2016—Jewish Genealogy in Calgary: Where Do We Go From Here?
In spring 2015, while I was a Director of JHSSA, I agreed to accept the role of Chair, Genealogy. As the first person to participate in that role since the demise of the brief golden years of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Southern Alberta and the Shorashim Roots (1997-2003), I was convinced the time was right to bring back a more organized Jewish Genealogy presence in Calgary.
Our first meeting was held in June 2015. I was hoping for 20 attendees but 30 would be wonderful. The meeting was organized to see exactly what kind of response we could get and whether we indeed intuitively felt there were many out there who would support a group. I believed my one hour talk entitled Genealogy – What’s the Point? would get them into the room but it would have to be well thought out to keep them there. It more than generated the interest I was expecting. I was astounded at the turnout of 40 attendees – and even one person from Montreal! This is a great sign.
Of the 40, 22 immediately signed up to participate in future activities. Amazingly, three “new” members were from the original 1997 group of 18 members– Shauna Switzer, Shel Bercovich, and Wylma Freedman. Welcome back—it has been 8 years since the original organization was active. As well, 8 people from the original JGSSA are still active in Calgary. This was a great beginning.
My intention is to offer useful workshops in the first 4 months of 2016 beginning with Level I Beginner Level and working up from there. (See Workshop)