Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dear Members and friends of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami:

Here we are: Concluding the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami activities for 2016.
To be exact, 26(!) events consisting of our monthly events during the year at the Jewish Federation of Greater Miami as well as events where we collaborated with the community.

I would like to thank the Temple Beth Am Library, Bet Shira Congregation, Beth Tov Ahavat Shalom, Miami Dade public Library in Pinecrest and at Aventura . and the Genealogical Society of Greater Miami for sharing many of these activities.

The coming year 2017 also promises to be creative and exciting, especially if we take into consideration that the IAJGS international Conference will be held in Florida (Orlando) in July.
If you have not done  so, please renew your membership now or, if you are not a member, please fill out the application* and join us.

Your support will enable us to enrich our community as well as yourselves to preserve our Jewish heritage.

We wish you all a very happy New Year.

Yoram Millman
JGSGM President

*Application and the address for renewal/joining is shown on our website

Monday, December 26, 2016

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

These days everyone seems to keep in touch via social media.  So does the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami (JGSGM)—after all, we’re on Facebook!  But I think that it’s time for a Presidential Blog.

“Why,” you might ask?  We have a website. We get frequent e-mail notices about events.  The society’s newsletter BRANCHES reports twice a year on the contents of meetings and carries articles and comments our members write.  What purpose would a Presidential Blog serve?
The Presidential Blog wouldn’t replace any of these.  It  would serve as a “clearinghouse” for the new kinds of projects our organization has begun to launch—projects that might appeal to just a few of our members at a time.  The blog will post information about them in “real time” so you can participate in ones that might interest you.  I suspect more of you would become actively engaged if a project were “right up your alley.” You could also use the blog to post questions about the project before it starts, suggest ways to tweak it so it includes issues you want to know about.  The blog could help members with similar interests “discover” one another; arrange convenient times to meet, and so forth. 
I have in mind projects like small-group, hands-on workshops narrowly tailored to a particular method of genealogical research or to a particular Jewish community. A few such groups are already underway (but it’s not too late to join).  Examples are “How to find information about Ashkenazi Jews who immigrated to South America?” and “How to research possible relatives in Israel.” Participants could use the blog to share preliminary discoveries or to ask for help with brick walls.  Members outside the small group might be able to offer help or else get an insight that would aid their own work.  Or decide they need a small-group project for what they’re working on, posting on the blog to find like-minded members.
The Presidential Blog will also call for “just-in-time” volunteers—a few here, a few there—for some of our other recently launched projects.  So far, these mostly involve our cooperation with Beit Hatfutsot—the Museum of Jewish People in Tel Aviv.  You’ve heard of them before, and I’ll be blogging in much more detail in the future.  But for now, let me just sketch some activities the blogs might ask you to participate in.  How about an opportunity to talk one-on-one (and have recorded) stories from local Jews whose genealogical memories should be preserved?  How about helping our Society find such interesting people? Or what about helping youngsters and older folks interact to foster learning between generations, and perhaps even lure the kids and their families into genealogy.  (Future members, right?)  What about helping a novice member get started?

And, of course, the blog will ask for volunteers when the Society or its established Committees need volunteers on an ad-hoc basis. Individuals could use the blog to ask the membership if anyone can help with a particular question.  We could even post comments on topics relevant to Jewish genealogy. 

In other words, what I am trying to say is that we have great members, some already motivated, active volunteers ready to help and share their talents.  We need to let you know what they are up to and to share this information with you when it happens—not six months later. I see the blog as an evolving platform that will enhance communication among us.

Here’s to expanding the JGSGM social network with the Presidential Blog!  Each time I blog, you will receive an e-mail link to it on the JGSGM website  I invite each of you to read it, comment, and become more active in our Society. 

Let the blogging begin!
Enjoy the Holiday! 

 Yoram Millman
JGSGM President