Nu? What's New?
The E-zine of Jewish Genealogy From Avotaynu

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 21, Number 25 | June 21, 2020

Every government puts value on preserving its history. That is why we have national archives. Genealogy preserves history; the history of a family. It cannot be done without access to records, just as historians cannot preserve a nation's history without access to records. It is a greater good than the right to privacy. It is a greater good than the risk of identity theft.

Past issues of Nu? What's New? are archived at
Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.

Happy Father’s Day!!

IAJGS Announces First Virtual Conference, August 10–13
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) announces its 40th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be a virtual conference for the first time, held Aug. 10–13, 2020.

“Given COVID-19, we are unable to hold our usual in-person conference, but are excited with the possibilities in continuing to offer our broad array of presentations and meetings on a virtual platform to our diverse audiences worldwide, from first-timers to conference veterans,” said Robinn Magid, conference chair.

Brainstorming and Connectivity will be the focus of four days of live, streamed sessions on broad topics presented as plenary sessions, panels and webinars. Meeting rooms will be provided for Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Birds-of-a-Feather (BOFs) to help gather our worldwide audience. The Pre-Recorded Video Archive available to conference registrants for up to 60 days after the virtual conference will offer an even wider range of specialized presentations beyond the scheduled, live sessions.

The speaker roster includes some of the biggest names in genealogy, including Kitty Munson Cooper (; Janine Cloud (; Crista Cowan (; W. Todd Knowles (Family Search); Daniel Horowitz (My Heritage); Schelly Talalay Dardashti (My Heritage & Tracing the Tribe) and Randy Schoenberg ( & Jewish Genealogy Portal).

Early Bird Registration is now open June 21 through July 5 on the Conference website at

The Conference is hosted by IAJGS, an umbrella organization of more than 90 Jewish genealogical organizations worldwide. The IAJGS coordinates and organizes activities such as its annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy and provides a unified voice as the spokesperson on behalf of its members.

The IAJGS’s vision is of a worldwide network of Jewish genealogical research organizations and partners working together as one coherent, effective and respected community, enabling people to succeed in researching Jewish ancestry and heritage.

Find the IAJGS at: and like them on Facebook at

New Jewish Genealogical Societies in Colombia, New Hampshire (US) and New Zealand
Nolan Altman, IAJGS Vice President of Membership Development, reports there are three new Jewish Genealogical Societies located in Colombia, New Zealand and the U.S. state of New Hampshire.

The Sociedad Genealogica Judia Colombiana (SGJC), which has been meeting since February, is an affiliate of the Confederacion de Comunidades Judias de Colombia in Bogota. They are working on their upcoming schedule of virtual meetings. For more information about the group, contact President Lia Sragovicz at

The Jewish Genealogical Society of New Zealand has been meeting since last year. Meetings were held in person, but due to the COVID-19 virus, the last membership meeting was held via the internet. Although meetings are for members only, they gladly welcome first-time visitors without requiring them to be members. Since the group serves the entire country, membership meetings are always accessible to members via internet access. For more information about the group, contact the group’s Secretary, Kerry Aluf at .

The Upper Valley Jewish Genealogy Society (New Hampshire) will continue to hold meetings next month via Zoom. Their next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, July 12 at 1:15 EDT. Starting at 1:15 representatives from the group will go over group business and host an informal discussion of their members’ latest discoveries and questions before the featured speaker’s presentation at 2pm. The presentation will be given by Ruth Craig, one of the group’s members and a certified genealogist. Her topic is “An Introduction to the Resources of Family Search.” The presentation is designed for people who are not familiar with the website or would like to brush up on the resources and tools available on the site. To register for this meeting, or for more information on the group itself, contact President Marilyn Roberts at

A list of all Jewish Genealogical Societies can be found at

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) was formed in 1988 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. IAJGS is an umbrella group of organizations which provides a common voice for issues of significance to its members, to advocate for and educate about our genealogical avocation, and to coordinate items such as the annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy.

If you are interested in forming a Jewish Genealogical Society in your area, contact Nolan Altman at

Lecture: Privacy and Genealogy: What Are the Rules?
The latest in the series of JewishGen Talks webinars will be “Privacy and Genealogy: What Are the Rules?” presented by E. Randol Schoenberg. The lecture will be given on June 24 at 3pm ET.

Privacy remains a huge issue for many genealogists and their family members, and the legal landscape concerning records access is constantly changing. Personal genealogy websites, as well as online collaborative trees, offer different levels of privacy protections.

In this JewishGen Talk, Schoenberg will discuss the varied approaches to the question of privacy, focusing especially on ethical considerations. For example, how should a genealogist respond if someone says he/she does not want to be on your online tree? Should minors be allowed to use online genealogy platforms? Can the right to privacy ever be reconciled with online collaborative genealogy? Register in advance at After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about how to join the webinar. For information on other JewishGen Talks webinars, go to

Concerns About the Accuracy of the 2020 U.S. Census
One of the consequences of the current pandemic is that some people have been forced to relocate. This can lead to incorrect population counts in the 2020 U.S. census.

An online article notes, “People are supposed to report where they were living on April 1. Yet many left their usual residences to move in with parents, adult children, other relatives or friends; some fled to second homes; nearly 20 million college students vacated dorms or apartments; tens of thousands of inmates were granted early release; and nursing homes experienced high death rates from COVID-19, leading to no responses from deceased people who should have been counted on April 1.”

The article notes that these highly unusual circumstances are likely to result in failures to count, double-counting or counting in the wrong place portions of the population. The article can be read at

FamilySearch Adds More Than 9M Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, more than 9M index records, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, French Polynesia, Liberia, Micronesia, Niue, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, S. Africa, United States and Zambia.

Included are nearly 2M United States, GenealogyBank Historical Newspaper Obituaries, 1815–2011, 1.3M Connecticut death records 1640–1955 and 175K Connecticut Naturalization Records, 1795–1942.

Note that at the website, announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date. Also note that counts shown in the announcement are the number added, not the total number available in the collection, which can be greater.

New Collections at
Ancestry has added/updated the following record groups at their site. The list with links to individual collections can be found at Announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date. There is also no indication of how many records were added to the updated collections.

New Collections
Louisiana, Tombstone Inscriptions, 1812–1970
New Mexico, Select County Marriage Records, 1905–1999
Dresden, Germany, Crematorium Registers, 1911–1952

Updated Collections
Somerset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1531–1812
Tennessee, Enumeration of Male Voters, 1891
Berlin, Germany, Marriages, 1874–1936

Additions to FindMyPast This Week
   • England BillionGraves Cemetery Index. More than 106,000 records added.
   • British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers’ Medical Records. More than 2,000 new records added.
   • Britain, Royal and Imperial Calendars 1767–1973. More than 1.2M records added
   • Nicaragua Civil Registration 1809–2011. More than 287,000 new civil registrations of births, marriages and deaths.

The complete announcement can be found at british-nicaraguan-records.

Attend the 40th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
Visit the website at
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