JGS Toronto. Two Virtual October SIG Meetings. DNA SIG (Adam Brown) and Ukraine SIG (Marla Waltman). #dna #ukraine #events

Jerry Scherer

Jewish Genealogy Society of Toronto


For this month’s special, we are opening our two October 2021 SIG programmes to both members and non-members. The recordings for these two SIGs will only be available to JGS Toronto members in the “Members Only” section of the Society website. As per our policy, we will return to keeping future SIG programmes and their recordings open only to JGS Toronto members.

To our guests, consider joining our membership for only $40.00 per year by Clicking Here or consider a donation by Clicking Here to assist us in continuing our mission providing a forum for the exchange of genealogical knowledge and information. (Canadians receive a CRA tax receipt.)



The Avotaynu DNA  Project

Speaker:  Adam Brown

Tuesday, 19 October at 7:30 pm. ET

Adam Brown – The Genetic Origins and Migrations of the Jewish People

Under the auspices of the Technion (Israel’s MIT), the Avotaynu DNA Project is a landmark scientific study that has tested over a thousand men in far-flung Jewish communities from China to Surinam. Project Administrator Adam Brown will describe what the Project has learned thus far about Jewish origins, as well as the latest discoveries about our migrations during the last 3,000 years of Jewish history.

Adam Brown, Director of the AvotaynuDNA Project, is the Managing Editor of AvotaynuOnline.com. He was the co-chair of the 2017 IAJGS international summer conference on Jewish genealogy.  He speaks frequently on topics pertaining to DNA, Jewish history, and the application of technology to genealogical pursuits.

The Avotaynu DNA Project is a collaboration of experienced Jewish DNA project administrators, historians and geneticists worldwide to develop an online knowledge base that will enable genealogists to discovery the history of their own families and at the same time allow historians and demographers to illuminate the history of the Jewish People.

If you have tested at FTDNA, join the project by logging in at www.JewishDNA.org and identify yourself as a member of JGS Toronto so Adam can be prepared to answer any particular questions you may have during Q & A.

The project currently has DNA from thousands of participants from around the globe in its database. Their aim has been to describe the origins and migrations of the world’s Jewish populations since the founding of the Jewish People approximately 3,000 years ago.

Join us on to hear Adam describe and present his findings on the history of our heritage using the tools of the Avotaynu project.

Register at jgstoronto.ca/register



Jewish Life in Ukraine: A selected history from 800 to 1914

Speaker: Marla Waltman

Monday, 25 October at 7:30 p.m.

The JGS Toronto Ukraine Special Interest Group (SIG) provides an opportunity for members and registered guests to focus on subjects of interest for those with ancestors from Ukraine.

This presentation, “Jewish Life in Ukraine: A selected history from 800 to 1914”, will provide an introduction to the history of Ukraine as it pertains to Jewish settlement, from early recorded records, through the years of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian Empire, to 1914 and the start of the First World War. Given the length of the period covered, the presentation will examine the major political events and economic realities that had an impact on Jews and their neighbours. Its emphasis will be on the lands now part of modern Ukraine that were annexed by Catherine II (known as Catherine the Great by Russians) for the Russian Empire in 1772, and known as the Pale of Settlement. 

Marla Waltman, a former President of JGS Toronto and current Board member, was born in Toronto. Her paternal grandparents emigrated to Canada from Ukraine in the 1920s following other family members who arrived as early as 1905. Marla received a B.A. in History and Anthropology from York University and an M.A. in History from Queen’s University. Over a 32 year career, she worked in Ottawa as an archivist at Library and Archives Canada, policy advisor on heritage institutions and the Canadian music industry at Canadian Heritage, policy chief at the Canadian Literacy Secretariat, and Chief of the Culture Statistics Program at Statistics Canada. Her passion is genealogical research and sharing what she has learned with others.

To register, please go to jgstoronto.ca/register


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Jerry Scherer

Vice President, Communications