Our 2022 Events

Please note: Meeting times, dates, locations and speakers are subject to change.

Information is regularly updated. 

Due to the Corona virus situation, our meetings this year will be conducted on the Zoom until it is safe to meet as a group.




Sunday, January 2, 2022

Time: 1:00 PM check in, chat, and schmooze (Optional)

Official program starts promptly at 1:30

Speaker: Gil Bardige, Experienced Genealogist and Speaker

Topic: “Help!  I just got my Autosomal DNA Results and I’m Confused” Part 1


Gil Bardige has been a genealogist for over 40 years, with 14 years of experience in DNA. He has spoken at many JGS as well as at IAJGS. You may have heard him speak locally or assisted you at mentoring sessions. He has tested at all 4 major companies and is a Project Administrator or Co-Admin at FTDNA for 3 projects including Jewish R1b.

Prior to retirement, Gil was Business Development Executive for Trane, traveling nationally for nearly 12 years making presentations to Fortune 250 corporations. Gil is high-energy, humorous, speaks clearly & makes sure that the audience participates.


Topic: Help!  I just got my Autosomal DNA Results and I’m Confused”


This presentation will provide specific guidance on how to use DNA/Genetic Genealogy as an effective tool in your genealogy tool belt. Gil will provide examples from the four major DNA testing companies to clarify ethnicity estimates and give a detailed review of what matches mean at each company. He will outline the recommended steps to take for prioritizing and making contact with your DNA matches. The end goal is to have your match help with your family tree and, hopefully, provide information, photographs, documents, stories, etc., that you don’t already have. Gil will review the DNA tests available, what you can expect from the results, and who should test. At the end of the presentation, you will be able to say, “Now I get it…. I know what to do.”  This is for beginners and people who tested and are just overwhelmed and frustrated.

Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Via Zoom


Speaker: Sydney Cruice Dixon, Professional Genealogist, Writer, and Lecturer

 Sydney F. Cruice Dixon is a professional genealogist, writer and national lecturer. She is a faculty member for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research of the Georgia Genealogical Society. She is also the Program Coordinator and a faculty member of the Researching Family in Pennsylvania Institute of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. In addition, she developed the curriculum and teaches the Foundations of Genealogy courses at HSP.


She is the current President of the Association of Professional Genealogists for the Greater Philadelphia Area Chapter, and she serves on the Genealogy Advisory Committee for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


Sydney cofounded the Greater Philadelphia Genealogy Consortium in 2017 – an organization that encourages the growth and cooperation between genealogy and historical organizations in the greater Philadelphia area


Topic: Analyzing Evidence and Sources for Genealogical Research – 

Forming Sound Genealogical Conclusions and Maximizing Indirect Evidence

In the first part of this program we will discuss the key elements of genealogical sources, information, and evidence. We will break down the necessary methods to properly analyze and interrupt the information contained in your family’s records. We will discuss how the storage of a record can affect the credibility of its contents. In the second part of this program we will look at case studies in order to examine the more sophisticated issues of source evaluation. We will look at the research methods necessary to extract all the information contained in genealogical sources.  We will explore how to assemble and combine pieces of information from various sources to form sound genealogical conclusions and maximize indirect evidence.

Sunday, February 13, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Via Zoom


Speaker: Mark Olsen, Family Tree Maker Ambassador

with Stefan Harms – Family Book Creator and Pierre Clouthier – Charting Companion


Mark Olsen is the Family Tree Maker Ambassador to historical and genealogical societies around the world working to support their members as they use Family Tree Maker. Mark is a graduate of Brigham Young University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Family History with a Spanish records emphasis. He has been working in the genealogy industry since 2007 and has been the Family Tree Maker Ambassador since 2016.


Topic:  What’s New in Family Tree Maker Q and A Discussion


Join us for a live discussion and Q and A session to answer all your questions about Family Tree Maker, the latest version, updates, features and more. This is an interactive session. We love to see you and discuss all your Family Tree Maker questions.


We will also talk about Family Tree Maker partner products – Charting Companion and Family Book Creator – both are amazing plug-ins that can help you create amazing charts, graphs, and books. We will even show how you can make additional finds with your DNA test results.  The creators of these partner products are often able to attend with us and answer your questions directly.


This class is for all levels of genealogists whether you are just getting started or very experienced.

Please allow a 2-hour block for this meeting. Mark Olsen has presented us with a suggested schedule.

