JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois Nov. 22, 2015, meeting: "Making the Dead Dance: How to Breathe Life into Your Ancestors" #general
JGS of Illinois Presents Informal Genealogy Writing Workshop
"Making the Dead Dance: How to Breathe Life into Your Ancestors" will be
the topic of a workshop presentation by author S.L. (Sandi) Wisenberg at
the 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, Jewish Genealogical Society of
Illinois meeting. The event will be held at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee
Road, Northbrook, Ill.
The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. to
accommodate those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials,
get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions before
the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information, phone
312-666-0100 or see jgsi.org.
In this workshop, S.L. (Sandi) Wisenberg will explain what strategies
have worked for nonfiction writers who write about their ancestors.
These writers have stuck to the facts, though they've allowed themselves
a supposition or two.
Attendees are invited to bring information about one particular
ancestor, especially photos, as well as questions. This session will be
informal, with plenty of chances to ask questions and time for a few
short writing exercises. Participants will leave with ideas for more
research and new strategies, and excitement about the possibilities,
according to the speaker.
"You've found the names, you've located the shtetl or city, gone through
ship manifests and census records -- but all they add up to are names and
dates on paper or in a computer file. How do you take the bare bones of
someone's life and turn them into flesh and blood?" Wisenberg asks.
S.L. (Sandi) Wisenberg was named for her grandfather Solomon Louis
Wisenberg, who traveled >from Kishinev in Moldavia/Moldova/Bessarabia to
New York City to Macon, Ga., to Laurel, Miss., to Houston, Texas. She
has researched and written about him and other relatives, and is working
on a nonfiction book about the American South, part of which is about
She's the author of "The Sweetheart is In," a collection of short
fiction; "Holocaust Girls: History, Memory & Other Obsessions," an essay
collection; and "The Adventures of Cancer Bitch," an autobiographical
and political chronicle.
She's spoken about her work at the Houston Jewish Book Fair and many
universities, mostly recently, University of Tampa and Brown University.
She's published fiction, journalism pieces and creative nonfiction in
The New Yorker, Tikkun, Moment, Tablet, Jewish Daily Forward, and in
many literary magazines and creative writing textbooks.
Her work has appeared in a number of anthologies, including "Neurotica:
Jewish Writers on Sex" and "Brief Encounters: A Collection of
Contemporary Nonfiction." She was a feature writer years ago at the
Miami Herald. Among her fellowships and awards are those >from the
Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
and Special Events, Pushcart, and National Endowment for the Humanities.
She loves reading other people's mail in archives.
Wisenberg has degrees >from Northwestern University Medill School of
Journalism and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her first job
after college was at the Highland Park News. She has lived in Evanston
and Chicago's North Side.
The JGSI "help desk" will operated >from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. at each
regular monthly meeting. Member volunteers will access online databases
and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as
The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family
historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a
limited time. All are available for perusing >from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. at
each regular monthly meeting.
For more information about the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois
or the JGSI schedule of future events, visit http://jgsi.org/ or phone
While this program is free, those who join the society have access to
several valuable members-only resources on the JGSI website. They
include video recordings of a dozen presentations >from past JGSI events,
valuable informational handouts >from past speakers, access to past
Morasha newsletters containing informative articles about Jewish
genealogy, the syllabus >from the 2015 JGSI conference, and more. To
learn more about the benefits of joining the Jewish Genealogical Society
of Illinois, go to http://jgsi.org/membership_benefits.
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois