March Meeting of Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia #general


March Meeting of Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia

Date: March 14, 2005
Time: 7:45 PM
Place: The Newman Building at Gratz College
Old York Road (Route 611) and Melrose Avenue
Melrose Park, PA

Speaker: Marion Smith (INS) & Valery Bazarov (HIAS)

Topic: Genealogy Through Cooperation:
HIAS and the US Immigration Service Working Together

During this presentation, Valery Bazarov, Director Location and Family History
Services, HIAS, and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Historian
Marian L. Smith will demonstrate the importance of locating all surviving
documents in immigrant research. They will do so by presenting case studies of
various immigrants who arrived in the U.S. during the early 20th century and came
to the attention of both HIAS and INS. The case studies will illustrate research
problem solving, the workings of immigration law, the role of immigrant aid
societies in the process, and the additional genealogical information to be found
in such records.

Importantly, the cases show how all parties negotiated immigration rules to grant
or deny immigrant admissions. The foundation of the lecture will be original
records found in the HIAS Archives in New York, the National Archives (NARA) in
Washington, D.C., at NARA Regional facilities, and through the Freedom of
Information Act. Based on their lecture given at the 2003 IAJGS Conference in
Washington, DC, Bazarov and Smith will introduce new cases and update old cases
with new documentary information.

Marian L. Smith is the Senior Historian at US Citizenship and Immigration
Services, Department of Homeland Security (formerly the Immigration and
Naturalization Service). She regularly lectures at national and international
genealogy conferences on the history and uses of immigration and naturalization
records. Her articles appear in the National Archives journal Prologue, the FGS
Forum, and other publications. Her research focus primarily involves official
immigration agency records held in the National Archives in downtown Washington,

Valery Bazarov was born in Russia in 1942. He immigrated to the United States in
1988. He holds two graduate degrees >from Odessa State University (1969) and Hunter
College of the City University of New York (1994). Valery Bazarov joined the
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in 1988 and over the next decade assisted the arrival
of more than 200,000 Jewish refugees who came to the United States under HIAS
auspices. He is currently responsible for the HIAS Location and Family History
Service, helping immigrants of different generations to find family members and
friends - often in other countries - whom they lost contact with over the years,
sometimes, decades. Valery is especially committed to finding and honoring the
heroes who rescued European Jews during the Holocaust. He also researches HIAS
history and presents his findings in lectures and publications. He is a frequent
lecturer at the international seminars on Jewish genealogy, speaking about HIAS
activities and projects. Valery also travels to Eastern Europe (Poland and
Ukraine) where he works in various archives and locates documents related directly
to HIAS activities, spanning the last 100 years.

Come to the meeting 30 minutes early for a Question and Answer session preceding
the general meeting.

For all who are researching Philadelphia roots and need information on local
resources; cemeteries, funeral directors, repositories (and much more) please
visit the JGSGP website:

Interested friends are always welcome!
Refreshments will be served following the meeting

German Special Interest Group:

Time: Sunday, March 20, 3:00PM
Place: at the home of Phyllis Sichel in Elkins Park, PA.
Topic: Joan Pollak will discuss researching her ancestors in 17th - 19th century
southern Germany, and in 19th ,southern United States.For more information and
location contact Monica Leonards at

Delaware County Main Line Affiliate

Time: Tuesday, April 5, 7:30PM
Place: Martins Run Life Care Community, 11 Martin's Run, Meda, PA
Topic: Dr. Wolf Karo will speak on his return visit to Germany

One on one help is offered in the Computer room starting at 6:45PM For more
information contact Shelda Sandler at

Lois Sernoff [JGS GreaterPhiladelphia]

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