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Joel Weintraub

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon
Invites you, your family and friends to its upcoming Program.
October 8, 2017 @ 10:30 AM
Ellis Island Name Change Myth And "Finding “Waldo” At Ellis Island
presented by Joel Weintraub
Ellis Island Name Change Myth
    The idea that inspectors at Ellis Island regularly Americanized immigrant names is a persistent myth.  We will investigate the evidence that should exist (it doesn’t) to confirm the story as fact, and why name changing at the station was improbable given how immigrants were processed.  The history of this immigration station, the types of people who passed through their doors, the legal documents (including their name) they came with, and station detention documents generated for about 1/6 of them, will be discussed with actual examples.  Note: be prepared to avoid deportation by Inspector Weintraub.
 Finding “Waldo” At Ellis Island
   Using a case study, we will show how nine different strategies can be used to find the immigration record of an elusive immigrant to Ellis Island.  For those who still cannot locate Ellis Island immigration records of their ancestors, this talk may provide some approaches you might not have tried.  The difficulty of providing accurate indexes from transcriptions of ship manifests is a major problem associated with many of these strategies.  We will see how well you do as a transcriber of manifest names.   
Bio:    Joel, a New Yorker by birth, is an emeritus Professor at California State University Fullerton and won awards for his science teaching.  He volunteered for nine years at the National Archives and Records Administration.   Joel created search tools for the U.S. and New York City censuses that are freely available on the Steve Morse "One-Step" website.  He and Steve are currently developing locational tools for the 2022 release of the 1950 federal census.   Joel has written and talked on NYC and Federal census research, immigration and naturalization, Ellis Island, biographical research, and Jewish genealogy topics.

“Anyone interested in participating in a living history intro for the program, please contact Barbara at ASAP.  This especially applies to actors, wanna-be actors and just general hams.”

Program begins at 10:30 AM. 
Doors open at 10:00AM with time for conversation and sharing.
Please come early if you would like help from other genealogists.
Cost: The program is free to JGSO members. We request a $5 contribution from non-members. That fee can be applied to a membership should you decide to join JGSO at this meeting.
Location: Congregation Ahavath Achim 3225 SW Barbur Blvd, Portland, OR 97239
JGSO President:
Barbara Hershey
Contact JGSO:

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.