JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen LA Seminar #general


I've seen a few posting inquiring about the Jewish Genealogical Seminar in Los
Angeles. As an attendee at the seminar, here is a brief perspective >from my

First of all, I find that these seminars continue to add to my genealogical
education. There were many positive program segments and kudos are to be
extended to Ted Gostin, his group and the cast of others who put this seminar

from my standpoint, the highlight was the visit of Vitalija Gircyte, Chief
Archivist, Kaunas Regional Archives. In addition to hearing Vitalija's
presentation twice (also in Washington) I had the opportunity to have a
consultation and meet her personally.

Another important happening was the number of Special Interest Group and
birds-of-a-feather meetings. The bulletin board was loaded with meeting
notices and there seemed to be a get-together going during the time slots
between the formal program schedule. The three I attended were interesting
and informative.

Getting back to Ms. Gircyte. Her presentation was well prepared and she
displayed an excellent knowledge of archival research, especially that which
is related to the availability of documents in the Kaunas Archives; plus other
Lithuanian archives on a general basis. The hard copy Kaunas Archive catalog
she prepared is an excellent reference which includes a variety of record list
holdings in the archive. I didn't count the shtetls, but it seemed to cover a
lot of territory. The beauty of the catatlog is that it is a work in progress
as they are continually finding additional records.

During my consultation, Ms. Gircyte conveyed a friendly yet business like
approach. She is sincere and left me with a very positive feeling in that she
would do whatever she could by going that extra step to help in researching
and providing data on our jewish ancestors.

from my perspective, Ms. Gircyte was the headliner on the card along with
Theodore Bikel, although in different categories -- that's pretty good

To the powers that be -- I would suggest that we continue to have presenters
from other archives on the program at future seminars. Nothing like getting
information direct >from the "archival source" to get a better idea of what
records may be out there.

Lastly, if the archivist is to tour some other cities during their trip, I
would suggest that it be publicized in advance to give others the opportunity
to hear the presentation. Perhaps, this can be done through the local
society, JEWISHGEN, LITVAK SIG, etc.

Sam Girson (Silver Spring, MD)

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