JGASGP meeting Introduction – 5- 10 mins

Mark Olsen – Family Tree Maker overview, update and Q&A – remaining portion of 1st hour

Stefan Harms – Family Book Creator – 25 minutes

Pierre Clouthier – Charting Companion – 25 minutes

The FTM team will stay until all your questions are answered*

Wrap Up and Door Prize – last 10 minutes


As this virtual event is intended to be a discussion and sample Family Tree Maker User Group meeting, we ask that unless there is a technical reason, please leave your cameras on. Everyone will be muted excepted the presenters.  I will monitor the chat for questions in real time during the discussion.

We will also provide a Family Tree Maker discount link prior to the event.  This is not a meeting to promote sales.

You must pre-register with me if you want to be entered to win a prize.

*Our meetings are for members only. Go to our website www.jgasgp.org for membership and detailed programming information. Contact me for any questions. New memberships run through December 31, 2022. We have a great free Beginners Guide on our website. We also have a member’s only portal that is more inclusive.  Check us out!



Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Via Zoom


Speaker: Serafima Velkovich, Head of Yad Vashem’s Family Roots Research Section


Serafima Velkovich is the Head of the Family Roots Research Section in the Reference and Information Department of the Yad Vashem Archives division. She has been working at Yad Vashem for 17 years. She is also a PhD Candidate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.   Serafima was closely involved in the work on names material in Yad Vashem`s databases. At the same time, the main research field is family roots. She lectures on the use of Yad Vashem resources for genealogical and other research to various groups, as well as to visiting genealogists and organizations who make use of genealogical tools for their research.  She participates in international conferences and films on Holocaust topics.


Topic: The Central Database of Shoah Victims Names and Other Genealogical Sources at Yad Vashem


Over 4.8 million of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices are commemorated in Yad Vashem’s online Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names. The lecture will highlight new features and materials, as well as “tips” on utilizing the database to the fullest.  It will also include guidance on the use of other Yad Vashem sources online that are relevant for genealogists.

Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Via Zoom


Speaker: Gil Bardige, Experienced Genealogist and Speaker



Gil Bardige has been a genealogist for over 40 years, with 14 years of experience in DNA. He has spoken at many JGS as well as at IAJGS. You may have heard him speak locally or assisted you at mentoring sessions. He has tested at all 4 major companies and is a Project Administrator or Co-Admin at FTDNA for 3 projects including Jewish R1b.

Prior to retirement, Gil was Business Development Executive for Trane, traveling nationally for nearly 12 years making presentations to Fortune 250 corporations. Gil is high-energy, humorous, speaks clearly & makes sure that the audience participates.


Topic: “Help! Part 2 the Next Steps…”


If you have watched and practiced Gil’s processes in the presentation he gave to the Society on January 2, you are no longer a beginner. So you have followed the formulas and prioritized your matches; you have made contact with the matches and added everyone to your tree (probably not) but you are now ready to participate in Part 2.  Learn about how to mitigate any confusion you found during your journey in Part 1 as you go through the prioritizing process.  See the exceptions you found and how to deal with them.  We review things like one single long segment; known relatives that are exceptions to the rules; and the key next steps like building trees for only the key matches if you can’t find one online (are you sure you can’t find them?).  We introduce and discuss, Pile-Up Regions, Genetic Clusters, and by example 2 case studies of how I use my own processes to complete my research.  A video of the first session and a handout are available to members.

Sunday, April 24, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Via Zoom


Speaker: Steve Morse, Creator of One-Step Website


Stephen Morse is the creator of the One-Step Website for which he has received both the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Outstanding Contribution Award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, Award of Merit from the National Genealogical Society, first-ever Excellence Award from the Association of Professional Genealogists, and two awards that he cannot pronounce from Polish genealogical societies.


In his other life Morse is a computer professional with a doctorate degree in electrical engineering.  He has held various research, development, and teaching positions, authored numerous technical papers, written four textbooks, and holds four patents. He is best known as the architect of the Intel 8086 (the granddaddy of today’s Pentium processor), which sparked the PC revolution more than 40 years ago.


Topic: One-Step Webpages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools


The One-Step website started out as an aid for finding passengers in the Ellis Island database.  Shortly afterwards it was expanded to help with searching in the 1930 census.  Over the years it has continued to evolve and today includes about 300 web-based tools divided into 16 separate categories ranging from genealogical searches to astronomical calculations to last-minute bidding on e-bay.  This presentation will describe the range of tools available and give the highlights of each one.

Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 2:00 pm (NOTE LATER TIME)

Congregation Rodeph Shalom

615 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19123


Speaker: Rich Venezia, an expert in the research of 20th-century immigrant ancestors


Rich Venezia is a New Jersey native who now calls Philadelphia home. He founded Rich Roots Genealogy in 2013. He was a member of the research team of Genealogy Roadshow (PBS) for two seasons, and also consulted on Follow Your Past (Travel Channel). He is an expert in the research of 20th-century immigrant ancestors, especially underutilized record sources and federal records. He also specializes in Italian and Irish research. Additionally, he assists clients with dual citizenship applications for Ireland and Italy, and is a proud Italian dual citizen. He holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. He lectures nationwide, and spoke about “How to Grow Empathy From Uncovering Your Roots” at TEDx Pittsburgh 2017.



Topic: USCIS Genealogy Program: Certificate Files (C-Files)

This lecture will examine the ten different sub-series of C-Files, which document naturalizations or repatriations of individuals from 1906 – 1956, currently available through the USCIS Genealogy Program. It will also introduce A-Files, and specifically discuss when naturalization records would be found in A-Files instead of C-Files, and how to order records from the USCIS Genealogy Program.

Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 3:30 pm (NOTE LATER TIME)

Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel
8339 Old York Rd, Elkins Park, PA 19027


Speaker: Jerry Zaks, Child of Two Survivors


Jerry Zaks is a 2nd Generation Survivor. After retiring in 2016 from a successful career in IT and computer programming, Jerry started a quest of researching and documenting the history of his parents’ experiences and hardships growing up in Poland in the 1930’s. Utilizing the computer and internet skills learned during his career he has spent over 4+ years assembling a detailed presentation which bears witness to his parents’ story.


Topic: Recovering the Past: Researching the Fate of One’s Family in the Shoah


Jerry will share the amazing details of his family’s Holocaust experiences and present his journey into personalized family Holocaust research, with strategies and suggestions for those who wish to dive into their own family histories.


Sunday, July 10, 2022 at 1:30 pm



Speaker: Hal Bookbinder, Genealogical Writer and Lecturer



Hal is a retired information systems professional who has been actively researching his genealogy for more than 35 years. He has identified over 4,000 relatives, tracing two lines to the mid-1700s in modern Ukraine. Hal has written and spoken on border changes, migration, citizenship, safe computing and unique research techniques. He has held a number of leadership positions in the Jewish genealogy community and continues to publish a series of articles on safe computing (http://www.tinyurl.com/SafeComputingArticles).


Topic: Bookbinder’s Restaurant, Philadelphia


Samuel Bookbinder opened an oyster house in 1893 that became Bookbinder’s Restaurant. Samuel was a Dutch Jewish immigrant who arrived in 1855 at the age of three. In the 1920s his son, Emanuel, a rather colorful individual, ended up in jail over Prohibition violations. In 1941 John Taxin purchased Bookbinder’s and further raised its notoriety. The next generation of the Bookbinder family then opened a rival Bookbinder’s Restaurant. In order to differentiate the two, Taxin renamed his restaurant “Old Original Bookbinder’s.” This talk will share the story of the early Bookbinder family in Philadelphia, Emanuel’s run-in with the Feds and the rivalry between the two Bookbinder’s Restaurants.


Hal’s family story indicated that they might be related to the Bookbinders of Philadelphia. Hal researched this, even interviewing a descendant during the ‘8th National Seminar on Jewish Genealogy’, held in Philadelphia in 1989. Alas, he does not appear to be related.


Sunday, September 18, 2022


HANDOUT: https://jgasgp.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Handout-Bootleggers-PDF-JGASGP-2022.pdf


Location: Hybrid meeting – Main Line Reform Temple 410 Montgomery Ave, Wynnewood, PA and online

Speaker: Sharon Taylor, Writer, Researcher, Speaker, and JGASGP Member

Sharon is a writer, researcher, and speaker with a lifelong interest in Jewish genealogy. She graduated from Cornell University with a BS degree in Industrial and Labor Relations. For ten years, Taylor worked as a Professional Research Assistant at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She is a member of Gesher Galicia and the Jewish Genealogical and Archival Society of Greater Philadelphia and is included in their Speakers Bureau. Her articles have been published in both organizations’ journals, on The National Library of Israel Blog, and in Jewish newspapers in Philadelphia and Arizona.

