♦ About Me ♦
First things first, my name is Banai, like in B'nai Brith, B'nai Israel, B'nai Torah, or any other synagogue name you may know like that. If you've never heard of any of those, it rhymes with Renee.
My interest in genealogy and family history began in fourth grade, after a family tree school assignment. I interviewed my three living grandparents for more information, and filed it away. (Actually, it probably started right around my birth, but that's a stranger story.)
In 1998, my interest in genealogy was again piqued. I began a more serious and more informed search for my family history. I have learned about ancestors whose names were unknown and located and visited countless cousins that were previously unknown to anyone in my immediate family. I have attended weddings and bat mitzvahs of cousins I didn't know existed a decade earlier. Then I travelled to Europe and visited our ancestral locations. I even found the house where one grandfather was born and raised.
My database grew from a few hundred names to over 2,000 in a few short years, with all details thoroughly documented.
I relocated to Salt Lake City in 2003 in the hopes of not only expanding my own family research, but also in assisting others with their research efforts. I spend a lot of time at my downtown second home, the Family History Library.
In 2004, I joined the Utah Jewish Genealogical Society, in 2006 took over the duties of Newsletter Editor and Webmaster, and in 2009 was elected President. I have written many articles for the UJGS newsletter as well as having been published in a few others. Since 2005, I have attended the annual IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy, presenting lectures and computer labs in 2008-2011, volunteering for the committee in 2007, and we're already on our way to planning the 2014 conference in Salt Lake City where I will be one of three co-chairs.