Jewish Genealogical
Society of Illinois


 

JGSI Programs  
Detailed meeting location information and map/directions are located at the bottom of this page.

Upcoming events

    • 27 Aug 2017
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook

    Mike Karsen to present update on Chicago-area Jewish genealogy resources:

    “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland-What’s New” will be the topic of a presentation by genealogist Mike Karsen at the Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. His presentation will begin at 2 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill.


    The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. to accommodate those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information phone 312-666-0100.

    Mike Karsen will deliver his annual update covering resources available today to discover your Jewish roots in Chicagoland. He will include a wide range of records and research resources including cemeteries, death certificates, death notices/obits, marriage records, birth records, and city directories. How to locate your ancestor’s naturalization records, which are essential for any genealogical researcher, will also be covered along with some uniquely Jewish resources. Today, with so many records available online, you hardly have to leave your home to research your Chicago roots. Case studies will be utilized to demonstrate the research process.

    A professional speaker, Mike Karsen is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), and is past president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. He has presented over 300 talks on genealogy topics locally, nationally, and internationally including for the Newberry Library and the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. Mike is the author of the JewishGen website “Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland” and has published articles on genealogy.

    At each regular JGSI monthly meeting, its “help desk” will operated from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Member volunteers will access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows.

    The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a limited time. All are available for perusing from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting. 


    • 22 Oct 2017
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook

    Bena Shklyanoy to share her family history with the Jewish Genealogical Society:

    “Apple Does Not Fall: Shtetl Cousins Meet Iron-Curtain Cousins” will be the topic of a presentation by family historian Bena Shklyanoy, an immigrant from the Soviet Union, at the Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. Her presentation will begin at 2 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill.


    The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. to accommodate those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information phone 312-666-0100.

    Bena Shklyanoy’s website and blog at https://appledoesnotfall.com is the result of 11 years of research and recollections. It contains her family trees, photos from travels to ancestral shtetls and the story of an average Soviet Jewish family, including during the mid-1970s Jewish emigration from the USSR, an era little known in the U.S, Bena says.

    “Even those in the Save Soviet Jews movement who made the emigration possible do not realize what it cost mentally to cut the cord, what the effort entailed in practical terms, and the culture shock and culture clash we experienced,” she said. “I belong to the last generation to have lived that period of history as adults, and it is my generation's responsibility to help keep that history alive.”

    Bena Shklyanoy was born in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, when it was part of the Soviet Union. She received a graduate degree in Russian language from Kiev University and worked as a technical translator and editor.

     In 1976, she immigrated to the United States with her husband and two young daughters. She changed her career to IT and earned an MBA. In 2004, her family story project began. It is now documented on her website, which focuses on insights into Soviet culture, culture clash, and the long-lasting impact of government and history on personal decisions.

    Bena presented her work at the 2016 IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Seattle and has spoken to various other organizations. She wrote an article in the December 2016 JUF News.

    At each regular JGSI monthly meeting, its “help desk” will operate from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Member volunteers will access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows.

    The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a limited time. All are available for perusing from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.


    • 19 Nov 2017
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook

     “My Mother’s Life in Cuba: In Her Own Words” is the topic of a talk planned by genealogist Martin Fischer for the Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. Fischer’s presentation, based on his mother’s 25-page memoir about life in the Havana Jewish community from 1928 to 1942, will begin at 2 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill.

    The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. for those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information, see jgsi.org or phone 312-666-0100.

    Martin Fischer will present excerpts from the memoir written by his mother, Chana Anita Levik Fischer (1921-2007), who, in the wake of the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, was conceived in Russia, born in Poland, grew up and was educated in Cuba; and got married, raised a family and had a career in the United States.


    After briefly summarizing her earliest years, Fischer will focus on the period from 1928 to 1942, when Chana Levik and her parents, Abraham and Dweire, struggled to adjust and make a living in Havana, Cuba. Despite a promising business venture begun by Abraham shortly after their arrival in Havana, the family was soon to become victims of the worldwide Great Depression and eventually came to depend on the local Jewish community for employment.

    Although language differences, status as a foreigner and a life in and out of poverty created obstacles, Chana Levik managed to gain a valuable education in Cuba. She attended a free public technical high school, which prepared her well for a career later in life as a laboratory technician at Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

    Martin Fischer, vice president of publicity for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, is also a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, and St. Louis Genealogical Society. He has been doing genealogy research since the 1970s and has an extensive family history website.

