Jewish Genealogical Conference to Meet in Philadelphia August 2-7, 2009
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) 29th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will meet August 2-7, 2009 at the Sheraton Philadelphia (PA) City Center Hotel (www.philly2009.org). The conference is co-sponsored by the IAJGS and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia (JGSGP). Advance registration is available only online and can be completed at http://www.philly2009.org/registration_information.cfm. More than 800 professional and amateur genealogists from around the world will attend hundreds of programs and take advantage of extensive resources to help families discover their roots.
The distinguished French priest, author, and humanitarian, Father Patrick Desbois, will be the keynote speaker at the opening session of the 29th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Philadelphia, Sunday, August 2, 2009. His speech will be, “The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 million Jews,” which is also the title of his book.
The grandson of a deportee to the Nazi Rawa Ruska forced-labor Camp in Ukraine, Father Desbois is best known for his work in searching for and uncovering mass graves in Ukraine and for his book, The Holocaust by Bullets. “My book is an act of prevention of future acts of genocide,” Debois said. Winner of the B’nai B’rith International Award for Outstanding Contribution to Relations with the Jewish People, Father Desbois is secretary to the French Conference of Bishops for Relations with Judaism, advisor to the Cardinal-Archbishop of Leon and advisor to the Vatican on the Jewish Religion. Father Desbois is the president of YAHAD-IN UNUM (www.yahadinunum.org), whose mission is to increase knowledge and cooperation between Catholic and Jews.
The conference presents informative programs for both the beginner and experienced genealogists. Whether you can trace your family to the 17th Century or are not sure where your grandparents were born, there are sessions and resources to help in your quest.
“Philadelphia has a rich and lengthy Jewish history, so it is appropriate for the IAJGS to meet here,” said David Mink, conference co-chair. “Our program will include sessions with a Philadelphia flavor, as well as access to many of the Jewish resources that Philadelphia has for genealogy enthusiasts.”
The conference will also include a Jewish film festival, workshops on Jewish food and cooking, and sessions including Jewish music and Yiddish theater.
Anne Feder Lee and David Mink, Conference Co-Chairs Chairs@philly2009.org