27 January 2010

Seattle: Deciphering Cyrillic and Hebrew, Feb. 8

Learn to decipher Eastern European Cyrillic and Hebrew archival documents at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State on Monday, February 8.

Doors open at 7pm at the Stroum Jewish Community Center, Mercer Island.

"Reading in Another Hand: Deciphering Cyrillic and Hebrew Archival Documents from Eastern Europe," will be presented by Natan M. Meir.

This lecture-workshop will demonstrate elements of the Russian and Hebrew/Yiddish cursive scripts used in the Russian Empire in the 19th-early 20th centuries. Topics discussed will include the Cyrillic and Hebrew alphabets, their use in archival documents, key words and phrases in documents of interest to genealogists, and the structure of tsarist and Soviet archives.

A number of archival documents will be viewed as attendees work together to decipher words and phrases.

Participants are encouraged to contact the speaker in advance with specific documents or questions they've had problems with, and some will be integrated into the presentation. Email questions.

Born in Jerusalem, Natan Meir was raised in New Jersey and Quebec. He earned a PhD in Jewish History (Columbia University, 2003), and is the Lokey Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at Portland State University. His scholarly interest is modern Jewish history, focusing on the social and cultural history of East European Jewry in the 19th and 20th centuries.

His first book - "Kiev: Jewish Metropolis, 1859-1914" - is forthcoming from Indiana University Press, and he is now working on a second project tentatively titled "Jewish Marginals in Eastern Europe."

Fee: JGSWS members, free; others, $5.

For directions and additional information, see the JGSWS site.

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