Meetings are for paid-up members only. They will receive the Zoom link before the meeting.

Sunday, February 21, 2021 via Zoom

1:00 pm Check-in, Chat, and Schmooze. Program starts promptly at 1:30

Guest Speaker: Miriam Weiner, Genealogist, Author and “Creator of the Consolidated Eastern European Archival Database”

In 1989, Miriam Weiner accepted an invitation from the Polish National Tourist Office to visit the Polish archives as preparation for arranging genealogy tours to Poland. That visit led to a 30-year career working in the archives of Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine. On December 15, 2019, Miriam Weiner will give a presentation about her extraordinary and unpredictable odyssey as she “walked in the footsteps of her ancestors.”

In 1991, “The Jewish Week” in New York referred to Miriam as “The genealogist who lifted the archival iron curtain” and in 1998, “The Forward” referred to her as “The Indiana Jones of pre-war Polish Jewry.”

We are very lucky to have our Lifetime member join us for a special encore presentation!


Searching the new Surname Database

Miriam Weiner Introduces New Surname Database with 2,000,000+ names at her Website!


From 30+ years of working in the archives of Eastern Europe, I have acquired hundreds of various document collections and have formed a close working relationships with archivists on all levels which continues to this day. During the last 2 years, I have created a surname database (searchable via standard search and OCR search) which enables the researcher to access Holocaust name lists, vital records, census lists, school records, property lists, various telephone & business directories, most of which does not appear elsewhere online. Written permission was obtained from archivists, authors and institutions for me to create data files & publish this information. The data entry is ongoing. Additionally, at www.rtrfoundation.org, a town name search can produce: 1: archive data for that town, 2: images of the town, and 3: link to street map of the town. A surname search can produce 1: document results with that surname, 2: link to a street map, and 3: links to town images. All in a single search!


Date:  Sunday, February 28, 2021 Via Zoom

Time:  1:00 check in, chat, and schmooze.   Official program starts promptly at 1:30

Guest Speaker:  Leora Tec, Founder and Director, Bridge to Poland https://bridgetopoland.com/about-leora

Leora Tec is the founder and director of Bridge To Poland, which seeks to educate people about Jewish history in Poland with an emphasis on how the Jews of Poland are being remembered by non-Jewish Poles today. Leora is the Special Projects Partner of Brama Grodzka-Teatr NN in Lublin, Poland and a Mary Elvira Stevens Traveling Fellow from Wellesley College (2018-2019). In cooperation with Brama Grodzka-Teatr NN Leora has created the online video archive, The Neshoma Project: Conversations with Poles Rescuing Jewish Memory. Leora sits on the board of the American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies. She is the author of several articles including “Bridge Building in the Polish Jewish Landscape in Jews in Dialogue (Brill 2020) and the forthcoming, “An Inclusive Model of Memory Work in Poland: Bridge To Poland as a Case Study” with Professor Jolanta Ambrosewicz-Jacobs in the Polish journal Politeja.  Leora’s mother, Nechama Tec, is a Holocaust survivor and Holocaust scholar whose book, “Defiance,” was made into the film of the same name starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber. Leora holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and a J.D./LL.M. from Duke University School of Law.

Topic:  What is there for Jews in modern day Poland?  An Introduction to The Neshoma Project

As we know, ninety percent of Polish Jews were murdered during World War II. It’s understandable that some people, especially Jews of Polish descent, might have reservations about going to Poland, the site of such vast pain and loss. And yet, Poland is an integral part of Jewish history.

Leora Tec has travelled all over Poland having conversations with non-Jews who, in different ways, are remembering the Jews who used to be their neighbors. Those interviewed, working to heal historical wounds, come from many different fields including: scholarship, teaching, guiding, grassroots activities, museum work and the arts.

Date:  Sunday, March 7, 2021 Via Zoom

Time:  1:00 check in, chat, and schmooze.   Program starts promptly at 1:30

Guest Speaker:  Joel Spector

Joel is a Past President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia, where he has also been chairperson of its Russian Special Interest Group. Joel has given presentations and workshops on the Russian language, both contemporary and pre-Revolutionary, and has provided translations of documents to individuals and groups. Currently Joel is a member of the Ukraine Research Group and serves as its Director of Metric Record Projects. Joel has been actively engaged in genealogy for over 30 years and has been conducting research in several historic Russian language encyclopedias. He has produced a unique English language Index to the Russian language Evreiskaya Entsiklopedia.

Topic: “Finding Your Ancestors: How to Get Started and Where to Go.”

The presentation will focus on how to find information about your ancestors, both those you know and those you didn’t even know you had. We will explore what data is immediately available and review what information can be derived from the many types of resources – local, national and international – and from on-line resources. Throughout, we will focus on the excitement in discovering information about your little-known ancestors and on the various types of information that make the search in Jewish genealogy fun.


This special workshop is free and open to the public. The link for the Zoom program will be published here.

Date:  Sunday, April 11, 2021 Via Zoom

Time:  1:00 check in, chat, and schmooze.   Program starts promptly at 1:30

Guest Speaker:  Ellen Kowitt https://www.ellenkowitt.com/

Ellen is Director of JewishGen’s United States Research Division and National Vice Chair of the DAR Lineage Committee Jewish Task Force. She is past president of JGS Colorado and JGS Greater Washington DC, has served on the IAJGS board of directors, and been recipient of IAJGS Program and Stern Awards. Ellen publishes articles in Avotaynu: The International Journal on Jewish Genealogy and Family Tree Magazine. Ellen is a member of the Colorado Chapter Association of Professional Genealogists, she accepts clients, and lectures often. Currently, Ellen is participating in the ProGen 46 study group cohort and was recipient of the UGA Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship for SLIG 2021. For the dates of upcoming lectures or more information, visit www.EllenKowitt.com.


Topic:  “Comparison of Jewish Resources on the Giants; Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast, JewishGen, & MyHeritage.”

Enjoy this comparative overview of Jewish record collections and research tools on the global powerhouse websites referred to as “Genealogy Giants.” This lecture has been updated to reflect the ever-changing content found online and many record examples will be shared. Learn about how each site can be especially helpful for documenting Jewish families and get tips on each site’s best features or challenges, including how JewishGen collections found on Ancestry.com differ from comparable collections originating on JewishGen.org, both in content and in the search experience

Date:  Sunday, May 2, 2021

Time:  1:00 check in, chat, and schmooze.  Program starts promptly at 1:30

Guest Speakers: To Be Determined

Topic:    Genealogy in the round…Ask the Experts

Date:  Sunday, June 23, 2021

Time:  1:00 check in, chat, and schmooze.    Program starts promptly at 1:30

Guest Speaker: TBA



All meetings are for paid members only. Please see our website for additional membership information.www.jgasgp.org or contact mazergoldenjgsgp@gmail.com



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!

October 2020

Goldstein’s Landsmanshaftn Cemetery data has been added to the Resources > Cemetery Data page. Landsmanshaftn organizations provided, among other things, burial societies.

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.