LitvakSIG of the JewishGen (JG) held the first ever Special Interest Group (SIG) one day seminar in Israel on the 2nd of April 2008 at Beth Hatefutsoth – the Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora in conjunction with the Israel Genealogy Society. The aim of the seminar was to increase the awareness of LitvakSIG of JewishGen amongst Israeli researchers; focusing on the SIG’s importance in its contribution to furthering individual and general Litvak research. It gave also researchers the opportunity to share experiences and pool resources.
Lithuanian research overlaps to a large extent with South Africa and the other Baltic States, thus the Litvak links with Latvia and Africa gave researchers the of these areas an opportunity to meet and discuss their research and also to learn of new research opportunities.
The varied program touched on a number of aspects of Litvak research. Dr. Rose Lerer Cohen introduced JG LitvakSIG. Dr. Martha Lev-Zion approached the subject of overlapping research between Lithuania and Latvia. Rabbi Dov Sidelsky spoke about the research methods he used for his book on the Zilber family and their descendants and the town of Musnik/ Musninkai and Dr. Rose Lerer Cohen discussed the South African Litvak Connection.
The program also included a panel of archivists including: Rochelle Rubinstein – Deputy Director of Archival Affairs, The Central Zionist Archives, Hadassah Assouline – Director of The Central Archive for the History of the Jewish People andHaim Ghiuzeli - The Douglas E. Goldman Jewish Genealogy Center at Beth Hatefutsoth.
A highlight of the seminar was when each participant introduced himself and as we broke for the first tea/coffee break researchers with a common interest gravitated towards each other in the true sense of “birds of a feather”.
The one day seminar was enjoyed by all. JG LitvakSIG plans to hold another workshop in Israel, and all those interested should contact David Hoffman, President, LitvakSIG at DBH12345@aol.com or Dr. Rose Lerer Cohen at email@example.com