countries – with whom they have lost contact over the years, sometimes decades. He is committed to finding and honoring the heroes, Jewish and non-Jewish, who rescued European Jews during the Holocaust.

Tracing the Tribe's good friend Valery researches HIAS history and reports on his findings as frequent lecturer at international and national Jewish genealogy conferences and societies.

For more information, click here.

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