Schedule of Upcoming 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 were conducted on the Zoom. Starting May 15, our meetings will be in-person AND online whenever possible and safe.
Sunday, September 18, 2022 at 1:30 pm
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.
Sunday, October 23, 2022 at 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
Hybrid meeting format to be announced.
Topic: Documentary Film: Carl Lutz Dangerous Diplomacy (52 minutes)
Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz used his government position and bureaucratic expertise to rescue tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest Hungary who were in danger of deportation to Auschwitz during World War II.
We are also hoping to have Bryan Boorujy, Dangerous Diplomacy Director and Eric Saul, Historian and Founder of Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats Project to speak after the movie and answer our questions.
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 – In-person venue TBD
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 at 11:30 am
In person Special Event honoring founding President Harry Boonin
Location: Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park, PA
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.
Date: Sunday, January 8, 2023 via Zoom
Speaker: Menachim Kaiser, author
Topic: Book Talk: Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure
Location: ZOOM co-hosted with JGS of Montreal
Menachem Kaiser is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. His debut memoir, Plunder, won the 2022 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and was named a New York Times’ Critics Best Book of the Year.
Topic: Book Talk: Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure
From a gifted young writer, the story of his quest to reclaim his family’s apartment building in Poland — and of the astonishing entanglement with Nazi treasure hunters that follows.
Date: Sunday, January 29, 2023 at 1:30 pm
Speakers: Jacky Comforty, Award-winning documentary filmmaker, oral historian and media creator and Martha Bloomfield, Award-winning author, oral historian, and artist
Jacky is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning documentary filmmaker, oral historian and media creator who has worked for over thirty-five years creating films and videos in the United States, Germany, Israel and Bulgaria. He has worked on groundbreaking films in Holocaust Studies. He is the director, editor, producer and distributor of three full-length documentaries and a dozen short videos about the Holocaust.
MMartha is an award-winning author, oral historian, artist and independent scholar who has written several books about immigrants, migrants and the formerly homeless. In an effort to help dissipate prejudice and discrimination, she conducts oral histories to discover people’s voices and stories to share within the social historical contexts with other people.
Topic: Book Talk – The Stolen Narrative of The Bulgarian Jews and The Holocaust
The speakers share a complex tapestry of voices and memories previously underrepresented, ignored and denied. It is an alternative perspective that includes stolen, silenced but now reclaimed Jewish narratives based on our peoples’ experiences. It contextualizes and personalizes the history, reconstructs the puzzle, praises those who helped the Jews and shares their exemplary acts of humanity for future generations. It fills a void in the Bulgarian Holocaust literature–specifically first-hand accounts of memory of survivors, eyewitnesses, photographs, official publications, laws, and newspaper articles. They will also talk about the importance of oral histories and their journey together to write this ground-breaking book.