Day two of the conference started early with a meeting with delegates from places in the USA, Canada, South America and Japan to talk about setting up new Jewish Genealogical Societies. The meeting was very good and we are looking forward to soemthing coming out of the discussion and seeing new societies at next year’s conference. Moving backwards to yesterday we had a busy day. I didn’t attend any lectures but was involved in one as a presenter, long with Jan Meisels Allen and Marlis Humphrey of IAJGS. That was on managing Jewish genealogy societies and it was well received. We put forward lots of ideas for people to consider and showed where useful information and advice could be found. At the same time there was a Share Fair, where there was a United Kingdom table to help delegates with their queries about researching in the UK. I managed to spend about an hour on the table along with Arlene Beare. Todd Knowles and Jeanette Rosenberg also helped on the table during the afternoon. We dealt with a lot of queries and were able to point people in the right direction to do their research. The Share Fair was also part of the IAJGS Live! stream, with Jordan Auslander and Dick Eastman interviewing attendees and stand members. Look out for postings from Jrodan and Dick about the IAJGS 2013 Conference!
After the Share Fair I attended the IAJGS President’s reception, meeting the Presidents of various other Jewish Genealogical Societies and people from Special Interest Groups. This was a chance to find out how things were going in other organisations and I found that the Ukraine SIG was making strides in accessing and transcribing records from the archives there. Following the reception we all went to the official opening session where the Conference Co-Chairs and the IAJGS President welcomed us to Boston and the conference. There was also a Keynote speech from Aaron Lansky about the work he and others have done on rescuing and making Yiddish language books available. The speech was very entertaining and also very informative and uplifting. There were stories about old Jewish people passing on their books to Aaron and wanting him to eat each time. So several visits during a day meant having to eat lots and lots. He learned to bring along two other people, with one of them being made the “Designated Eater”. The work done by Aaron has resulted in the setting up of the Yiddish Book Center – see www.yiddishbookcenter.org for what they do and what is available. The work on translation and electronic searching of Yiddish literature will be of great interest to genealogists and historians as many of the books include memoirs and factual information.
So far the conference is working well (apart from the queues for the lifts/elevators!). Delegates are taking to going down to go up…
Now I am in a session on Records Access as a facilitator, introducing the speakers. The topic is a very hot one, with big things happening in Europe on unifying Data Protection legislation across the EU and also about Social Security Death Index in the USA.