Another Conference,…….Another Year – Posting 5

Coneference burnout is now beginning to take hold.  The intensity of an International Jewish Genealogical Conference cannot be underestimated.  It is not just the meetings and lectures that you attend that tire you but the never-ceasing socialising and networking.  We have spent most of our free time in the company of friends that we have made over the years.  Catching up with their discoveries, talking about developments in Jewish genealogy and just chatting.  The days are long and eventually you reach that point where you need to have a rest.  So this morning I had a lie-in – bliss!

I am now in a session covering old Jewish communities along the Rheine in southern Germany.  The lecturer is Joachim Hahn, who is not Jewish but has been very much involved in Jewish research since the 1970s when he spent time on a Kibbutz in Israel.  Joachim runs the Allemannia Judaica website – - which contains lots of information about former Jewish communities mostly in southern Germany and links to many specific town and cemetery websites.  The presentation given can be downloaded at

The main event for me yesterday was the IAJGS Annual Meeting.  This is where the Presidents/Chairmen of Jewish Genealogical Societies and other organisations get together and receive reports on the activities of IAJGS and also elect Board members and Officers.  This year it was the turn of the election of the Officers and I was elected to be the Secretary to the Board.  This is a very responsible position and I hope that I will be up to doing it justice.  We are at a very important time of change in the genealogical world and the new IAJGS President, Marlis Humphrey, has many ideas for how IAJGS and its member organisations will move forward.  Social networking and greater levels of outreach over the internet are areas that will be explored.  It is going to be an interesting ride.

Immediately after the Annual Meeting I went to a session on using GoToWebinar.  This is one of the new ways of communicating that IAJGS and member organisations are using already.  JGSGB has been using GoToWebinar for a year now to deliver education sessions over the internet.  There are many ways in which this facility can be used and connect members to meetings and lectures when they are thousands of miles away from the actual meeting.

This afternoon I will be introducing Todd Knowles’ talk on the Knowles Collection as part of the IAJGS Live! streaming of the conference.  I do hope that some JGSGB members and other readers of this blog will have taken advantage of the IAJGS Live! streaming and will have seen how good the lectures are.

I encourage all those interested in Jewish genealogy to go to at least one Conference in their life just to experience how wonderful they are.

Mark Micholls


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