Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

JGSI member to discuss impact of discovering family secrets on March 22:

  • 22 Mar 2020
  • 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm

JGSI member to discuss impact of discovering family secrets on March 22:

Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois member Steven Flack will speak on “When DNA or Documents Reveal Life-Altering Origin Secrets” at the Sunday, March 22, 2020, JGSI meeting. His presentation will begin at 2 p.m. 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 research library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions of expert volunteers before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information, see https://jgsi.org/event-3593161 or phone 312-666-0100.

Genealogists may uncover a family secret of a relative, in some cases someone’s origin story, the most fundamental and potent secret of all. This knowledge may arise from DNA test results, which link cousins across generations, or from documents that are passively obtained. In this presentation, Steven will share how to decide on and obtain the additional input you need to learn the truth. The DNA section demonstrates the “What Are The Odds” tool to triangulate unknown or uncertain parentage, as well as an empirical way to calibrate the DNA of highly endogamous families.

“An unknown family secret revelation is life-altering; it’s essential to decide whether and how to ethically and responsibly unwrap the secret,” Steven said. “I will use five riveting family secret stories, several involving parentage, along with extensive rich graphics to ensure a robust learning experience.”


A native New Yorker, Steven Flack has lived in the Chicago area since 1995. His career evolved from entrepreneurship to global product marketing consulting in Europe, Asia and Israel. Flack works as a project manager, leading diverse software developers to facilitate efficient processing of insurance claims.

Flack feels it is important that genealogists learn to maximize the efficiency of genealogy research efforts. 

At each regular JGSI monthly meeting, its “help desk” will operate from 12:30 to 1:55 p.m. 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 from 12:30 to 1:55 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.

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.

While this program is free, those who join the society have access to several valuable members-only resources on the JGSI website. They include video recordings of more than 50 presentations from past JGSI events, valuable informational handouts from past speakers, access to past Morasha newsletters containing informative articles about Jewish genealogy, and more. To learn about the benefits of joining the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, go to http://jgsi.org/membership_benefits.

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