Share the IAJGS ECHO with your local officers and members. Identify and communicate worthy issues to the IAJGS Public Records Monitoring Committee. Consider making a bid to host a 2008-2010 annual conference. Help find volunteers to assist on the IAJGS Cemetery Project. Utilize the IAJGS chat facility for JGS and other meetings online. Read the eighth annual IAJGS Jewish Genealogy Yearbook for ideas to implement in your JGS! Plan now to attend the annual IAJGS conference in New York!
Powerful tools to assist in the effective management and growth of every JGS.
IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee By Jan Meisels Allen, PRAMC Chairperson The Public Records Access Monitoring Committee (PRAMC) was created by the IAJGS Board of Directors in 2002 after recognition of increasing areas worldwide with government agencies and legislation restricting access to birth, marriage and death records. Due to IAJGS limited resources we have to limit ourselves to a few issues per year that require a major campaign to work on reducing the impediments to public records access. Issues that do not require a major campaign are addressed without limitation. The PRAMC meets by CHAT conference call 4 times a year – more if a “hot button” issue requires, and one face-face meeting at the annual IAJGS conference. There are currently 6 committee members-all of whom volunteered to serve on the committee. The IAJGS is also represented on the Federation of Genealogical Societies/National Genealogical Societies Records Preservation Access Committee. The groups comprising this committee represent the genealogical community across North America. Working together with this committee affords the IAJGS, with its limited resources, access to what is happening with records access and strengthens each of the representative organizations efforts by working collectively to retain open access to genealogically relevant documents and records. The issues the PRAMC address are truly international in scope! In the past year we have addressed the problems with records access in: · · · Canada- the release of future censuses, Romania- access to Jewish vital records, Transcarpathian area of the Ukraine- access to records -continued www.iajgs.org July 2005 one
Welcome to our newest JGS member society:
Jewish Genealogical Society of Hamilton (Ontario, Canada) President Barry Springer
elcome to the IAJGS ECHO. This publication serves as a periodic update from the IAJGS Board of Directors. We use this format to provide information about the activities of the IAJGS and also to share useful ideas that can be implemented at the local level. Topics include operations such as budget, leadership structure, volunteer recruitment, publicity, programming, and local projects. Member societies are encouraged to contribute original or reprint articles that provide exemplary examples of local JGS management. WHAT? WHY? Information about IAJGS and local JGS operations and activities. To provide better communication between the IAJGS Board and member societies. For JGS leaders to share with officers and members at the local level.
PRAMC continued · United States— vital records access in California; and US HR-10/SB 2845 which was included as part of the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Implementation Act also known as The Intelligence Reform Acta restriction as to whom may access birth certificates issued by the states.
The PRAMC has taken action on the issue of the Canadian release of censuses working with our Canadian JGS members and by writing letters on our concerns with the proposed S-18 which would permit release of future Canadian censuses (92 years after being taken) but contains the provision requiring each person to sign an “opt-in” provision, if they want their information released after the 92 years. At the time of writing this ECHO article S-18 is still in the Canadian Senate and has not yet been heard by the House of Commons. During the debate by the United States Congress on The Intelligence Reform Act, the IAJGS wrote letters to each Congressperson and Senator serving on the various committees the bills were heard in, including the final conference committee. The law as enacted, is not self-executing on the provision of concern, but requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to promulgate regulations addressing the issue of whom the states may permit access to birth certificates. IAJGS, working with the other organizations in the genealogical community, will be addressing the issue with the Secretary of Health and Human Services to get the genealogical interest heard and responding to the proposed regulations when they are available. -continued
WHERE? Posted in PDF format at the IAJGS website. A link emailed to JGS Presidents for each new issue.
