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This is the new website of the Jewish Genealogical and Archival Society of Greater Philadelphia (JGASGP). We used to be the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia (JGSGP) before we combined with the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center (PJAC). We invite you to enjoy our new site. There is content for paid-up members only. If you are a member, please register for access. If not a member, please join.
Our recent awards
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WELCOME! PLEASE JOIN US FOR OUR NEXT MEETING
Meetings are for paid-up members only. They will receive the Zoom link before the meeting. This special meeting will be open to the public. The Zoom link will be posted here on the morning of the lecture, October 10.
Save the date:
The Steve Schecter Memorial Lecture for 2021
Steve Schecter was a longtime member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia (JGSGP). Early on he was involved in the society’s substantial project of transcribing and digitizing the Philadelphia Jewish ethnic bank records. He organized and coordinated the efforts of hundreds of volunteers when the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) convened in Philadelphia for its 2009 conference. He was the motivating force behind the Philadelphia Area Jewish Genealogical Resource Directory. He also served as vice president of programming for JGSGP and was instrumental in making sure the society carried out its multi-faceted strategies for educating about Jewish genealogy.
Steve loved to share his knowledge of genealogy with others. He designed and taught many, many beginners and intermediate workshops, some of which took place at the JCC’s of Cherry Hill and Margate, NJ, and was slated to teach a course at Camden County College in 2014. He conducted several presentations at Senior Camp at Isabella Freedman Retreat Center in Connecticut in 2012 and 2013. He also guided countless individuals in their respective genealogical research efforts.
He was very proud of the three women in his life: his wife Mary, and daughters Meredith, and Rachel. He often recounted their various accomplishments.
Steve suffered a fatal, accidental fall while helping a friend move. His cheerful presence and generosity within our society and outreach within the genealogy community are greatly missed. We dedicate our yearly Steve Schecter Memorial Lecture in his name to remember him.
We are honored to host Dr. Robert Watson for an encore performance!
This meeting will be open to the public. The link will be posted here on the morning of the meeting.
Date: Sunday, October 10, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM check in, chat, and schmooze (optional); official program starts promptly at 1:30
Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert Watson, Historian, Author, Political Commentator, and Professor at Lynn University
Robert Watson is an award-winning author who has published over 40 books and 200 scholarly articles and essays on topics in history and politics, as well as two multi-edition, multi-volume encyclopedia sets on the presidents and first ladies. His recent books include Affairs of State (2012), America’s First Crisis (2014), The Presidents’ Wives (2014), The Nazi Titanic (2016), The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn (2017), George Washington’s Final Battle (2021), Escape (2021), a story about a notorious Confederate Prison and the Union soldiers who escaped, and the forthcoming books When Washington Burned (2022) and 100 Days of Terror, a story about a pandemic that struck the capital city in 1793. His books have won the John Barry Book Award, John Lyman Book Award, Independent Publishers’ Gold Medal in History, and others, have been published in international translation, and featured on C-SPAN’s Book TV and at prominent literary festivals around the country.
Dr. Watson co-convened several national conferences, co-founded the annual Truman Legacy Symposium for the Truman Presidential Library, and served on the boards of numerous academic associations, community organizations, and the Harry S. Truman Foundation, Calvin Coolidge Foundation, and George McGovern Center for Leadership. Watson is the recipient of many awards for his contributions to the study of the presidency, election commentary, community service, civics programs, and efforts to combat anti-Semitism and incivility.
Topic: Truman and Israel: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of Statehood in 1948
Based on a multi-year series of interviews with former aides to President Truman and former Israeli diplomats as well as extensive archival research in the Truman Presidential Library, this talk examines the behind-the-scenes politics and planning that led to Truman’s courageous decision to support the creation of the modern state of Israel, the meetings among Zionist leaders and the American president, and the inspiring commitment to a host of bilateral policy initiatives that continue to define the special relationship between the two nations to the present-day.
The Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center (PJAC) was formed through the efforts of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia many years ago. Its’ mission was to collect, preserve, facilitate research and share the story of the Jewish communities of the Greater Philadelphia area. In 2009 the holdings of PJAC were transferred to the Special Records Collection at Temple University Libraries. With the support of many philanthropic individuals, an archivist position was endowed by PJAC. With our new name (Jewish Genealogical and Archival Society of Greater Philadelphia) and mission we will continue the great work of PJAC.
We encourage you to support the archives with donations and archival material. Donations may be made to the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Collection Endowment at: Temple University Libraries
PO Box 71340
Philadelphia, PA 19176-9761
Donations can also be made through the library website: https://library.temple.edu/policies/10
Those interested in offering a donation of books or archival material to the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Collection should send a description of those materials to:
Margery Sly, Director of Special Collections Research Center
What’s New On Our Site!
Goldstein’s Landsmanshaftn Cemetery data has been added to the Resources > Cemetery Data page. Landsmanshaftn organizations provided, among other things, burial societies.
August 2020 Meeting
Judy Baston: “Finding your Litvak Family” A handout is available by accessing the menu item, Archives>Meeting Summaries and Handouts.
Cemetery Records for Har Nebo Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA. You can find these under the Menu item “Resources”, then click on “Cemetery Data”
Miriam Weiner, our December meeting lecturer, was the subject of a recent article that appeared in the Jewish Exponent; “Genealogy Rock Star Discusses Digging Up Jewish Roots”. The article can be found under menu item “Archives”, then click on “Newspaper Articles”.
January 2020 Meeting
For Frederic Blum’s Handout, “How to locate Holocaust Survivors Through Genealogy”, please go to the menu item, “Archives”, then click on “Meeting Summaries and Handouts”
November 2019 Meeting
A handout from Deborah Long’s Lecture can be found on our website under menu item, “Archives”, then click on “Meeting Summaries and Handouts”
October 2019 Meeting
A handout from Jordan Auslander’s Lecture can be found on our website under menu item “Archives”, then click “Meeting Summaries and Handouts”
September 2019 Meeting
Sarina Roffe’s Lecture Handout can be found on our website under menu item “Archives”, then click “Meeting Summaries and Handouts”
Rabbi Shalom Bronstein’s reflections of Congregation Beth Am Israel during the 1940’s to the 1960’s can be found under the menu item “Resources”.The synagogue was originally located in SW Philadelphia. In 1973, the congregation moved to Penn Valley.
W. Todd Knowles’ Power Point Presentation on “Making the Most of FamilySearch for Jewish Research” can be found by going to the menu item “Archives” and clicking the “Meeting Summaries and Handouts” button.
Check out “An Ongoing History of Beth Emeth-B,nai Yitzhok Congegation” by Al Feldman. The synagogue was located in NE Philadelphia. You can find this document under the menu item “Resources”
“A Service to the Jewish Community Award” was given to JGSGP on May 2, 2019 by the B’nai Brith Educators Unit Charter 5290.
For information on the JGSGP (JGASGP) Library at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) look under the menu item, “Resources”. To go directly to the our library collection at the HSP, click here.