Were one to look at the life project of Dr. Jeffrey S. Malka, there would be no other conclusion than that he would be honored with The Lifetime Achievement Award from the IAJGS. Dr. Malka, while he worked full time as an orthopedic surgeon (now retired), almost singlehandedly blew life into Sephardic Jewish genealogy. Before his efforts, those searching their Sephardic Jewish roots were most often frustrated, uncertain about where to turn, ignorant of the next step to take and thoroughly convinced that genealogy was not for them, that it could never help them search their ancestors.
Dr. Malka created, maintains and updates http://www.SephardicGen.com, the Sephardic genealogy resources website. It is inconceivable that a novice Sephardic researcher would know where to go or how to proceed in their search without first using this website or Jeff Malka’s prize-winning book Sephardic Genealogy: Discovering your Sephardic Ancestors and their world, Avotaynu 2002. It was awarded “Best Reference Book of the Year” for 2002 by the Association of Jewish Libraries. In addition, this book has been enlarged and updated in a second edition, which came out in 2009.
Jeff Malka is Mr. Sephardic Jewish Genealogy: there can be no question about it. His expertise is recognized and requested at various international venues around the world, from the Library of Congress to Istanbul, Turkey via Barcelona, Spain. How wonderful it is that the IAJGS recognizes Dr. Malka for his contribution as the Sephardic Jewish Genealogy expert and has given him their 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Lifetime Achievement Award to Jeff Malka states: “This award honors your pioneering work in Sephardic genealogical studies. You have provided focus, resources and leadership to the study of Sephardic genealogy. Your writing, websites and lectures have opened doors for researchers by making both methodology and information accessible to all. You have reminded the entire Jewish genealogy community of our diversity. You have served on many committees of Jewish genealogy organizations at the local and international level. High standards and your generosity in sharing your time and knowledge underscore every one of your many accomplishments.”
In his acceptance remarks Jeff said, “I accept the award not only for myself but on behalf of the many Sephardic genealogists from whom I have learned so much. I consider myself fortunate if I have contributed to an increased awareness of Sephardic history and genealogy and to our common Jewish ancestry. Thank you all very much.”