All posts by Kathy Kirkpatrick

Zoom link to meeting 26 April 2022

April 26 – This is a Tuesday! Rabbi Samuel Spector of Congregation Kol Ami has agreed to meet with us there (2425 East Heritage Way, Salt Lake City) for a combination in-person (masked and vaccinated) and Zoom meeting. He will talk about the history of Kol Ami, the state of the Utah Jewish Community, and the significance of family history/traditions in Judaism.


I received this inquiry and hope some of you can assist:

“I’m a utah resident, looking for lost relatives between the years 1914-1924 who arrived at Alice Island from Russia, Byelarus, lived for a period of time in Rochester NY, then disappeared. One male adult, four young teenage kids ( three boys and a girl). MyHeritage, JewishGen, local data in Russia- none are helpful.
Your advise please?

Thank you,”
Janna Zamir
801-201-5138 cell/text

Message from the President

Reminder: Meeting on Monday, 21 February at 7 pm, Rabbi Barbara Aiello will present “Heritage Hiding in Plain Sight“. This will be a live presentation, sign in at:

The (US) National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is looking for  feedback from their catalog users to help them create the Next Generation Catalog.  If you sign up they may contact you to optionally participate in focus groups, usability tests and more.

If you are interested in participating than complete the survey at:

“What Can We Learn about Our Ancestors from Jewish Surnames Adopted in
the Russian Empire?” will be the topic of a presentation by scholar and
author Alexander Beider for the Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, virtual meeting
of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at 2 p.m. CST.
Register/RSVP at, a member of the Ancestry family of databases, is offering free access to their collection of over 720  million plus pages of publisher extra papers through  21 February 2022 at 11:59 p.m. MT. Registration with name, email and password are required. Newspapers are a way to find birth, marriage, death notices and more about those you are researching. After the promotion access will only be through a paid subscription.  Accessing the database after the promotion time period will result in a request for a paid subscription.

Go to:

Put the name you are searching in the “search keywords, names dates box” and click on search.  The results will return those articles with the name/phrase you entered. Click on the photo of the article and it will open. You can clip or save to your computer by clicking on the icon on the upper right  clip or print and save. It will appear in yellow highlights.  There is also a magnifying glass to help you find the name on the page.

Message from the President

My March schedule has become full already! So I suggest that instead of our regular meeting, we learn from and enjoy the presentations at RootsTech 2022. Over 1,500 sessions will available when it is live on 3-5 March and they will continue to be available online for the next year. That will enable us to see so many different presentations as well as repeating those of greatest interest.

The conference is virtual, just requiring a FREE registration at

Our next meeting will be on 25 April at 7. We’ll send an announcement once we schedule a speaker. Please suggest speakers!

Call to Meeting

Join us on February 21 at 7 pm (Mountain Standard Time), Rabbi Barbara Aiello will present “Heritage Hiding in Plain Sight“. This will be a live presentation, despite the time difference from her home in Calabria. A Question and Answer session will follow her presentation.

She will talk about the Jewish traditions carried in many families, even those who do not have a memory of Jewish Heritage. For some of these families, the necessity to hide their heritage due to the reprisals of the Inquisition was so life-altering that the secret was lost in later generations. Some of these families are only now discovering this heritage through DNA testing.

Rabbi Barbara Aiello was appointed Italy’s first woman rabbi in 2004 and continues to serve as Italy’s only modern, liberal rabbi who lives and works in Italy. She continues to serve Jews throughout Europe as a spokesperson for Pluralistic Judaism – a movement that deliberately blurs denominational lines and extends the hand of Jewish welcome to Jews of all backgrounds.

Rabbi Barbara Aiello was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is the daughter of a liberator of the Buchenwald concentration camp. She is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she received the Distinguished Alumni Award. She holds an MS from The George Washington University in Washington DC and received “smeicha” (rabbinic ordination) from The Rabbinical Seminary International and the Rabbinical Academy in New York City.

Serrastretta, Calabria

Join next zoom meeting

Kathy Kirkpatrick is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: UJGS Meeting
Time: Jan 17, 2022 07:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 758 2420 5402
Passcode: YDQ1Xj

Call to Meeting

Join us for our next meeting on Monday, 17 January 2022 at 7 pm

Yaron Isaac “Sparky” Kohen will speak to us on “Gentile to Jew: A Tale of Identity” describing his journey discovering his Jewish Heritage.

Yaron Kohen was born to parents who were abraded from their true heritage. Having no knowledge of his bloodline, Yaron pursued his life through the void of his father’s adopted name. That was until a link was discovered that initiated a genealogical search that led him to a destination that would forever change his life.

Kathy Kirkpatrick is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: UJGS Meeting
Time: Jan 17, 2022 07:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 758 2420 5402
Passcode: YDQ1Xj

Message From The President

(Sorry for the duplicate email. The first was not meant to be sent out. This one has some minor corrections.)

Gary Bowen and Barry Mann have agreed to continue as the chairs of the Publicity Committee.

Kathy hopes that there will be interest in chairing the Activities and Membership committees since she is tasked with them otherwise.

Activities Committee works to invite speakers to present monthly programs as well as other possible events. The December meeting might be a Hanukkah party if we can meet in person.

Membership Committee should be responsible for current member list as well as greeting new members, inviting lapsed members to join again, and non-member attendees to join. Josh reminded us that our members often belong to other societies as well and that those overlapping groups might be sources of new members.

Committee chairs will attend Virtual Board Meetings, held at least once a year, but hopefully quarterly this year.

Banai has posted the approved meeting dates for 2022 at We are hoping that the professionals in our membership pick a date for a presentation of their choosing (within the umbrella of Jewish studies). We should also invite professional researchers and translators in our circles to join our organization and to speak.

Changed meeting time to 7 pm to allow members time to get home from work to log on to the virtual meetings. In-person meetings at the FHL are not possible as long as it closes at 5 pm.

Videos of previous meetings are currently being reviewed by Banai for posting online. As a member benefit, we are expecting to put them behind the paywall for members only. This will hopefully also encourage more to join as members for the low cost of only $10/year.