IGRA played a central role in the recent 35th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy held in Jerusalem. Of the 1000 participants IGRA had over 100 at the Conference and more than 35 joined our ranks during the Conference! Twenty-six of the speakers were IGRA members as well.
The Conference had many high points from the Opening Keynote session with Gilad Japhet and Rabbi Israel Meir Lau to the Gala Banquet with Dick Eastman and the Jerusalem Barbershop Ensemble.
The programming began with the Shabbaton before the Conference with Rabbi David Golinkin and special trips to Machane Yehuda, Kiryat Moshe and the Israel Museum. Exploration Sunday allowed many the opportunity to research at Yad VaShem, the Central Archives of the History of the Jewish People, the Central Zionist Archives and the National Library of Israel. Tours also went out to Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and up north to Caesarea, Zichron Ya’akov and Ein Hod. Many enjoyed the night out in Jerusalem – as the Taste of Jerusalem took them to the Sound and Light show at the Jaffa Gate, the Darna restaurant and walking tours.
The excitement could be felt in the hallways bustling with hundreds of participants interacting with one another and enjoying the lectures, the SIGs and BOFs, the Exhibition Hall, the Resource Room and the meetings with various experts.
Friday brought an additional group to the Conference area as we opened up a special help center, sponsored by MyHeritage, to the general public. They enjoyed lectures on how to begin their research and assistance in beginning their family tree.
As always, awards were presented at the Banquet. All IAJGS member societies are invited to nominate deserving societies and individuals for these awards. This year a new category was instituted – IAJGS Member of the Year – and IGRA is proudly the first recipient!
Our thanks to the many, many volunteers and to the organizers – and of course to all the participants.
We recommend taking advantage of the IAJGS2015 On-Demand! series of 62 lectures plus the Opening Keynote evening and the Gala Banquet. Subscriptions can be purchased via the On-Demand! tab on the Conference website allowing you until October 10, 2015 to watch these lectures and events. The full list of included lectures is there as well.
The conference certainly lived up to our expectations – A Conference Like No Other.