Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois 



 

JGSI Programs  
Detailed meeting location information and map/directions are located at the bottom of this page.

Upcoming events

    • 16 Dec 2018
    • 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Temple Beth El
    Registration is closed

    Amateur genealogist Zalman Usiskin will share “Stories about Things I’ve Learned from Doing Genealogy” at the Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, special luncheon meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. His presentation starts at 2 p.m.

    To order the $10 kosher lunch, either click on the Register button in the box or email us at info@jgsi.org or call 312-666-0100. Choose from kosher veggie wrap, or tuna salad or turkey sandwiches. Lunch orders are due by Wednesday, Dec. 12, at noon.

    Participants are welcome to attend the free presentation without joining the group for lunch. The sandwiches and the JGSI research library and genealogy help desk will be available starting at 12:30 p.m.

    Zalman Usiskin, our luncheon speaker, has been interested in the genealogy of the various branches of his family since he was a teenager. Over the years, he has compiled trees on three of his four grandparents with a total of more than 4,800 named relatives. On his paternal great-grandfather’s line he has names of more than 1,000 descendants of Usiskins all over the world but has never been able to definitively verify that any are blood relatives.

    Usiskin, born in Chicago, is an emeritus professor of mathematics education at the University of Chicago. In his field, he has given talks in all 50 states and 27 foreign countries and been a major speaker at national and international conferences. This will mark the third time that he has spoken at a JGSI meeting. In 2002, he spoke about writing and distributing a family tree book. In 2015, he gave three examples about putting together genealogical information into a coffee table book for distribution to relatives.

    This time, Usiskin will tell a variety of stories that relate to almost anyone doing Jewish genealogy and he will raise interesting questions. Some (not all) of the questions: What original documents can be trusted? How might a person today find cousins from the Pale of Settlement who survived World War II? Can you marry your cousin and, if so, where can you do that? Do we really have as many 3rd and 4th cousins as the DNA companies and their websites suggest? Particularly for us in Illinois, why did so many of our ancestors come to Chicago? Along the way in his talk will be interesting and sometimes poignant stories that underscore why so many of us delve into the genealogy of our families.

    While this program is free, those who join the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois have access to several valuable members-only resources on the JGSI website. They include video recordings of more than 30 presentations from past JGSI events, valuable informational handouts from past speakers, and access to past Morasha newsletters containing informative articles about Jewish genealogy. To learn more about the benefits of joining the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, go to http://jgsi.org/membership_benefits.

    At each regular JGSI monthly meeting, a genealogy “help desk” will operate prior to the main program. Member volunteers will access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows.

    The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a limited time. All are available for perusing at each regular monthly meeting before the main program begins.

    For more information about the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois or the JGSI schedule of future events, visit http://jgsi.org/ or phone 312-666-0100.

    • 27 Jan 2019
    • 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm

    Tina Beaird to speak at Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois meeting:

    “Courthouse Finds” will be the topic of a presentation by genealogist Tina Beaird at the Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. Her presentation will begin at 2 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill.


    Courthouses are great resources for personal family history. Probate files, chancery cases, land sales and lawsuits are just a few of the types of records one can find in local courthouse files. Tina will share tips and tricks for family researchers to identify and secure these records.

    Tina Beaird is the owner of Tamarack Genealogy and is a genealogy and local history librarian at the Plainfield Public Library. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree with a specialization in archives/preservation from Dominican University. She has won multiple research and digitization grants to preserve and digitize historic documents and photographs.

    Currently, she is a board director of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, the Northern Illinois Historic League and the Illinois State Historic Records Advisory Board as well as a commissioner for the Illinois World War One Centennial Commission. Tina is also an active member of the Society of American Archivists and the American Library Association. She volunteers, as time permits, for Illinois history and genealogical societies.

    Tina lectures at the national, state and local levels on topics including genealogical methodology, military records and archival preservation. She has offered assistance to researchers for over 15 years and occasionally still finds time to conduct her own family research, which she has been pursuing for over 20 years.

    The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. for those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions from genealogy expert volunteers before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information, see jgsi.org or phone 312-666-0100.

