14 February 2009

Los Angeles area: Bring your shtetl to life, March 1

"Town-wide Research: Bringing your shtetl to life" will be presented by David B. Hoffman, PhD, at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV).

The program begins at 1.30pm, Sunday, March 1, at Temple Adat Elohim, Thousand Oaks - easily accessible from Los Angeles.

Photo at left shows David and Sonia Hoffman at Trakai Castle in Lithuania on one of their research trips.

The Ariogala Research Group has been able to re-create their Lithuanian ancestral shtetl - typical of that era and place. The Holocaust destroyed centuries of Jewish life.

Hoffman will demonstrate methods on how to paint a rich picture of an ancestral town. Using Ariogala as an example, and a variety of sources and documents (1765-1940), the program will provide an approach that can be applied to hundreds of Eastern European shtetls. This is what one of the Ariogala documents looks like:

He will demonstrate diverse types of records, maps, photographs, and memorabilia obtained from archives, museums, survivors, descendents, personal visits, newspapers, and current residents will be presented, to illustrate how to bring a shtetl to life.

President of the Litvak SIG and the Jewish Family History Foundation, Hoffman is editor of the JGSLA journal, Roots-Key. His wife, Sonia, is JGSLA past president and coordinates the Grand Duchy Project of the Jewish Family History Foundation.

The meeting is free.

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