In Part 4 of Benefits of Membership, we dealt with the various Special Interest Groups (SIG). We will now deal with the Regional Groups (RG). Meetings of these groups are free to members of JGSGB but a charge will be made to non members which will be offset against any future subscription to the Society.
There are seven Regional Groups, which cater for those who are unable to get to our Central London location.
The Chilterns Regional Group, serving the Home counties to the North and West of London, covers members residing in the counties of Herts, Middlesex, Bucks, Beds and Berks. Regular genealogical meetings are held in the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, in Oaklands Gate, Northwood, on five weekday evenings and two Sunday afternoons during the year. All areas of Jewish Family Research are covered including a series of 30 minute Tutorials on Jewish Internet Research preceding the main evening programme.The events vary from genealogical workshops, to give attendees the opportunity to discuss their own researches, to PowerPoint Presentations with expert speakers from both within and outside the Society.
The East of London Regional Group is based in Redbridge, Essex and meetings are held on Monday evenings, every three months, at Ilford Synagogue, 22 Beehive Lane, Gants Hill. We try to cover every aspect of Jewish genealogy and our meetings are not restricted to local research but worldwide. Each meeting contains items of interest for both new family researchers and the more experienced genealogists. This is very much a self-help activity and although so much is now available on the internet we enjoy bringing people together and putting them in touch with each other. We try to provide guest speakers who are able to give informed information regarding source material.
The Leeds Regional Group, has around 30 members, some living in Leeds and the rest spread around the rest of Yorkshire. It aims to hold four events a year, a mixture of talks, workshops and visits. The next meeting will be on Monday 5th Sept., at 8pm at the UHC Synagogue, Shadwell Lane, LS17 8DW. This is jointly hosted by the Leeds Branch of the Jewish Historical Society and is a talk by Dr Nicholas Evans on “Jews at Sea – from the Haim to Luxury Cruises”. The final meeting this year will be in the afternoon of Sunday 27th Nov., at Sinai Synagogue, Roman Ave., LS8 2AN.
The Manchester Regional Group has its own library of about 150 books and a large selection of files, information sheets and booklets for research.. We also have information booklets on adoption, Liverpool Jewish archives, Manchester Jewish archives as well as some information on Leeds Jewry. We have several members who are experienced in a wide field of research. In addition to our wealth of resource material, we have a laptop computer and printer, with a good selection of databases on CDs. A few of our committee members bring their own laptops with internet access, so that websites can be viewed and tutorials take place on how to work your way through the maze of information. We hold regular workshops so that researchers can work on a one-to-one basis with our more experienced members.
The Midland Regional Group is a new venture and so far has held only one meeting on Sunday 13th March 2011. They intend holding their next meeting on Sunday 18th September and a mid-week afternoon meeting later in the year. All meetings at Birmingham Progressive Synagogue, 1 Roseland Way, Birmingham, B15 1HD. Any JGSGB member is welcome, the Midland title was only chosen because Central England or Mercia might have been misunderstood and none will be turned away.
The South East Essex Regional Group is based in Southend on Sea, Essex and meetings are held at Finchley Road Synagogue Westcliff. Whilst it is a new group the membership covers the range of genealogy from novice to many years of experience.
Members aim to help each other by sharing information and offering ideas to help breakdown brickwalls. We will provide regular meetings where members can network and share information as well as providing interesting guest speakers. We have close links with the Essex Family History Society and will share advice and experience with them whenever needed.
The South West London Regional Group was set up in the summer of 1999 when a trawl was done through the membership list, an invitation went out, and about fourteen strangers met in a very small flat in Richmond. Talk was fast and furious, we delved into a box of books on loan from the JGS library, one or two people with more knowledge of computers than the rest gave some helpful advice and offered some local hands-on-training; some people turned out to be experienced genealogists and others absolute beginners; queries, advice and suggestions were traded — and thus was set the pattern for the meetings which have been held regularly ever since, at roughly 3-monthly intervals.
Tony Benson – Blog Editor