Monday, October 5, 2020 at 7:00 pm Via Zoom

Speaker: Rabbi Gary Gans

Gary was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and served as the Rabbi of Congregation Beth Tikvah, Marlton, NJ for 35 years. In 2016 he was elevated to Rabbi Emeritus. He earned his Doctorate from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Family Counseling, a rare honor for a Jew! Gans is a licensed family therapist in NJ, specializing in family relationships, grief, and the impact of life-cycle events. He is the Rabbinic Advisor of the Crescent Memorial Cemetery, Pennsauken, NJ In his free time Gary is a sworn chaplain with his local police department.

Topic: Yizkor Books: A Great Research Tool

This presentation will focus on one Yizkor book; the one from the Trembowla area of Tarnapol of my Galitzianer family, as a microcosm of the larger genre. This one volume includes personal vignettes of the occupation and devastation commencing with World War One, the inter-war years, and then the destruction of the Shoah. Research in this Yizkor book introduced me to members of my extended family and the realities of their lives. I discovered pictures and explanations of their youth groups, Yeshivas and famous Rabbis, businesses, indices of individuals according to profession, community and family histories, maps and illustrations, along with stories of heroism and martyrdom The Necrology revealed names and location of those murdered during WWII. I will show the methodology for reading a Yizkor book and how participants can use similar works in their own genealogy investigations to deepen the quality of their family knowledge.




The Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center (PJAC) was formed through the efforts of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia many years ago. Its’ mission was to collect, preserve, facilitate research and share the story of the Jewish communities of the Greater Philadelphia area. In 2009 the holdings of PJAC were transferred to the Special Records Collection at Temple University Libraries. With the support of many philanthropic individuals, an archivist position was endowed by PJAC. With our new name (Jewish Genealogical and Archival Society of Greater Philadelphia) and mission we will continue the great work of PJAC.

We encourage you to support the archives with donations and archival material. Donations may be made to the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Collection Endowment at:
Temple University Libraries
PO Box 71340
Philadelphia, PA 19176-9761

Donations can also be made through the library website: https://library.temple.edu/policies/10

Those interested in offering a donation of books or archival material to the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Collection should send a description of those materials to:

Margery Sly, Director of Special Collections Research Center

Email: msly@temple.edu


What’s New On Our Site!

August 2020 Meeting

Judy Baston: “Finding your Litvak Family” A handout is available by accessing the menu item, Archives>Meeting Summaries and Handouts.

Cemetery Records for Har Nebo Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA. You can find these under the Menu item “Resources”, then click on  “Cemetery Data”

Miriam Weiner, our December meeting lecturer, was the subject of a recent article that appeared in the Jewish Exponent; “Genealogy Rock Star Discusses Digging Up Jewish Roots”.  The article can be found under menu item “Archives”, then click on “Newspaper Articles”.

January 2020 Meeting

For Frederic Blum’s Handout, “How to locate Holocaust Survivors Through Genealogy”, please go to the menu item, “Archives”, then click on “Meeting Summaries and Handouts”

November 2019 Meeting

A handout from Deborah Long’s Lecture can be found on our website under menu item, “Archives”, then click on “Meeting Summaries and Handouts”

October 2019 Meeting

A handout from Jordan Auslander’s Lecture can be found on our website under menu item “Archives”, then click “Meeting Summaries and Handouts”

September 2019 Meeting
Sarina Roffe’s Lecture Handout can be found on our website under menu item “Archives”, then click “Meeting Summaries and Handouts”

Rabbi Shalom Bronstein’s reflections of Congregation Beth Am Israel during the 1940’s to the 1960’s can be found under the menu item “Resources”.The synagogue was originally located in SW Philadelphia.  In 1973, the congregation moved to Penn Valley.

W. Todd Knowles’ Power Point Presentation on “Making the Most of FamilySearch for Jewish Research” can be found by going to the menu item “Archives” and clicking the “Meeting Summaries and Handouts” button.

Check out “An Ongoing History of Beth Emeth-B,nai Yitzhok Congegation” by Al Feldman. The synagogue was located in NE Philadelphia.  You can find this document under the menu item “Resources”

Other Information

“A Service to the Jewish Community Award” was given to JGSGP on May 2, 2019 by the B’nai Brith Educators Unit Charter 5290.

For information on the JGSGP (JGASGP) Library at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) look under the menu item, “Resources”.

To go directly to the our library collection at the  HSP, click here.