    Fischer has written articles for Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, St. Louis Genealogical Society Quarterly and the Chicago Tribune, as well as Morasha, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois newsletter. He is a part-time copy editor at the Chicago Tribune and an adjunct instructor at the City Colleges of Chicago, where he teaches online sociology courses. He is a former associate faculty member of the University of Phoenix in Chicago, where in recent years he taught social science and introductory college writing courses.

    At each regular JGSI monthly meeting, a genealogy “help desk” will operate from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Member volunteers will access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows.

    The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a limited time. All are available for perusing from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.


Past events

16 Jul 2017 Sunday, July 16, 2017 “Choosing the Right Family Tree Software” and “What’s New at Ukraine SIG”
25 Jun 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 “Kvell and Tell” session
21 May 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 “DNA Presentations"
07 May 2017 Sunday, May 7, 2017: JGSI in the West Suburbs. Agenda:Online tools.
26 Apr 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 “Document and Share Your Genealogy Now!”
19 Mar 2017 Sunday, March 19, 2017: West Suburban Chapter JGSI: Watch a JGSI presentation called “Genealogy is Easy, Fascinating, and Fun: How I Found the Feldmans”.
19 Mar 2017 Sunday, March 19, 2017 “Making the Most of the County Clerk’s Genealogy Resources,”
22 Feb 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 “Getting Started in Genealogy”
19 Feb 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 “Getting the Most Out of MyHeritage”
22 Jan 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 “Genealogy is Easy, Fascinating, and Fun: How I Found the Feldmans”
20 Nov 2016 Sunday, November 20, 2016 “Archivist with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, will describe the court’s archival holdings.”
30 Oct 2016 Sunday, October 30, 2016 “Techniques for Using Jewishgen.org”
25 Sep 2016 Sunday, September 25, 2016 “Putting the Flesh on the Bones” and “Evaluating Evidence: Asking a mini-Minnie Question.”
28 Aug 2016 Sunday, August 28, 2016 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland-What’s New”
09 Aug 2016 JGSI Dinner in Seattle, Washington
31 Jul 2016 Sunday, July 31, 2016 "Specifics of Hungarian Jewish Genealogy - Historical Background and a Practical Guide"
17 Jul 2016 Sunday, July 17, 2016 “Getting Started in Genealogy”
10 Jul 2016 Sunday, July 10, 2016: “Discover Your Family Genealogy.”
26 Jun 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 “Kvell and Tell”
05 Jun 2016 Sunday June 5th, 2016 Greater Chicago Jewish Festival
22 May 2016 Sunday, May 22, 2016 “Cadastral Maps as a Genealogical Resource”
17 Apr 2016 Sunday, April 17, 2016 “German Jewish Genealogy: A Case Study”
07 Apr 2016 Thursday April 7, 2016 Newberry Library Tour & Research
13 Mar 2016 Sunday, March 13, 2016 “The Children of La Hille: Eluding Nazi Capture During World War II.”
14 Feb 2016 Sunday, February 14, 2016 “Jewish Genetic Genealogy - A Study in Endogamy”
31 Jan 2016 Sunday, January 31, 2016 “Genealogy Research & Book Research Have a Lot in Common”
22 Nov 2015 Sunday, November 22, 2015 “Making the Dead Dance: How to Breathe Life into Your Ancestors”
01 Nov 2015 Sunday, November 1, 2015 “Getting Started in Genealogy”
25 Oct 2015 Sunday, October 25, 2015 “The Greenebaum Family: From the Rheinpfalz to Chicago”
27 Sep 2015 Sunday, September 27, 2015 "Tour of Zion Gardens Cemetery"
30 Aug 2015 Sunday, August 30, 2015 “Jewish Genetics”
09 Aug 2015 Sunday, August 9th. Stepping Stones to Researching Your Family's Jewish Roots
