The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) is planning what may be the largest genealogy conference of the year in North America. If not the biggest, it certainly will be one of the longest. This six-day event will be held August 13-18 in New York City, hosted by the Jewish Genealogical Society (of New York). Yes, you read that right: SIX DAYS.
Conference-goers will attend organized activities over six days from early morning to late at night, and most will network over a meal or coffee. Many are expected to arrive before opening day or stay later to carry out research in New York's many archives and libraries.
This year's conference promises to offer presentations for everyone from absolute beginners to professionals. This conference also is an important method of showcasing the field's achievements and new resources, presented by experts, including university academics, archive directors, and museum staff. Conference speakers are expected from many countries, including Australia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and the U.S. Topics to be covered include Sephardic genealogy, Polish resources, travel for the genealogist, and a series of Russian topics to assist the large New York Russian émigré population. Panels of experts will focus on Eastern European cemetery restoration, teaching genealogy for all ages, and DNA, genetics and genealogy.
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies also has arranged for hotel rooms at a discount for conference attendees at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York, at 1535 Broadway (45th Street and Broadway).
Attendees already registered will arrive from 13 countries with the US, Canada, Israel and Australia in the lead, followed by Uzbekistan, Greece and Ukraine. In the US, attendees come from 28 states - about 20 percent from New York, followed by California, Florida, and Maryland.
Conference co-chairs Linda Cantor and Hadassah Lipsius have the welcome mat out for genealogists and their families to have a great time in the city. Cantor invites researchers from around the world to attend the conference, and also to "enjoy the many wonderful things that New York City offers."
"We have some of the world's best libraries, archival institutions, theaters, museums, cultural opportunities and shopping," adds Lipsius. The Marriott Marquis venue in Times Square, provides easy access to everywhere in the area.
The opening speaker will be the Ninth Archivist of the U.S., historian and author Dr. Allen Weinstein, while award-winning writer and Columbia University professor of journalism Samuel G. Freedman, author of six books, including Who She Was: My Search for My Mother's Life, will speak at the banquet.
Many special interest groups (SIGs) covering geographical and topical interests plan meetings, programs and luncheons at the event. They enable members of the mainly online communities to meet in person, present new resources or information, and share research on common names and places. Litvak SIG, JRI-Poland, Belarus SIG, and the Sefard SIG are only some of those meeting
Special evening programming includes noted pianist and conductor Zalmen Mlotek, Folksbiene Yiddish Theater executive director. An internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theater music, Mlotek will perform European and American songs on Jewish life, including folksongs, immigration, the Yiddish theater, and vaudeville.
You can find much more information about the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies' conference at http://www.jgsny2006.org. The presentations already scheduled are listed at http://www.jgsny2006.org/sessions.cfm and more are still being added.