Earlier this month a new genealogy society launched in Israel, called the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA). They are taking a new approach, with a large focus on their online presence, genealogy.org.il, which they are positioning to become a major hub of both Israeli and Jewish genealogy. In these days where so much genealogy research happens online, this new society is starting with the idea that their online presence is the center of the society’s work, and is working to make their site useful not only for those in Israel researching their families, but for people around the world who have connections to Israel, or even those who can take advantage of the many unique archives in Israel that have records of interest to Jewish genealogists worldwide.
The Israel Genealogy Research Association was founded by some of the leading genealogists in Israel (including three past presidents of the Israel Genealogical Society, current and past members of the IAJGS board, and contributors to the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy), and you can expect that there will be a lot of great content on the site as time goes on (in addition to the great stuff already there). There are resource guides for different countries, videos of lectures, and live webinars are coming soon.
Some of the founders of the new society include, in alphabetical order:
- Rose Lerer Cohen, co-author of The Holocaust in Lithuania 1941–1945: A Book of Remembrance, past editor of Sharsheret Hadorot and professional genealogist.
- Rose Feldman, who ran the IGS website for nine years. She has lectured at IAJGS conferences, annual seminars of the IGS and their branch meetings. She will be responsible for developing databases for the new society.
- Daniel Horowitz, chief genealogist of MyHeritage.com and member of the IAJGS Board of Directors. See his Resource Guide on Jewish Research in Latin America (free registration required).
- Martha Lev-Zion, past member of the IAJGS Board of Directors, founder and president of the Negev Genealogical Society and past president of the Latvia SIG of JewishGen.
- Esther Ramon, founding president of the Israel Genealogical Society and first editor of Sharsheret Hadorot.
- Garri Regev, past president of the Israel Genealogical Society.
- Jean-Pierre Stroweis, past president of the Israel Genealogical Society and member of the academic committee of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy. See his Resource Guide for researching Jewish Ancestors in Poland (free registration required), as well as a video of him being interviewed (in French) about genealogy in Israel on the web site.
- Mathilde Tagger, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS), member of Founding Committee of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy, author and lecturer on Sephardic genealogy.
- H. Daniel Wagner, co-chair of the 2004 IAJGS conference held in Jerusalem, member of Academic Committee of International Institute for Jewish Genealogy. See his new article Passover Break – Fifth Episode (free registration required) on the web site.
This is only a partial list of the founding members of the new society. I have also been involved in the creation of the society’s web site, genealogy.org.il, which explains a bit while my posts to this blog have slowed down lately.
If you have any interest in Israeli genealogy, or even just Jewish genealogy, I suggest checking out the new site (genealogy.org.il) and registering to insure you receive updates on what is going on on the site.
If you use Facebook (facebook.com/israelgenealogy) and/or Twitter (twitter.com/israelgenealogy) I also recommend you follow the new society through those services as well. The new group tries its best to answer questions on the Facebook page, and sents out links to interesting resources through its Twitter account on a regular basis.
So do me a favor and go to genealogy.org.il, register for the site, take a look around, and let me know what you think in the comments below. Think the site needs to be improved? How? Think it’s great? awful? groundbreaking? boring? Let me know.
Want to contribute something to the site? Send me an e-mail, or send a note through the site’s Contact Us page.