Category Archives: Press Release

Learning Opportunities

NJOP (National Jewish Outreach Program) has just begun a series of webinars titled a Crash Course in Jewish History. Wednesday nights at 5:30pm Mountain time, you can join these 90 minute sessions for free, ending on July 19th. Unfortunately, the first session was last week, so sign up quickly to get the rest of the series. The first session covered from the birth of Abram until the time of King David, so essentially the Old Testament and Prophets times. The session was recorded, but we don’t know if the playback will be available. Sign up at their web site to attend the rest of the series:

We also want to remind you that the FEEFHS conference (Federation of East European Family History Societies) has their conference coming up in Salt Lake City, from August 1 – 4. There will be a virtual option, if you’re going to IAJGS or are otherwise unable to attend, but in person, there will be additional classes, consultations with experts at the FamilySearch Library, social opportunities, and more. Early bird registration is still available until June 30th at their web site:

During our meeting, we also learned about a YouTube channel for Jewish history from Dr. Henry Abramson, a specialist in Jewish history. There are many videos about specific parts of Jewish history, information about Jewish holidays, and other Judaica topics. Visit his channel any time to watch what interests you:

Genealogy Education Around the Internet

You probably already know this, but there are genealogy events happening online all the time, especially since 2020. Today we’re sharing a few that sounded quite interesting, but there are so many more. All of the events listed here are free. We have listed the advertised time and the Mountain time, just in case we got any of those wrong.

And some that are on YouTube; we’re not aware if any of these have a limited time to view them.

  • Forgotten Holocaust: A Journey to Transnistria, English subtitles, from Institute for Germany Culture and History of Southeastern Europe at Ludwig-maximilians-Universitat Munchen, a film from 2019 about a girl from Czernowitz who survived (35 minutes) –

Don’t forget that RootsTech is right around the corner. Those in Utah can attend in person, but the virtual tickets are free –

And finally, UJGS’s next meeting will take place just before RootsTech, in person (and virtual), at the FamilySearch Library, formerly known as the Family History Library, on Monday, 27 February. Our speaker will be Daniel Horowitz, Genealogy Expert at MyHeritage. We’ll probably be starting at 6pm, instead of our usual 7pm. More details to come.

GRIP Evening Programs

The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) has some evening programs coming up that are free to the public to attend via Zoom thanks to several sponsoring organizations. These all take place at 5PM Mountain time.

Each presentation is hosted by the sponsoring society, and must be registered for via each society, but you may find some other presentations of interest on each one.

Presentations include:

  • Rebecca Whitman Koford, Research Logs: Write or Regret It
  • Debbie Abbott, Through the Eyes of a Genealogist: Paul Newman
  • CeCe Moore, Serendipitous Story of John Doe and an Adoptee
  • Michael Lacopo, Method for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants
  • Karen Stanbary, It’s All About Respect: Clinical Tips to Manage Uncomfortable Conversations bout Surprising DNA Test Results
  • Annette Burke Lyttle, Reconstructing the Lives of Our Farming Ancestors
  • David Rencher, An Update on What’s New at FamilySearch and the 1950 Census Indexing Project
  • Rich Venezia, Alien Registrations in America

Presentations are daily from June 20 – 23 and July 11 – 14.

Learn more at the GRIP web site, where you will also find the links to register for each presentation.

Marelynn Zipser, 1937-2021

UJGS is sad to report the death of Marelynn Zipser on February 19th.

Marelynn was a founding member of our society, serving as Membership Chair for many years, continuing as an active member until about 2017. She had a regular column in our newsletter, “Zip Tip”, with advice for research, often about the Family History Library. She was featured in the “Member Spotlight” in issue 14 in 2006.

Marelynn was a huge contributor to Jewish genealogy for over 15 years, indexing Hungarian records for the Hungary-SIG of JewishGen after researching her husband’s Austro-Hungarian family. The 1869 Hungarian census indexing project began with her work and she was often the only indexer for entire towns of records in the census or vital records, including indexing all of the Bratislava Jewish vital records in 2011, over 28,000 names.

In 2016, Marelynn received the IAJGS Volunteer of the Year award (nominated by her friends at UJGS), for her contributions to the Hungary-SIG database for so many years.

Her obituary can be found online, detailing her family and some of her life’s adventures.

UJGS sends it condolences to her family and friends.