    At each regular JGSI monthly meeting, its “help desk” operates from 12:30 to 1:55 p.m. Member volunteers access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows.

    The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a limited time. All are available for perusing from 12:30 to 1:55 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.


    • 24 Feb 2019
    • 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm

    Marty Fischer to share family history writing tips at Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois meeting:

    Genealogist, copy editor and writer Martin Fischer will give a presentation called “Write It! Tips for Saving and Sharing Family History in Written Form” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois meeting at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill.


    The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. for those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions from genealogy expert volunteers before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information, see jgsi.org or phone 312-666-0100.

    In his presentation, Marty Fischer will discuss the many different forms genealogical writing can take, describe the writing process and explain how to organize a piece of family history writing. He will offer tips on writing problems to avoid and suggest possible topics family historians may want to write about.

    His presentation will include a brief introduction to the pre-writing techniques of outlining, mind-mapping and stream-of-consciousness rough drafting. He will also explain the value of focusing on a topic by creating a thesis statement and share a few examples from his own family history.

    Martin Fischer has been doing family history research since the 1970s and created an extensive family history website, martinfischer.webs.com, which he started in 2004. The vice president of publicity for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, he is also a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, St. Louis Genealogical Society, American Copy Editors Society and the Editorial Freelancers Association.

    Fischer has written articles for the St. Louis Genealogical Society Quarterly; Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy; Morasha: The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois newsletter; Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, Archives.com and Chicago Tribune.

    He works part-time as a copy editor for the Chicago Tribune’s Production and Design Studio and as an adjunct faculty member of the City Colleges of Chicago. Until a couple years ago he also taught introductory college writing and sociology courses for the University of Phoenix.

    At each regular JGSI monthly meeting, its “help desk” operates from 12:30 to 1:55 p.m. Member volunteers access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows.

    The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a limited time. All are available for perusing from 12:30 to 1:55 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.


    • 24 Mar 2019
    • 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm
    Tammy Hepps will give two presentations: “The Margarine Moonshiners from Minsk” and “Conducting Story-Driven Research” at the Sunday, March 24, 2019, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. His presentation starts at 2 p.m.


    • 28 Apr 2019
    • 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm
    Barry Finkel will speak on “Three Hershberg Mysteries” at the Sunday, April 28, 2019, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. His presentation starts at 2 p.m.


    • 02 Jun 2019
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill.
    Four-presentation Midwest Conference on Jewish Genealogy co-chaired by Wendy Hauser and Mike Tarkoff at the Sunday, June 2, 2019, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill.


    • 23 Jun 2019
    • 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm
    Annual meeting with Kvell and Tell at the Sunday, June 23, 2019, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. The presentation starts at 2 p.m.


    • 21 Jul 2019
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm
    Hold the date - details to come for the Sunday, July 21, 2019, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois.


    • 25 Aug 2019
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm
    Hold the date - details to come for the Sunday, August 25, 2019, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois.


    • 15 Sep 2019
    • 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm
    Sarina Roffé will speak on a Sephardic topic at the Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. Her presentation starts at 2 p.m.


    • 27 Oct 2019
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm
    Hold the date - details to come for the Sunday, October 27 2019, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois.


    • 17 Nov 2019
    • 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm
    Curt B. Witcher of the Allen County Public Library will speak  at the Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. The presentation starts at 2 p.m.


