Tuesday, March 28, 2006

If I Were a Rich Man (and Jewish) I Might Go

The 26th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be held Aug. 13-18 in New York City. Early registration runs through May 15. If you have no Jewish ancestry, there may still be time to convert.

The list of speakers is like a Who's Who of people whose names you might almost recognize, but probably won't. Archivist of the United States Dr. Allen Weinstein will give the keynote address, unless surreptitiously poisoned by his second-in-command. Actor Bill Hayes ("Doug Williams" on Days of Our Lives since 1970) will be the featured speaker on a panel for teaching genealogy to children. Hayes has a PhD in family history, but his greatest accomplishment was recording "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" in 1954—a song I spent the better part of my childhood trying to purge from my brain.

Perhaps the most intriguing of the scheduled lectures is "Researching Jewish Criminals, Especially in New York." Unfortunately, this is not one of the seven workshops to be given by Steve Morse, who would have called it "Searching for Jewish Felons in One Step."

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