Register Now for IAJGS Orlando 2017!

Register now and join Henry Louis Gates and dozens of other genealogical luminaries at the 37th Annual IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, July 23-28 at the beautiful Swan Resort on the grounds of Disney World in Orlando, Florida!

This premier event of the Jewish genealogy year features an “Institute” of learning in major areas of Jewish genealogy and family history—some of them for the first time.   Save money with early registration and guarantee a room!

Skip Gates

Harvard Professor Henry Louis (Skip) Gates, host of the popular PBS television show “Finding Your Roots” and a fascinating speaker and scholar, will address our Thursday evening annual awards banquet with a talk on “Genealogy and Genetics in America.”

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On Sunday evening, Professor Robert Watson will honor our Florida/Caribbean conference venue with a talk about our Nevis-born founding father entitled “Alexander Hamilton, the Jews, and the American Revolution.”


On Tuesday evening, Professor Hasia Diner will commemorate the centennial of America’s entry into WWI in the 2nd Annual Pamela Weisberger Memorial Lecture, entitled “1917: A Turning Point in American Jewish History”.

All week long, our acclaimed IAJGS Film Festival will return with a full schedule of offerings on Jewish cultural and historical topics.

During the days, our schedule includes over 200 presentations on just about all areas of Jewish genealogy by the best-known lecturers in their fields. A major emphasis of these presentations will be to teach the strategies that our attendees – both advanced and beginner – will need to take their family history research to the next level.  Space has been set aside for our presenters and to coach attendees outside the lecture hall, and our resource room, with free access to every imaginable genealogy database, is available all week for our attendees to continue their research on-site.

Over 50 affinity groups including Special Interest Groups, Boards of a Feather, and Facebook groups are planning lecture series, workshops, breakfasts, lunches and meetings. So tag along with the organizations in your area of interest, and reunite with your old friends from prior conferences, or turn your virtual Facebook friends into real ones!

This program is not just for the experts! Beginners especially are invited to this conference where they will be initiated into all the joys of getting started in Jewish genealogy with a track of their own. It starts with introductory lectures on Sunday to be followed by a weeklong series of talks, workshops, small group discussions and personal mentoring sessions with experts. By the end of the week, beginners will be well on their way to exploring the ins and outs of our fascinating pastime.

DNA testing is the cutting edge of Jewish genealogical research, but it remains a puzzling mystery to many. This conference will include a weeklong series of talks on every relevant aspect of this valuable research tool. Expert genealogists will walk us through Y-DNA, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA testing explaining what (and what not) it can do, why we all should be tested and how we can understand, interpret and use the results we obtain.

Given that this is the first IAJGS conference ever held in the southern United States, special attention will be given to the history of the Jews of the South and the Caribbean basin.  Experts on Florida, Martinique, Curacao, Cuba, Panama, Mexico and other places that were destinations for Jews and conversos fleeing the inquisition will make presentations at the conference, and a special track will be devoted to helping individuals with converso family history explore whether classic genealogical resources and tools can help them link themselves from the present day back to the Spain’s Golden Age.

The conference is co-sponsored by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Orlando.

For further information about the conference and the wonderful things there are for you and your family to do in Orlando before during and after the conference, please  visit our conference website at and contact the conference organizers at

To register for our conference, click the REGISTRATION tab above.

To book a room at our hotel, click the HOTEL RESERVATIONS tab above.


Announcing IAJGS 2017 Orlando!

WDW Swan 1038 Featured

We are pleased to officially anounce the 37th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort, Orlando, FL!

Don’t miss our annual reunion of top Jewish genealogists!

Sponsored by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando, the Conference will be held on the grounds of Walt Disney World, at the The Disney World Swan Resort at 1200 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Orlando, FL.

Dozens of restaurants, shopping, and entertainment venues are within walking distance and hundreds more are only a short boat or shuttle bus ride away.

Our discounted hotel rooms are currently available from July 17 to August 2, so you are welcome to come early and/or stay late to explore Disney World and Orlando’s many attractions with your family!

Greet old friends, make new ones and take your family search to the next level, with:

  • Superb lectures and workshops as you have come to expect
  • Meetings for all experience levels, from first-timers to conference veterans
  • Hands-on mentoring with experts in our field
  • In-depth DNA workshops to answer your questions
  • Databases, translators, and search tools available to all
  • Expanded exhibit hall displaying the latest family discovery tools and technology
  • Networking through popular Special Interest Group events
  • Special emphasis on:

    • Multigenerational storytelling
    • Jews in Florida, the Caribbean and the South
    • Passing on your family legacy

Stay abreast of our conference plans by subscribing to our blog, our discussion group, our Facebook page and our Twitter feed.

For further information, contact!

Call for Presentations for 37th IAJGS Conference in Orlando


The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando invite you to submit presentation proposals for the 37th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, to be held at Orlando’s Walt Disney World Swan Resort from Sunday, July 23 through Friday, July 28, 2017. The purpose of these presentations is to inform, instruct, and inspire attendees to discover, preserve, and share their family history.

If you wish to register to make a program submission, you may submit a presentation using the Call for Papers. Email submissions will not be accepted. All proposals must be submitted using this website.

If you want instead to edit a proposal that was submitted earlier to the Orlando conference, please click the Abstract Service Center which is where, until Sunday, January 15, 2017, you can make changes to proposals that have already been submitted.