Past events

18 Nov 2018 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland—What’s New” For 2018
14 Oct 2018 Resurrecting Grandpa’s Store
26 Aug 2018 “Research Genealogical Resources in Israel From Your Couch”
29 Jul 2018 “Researching Individuals with United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Resources”
24 Jun 2018 “Kvell and Tell” session
30 May 2018 “A DNA Discussion with a DNA Devotee”
29 Apr 2018 Two Talks: “Gesher Galicia" and "Galician Portraits”
08 Apr 2018 “A DNA Discussion with a DNA Devotee”
11 Mar 2018 "Filling in the Blanks on My Jewish Family History"
04 Mar 2018 Techniques for Using Jewishgen.org
18 Feb 2018 “Researching Jewish Ancestors on Ancestry Library Edition”
21 Jan 2018 “Insight into FamilySearch and The Wilmette Family History Center”
19 Nov 2017 Sunday, November 19, 2017 “My Mother’s Life in Cuba: In Her Own Words”
22 Oct 2017 Sunday, October 22, 2017“Apple Does Not Fall: Shtetl Cousins Meet Iron-Curtain Cousins”
27 Aug 2017 Sunday, August 27, 2017 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland-What’s New”
16 Jul 2017 Sunday, July 16, 2017 “Choosing the Right Family Tree Software” and “What’s New at Ukraine SIG”
25 Jun 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 “Kvell and Tell” session
21 May 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 “DNA Presentations"
07 May 2017 Sunday, May 7, 2017: JGSI in the West Suburbs. Agenda:Online tools.
26 Apr 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 “Document and Share Your Genealogy Now!”
19 Mar 2017 Sunday, March 19, 2017: West Suburban Chapter JGSI: Watch a JGSI presentation called “Genealogy is Easy, Fascinating, and Fun: How I Found the Feldmans”.
19 Mar 2017 Sunday, March 19, 2017 “Making the Most of the County Clerk’s Genealogy Resources,”
22 Feb 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 “Getting Started in Genealogy”
19 Feb 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 “Getting the Most Out of MyHeritage”
22 Jan 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 “Genealogy is Easy, Fascinating, and Fun: How I Found the Feldmans”
20 Nov 2016 Sunday, November 20, 2016 “Archivist with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, will describe the court’s archival holdings.”
30 Oct 2016 Sunday, October 30, 2016 “Techniques for Using Jewishgen.org”
25 Sep 2016 Sunday, September 25, 2016 “Putting the Flesh on the Bones” and “Evaluating Evidence: Asking a mini-Minnie Question.”
28 Aug 2016 Sunday, August 28, 2016 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland-What’s New”
09 Aug 2016 JGSI Dinner in Seattle, Washington
31 Jul 2016 Sunday, July 31, 2016 "Specifics of Hungarian Jewish Genealogy - Historical Background and a Practical Guide"
17 Jul 2016 Sunday, July 17, 2016 “Getting Started in Genealogy”
10 Jul 2016 Sunday, July 10, 2016: “Discover Your Family Genealogy.”
26 Jun 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 “Kvell and Tell”
05 Jun 2016 Sunday June 5th, 2016 Greater Chicago Jewish Festival
22 May 2016 Sunday, May 22, 2016 “Cadastral Maps as a Genealogical Resource”
17 Apr 2016 Sunday, April 17, 2016 “German Jewish Genealogy: A Case Study”
07 Apr 2016 Thursday April 7, 2016 Newberry Library Tour & Research
13 Mar 2016 Sunday, March 13, 2016 “The Children of La Hille: Eluding Nazi Capture During World War II.”
14 Feb 2016 Sunday, February 14, 2016 “Jewish Genetic Genealogy - A Study in Endogamy”
31 Jan 2016 Sunday, January 31, 2016 “Genealogy Research & Book Research Have a Lot in Common”
22 Nov 2015 Sunday, November 22, 2015 “Making the Dead Dance: How to Breathe Life into Your Ancestors”
01 Nov 2015 Sunday, November 1, 2015 “Getting Started in Genealogy”
25 Oct 2015 Sunday, October 25, 2015 “The Greenebaum Family: From the Rheinpfalz to Chicago”
27 Sep 2015 Sunday, September 27, 2015 "Tour of Zion Gardens Cemetery"
