The 28th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy was
held in Chicago and co-hosted by the IAJGS, the JGS
of Illinois, and the Illiana
JGS. The 800 attendees came from around the globe: twenty five
from Canada, twenty from Israel, eleven from the United Kingdom,
five from Germany, four from Australia, three from France, two from
Austria, two from Jamaica, and one each from Belarus, Czech Republic,
Latvia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Venezuela. The largest contingent
from the United States came from Illinois (193), with California
coming in second (104). Thirty-six states (plus the District of
Columbia) were represented.
Attendees were thrilled to hear Randy Schoenberg, in the keynote
address at the opening session, describe the sequence of events
that led to his success in getting Nazi looted art returned to the
rightful owners. Also at the opening session, Harvey Krueger so
eloquently spoke of the extraordinary contribution made by Susan
King, founder of JewishGen, and all were delighted to see her and
attend the opening reception held in her honor (co-sponsored by
the IAJGS and the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial
to the Holocaust).
was hard to ignore the buzz among the attendees upon the announcement
of a cooperative agreement between JewishGen,
the premier resource for Jewish genealogy, and Ancestry.com,
the largest online resource for family history information –
an agreement that will benefit all genealogists.
The Illinois Cook County
Clerk’s office officially unveiled its new Web site at
the conference <http://www.CookCountyGenealogy.com>. Thanks
to the Genzyme Corporation,
a special mini-seminar Jewish genetic diseases was offered. The
Ancestry.com Learning Center (Resource room) was used heavily as
attendees took advantage of the computers (with various databases
available) and the many books and resources so well organized by
Trudy Barch, President of the Illiana Jewish Genealogy Society.
The conference hospitality desk, managed by Judy Frazin and Harriet
Rudnit of the JGS of Illinois helped many attendees with information
about the Chicago area and made quite a number of people happy with
a wide variety of door prizes.
banquet on the final evening was a festive affair with, as one attendee
commented, “the best banquet food I have ever had” and
fun entertainment provided by storyteller Lisa Lipkin.
Anne Feder Lee, Mike Posnick and Joel Spector are grateful for all
the help they received from the many volunteers before and during
opportunities in Chicago
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile