UJGS – February 2011 – Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz arrived in Salt Lake City direct from Israel for RootsTech. I had previously convinced him to arrive a day earlier than he planned so that he could speak to UJGS on our already scheduled meeting date, instead of moving it for him.

We had a regular sized crowd for our meeting, with a few new faces, but not nearly as many as I’d hoped. I guess the Israeli research didn’t garner the same attention as Do Genealogy in your Sleep, a paraphrase of his previous topic.

Having seen the handout, I thought we were going to get a bit of a lesson in Hebrew, but he just went through a couple of PowerPoint screens of “101 ygolaeneG rof werbeH”.

Daniel reviewed several web sites on which we could find Jewish and Israeli records, not leaving out his own MyHeritage.com site. Then he went into the Israeli sites. Some had English on them but many were entirely in Hebrew. Using Steve Morse’s site to transliterate names into Hebrew — although his sample didn’t result in the Hebrew spelling he used for his own name — he showed us the results of several web sites for a search on his surname. Many of the sites were burial societies in Israel, called Chevra Kadisha. I had clicked on a few from his handout the day before, but even with his translation key, I had trouble finding some of the search pages. His presentation had big, red arrows pointing at the link for the search pages, making them easy to find.

It was possible that only two other people in the room were familiar with the Hebrew alphabet during the session, so the web sites were not entirely foreign to me. To others, they may have looked the way Chinese does to me.

While most of the crowd left before and during our business meeting afterwards, we discussed a few things, including starting a society blog. I can only hope that more of our members will contribute if we do that, to both the blog and the newsletter.

Having dinner afterwards with Daniel and Schelly Dardashti (of Tracing the Tribe) was a nice end to the evening.

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