By Tamie Dehler
TERRE HAUTE — The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies will stage its 28th Annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Chicago on Aug. 17-22.
The conference will be presented in the Chicago Downtown Marriott Magnificent Mile Hotel. Co-hosting the occasion will be the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois and the Illiana Jewish Genealogical Society.
The conference is a way for individuals from all over the world to come together to learn about Jewish genealogy, to network with others, and to share what they know. Upon arriving, registered attendees will receive a name badge that will include a list of six surnames and/or ancestral locations that the individual is researching, a bag to carry the conference materials, a daily planner listing the available programs and activities for each day, a syllabus containing all the speakers’ handouts for each presentation, and a family finder that will list all the attendees and the names and locations they are interested in researching.
There will be numerous presentations from which to choose during the six days of the convention. To get a full list of the sessions offered, go to www.chicago2008.
org/program.cfm. Attendees will be encouraged to take advantage of networking sessions such as “Breakfast With an Expert” (covering different topics each day), “Special Interest Group” meetings and luncheons, and “Birds of a Feather” networking gatherings. Attendees will want to check out the Schmooze Area, the Cyber Café, and, as always, the vendor/exhibitor area.
There will be a separate film festival, screening of more than 40 films of special interest to the Jewish religion, heritage and culture.
The cost for attending the conference is $295 for one person and an additional $195 for a companion.
The film festival is a separate fee, as are the various dinners, luncheons and breakfasts.
Hotel accommodation also is separate. For more information on any aspect of the conference, visit www.chicago2008.org.
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies is an umbrella organization that coordinates the activities of more than 75 Jewish genealogical societies around the world. The IAJGS also oversees a Web site and several projects besides the annual conference. Both the Illiana Jewish Genealogical Society (ijgs.home.comcast.
net) and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois (www.jewishgen.org/jgsi) are members of IAJGS.
One endeavor of the IAJGS is the International Jewish Cemetery Project, which seeks to locate and index every Jewish burial site in the world.
Information from this project can be found online at www.jewishgen.org/cemetery. This site allows the user to search for an individual burial, a specific cemetery, or to donate information to the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry database.
In 2000, the Genealogical Society of Utah presented the largest Jewish database held by the Family Historical Library to the IAJGS at its annual conference. This database can be accessed free online at www.jewishgen.
org/databases/fhlc. Updates and additions to the database are available from Nechama’s List, at www.nechamaslist.
com. Together, these three databases can be a significant help to a family historian looking for Jewish genealogy.
The IAJGS also awards the annual Malcolm Stern Grant to encourage libraries and museums worldwide “to pursue projects, activities and acquisitions that provide new or enhanced resources to benefit Jewish genealogists.” Visit the IAJGS Web site at www.iajgs.org.