We are excited to offer the following public programs for 2021-2022. We hope to hold most of these programs in person, but details are still being worked out. A printable flyer of our 2021-2022 programs is available here.
- October 24, 2021 – Meet Your Mishpocha! Open House – Discover local Jewish families, start your own genealogical research, and more! In celebration of Family History Month, we will begin our season with our third annual “Fort Wayne Jewish Family Day.” From noon to 2:00 p.m., this “hybrid” event will be both in-person at the Madge Rothschild Resource Center and virtual for those who prefer to attend that way. Those on-site will have access to scanners from the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center to digitize family photographs and documents. We’ll be looking for help with identifying older photographs from the Temple’s collection, and experts from both the NEIJGS and the ACPL Genealogy Center will be on-hand to answer questions about family history and genealogy. Four half-hour presentations will be available to both virtual and in-person attendees. At noon, the Indiana Jewish Historical Society’s Mike Brown will speak about their organization’s archives. The Genealogy Center’s Curt Witcher will host an “Ask the Expert” session at 12:30, followed by a 1:00 “tour” by Betsy Gephart of the Society’s Fort Wayne Jewish Families Database, which has grown to include over 7,000 past and present members of the Northeast Indiana Jewish community. The virtual sessions will conclude with a 1:30 presentation about the Oral History Video Project by John Stein. Registration is required to attend the virtual programs.
- November 14, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. – “Jewish Cemeteries – Indiana and Beyond.” To study Jewish cemeteries, in Indiana and around the world, we have partnered with the Indiana Jewish Historical Society to invite two experts for our November program. This is a program that was re-scheduled from May 2020 due to the pandemic. Jeannie Regan-Dinius is a staff member with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and the expert on Indiana cemeteries. She will speak about the Jewish cemeteries of Indiana. Nolan Altman is an IAJGS board member and coordinates JewishGen’s JOWBR (JewishGen’s Online Worldwide Burial Registry) Database, Memorial Plaques Database, and Holocaust Database. He will discuss the interpretation of Jewish headstones and other information that might be gathered from them. Many headstones have both names and dates in Hebrew and Yiddish that can be challenging to decipher, but very helpful in genealogical research. Registration is required to attend this virtual program.
- February 13, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. – Warren Blatt, “Jewish Names.” Warren Blatt will present two programs, “Jewish Given Names” and “Jewish Surnames.” The first will focus on the history and patterns of Jewish first names and how to recognize names in genealogical sources. The surname presentation will discuss the types and origins of surnames, how they developed and how they transformed with immigration. Warren Blatt is the former Managing Director of JewishGen and the co-author of Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy (Avotaynu, 1999).
- April 3, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. – Ed Mitukiewicz, “Location, Location, Location: How Genealogical Research Can Benefit from Historical Maps.” Identifying the places where our ancestors used to live can be a critical step in finding sources of genealogical information but locating those places can be quite a challenging task, particularly in Eastern Europe. Ed is a mathematician and computer scientist by education, researcher and technology consultant by profession, and amateur cartographer and genealogist by coincidence. He worked as editor, translator and map consultant during the production of the 2015 documentary film, “Raise the Roof.”
- May 1, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. – Todd Knowles, “Making the Most of FamilySearch for Jewish Research.” This presentation will focus on new features at FamilySearch, and techniques to use for Jewish genealogical research. Todd Knowles is an Accredited Genealogist who specializes in English and Jewish research. His quest to find more about his G-G-Grandfather, a Polish Jew, has led to the creation of the Knowles Collection, six databases that contain the records of the Jewish people. It currently (as of Jan 2020) contains the records of over 1.4 million people.