19 Jul 2015 Sunday, July 19, 2015 “Family History: Caring for Your Treasures”
06 Jul 2015 35th IAJGS Conference in Jerusalem July 6-10, 2015
28 Jun 2015 Sunday, June 28, 2015 “Kvell and Tell” session
07 Jun 2015 Sunday, June 7th. JGSI Conference 2015
20 May 2015 Wednesday, May 20, 2015 “Online Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland: What’s New?”
26 Apr 2015 Sunday, April 26, 2015 “Finding Frida: My Mother’s First Cousin, a Holocaust Survivor”
29 Mar 2015 Sunday, March 29, 2015 “Clued-In: The Stories are in the Details”
22 Feb 2015 Sunday, February 22, 2015 “Making a Family Tree Coffee Table Book”
25 Jan 2015 Sunday, January 25, 2015 “How I Do Genealogy: Starting Research and Beginning to Gather Information”
23 Nov 2014 Sunday, November 23, 2014 "Reconnecting with My Lithuanian Roots”
26 Oct 2014 Sunday, October 26, 2014 Out of Chaos: Hidden Children Remember the Holocaust
19 Oct 2014 Sunday, October 19, "Getting Started in Genealogy"
28 Sep 2014 Sunday, September 28, 2014 “Using FamilySearch.org and the Family History Research Center”
24 Aug 2014 Sunday, August 24, 2014 “Treasures in Print: Finding and Using Historical Newspapers”
28 Jul 2014 JGSI Dinner at IAJGS Conference in Salt Lake City
23 Jul 2014 Wednesday, July 23, 2014 “Looking Outside the BMD Box for Your Mother and Aunts: A Case Study Based on Eretz Israel”
20 Jul 2014 Sunday, July 20, 2014 “My Cousin the Murder Defendant”
29 Jun 2014 Sunday, June 29, 2014 "Ethical Wills-Values Handed Down Through Our Genealogy"
18 May 2014 Sunday, May 18, 2014 “Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors’ Arrival Records Online”
04 May 2014 Sunday, May 4, 2014 JGSI beginners' workshop
27 Apr 2014 Sunday, April 27, 2014 "Why am I stuck? 10 Solutions to Common Genealogical Brick Walls."
30 Mar 2014 Sunday, March 30, 2014 “Locating Israeli Relatives and Holocaust Survivors: Search Strategies and Integrating Resources”
16 Feb 2014 Sunday, February 16, 2014 "The Mystery of the Green Dumpster,"
26 Jan 2014 Sunday, January 26, 2014 "From Babylon to Skokie: A Short History of Ashkenazim"
24 Nov 2013 Sunday, November 24, 2013 Chicago's West Side Jews vs. South Side Jews
27 Oct 2013 Sunday, October 27, 2013 More, Much More Than Fiddlers on the Roof!
29 Sep 2013 Sunday, September 29, 2013 Beginners’ Genealogical Workshop
25 Aug 2013 Sunday, August 25, 2013 Remembering Jewish Lawndale
28 Jul 2013 Sunday, July 28, 2013 Researching Your Chicago Ancestors
30 Jun 2013 Sunday, June 30, 2013 My Cousin, The Gangster
09 Jun 2013 Digging Deeper: Researching Our Ancestors With Technology
19 May 2013 Sunday, May 19, 2013 Spreadsheets 101: Excel, the Genealogist's Underutilized Tool
28 Apr 2013 Sunday, April 28, 2013 “The Lemba Jewish Community of Zimbabwe”
17 Mar 2013 Sunday, March 17, 2013 Editor, writer and genealogist Martin Fischer will speak about “Finding Living Relatives”
24 Feb 2013 Sunday, February 24, 2013 "Rumbula’s Echo” focuses on the Rumbula forest murders
27 Jan 2013 Sunday, January 27, 2013 Ask the Experts
Monthly Meetings are usually held at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook.
Please check
for any changes in venue by reading the event details, which has the event location.

The Temple will open at 12:30 pm for the help desk and library. JGSI members will be available to help answer genealogical questions, help with Internet searches, and help in the library.
Scheduled programs will begin at 2:00 pm.

Link to map showing location of Temple Beth-El.Select link to view map of Temple Beth-El

Want reminders about our meetings and events?

Email info@jgsi.org and request 'Email meeting and events reminder"

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LINK TO FAQ How to add the file to your calendar.
© 2016 JGSI   P.O. Box 515, Northbrook, IL 60065-0515 • 312.666.0100 • info@jgsi.orgwebmaster@jgsi.org