RootsTech Begins Tonight

For anyone who hasn’t already noticed yet, RootsTech begins tonight. This year, RootsTech is all online and completely free. How can you go wrong?

If you’re not already signed up, you should check it out. There are sessions about all kinds of topics, including a strong list of specifically Jewish sessions. For the adventurous, they also have sessions in other languages, providing captions. Want to see what Poles or Ukrainians are saying about genealogy? They have some interesting sounding topics.

Most RootsTech sessions will be 20 minutes or less (working off the same theory as TED Talks), therefore some sessions have multiple parts.

Streaming begins at 9pm tonight, so go sign up. Many sessions will be available immediately while others will stream live and then can be watched on demand later. The conference will be available on demand for about a year, just before next year’s RootsTech, so you’ll have plenty of time to see everything.

So if you’re not yet signed up, head over to and see what you might learn.

RootsTech 2021 Is Virtual

FamilySearch recently announced that RootsTech 2021 will be all virtual — and all free.

Dates have been moved to February 25-27 (which coincides with Purim).

You can read more about their plans in a blog post about the virtual experience.

You can register for the free conference to receive any updates direct to your email, and then attend when the time comes.

While you’re on the site, you can check out the video archive to watch sessions from past years that you may have missed or forgotten.

Utah State Historical Society Conference

The Utah State Historical Society is holding its annual conference virtually in September.

The conference is free and open to the public. Each week, they have scheduled a few pre-recorded sessions and one or two livestreamed sessions, culminating in the keynote on September 25th.

The theme is Rights & Responsibilities. With sessions about Utah history, women’s rights and suffrage, and archaeology, the most genealogical topic will be the week of September 14-20, a session called The Right Record: Rights and Responsibilities in Utah Government Records.

Visit the USHS Conference web site to see the full program and to register.

IAJGS Virtual Conference 2020

Sorry that we didn’t send this notice out sooner, but IAJGS is doing its conference virtually this year and it’s this week.

This year, there are some live lectures and there’s an on demand library. So even if you sign up late, all the live lectures ought to be available on demand at some time after they have concluded.

But there’s a bonus free part of the conference. SIG and BOF meetings are free, as well as the JewishGen annual presentation and the IAJGS annual meeting. The SIG and BOF schedule is online here.

What are SIGs and BOFs? Special Interest Groups and Birds of a Feather. This is how we divide ourselves by the regions our families came from. Most Jewish American researchers will find themselves in multiple groups. These groups work to obtain and index records mostly, but may also help with coordinating research trips, recommending local researchers, or more, focusing on just their area of the world. SIGs are bigger geographical areas and BOFs often fit into specific SIGs, but work in smaller areas.

Visit to sign up. You will need to register for the free sessions, or you could pay for the full conference. Again, you’ve missed the first day already, but there are three more days to go. The SIG meetings are being recorded, so they may be available on demand at some point too.

One Webinar A Day Extended To May

Last month, we told you that Legacy Family Tree Webinars were offering one webinar a day for free from their catalog. They have extended that to May.

The schedule can be found on their web site.

They provide a list for the month, followed by a list by topic. Each day of the week has a different topic.

Sunday: Methodology
Monday: DNA
Tuesday: Ethnic Genealogy (May 19 and 26 are Jewish)
Wednesday: TechZone
Thursday: Around The Globe
Friday: Beginners
Saturday: Technology

This is your chance to watch some of the older webinars that you missed the first time, or to rewatch and refresh your memory. They also have upcoming live webinars listed on the home page, which are free when they’re live and then for another week. You can also pay for access to their entire webinar library which goes back to 2010.

Free Genealogy Webinars Daily

We hope our members are doing well, staying home, and staying healthy. During this difficult time, a plethora of information and entertainment is being offered online for free and we’d like to tell you about one.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars is releasing for free one webinar from their collection every day of April. Each day of the week has a different theme and there are quite a variety of topics.

Sundays are for methodology, Mondays are DNA topics, Tuesdays are ethnic genealogy, etc.

And we’re just in time to catch tomorrow’s (April 7) webinar on Sephardic Research.

You can view he entire schedule for the rest of month on the Legacy Family Tree web site.

What else have you been doing for the past month? Have you caught any operas at The Met? Seen any musicals or plays? Researched something on JSTOR? Virtually visited a museum? If you’re not using social media, you may be missing out on all the wonderful things now being shared for free online. You can also search on Google for “free things to do online”.