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Miami Valley Jewish Genealogy & History


Miami Valley Jewish Genealogy & History is a project of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton.

The mission of JG&H is to collect, preserve, and put forth knowledge and information regarding Miami Valley Jewish genealogy and history, to assist with and promote research of Miami Valley Jewish genealogy and history, and to provide opportunities for sharing Miami Valley Jewish genealogical and historical information with the community.

Share your memories and images of Jewish life in Dayton and across Ohio’s Miami Valley at our popular Facebook group.

Upcoming Events

Comparing Jewish Resources on the Genealogy Giants
Sunday, November 8 @ 10AM via Zoom
With Ellen Shindelman Kowitt & Sunny Jane Morton

Each of the giant genealogy websites — Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage, and JewishGen — offers unique tools and/or record collections relevant to researching Jewish ancestry. Ellen Shindelman Kowitt and Sunny Jane Morton will give us a comparative overview of the Jewish resources across all of these sites, and tips on when searching one of them over another might be advantageous, including an examination of JewishGen data found on Ancestry. Register online at JewishDayton.org/events.

Ellen Shindelman Kowitt is a veteran Jewish records researcher and leader in genealogy activities worldwide. As a volunteer in the genealogy world for 25 years, Ellen has held numerous leadership roles, organized records acquisition, indexed, and managed translation projects in the United States and abroad. She and her family live in Erie, Colorado.

Sunny Jane Morton is an award-winning genealogy writer, editor and speaker. She is a contributing editor at Family Tree Magazine, the editor of Ohio Genealogy News, and an official blogger at the world’s largest free genealogy website, FamilySearch. She and her family live in Euclid, Ohio.

Presented by Miami Valley Jewish Genealogy & History, Beth Abraham Synagogue Men’s Club Speaker Series, and Temple Israel’s Ryterband Lecture Series. Support for this event is provided in memory of Marcia Jaffe.

Click here to register

CABS: Libby Copeland, The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are
Wednesday, December 2 @ 7PM

The Lost Family delves into the many lives that have been irrevocably changed by home DNA tests – a technology that represents the end of family secrets. There are the adoptees who’ve used the test to find their birth parents; donor-conceived adults who suddenly discover they have more than fifty siblings; hundreds of thousands of Americans who discover their fathers aren’t biologically related to them, a phenomenon so common it is known as a “non-paternity event”; and individuals who are left to grapple with their conceptions of race and ethnicity when their true ancestral histories are discovered. Throughout these accounts, Copeland explores the impulse toward genetic essentialism and raises the question of how much our genes should get to tell us about who we are. With more than thirty million people having undergone home DNA, the answer to that question is more important than ever. 

No charge

You can purchase The Lost Family through online retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

Or in person at Barnes and Noble on 725, across from the Dayton Mall.

Libby Copeland is an award-winning journalist who writes about culture, science and human behavior. Her book, The Lost Family, published March 3, 2020, looks at the impact of home DNA testing on the American family (sign up here for updates and events). A staff reporter and editor for The Washington Post for over a decade, she now writes from New York for publications including The Atlantic,Slate, New York Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, The New York Times, The New Republic,Esquire.com, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company,Glamour and more. 

Partners:  Miami Valley Jewish Genealogy & History

Support for this event is provided in memory of Marcia Jaffe 

Click here to register!

We preserve and celebrate the history of the Dayton area Jewish community

  • Your clearinghouse for queries about local Jewish genealogy and history
  • Resources & programs to help you in your search
  • Acquisition, preservation, dissemination, promotion and overall celebration of the Jewish history of Ohio’s Miami Valley region
  • Oversight of Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Archives Collection at Wright State University
  • Referrals to genealogists for in-depth research
  • Jewish genealogy library at Jewish Federation office
  • Join our popular Facebook group, Growing Up Jewish In Miami Valley, Ohio

Advisory Committee
Samuel N. Dorf, Ph.D., Chair
Jan Maharam • Diana Nelson • Pamela Schwartz
Marshall Weiss, Project Director (mweiss@jfgd.net)

Jewish Observer

New gene therapy trial in Dayton offers hope for children with Canavan

Parents’ tenacity moves mountains to improve children’s quality of life By Marshall Weiss, The Dayton Jewish Observer In an operating room at Dayton Children’s Hospital on April 8, 4-year-old Benny Landsman of Brooklyn, N.Y. received the first new clinical trial of an FDA-approved gene therapy for Canavan disease. Neurosurgeon Dr. The post New gene therapy trial in Dayton offers hope for children with Canavan appeared first on The Dayton Jewish Observer. [...]

Keeping our community connected for a quarter century

By Marshall Weiss, Editor and Publisher, The Dayton Jewish Observer When the Jewish Federation hired me in January 1996 to start a Jewish newspaper for the Dayton area — with the first issue out in time for Passover — two widely-cited industry figures weighed heavily on me: nine out of The post Keeping our community connected for a quarter century appeared first on The Dayton Jewish Observer. [...]

Virtual tour, discussion of Americans and the Holocaust exhibit

In November 1938, following Nazi Germany’s Kristallnacht attacks on Jews, their property, businesses, and synagogues, a Gallup poll asked Americans if they approved or disapproved of the Nazi treatment of Jews in Germany. Ninety-four percent disapproved, six percent approved. When asked, “Should we allow a larger number of Jewish exiles The post Virtual tour, discussion of Americans and the Holocaust exhibit appeared first on The Dayton Jewish Observer. [...]

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