Jewish Heritage Europe

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The Call for Papers is now open for the 2018 annual conference of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) which will be held in Warsaw in August 2018. The deadline is December 31.

The conference will be hostied by the IAJGS in cooperation with The Polish State Archives and co-hosted by POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute. Presentation objectives are "to inform, instruct, and inspire attendees to explore and preserve their Jewish family history, particularly within the context of the Central/Eastern European Jewish Experience."

From the organizers:

This will be the first time that an IAJGS Summer Conference will be held in a former Communist country. While this is not a conference exclusively about Poland, topics relating to Ashkenazic or Eastern European themes will most likely be preferred considering our location in historic Warsaw, Poland.

We hope that proposed lectures will consider our special location and the 1000-year history of Polish Jews and the associated development of Ashkenazic, Chassidic, and Yiddish cultural and spiritual life within the empires that ruled Central and Eastern Europe at various points during that thousand-year period.

The epic tragedy of the Shoah (Holocaust), the honoring of the Righteous Among the Nations, the reconstruction of Polish Jewish life afterwards, and the preservation of our collective Jewish heritage in Europe all deserve inclusion in the focus of our study here.

We are particularly interested in lectures/presentations that enable our participants to enhance their genealogical research by teaching them to:

  1. View their Jewish family history within a historical context. Lecturers are encouraged to include clips of film and/or PowerPoint presentations to provide a multi-media presentation grounded in history.
  2. Actively explore and Interact with the experts and databases available throughout European and online arenas. Presenters covering websites should be prepared to do live demonstrations or offer computer workshops at our conference. New topics and presentations will be preferred over those offered at prior conferences; however, relevance to our visit to Europe will be considered.
  3. Develop experience preserving and sharing genealogy with their family and landsleit (neighbors from the same town). We encourage proposing sessions on interviewing, accumulating data, and sharing with family through creative means.

Note: Presenters focusing on small town history or family lore in particular may wish to participate in our shorter “Tell Your Story” format, which will run at 30-minute intervals throughout the conference. This format could be used for a small Birds of a Feather group or a Family Reunion, to encourage sharing in a structured format, similar to the 2016 “Sleepless in Seattle” format. The “Tell Your Story” sessions will be moderated, and presentations should be limited to 25 minutes or less. This format will accommodate audiences of up to 25 or 30 people and could include a Facebook Live or other multi-media component, if desirable to the speaker/organizer.


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