22 September 2019: Jewish Roots Workshop

Sunday, 22 September 2019, 10am – 6pm


Jewish Roots Workshop 2019


Our second Jewish Roots Workshop will focus on general questions of genealogy, and especially on the fate of Jewish families during the Holocaust. As last year, we also want to include your reflections on engaging with your family’s eastern European roots.

This year’s Workshop will have four sessions: 

On genealogy:

  • Michael Tobias, a former Vice-President of JewishGen, Inc; a co-founder and Board member of Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (JRI-Poland); and one of the Vice Presidents of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB), back by popular demand! and
  • Sima Velkovich, from the Reference and Information Department of Yad Vashem (Jerusalem), the internationally leading research centre for Holocaust history.

Sima will be available to search for your family on the Yad Vashem database during the workshop.

On family research:

  • Asya Gefter “Stories of Not Asking and Not Telling”. an artist and researcher’s journey into the recovery of her ancestors’ lives, disappearances, ideologies, and migrations. Asya’s findings reflect on the erasures and intersections of family and national memories in the Russian- and English-speaking worlds.
  • Dr. Sima Beeri, “Lost and Found”. Denied access to all documents about her parents, who were among the 5% of Litvaks who survived WWII, Sima knew nothing about their pre-war life – until a chance visit to the Yad VaShem archive in 2018 led to the surprising discovery of her long-lost family…

Our specialist IPJS historians of Jewish history in Eastern Europe, Prof Antony Polonsky and Dr François Guesnet, will join us again this year to continue those mutually enriching conversations between family-researchers and participants. A light lunch and coffee/tea breaks are included. 

At the conclusion of the workshop, we will screen ‘A Town Called Brzostek’, produced with the involvement of Prof. Jonathan Webber, telling the story of the reconciliation of Jewish and Polish perceptions of the past through the restoration of the local Jewish cemetery, which had been devastated during the German occupation in World War Two. 

Venue: JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET

Registration and Tickets: £45/£35 Concessions, includes morning and afternoon coffee/tea, a light lunch, and the film screening, at Eventbrite: https://jewishroots2.eventbrite.co.uk.

A limited number of Concessions are available.

Click here to download the Workshop Programme

Click here to download the Speaker Biographies