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Introduction to Jewish Genealogy

In the Suburbs

Introduction to Jewish Genealogy

Sunday, November 16, 2014 2:00 pm

Why is Jewish Genealogy
Different From All Others?

In his research for The Family, author David Laskin both confirmed family lore and encountered astonishing surprises. For those inspired to begin this quest — as well as those already involved in genealogical research — Spertus invited you to join Jewish genealogy expert Mike Karsen for an exploration of what information is most beneficial to seek and the factors that make Jewish genealogy unique. At this program, he walked attendees through the basics of genealogical research, directing to the best sources for historical documentation and showing simple ways to create a family legacy.

Mike Karsen is a genealogy mentor and the past president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. A professional speaker, he is the author of the JewishGen website "Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland" and has presented over 250 talks on family legacy topics — locally, nationally, and internationally.

What is One Book?

One Book | One Community is the Chicago Jewish community's celebration of Jewish Book Month. Each year, a single book is selected as the focus of a series of activities and resources. See the sidebar at the right for programs taking place all around the Chicago area.

"a vivid, utterly compelling exploration of the forces that shaped modern history" 
—Bestselling author Stephen Greenblatt

"[a] family chronicle with all of the depth
and detail of a great novel”
— Jewish Journal

This year's winning book is David Laskin’s The Family, a fascinating memoir that follows the author’s amazing ancestors across the tumultuous sweep of the twentieth century. The Family was named a best book of the year by the Seattle Times, Kirkus Review, and the New York Public Library.

Get Your Copy of the Featured Book!

The Family is currently available in hardcover and softcover versions from the Spertus Shop onsite and online. It will also be for sale at all One Book | One Community events and David Laskin will be signing books at his two author appearances on December 7.

Read About The Author
(You'll have a chance to meet him in December!)

Enjoy this special Spertus interview with author David Laskin in which he describes the many surprises he encountered while compiling research for his book, his techniques for bringing his family’s history to life, and the importance of reconnecting with the past. MORE>

JUF News is the media sponsor of One Book | One Community.

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Jewish Book Council logo

Our thanks to the Jewish Book Council for their help spreading the word about One Book | One Community.

This Year's Chicago Jewish Community One Book Is David Laskin's The Family

Download your READERS' GUIDE

Includes an interview with author David Laskin, historical resources, recipes, timelines, and reading lists of other books you're sure to enjoy!


Kick-Off Event
Old Land, New Land, Holy Land

Sunday, November 9
2 pm at Spertus Institute

Introduction to Jewish Genealogy
Sunday, November 16
2 pm at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park

Lecture and Book Discussion
Thursday, November 20
6:30 pm at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie

Book Discussion | Book Group Meetup
Tuesday, December 2
7 pm at Spertus Institute

Author Event #1
Sunday, December 7
10 am at Spertus Institute

Author Event #2
Sunday, December 7
2 pm at Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard


One Book | One Community is supported, in part, by the Robert & Toni Bader Charitable Foundation.

We are pleased to be working with synagogue partners Congregation Etz Chaim and North Suburban Synagogue Beth El as well as our colleagues at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center