Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Announcement: JGS of NY

The next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of NY will take place on April 18, 2010 at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16 St., NYC.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2:00 PM with special guest speaker Roma Baran addressing the topic of "Suddenly Jewish."

Cost: Free for JGSNY members and $5 for non-members.

About The Speaker
In August 2008, at the age of 61, Roma Baran received a stunning email from a Jewish genealogist looking for heirs to a small estate of a Holocaust survivor -- her father's cousin – and learned that her casually Christian parents, and the whole rest of her family were not Polish Catholics, but Jews, including a rabbi and a Warsaw ghetto leader, and that her parents had survived the Holocaust under assumed names. Roma learned that not only were her family's names and identities false, but that she had actually lived in Israel from 1949 to 1951.

Roma will describe -- with photos, documents and maps -- how she systematically reconstructed her past over the last year. She will focus on the Galizianer side of her family, and will include her new research on her father's Warsaw family. She will trace her parents' war-time escape from the Przemysl ghetto to Tarnawa, Krakow, and other towns, and their post-war journeys to Israel and Canada. She will also examine the emotional consequences of uncovering family secrets of staggering proportions.

Roma Baran, producer, engineer, musician, attorney, grew up in Montreal, and has lived in New York City since 1976. She has produced many albums, in the US, Canada and Europe. For 12 years, she produced most of Laurie Anderson's recorded work, from "O Superman" which shot to the top of the British pop charts, to Grammy-nominated "Strange Angels," and, most recently worked on Anderson's soon-to-be-released "Homeland."

With co-producer Vivian Stoll, she has produced two Grammy-nominated albums for artist Rosalie Sorrels, and won 2006 CFMA Best Canadian Folk Album award for a CD with Canadian artist Penny Lang. She has also worked on a number of film soundtracks as composer, sound designer, and music producer, from Lizzie Borden's "Working Girls" to "Jonathan Demme's "Swimming to Cambodia." She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary for producing "Bernard Herrmann: Music for the Movies."

As an attorney, she specializes in forensic audio, and has represented many indigent criminal defendants.

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