Submit articles to:
Ellen Shindelman Kowitt, Editor 7933 East Maple Avenue Denver, CO 80230 USA email@example.com
July 2005 two
Annual Committees (2005):
Nominating - Sonia Hoffman, chair, Linda Cantor, Howard Margol Achievement Awards - Sylvia Nusinov, chair, Florence Elman, Mark Halpern,Jan Meisels Allen Stern Award - Karen Franklin, chair, Paul Armory, Ellen Shindelman Kowitt PRAMC continued With the change in government in the Ukraine, the Committee decided to wait one year before pursuing greater access in the Transcarpathian area. It is believed that with the new government we may have a better chance to effect change, but want to wait until the government has time to address a number of issues. The Committee has been advised that there has been some relief for researchers searching Jewish records in Romania. The committee has also been advised that others are also addressing the problem access. With the apparent loosening of the archives restrictions for Jewish research the PRAMC is waiting to see the progress before taking any further action. With the concern of identity theft increasing across the globe, and in some parts of the world the concern of release of records for other reasons, the various governments are responding by increasingly limiting access to records of genealogical value. The PRAMC role, therefore, has become more important to maintain access open for genealogists. If you learn of such impediments to access of records, please let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
HELP FIND VOLUNTEERS TO ASSIST ON THE IAJGS CEMETERY PROJECT
By Howard Margol IAJGS Board member liaison for the Cemetery Project THE NEED FOR VOLUNTEERS – Ellen Sadove Renck has been the volunteer coordinator for the IAJGS Cemetery Project for a number of years. For the past two years, she has become involved in a business venture, which severely limits her available time to maintain the cemetery project. For the past year, Kitty Cooper has been helping Ellen but she too, is quite busy and has a minimum amount of time to spend maintaining the cemetery project. Two or three additional volunteers would greatly help to spread the workload and enable the cemetery project to be kept up to date in a timely manner. THE WORKLOAD – Over 22,000 Jewish cemeteries from around the world are listed in the cemetery database. Ellen receives requests for additions, deletions, and various updates on almost a daily basis. The frequent use of the cemetery listings testifies to its value to researchers around the world. Making the necessary changes is not a simple matter because HTML is involved. WHAT A VOLUNTEER CAN EXPECT – Several hours per week to make changes to the cemetery listings would be required. If you are not familiar with HTML, Kitty Cooper and Ellen Renck will be glad to train you via email and the Internet. www.iajgs.org July 2005 three
August 13-18, 2006 – Marriott Marquis, New York, NY July 15-20, 2007 – Hilton Salt Lake City Center, UT
Jewish Genealogy Yearbook
By Hal Bookbinder The first Jewish Genealogy Yearbook was published in 1998. Prior to this, the only central reference to Jewish genealogical organizations was an annual listing published each spring by Avotaynu containing only the most basic of contact information in three to four pages. The Yearbook has grown to encompass reports on 120 organizations in about 140 pages. This valuable resource is freely available online at the IAJGS website. Additionally, a printed copy has been provided each year to participants at the IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy. This year's edition is the eighth in the series. The Yearbook serves as a reference to Jewish genealogical societies by providing convenient contact information, not only of the various JGS's, SIG's, projects, and support organizations, but also to several hundred leaders in the avocation of Jewish genealogy. Soceity leaders can use the reports of projects and programming to identify opportunities for efforts by their own society and to dialogue with others about efforts of common interest. Leaders have used the information to coordinate and share expenses for "name" speakers. Leaders use the information on publications to arrange for exchanges of journals and newsletters. Additionally, the Yearbook contains historical information on all of the conferences, past and planned, all IAJGS achievement awards, and IAJGS Stern Awards. And, this year, for the first time, the Yearbook contains information on the libraries maintained by many of the IAJGS member societies and how visiting genealogists can access them. The series of Yearbooks can even provide a history of each society, its activities and leaders, for use by subsequent generations of genealogists.
IAJGS Chat Room
By Hal Bookbinder The IAJGS Chat Room is a little known, and thus far little advertised resource. IAJGS members can freely use it to conference together via their fingers on the web. It has been regularly used by the IAJGS Board to meet in a no-cost manner, and has been used by other groups as well. Local societies can use it for closed, private meetings, as well as public ones in which anyone is welcome to drop in. The IAJGS plans to make it available on a more public basis for presentations and discussions bringing experts from distant locales directly to your computer for live chats. Watch for future announcements. www.iajgs.org July 2005 four