Sunday, October 18, 2015


Hi Everyone,

I will be updating our JGSO MEMBER ONLY PASSWORD PROTECTED BLOG. This is the best way we can share information. Please make full use of it. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.


Stories of Discovery Theme for IAJGS2017

October 14, 2015

Hi Everyone, 

Re: Stories of Discovery Theme 

I have a suggestion of another theme we can use for IAJGS2017. It has to do with sharing stories of discovery, connection and family quest. My genealogic explorations began 15 years ago when I started searching for more information about my father & his family, whom I didn’t know well, since he died when I was 6, his family lived hours away from us and my mother didn’t relate many details of his life. In short order, however, I found his Ellis Island entry record, grave site, naturalization, military & other documents and I became utterly captivated by the thrill of genealogic research. Other important discoveries occurred when I learned a lot about & visited the town in Poland where he was raised and also connected with 4 accomplished genealogists who were cousins hitherto unknown to me and quite willing to share branches of their tree that were relevant to me. The secrets to my success in this endeavor included the use of standard genealogic tools but notably uploading my tree to internet sites I created AND connecting & sharing with family members who got in touch with me after seeing these sites. It’s really been & continues to be an exciting adventure.

I have other ‘discovery’ stories that I can share and I’m sure that many of you also do. This is an experience that most any serious genealogist can relate to and contribute his or her own successes and methods to the dialogue. Any member of our society could be involved. I would think that a collection of these ‘discovery stories’ would be a fitting contribution to IAJGS2017 & hopefully to Jewish genealogy in general.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Growth of the Jewish Population in Russia through the 1897 All-Russia Census

 “The Growth of the Jewish Population in Russia through the 1897 All-Russia Census”
Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando Program

ORLANDO, FL, September 27, 2014 — Join the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando (JGSGO) for a program featuring genealogist lecturer, Joel Spector, “The Growth of the Jewish Population in Russia through the 1897 All-Russia Census”.

This presentation will incorporate material from both English and Russian language sources to describe patterns of Jewish population growth in Russia, beginning with early historical data. It will then trace the creation and changing designations of the Russian gubernias, and will incorporate early population data from Russian revision lists (revisie skazki). There will be some discussion of Russian laws affecting Jews in the Pale of Jewish Settlement and the legal restrictions on Jewish movement there. Acquisition of Jewish population data from the 1897 All-Russia Census for the Pale and for all of Russia will be described.

Before the presentation, you can come to ask genealogy questions from one of our mavens, to ask computer questions from one of our computer experts, or just schmooze.

Joel has been actively engaged in genealogy for over 30 years, and has been conducting research in several historic Russian language encyclopedias. He has produced a unique English language Index to the Russian language Evreiskaya Entsiklopedia. Joel is a Past President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia, where he has also been chairperson of its Russian Special Interest Group. Joel has given presentations and workshops on the Russian language, both contemporary and pre-Revolutionary, and has provided translations of documents to individuals and groups.  Joel is a former Secretary of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS), the umbrella organization for over 70 Jewish Genealogical Societies, and now serves as its Archivist.

DATE: Tuesday, October 7, 2014
TIME: 7:00pm - 9:00pm (6:30pm to meet with a maven or for computer questions or to schmooze)
ADMISSION: Open to the public. $5.00 for non-members. Free for members.

LOCATION: Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando – Roth JCC – Maitland Campus, Senior Lounge, 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751.