23 January 2008

Virginia: Breaking brick walls, Feb. 3

Newcomers and experienced researchers can both hit brick walls - those situations that researchers just can't seem to break through in the quest for family history.

You know you need help from someone with specialized knowledge, but where do you go? Who can help?

If you live near Washington, DC, there's a program with four major experts who may be able to assist, so bring your "brick wall" questions for them. They'll be wearing their thinking caps, ready to help you.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Washington will meet at 1pm Sunday, February 3, at Beth El Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia. Admission is $5 for non-members.

This "Breaking through brick walls" session will feature experts Jonina Duker, Boris Feldbylum, Arline Sachs and Barry Shay.

Duker earned a Yale honors BA, attended the New School for Social Research, Wharton and the Burke Institute; holds a Hebrew University Certificate of Advanced Jewish Studies; has written JewishGen infofiles; founded JewishGen's Yiddish Theater and Vaudeville Research Group; coordinated the JewishGen translation of the Minsk yizkor book. An expert on Holocaust education, Duker has spoken at CAJE and IAJGS conferences.

Feldblyum, an architectural photographer, is co-founder and president of FAST Genealogy Service. His working knowledge of Russian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Polish, along with a thorough understanding of post-Soviet culture and mentality, and his ability to motivate archival officials are the main factors in the ongoing success of FAST, which was created in response to the demand of American researchers for access to records in FSU archives.

Shay is Latvia Special Interest Group president and Latvia SIG webpage editor.

Sachs, a retired computer information systems professor and author, has held many positions in JGSGW, including president, as well as former IAJGS secretary. She headed the International Cemetery Project, which has evolved into JewishGen's JOWBR project. She also co-hosts "Tracing Your Family Roots" a twice-monthly public access television show since 1997. Some three dozen episodes can be viewed online covering many topics with experts in their fields.

For more information and directions, click here.

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