12 April 2007

Michigan: You can go home again! UPDATE

In the Detroit area? If so, learn how you can go home again - this time to your ancestors' heim.

Sol Sylvan will speak on the nine most important words you need to know before making an ancestral visit to Eastern Europe at the 1 p.m. Sunday, April 29 meeting of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Michigan, at the Zekelman Family Holocaust Memorial Center of Michigan, Farmington Hills.

Sylvan will demonstrate what is essential for a successful trip - a trip of a lifetime; explain motivation and goals; offer practical suggestions for hiring guides and translations, advance preparations, travel arrangments, dealing with essentials such as money and clothing, camers and recorders, insurance, health and safety.

In addition to sharing information on the costs of a trip, he'll show a video of his 2004 visit.

From 2002-2005, he made four visits to Eastern Europe, including Warsaw, Krakow, Western Ukraine, the Carpathians, etc., and will return to Poland and Ukraine with two daughters, a granddaughter, a second cousin and a friend in July 2007.

A former Michigan resident, Sylvan now lives in Washington state, is actively involved in his own family research and helps others.

For more information, go to the Jewish Genealogy Society of Michigan. Also, check out the eight program handouts from the JGSMI's 2006 mini-workshop.

For more on Sol Sylvan, see this article in the Seattle JT.

“Its become an avocational vocation, trying to motivate people to visit their roots while there are still people to talk to who were alive when your parents or grandparents were there, who were there when the Holocaust took place,” he says.

Sylvan interviewed one elderly woman who witnessed a Nazi massacre of her town’s Jewish residents and another in her 90s who remembers Sylvan’s grandfather, one of the town’s three blacksmiths."

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