Posted By: Jan Meisels Allen
The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) Public Discussion Bulletin Board recently were discussing the big three conferences (FGS, IAJGS and NGS). Below are two listings with the kudos on the IAJGS conferences stating they are the best and why! All of us who are involved with conferences- and that includes the attendees-- should be very proud.
(the e-mail addresses of those posting were removed )
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee
From Eileen Polakoff - New York City
I would like to second Meredith's comments about IAJGS conferences. I have attended all three BIG conferences (NGS, FGS, IAJGS) for too many years to count, my first FGS conference was in 1988 in Boston, my first NGS conference was in 1989 in St Paul (or was 1989 in Arlington, VA?), and my first (IA)JGS was in 1985 in New York City. I considered these the 'big 3'because they were run by the largest societies and covered the most ground. As Meredith says below they were all exhilarating and exhausting but the JGS were the most exhausting since they ran from 8:00 am until 10:30 pm and sometimes later. Once the JGS groups got together a little better and spoke with one voice in the early 1990s the conferences became more organized with
much more to do. NGS and FGS run many tracks over four days, but lecture topics are often repeated year after year. The Jewish conferences also run many tracks all day long for 5 and a half days and nights, and except for a few basic lectures none are repeats. One FGS president who attended IAJGS conferences for a couple of years commented to me that they were all of advanced levels.
The Jewish conferences tend to be held in big cities, so look to attend one if you are near Washington, DC this summer (2011), or Paris, France (2012) or Boston (2013), or Jerusalem (2014). Check schedules, programs, hotels, etc. at www.iajgs.org.
A few years ago I had to stop going to three conferences a year, first I cut out either NGS or FGS, then I had to cut out one more due to finances, but I have found ways to attend the Jewish one almost every year and hope I can attend for many, many years. I hope to return to NGS or FGS if possible, but mostly to see friends. As Craig says, these conferences are like family reunions to us in the professional community.
From: Meredith Hoffman / GenerationsWeb
The hands-down best conferences I get to go to are the annual International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies (IAJGS) summer conferences, which had its 30th anniversary last summer in LA (and which we in Boston are proud to be the co-hosts of in 2013!). These events routinely boast a worldwide roster of speakers, usually including a substantial contingent of state archivists from many of the countries of eastern Europe and other speakers and researchers from pretty much everywhere in the Jewish diaspora.
One of the highlights of the conferences are the abundance of sessions and special interest group meetings devoted to specific ancestral towns and/or regions. Last summer, on successive days I attended luncheons and gatherings with other landsleit" (folks whose ancestors were from the same neck of the woods, lit. "country people") from five of the towns that various of my great-grandparents came from; and I sat in on numerous lectures where the focus was the progress of one or another project to film, translate, transcribe, and/or digitize newly accessed records from state and regional archives in Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Moravia, and Israel.
I imagine that other ethnic conferences probably function much the same way. As exhilarating and exhausting as other conferences are, the breadth and depth of the opportunities at the IAJGS conferences challenge me and exhaust me in a way that no other conference does. But I am looking forward to making it -- sooner rather than later -- to a WDYTYA....