We are particularly interested in presentations that enable our participants to enhance their genealogical research by teaching them to:

  1. Discover their family history using new research tools and resources;
  2. Preserve their family histories and traditions; and
  3. Share their family history with future generations of their family and with fellow genealogists.

As this will be the first IAJGS conference held in the southern United States, we have embraced the “The Jews of Florida, the South, and the Caribbean” as a theme of the conference.  Given the location, we also expect that there will be interest the genealogy of Iberian conversos.

We also anticipate attendance by genealogists and family historians of widely varying levels of experience and training.  The common denominator among all, however, is a thirst for the kinds of tools and strategies that will enable them to “take their research to the next level”.

Description of Presentation

Presentations and panel discussions will generally be 75 minutes, which includes 15 minutes of questions. Hands-on Computer Workshops will be 2 hours in length.


Speakers may submit any number of proposals. To allow different voices to be heard at the conference, we will generally choose no more than three presentations from any one speaker. Because of the limited number of scheduling slots, and the large number of people applying to speak, It is not a reflection on the quality of your proposal if we do not accept more.


Panels grouping speakers with varying expertise on a particular topic are viewed favorably as they make efficient use of conference time and allow for different perspectives on specific topics. If there are two or more authors on a presentation, the first author should submit his/her information first. When you get to the page for reviewing your submission, there will be an icon identified as “Add an Additional Presenter” that will allow you to add more authors to the proposal.

Complimentary Registration

Individual speakers having at least one proposal accepted will receive complimentary conference registration. While we will certainly consider multi-presenter presentations and panel discussions, only the primary speaker for a particular multi-speaker presentation is eligible for complimentary conference registration. There is no conference registration waiver for participating as a panelist, although complementary SIG luncheon tickets for conference speakers and participants willing to facilitate break-out sessions for conference attendees who wish to dig deeper into topics presented in a speaker’s area of expertise may be provided. Terms of inducements and break-out programs are within the sole discretion of the Program Committee.

The deadline for submission of proposals is January 15, 2017! Submitters of proposals will be notified by email no later than February 26, 2017, as to whether or not their proposal has been accepted. You may contact the Program Committee at with any questions or comments.

We look forward to receiving your proposals and thank you for your interest in our Conference.

Adam Brown
Diane Jacobs

Conference Co-Chairs

Sign Up for the Orlando IAJGS 2017 Discussion List

Discussion Lists for IAJGS conferences have been wonderful venues for questions and exchanges of information about up-coming conferences. The Discussion List for the 2017 Orlando IAJGS Conference is now operational and available for subscription.

To subscribe, visit the Discussion List Page at

Be sure to read the Discussion List Guidelines before you subscribe. Any messages posted will be publicly viewable.

You may subscribe in either non-digest or digest mode. In non-digest mode you will receive new messages individually as they are posted. In digest mode, messages will be sent to you in one batch each day.

Conference volunteers will review messages sent to the list before deciding to post them. This will ensure that non-conference-related messages and spam will not be posted, that civility will be maintained, and that questions best answered by the conference planning team will be answered in a timely manner.

Before sending a message to the list, please check the conference FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) to be sure your question has not already been answered. As plans for the conference develop, we will expand the FAQs to include additional topics.

You may access the FAQs at from the main navigation bar at the top of every page. “Frequently Asked Questions” is located under the “About” menu.

Subscribe to the IAJGS 2017 Blog

There will be several ways to stay informed about plans for IAJGS 2017 in Orlando.

Our website at will be a major source of information. There will, of course, be the IAJGS Conference Facebook page and the ever popular discussion list. And then, there will be this blog. You should consider subscribing to it.

Someone once asked me to tell her the advantages of a blog over, say, the discussion list, Facebook, or Twitter. They each have their strong points. Probably the biggest advantage of a blog is that anyone may read a blog post without joining a particular website or establishing a password. Think of the blog as you would a website – no membership is required.

subscribeCompared to discussion list or Facebook posts, a blog provides a platform for more lengthy and perhaps complex information and explanations. Images and videos may be easily included in blog posts. And previous blog posts many be easily searched when you wish to find information or reread some of our pre-conference recommendations or advice.

Our goal here is to help you prepare for a great conference. We will keep you informed as plans for the conference coalesce. There will also be posts on research opportunities in the Seattle area as well as tourism and recreational options. Closer to the conference we intend to supply some tutorials on using the conference app and information about speakers, presentations, and exhibitors.

If you would like to stay up-to-date as we post articles on this blog, we suggest you subscribe to it. When subscribing, one may opt to receive email notifications of new blog posts or use a blog subscription aggregator, such as Feedly.

feedly-512While on any IAJGS conference web page, in the sidebar on the left or the footer at the bottom, look for blog subscription options.

To receive email notifications whenever the blog is updated, provide your information in the form and click “Subscribe”.

Or if you follow – or plan to follow – several blogs, then an RSS reader (blog aggregator service) might be your best choice. Many blog readers prefer to use Feedly. When clicking on the Feedly icon that is located at the top of the browser window, it is easy to see which of the blogs to which you subscribe  have added content since your last visited.

If you would like to view a tutorial on how to start with Feedly, view this blog post:

Announcing the IAJGS 2017 Website


Welcome to the blog for the 37th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, on 23-28 July 2017.

During the months head we will keep you informed as plans for the conference develop.  We have established a conference website at

More information will be added to the website as the conference approaches. Stay abreast of our conference plans by subscribing to our blog, our discussion group, our Facebook page and our Twitter feed!