Minutes of November 13, 2001 meeting, Temple Emanu-El, Palm Beach
Present: Barbara Bixon, Beatrice Citron, Kathleen Clotfelter, Robin Coller, Muriel Efron, Heidi Estrin, Etta Gold, Sandra Goldberg, Doris Goldstein, Sandy Gottesman, Phyllis Guttman, Sandy Hirschhorn, Sue Kirshner, Elsie Leviton, Helen Margolis, Charles Meyers, Marilyn Neuman, Syvia Nusinov, Arthur Quinn, Jean Rappaport, Rabbi Tobias Rothenberg, Jean & Arthur Schoss, Walter Spielman, Alice Warren, Lee Wixman
President Heidi Estrin opened the meeting at 12:15 with thanks to Charles Meyers and the temple for hosting us and providing a beautiful lunch. 26 members and guests were in attendance.
Special recognition was made to Lee Wixman for having chauffeured 6 of us last month to the first-time "Pan-Florida AJL" meeting in Sarasota on October 18th.
The program for the day consisted of two speakers on the subject of Jewish Genealogy.
The first, Sylvia Nusinov of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County, spoke of her personal journey of discovery. Beginning with a poem "Autumn Roots," written by her daughter, Sylvia began her search in 1996, having little knowledge of her father's family. She had only his name, place of birth (Lithuania), and a letter from his sister postmarked 1939. As far as she knew, all family had perished in the Holocaust. Today, 5 years and much work later, she has a list of 2,008 relatives.
Sylvia exhibited the numerous government (foreign and domestic) forms that one now has access to, and how acquiring one can lead to another and another. She presented us with her "paper trail."
The next speaker, Sandy Hirshorn, of JewishGen.org described the latest project/undertaking of her organization. The premiere web site, the primary resource, the first stop for anyone in search of their Jewish roots is Jewishgen.com. In addition to their comprehensive links to SIGs (special interest groups), soundexes, government agencies, etc., Jewishgen.org is now adding an on-line shopping mall - the bailiwick of Sandy and her husband. They offer a special section on PBS videos, yiskor books, ceremonial, books, Avotaynu publications, and more. So far, according to Sandy, their number one best seller is the 1910 New York census on Cdrom. They have undertaken many more projects that will make accessible links to more databases, including that of Holocaust victims.
After these educational and entertaining presentations, we held our regular SFAJL meeting. Heidi recapped our recent trip to the west coast of Florida. Bea Citron added "It was great," and Lee Wixman said "It was long."
The "sharing" portion of this meeting was on the subject of book plates. Several librarians brought samples of their book plates and described the process by which certain books are plated. Heidi promised to scan and post on our web site the samples of book plates. Some libraries plate specific books to honor specific gifts to the library, while others plate random selections to note monetary contributions.
The final part of the meeting was devoted to "good and welfare."
The meeting was adjourned at 2:30, at which time Charles conducted a tour of the synagogue's sanctuary and library.