Ships of Our Ancestors With Hal Bookbinder June 3 Program for JGS Conejo Valley and Ventura County

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV) will be meeting on Sunday, June 3, 2012 1:30-3:30 pm at Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks, CA.

The Topic: Ships of Our Ancestors.. First time presentation of a  new program!

Jews have been coming to the United States since the late 1500s. The first record of a non-converso Jew in America was Joachim Gans, of Prague, who settled in what would be North Carolina in 1585. He eventually returned to England. However, with the arrival in 1654 of 23 Jews from the Brazil escaping the Inquisition, Jews were here to stay.

During the active years of Ellis Island, 83,000 ship arrivals were recorded. Between 1880 and 1914, about two million Jewish immigrants arrived from Europe, with most passing through Ellis Island. Until the age of flight, immigrants arrived by sea, first on sailing ships and after the middle of the 19th Century, on steamships. This presentation focuses on the ships on which our ancestors traveled, discussing the shift from sail to steam and the governmental regulations, which made ship travel safer and more civilized. It will address the experience of our ancestors in getting to the port of embarkation, being processed for passage, life aboard the vessel and on Ellis Island.

Speaker: Hal Bookbinder, founding member of  JGSCV and former president of  JGSLA and IAJGS, created, and continues to edit the annual Jewish Genealogical Yearbook. In 2010, he received the IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award. Hal is currently serving on the JewishGen Board of Governors. Hal has
been researching eight family lines for over 27 years, identifying 4,000 relatives and tracing two of these lines into the late 1700s.

Our Schmoozing corner, which starts 15 minutes before the meeting begins will be facilitated by Werner Frank, JGSCV founding member and former board member. This permits attendees to ask questions on brick walls and get directions on how to do their research.

The 5-minute genealogical technique will be presented by JSGCV president, Jan Meisels Allen on researching military records.

Our traveling library will have categories A and B books. The books are available starting 30 minutes before the program to shortly after the program. To see which books are coming to the meeting, please see our
website under traveling library.

You will also have the opportunity to sign up for the Ralphs Community Contribution program at the meeting! Please bring your Ralphs card to do so--this helps JGSCV at no cost to you--even if you are only an occasional shopper at Ralphs it helps JGSCV. You may obtain a Ralphs card at any local

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County is dedicated to sharing genealogical information, techniques and research tools with anyone interested in Jewish genealogy and family history. ( There is no charge to attend the meeting and all are welcome to attend. Annual dues are $25 for an individual and $30 for a family. Dues paid are good through December 2012.

For more information about JGSCV including directions see our website

Jan Meisels Allen
President, JGSCV

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