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Researching Jewish Genealogy: Portals to a Timeless Heritage

All-Day Program

Full Day Lecture/Seminar

Sunday, September 22, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0455
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)
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Even the most avid students of Jewish genealogy find that the thousands of databases, books, and websites devoted to the subject can make their quest for information a daunting one. Whether you are researching a family history or tracking down looted art or property, what you really need is a knowledgeable guide and some practical strategies and tips.

Karen S. Franklin, a consultant for the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, is ready to provide them as she outlines the process to successfully explore family history records, public birth and death records, and the online sites exclusive to Jewish genealogy.

As part of the morning, hear from Sheila Wexler, president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Washington, and Sue Fialkoff, current board member of the Jewish Genealogy Association of Greater Washington, in a special panel discussion.

Wexler also conducts workshops and teaches a 4-week course in getting started in Jewish genealogy. Fialkoff is a graduate of the Boston University Certificate Program in Genealogical Research and editor of the Jewish Genealogy Association of Greater Washington's quarterly publication, Mishpacha.


9:30–10:45 a.m.  Jewish Genealogy 101

Gather the basic tools for using the genealogy database Explore the site’s component databases and tools: the family finder, community pages, discussion groups, cemetery database, memorial books, KehilaLlinks (websites for towns), Ellis Island records, Holocaust databases, Sephardic resources, and others.

11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.  Resources Close to Home

A panel discussion with genealogists from the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington highlights archives, libraries, and resources in the Washington–Baltimore area that can assist researchers.

12:15–1:15 p.m.  Lunch (participants provide their own.)

1:15–2:15 p.m.  Genealogy at Your Fingertips: Getting the Most From Online Resources

Learn to identify strategies for your research and discover many useful genealogy websites, as well as resources for Holocaust research and tracing victims and survivors. Sites such as,,,, newspaper databases, telephone directories, and even Facebook can streamline your investigations.

2:30–3:30 p.m.  Restitution  

Examine how genealogists assist museums, organizations, and individuals in locating Nazi-era looted art, books, and property, and how they trace its rightful heirs. Several cases illustrate the diversity of such claims and their importance beyond the actual return of the objects. In addition, resources for those who seek restitution of their own family property are discussed.