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•    Tuesday, June 13th - Linda Levi from the American Joint Distribution Committee speaking about the records for refugees and immigrants available in their archives (online and onsite)
•    Sunday, October 8th - Joel Weintraub (topic TBD)

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Emily H. GarberThe Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon

Invites you, your family and friends to the

May 7, 2017 @ 10:30 AM Program 

at Congregation Ahavath Achim
3225 Southwest Barbur Boulevard
Portland, OR  97239


Description:    When several communities in Eastern Europe have similar names and their names have been changed over the years, it may be difficult to unambiguously identify a family’s shtetl of origin. Considering the investment in time and energy in researching one’s family shtetl, it is imperative that we apply rigor in identifying our family’s communities of origin, as required by the Genealogical Proof Standard. With its application and a well-designed research plan, we assure that our findings are robust and our conclusions not easily challenged. We will explore applied methodology and suggested genealogical sources and techniques. Resources will include landsmanshaft burial data, online archival material, and Shoah databases toward the goal of providing tools and methods for confirming the location of one’s family shtetl in Eastern Europe.  

Bio:    An archaeologist by training (B.A. and M.A.), Emily H. Garber has been researching her Jewish ancestry since 2007 and holds a certificate from Boston University's Genealogical Research program. Her client work has included research into narrowly defined genealogical problems as well as development and writing of broadly based family history narratives. She toured family shtetlach in Ukraine and explored archives in Lviv, Khmelnitsky and Zhitomyr. She is chair of the Phoenix (Arizona) Jewish Genealogical Group, board member of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society, owner of Extra Yad Genealogical Services, and she blogs at She has served for several years as one of the moderators of the JewishGen Discussion Group and is communications director of the Ukraine Special Interest Group.


Our next program will be on Tuesday, June 13 at 7:00 PM.  The speaker is Linda Levi and she will be talking about the Joint Distribution Committee and its records pertinent to genealogy.  For a sneak peek about the JDC click here.

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Ron Doctor receives Lifetime Achievement Award

I am so happy to share the news that Ron Doctor received the prestigious IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies conference in Seattle on 11 August 2016.

IAJGS Award-1, 11 Aug 2016The text of the certificate reads:

"In recognition of his lifetime of service to Jewish genealogy through his leadership as president of the JGS of Oregon and the Kremenets District Group, Ukraine SIG leader and service on IAJGS committees. He has worked tirelessly to elevate and enhance the Ukraine SIG; energizing volunteers, nurturing the formation of numerous town research groups, made hundreds of thousands of vital records accessible and provided online availability of Ukrainian information available through an agreement with the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP) in Jerusalem. So many individuals are indebted to Ron for his help in discovering their ancestors."

Ron also received a book of support letters from, primarily, his Kremenets group members.  Please send any congratulations or statements of how Ron's involvement in genealogy influenced you. He can be reached at . Please join me in showing your appreciation and congratulations.


Barbara Hershey
JGSO President/Program Chair

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JGSO Membership dues may now be paid by
cash, check or PayPal.

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We have a new webpage full of pictures!
 Check out Pictorial Oregon Jewish History

It currently has three sections - Jewish Businesses in Oregon, Jewish Activities in Oregon and Oregon Jewish History: South Portland. More photos will be added at a later date.

You may discover some of your relatives here.  The webpage can be accessed by the above link or from any JGSO webpage by clicking on the link in the Stories sidebar.

Photos are courtesy of Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.
Feel free to comment on these photos at

(Click on each photo for a larger image)

Recent Events

Click here to see information on past JGSO programs.