Category Archives: Message From The President

December Board Meeting tidbits

We’ll have a Roundtable meeting in December, so start thinking about your breakthroughs to share with all of us.

Family Finder link at now working. Please email your family names, places, dates so they can be included.

Handouts at our website above have been updated to include the most recent, in the Members section.

We can post articles on our website, so perhaps you have one (or more) to share.

Still need Social Media person for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and other online notices and photos of our activities.

We’d like to acknowledge our members for accomplishment in 2023. All will be posted on our website so everyone will know about your successes. Share news about another member or yourself!

Jewish Marriages

The Forward publication has an article under culture about a new exhibit showing how Jewish marriage evolved- from 12th century -century Egypt to modern-day America. “To Build a New Home: Celebrating the Jewish Wedding” It is the first show in the Jewish Theological Seminary’s library new gallery with rare ketubbot from different centuries and continents:” from 17th and 18th century Italy; a 13th-century French religious compendium outlining marriage rituals and including a bawdy wedding poem; a fragment from a 12th-century prenuptial agreement affirming the right of the groom’s mother-in-law to live with the married couple; and from the modern era, a ketubbot making it possible for Jewish women to initiate a religious divorce.” The JTS weblink for the exhibit is:

The exhibit is available from May 18-August 14, 2022.

Ketubots are a genealogical resource with names of parents of the bride and groom and much more. It deals with a variety of marital responsibilities-it describes the grooms rights and responsibilities towards the bride.

To read the Forward article see:

Original URL:

Note: The Forward is a subscription periodical. It permits several free access articles per month.

Information on visiting the exhibit and about the exhibit is available at:

The JTS is located at: 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City

Summer library hours: Monday and Wednesday, 8:30 am – 8:00 pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30 am – 7:00 pm. 

Notices from IAJGS

The European Jewish Congress reports that that the Swedish government has decided to appoint a special investigator that will map out obstacles and opportunities for Jewish life in Sweden and make proposals for a national strategy to strengthen Jewish life.

The investigator will examine the conditions for Jewish life today and present proposals to ensure its survival and development. The focus will be on the transmission of Jewish culture and Yiddish to younger and future generations.

The work will be carried out in close dialogue and collaboration with the Jewish community in Sweden and will be reported by 15 December 2023.

The study is part of Sweden’s commitments following the Malmö International Forum for Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.

To read more see:

The Wall Street Journal posted an article in their May 21-22, 2022 issue entitled, The Math Behind a Lack of Genetic Privacy. In the online edition it is called, Its too Late to Protect Your Genetic Privacy. The Math is Explaining Why.


While you personally may not have taken a DNA test, the article explains that they can track you down from a cousins’ DNA that was submitted to one of the genetic DNA testing companies.

The article explains, “people have about 6,800 cMs. A child inherits half their DNA—one set of chromosomes—from each biological parent. So child and parent will have around 3,400 cMs of DNA that match… For every “degree of relatedness,” the length of shared cMs halves. An uncle or grandparent, one degree removed from parents, shares half as much DNA on average. That is 25%, or about 1,700 cMs. One more degree removed: A first cousin or great-grandparent shares half again, or around 850 cMs. And so on.”

The article includes a graphic depicting how much DNA you share with distant relatives-going to the third great-grandparents. “Even with all these halvings, very distant relatives out to fifth cousins share so much identical DNA that a common ancestor is the only possible source.”

“It is easy to find distant relatives, because a typical individual has so many: according to various methods, around 200 third cousins, upward of 1,000 fourth cousins and anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 fifth cousins… An adopted child who doesn’t know his biological parent still shares 3,400 cMs with that person, and hundreds of centiMorgans with numerous cousins from that parent’s family. The child, or generations from now that child’s descendants, could upload their DNA to a database and by looking for matches with others who have uploaded theirs, discover some of those distant cousins. That would be enough to reconstruct his family tree and identify the parent, even though the parent never uploaded their DNA—the exact same process used to identify DNA in cold cases.”

According to data from the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, the scale of testing is enormous: around 21 million samples on AncestryDNA, 12 million at 23andMe, 5.6 million at MyHeritage and 1.7 million at FamilyTreeDNA.


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

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!

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.