01 November 2008

Philly 2009: Lodz, Bialystok and Paterson, New Jersey

The 29th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
will be held 2-7 August 2009, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The website will soon be active.
Tracing the Tribe will inform its readers about Philly 2009
as information is made available.

Here's an announcement that will be of interest to those with roots in Lodz, Bialystok or Paterson, New Jersey.

Roni Seibel Liebowitz is coordinator of the Lodz Area Research Group (LARG) discussion group and website. She is in close contact with many families and descendants of people who came from Lodz and the surrounding area.

Lodz was a textile city and many people who emigrated to the US from there, settled in another textile city - Paterson, New Jersey - once known as Silk City. The other large group of immigrants to the city came from Bialystok.

Bialystok discussion group coordinator Mark Halpern (who is also the Philly 2009 program chair) lived in Paterson as a young boy, while Roni lived there until she was 12 and then moved to nearby Fair Lawn.

Genealogy is full of coincidences. Mark and Roni both became involved in family history research at the same time (1997-98), and often talked about future generations who will look for their Paterson roots.

The two former Paterson residents are already making plans for the Philly 2009 event.

They've decided to ask how many researchers would be interested in attending a Birds-of-a- Feather (BOF) meeting for the Paterson area, which also includes Passaic, Kearny and other nearby towns.

Unfamiliar with the term? BOFs are informal meetings of researchers with interest in a specific locality, region or topic. Often, BOFs become more formally organized Special Interest Groups (SIGs) on JewishGen.

Mark and Roni have already contacted the president of the Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey and other individuals active in similar organizations focused on Jewish Paterson's history. If there is interest, they would also be invited to attend.

Mark, as conference program chair, is rather busy now (an understatement!) , so responses to this announcement should go to Roni. If you are interested in Paterson, email her with the following information:

1. Your interest in a Paterson group
2. Name of your family from Paterson or nearby town
3. Any memorabilia you may have from Paterson.
4. Plans (even tentative) to attend the conference

Depending upon reader responses, a Paterson and area Birds-of-a-Feather meeting will be scheduled at the conference. If there is significant interest, they will consider creating a Paterson ShtetLink website on JewishGen.

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