30 Aug 2015 Sunday, August 30, 2015 “Jewish Genetics”
09 Aug 2015 Sunday, August 9th. Stepping Stones to Researching Your Family's Jewish Roots
19 Jul 2015 Sunday, July 19, 2015 “Family History: Caring for Your Treasures”
06 Jul 2015 35th IAJGS Conference in Jerusalem July 6-10, 2015
28 Jun 2015 Sunday, June 28, 2015 “Kvell and Tell” session
07 Jun 2015 Sunday, June 7th. JGSI Conference 2015
20 May 2015 Wednesday, May 20, 2015 “Online Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland: What’s New?”
26 Apr 2015 Sunday, April 26, 2015 “Finding Frida: My Mother’s First Cousin, a Holocaust Survivor”
29 Mar 2015 Sunday, March 29, 2015 “Clued-In: The Stories are in the Details”
22 Feb 2015 Sunday, February 22, 2015 “Making a Family Tree Coffee Table Book”
25 Jan 2015 Sunday, January 25, 2015 “How I Do Genealogy: Starting Research and Beginning to Gather Information”
23 Nov 2014 Sunday, November 23, 2014 "Reconnecting with My Lithuanian Roots”
26 Oct 2014 Sunday, October 26, 2014 Out of Chaos: Hidden Children Remember the Holocaust
19 Oct 2014 Sunday, October 19, "Getting Started in Genealogy"
28 Sep 2014 Sunday, September 28, 2014 “Using FamilySearch.org and the Family History Research Center”
24 Aug 2014 Sunday, August 24, 2014 “Treasures in Print: Finding and Using Historical Newspapers”
28 Jul 2014 JGSI Dinner at IAJGS Conference in Salt Lake City
23 Jul 2014 Wednesday, July 23, 2014 “Looking Outside the BMD Box for Your Mother and Aunts: A Case Study Based on Eretz Israel”
20 Jul 2014 Sunday, July 20, 2014 “My Cousin the Murder Defendant”
29 Jun 2014 Sunday, June 29, 2014 "Ethical Wills-Values Handed Down Through Our Genealogy"
18 May 2014 Sunday, May 18, 2014 “Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors’ Arrival Records Online”
04 May 2014 Sunday, May 4, 2014 JGSI beginners' workshop
27 Apr 2014 Sunday, April 27, 2014 "Why am I stuck? 10 Solutions to Common Genealogical Brick Walls."
30 Mar 2014 Sunday, March 30, 2014 “Locating Israeli Relatives and Holocaust Survivors: Search Strategies and Integrating Resources”
16 Feb 2014 Sunday, February 16, 2014 "The Mystery of the Green Dumpster,"
26 Jan 2014 Sunday, January 26, 2014 "From Babylon to Skokie: A Short History of Ashkenazim"
24 Nov 2013 Sunday, November 24, 2013 Chicago's West Side Jews vs. South Side Jews
27 Oct 2013 Sunday, October 27, 2013 More, Much More Than Fiddlers on the Roof!
29 Sep 2013 Sunday, September 29, 2013 Beginners’ Genealogical Workshop
25 Aug 2013 Sunday, August 25, 2013 Remembering Jewish Lawndale
28 Jul 2013 Sunday, July 28, 2013 Researching Your Chicago Ancestors
30 Jun 2013 Sunday, June 30, 2013 My Cousin, The Gangster
09 Jun 2013 Digging Deeper: Researching Our Ancestors With Technology
19 May 2013 Sunday, May 19, 2013 Spreadsheets 101: Excel, the Genealogist's Underutilized Tool
28 Apr 2013 Sunday, April 28, 2013 “The Lemba Jewish Community of Zimbabwe”
17 Mar 2013 Sunday, March 17, 2013 Editor, writer and genealogist Martin Fischer will speak about “Finding Living Relatives”
24 Feb 2013 Sunday, February 24, 2013 "Rumbula’s Echo” focuses on the Rumbula forest murders
27 Jan 2013 Sunday, January 27, 2013 Ask the Experts
Monthly Meetings are usually held at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook.
Please check
for any changes in venue by reading the event details, which has the event location.

The Temple will open at 12:30 pm for the help desk and library. JGSI members will be available to help answer genealogical questions, help with Internet searches, and help in the library.
Scheduled programs will begin at 2:00 pm.

Link to map showing location of Temple Beth-El.Select link to view map of Temple Beth-El

Want reminders about our meetings and events?

Email info@jgsi.org and request 'Email meeting and events reminder"

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