Topic: Bootleggers and Bawdy Houses: Jews and Crime in early 20th Century Philadelphia

When writer and researcher Sharon Taylor went looking for the criminals on her own family tree, she discovered the colorful history of the Jewish Mob in early twentieth century Philadelphia. Particularly during Prohibition, crime among Jews in Philadelphia flourished. This talk walks participants through the clues that Taylor followed to learn about the criminals in her extended family using the U.S. Census, vintage newspapers, and collections at the Philadelphia City Archives. Taylor also highlights some of Philadelphia’s most notorious Jewish gangsters.

Date: Sunday, October 23, 2022

Time: 1:00 PM check in, chat, and schmooze (Optional) Official program starts promptly at 1:30

Location: Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Topic: Documentary Film: Carl Lutz Dangerous Diplomacy (53 minutes)

Speaker: Eric Saul, Historian and Founder of Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats Project
Agenda for the meeting: Felicia Alexander, President, JGASGP: Welcome and introduction
Val Kogan, President, Mid-Atlantic – Eurasia Business Council and founder of Philadelphia’s Carl Lutz commemoration: Carl Lutz’s connection to Philadelphia and Introductions of speakers
Eric Saul: Founder and Executive Director of Visas for Life and Institute for the Study of Rescue and Altruism in the Holocaust: Who is Carl Lutz and what did he do.
Bryan Boorujy, Director, Michael Moehring, Director and Chris Easterly, Screenwriter of Dangerous Diplomacy: Introduction of Film Carl Lutz: Dangerous Diplomacy

Film: Carl Lutz: Dangerous Diplomacy (53 minutes)
Q&A from both in-person and virtual audiences: Bryan Boorujy, Michael Moehring, Eric Saul

Eric Saul Bryan Boorujy
Michael Moehring
Chris Easterly

Date: Sunday, November 13, 2022
Time: 1:00 PM check in, chat, and schmooze (Optional) Official program starts promptly at 1:30
Speaker: Andrew Zalewski, Author, Speaker, and Galicia Historian

Hybrid meeting – On Zoom and in-person at Main Line Reform Temple, 410 Montgomery Ave, Wynnewood, PA 19096

Andrew Zalewski is past vice president of Gesher Galicia and a frequent speaker at meetings of Jewish genealogical societies and cultural and academic institutions in the US and abroad. His interest and writings have focused on Jewish cultural transformation, educational access, modernizing impact of Jewish physicians, and Jewish political and legal rights in Galicia. Unique archival records—population surveys, maps, and old newspapers—provide the background for his in-depth description of Galicia.


He authored two books on Austrian Galicia: Galician Trails: The Forgotten Story of One Family and Galician Portraits: In Search of Jewish Roots, in which he traced the story of his ancestors in a historical context.


Andrew Zalewski is retired cardiologist and a former professor of medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. After leaving academic practice, he held executive positions in pharmaceutical industry, focusing on global collaborations to advance new healthcare solutions


Topic: The Path To Modernity: The Jews of Galicia


Join us for a fast-paced journey through the centuries of Jewish experience on the path to modernity. The talk untangles confounding borders of Eastern Europe and the ways how Jewish lives continued to evolve there over centuries. The narrative takes us from a traditional communal autonomy to the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah); and then, from increasingly diverse Jewish cultural identities and politics to pressure to emigrate and through the crisis of the First World War. We explore these topics with a focus on Austrian Galicia, home of the largest Jewish community within the Austrian Empire.


The family-history researchers will find several threads connecting the talk with genealogy: surnames, marriage laws, languages, interethnic relations, and schools just to name a few. The presentation—based on a four-part course by Dr. Zalewski at Gratz College—is illustrated by short biographical profiles, unique archival records, and maps.

Date: Sunday, December 11, 2022, check in at 11:00 am, program begins at 11:30 am. An in person Special Event honoring founding President Harry Boonin
Location: Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park, PA


This meeting is for registered and pre-paid members only. This Includes a brunch and a special presentation by Music Historian Daniel Goldmark entitled History of Jews in American Popular Music and Rock and Roll.


Daniel Goldmark works on American popular music, film and cartoon music, the history of the music industry, and popular music. He is a professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio where he is the head of Popular Music Department and the Director of the Center for Popular Music Studies. He is the series editor of the Oxford Music/Media Series from Oxford University Press, and is the recipient of a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Goldmark also spent several years working in the animation and music industries.

Reservations are closed.