Monthly Archives: February 2014

Jewish Utah – Congregation Brith Sholem

Brith SholemCongregation Brith Sholem was founded in 1890 in Ogden as Ohab Sholem. It reformed in 1916 as Brith Sholem and dedicated the synagogue at their current location in 1921.

Brith Sholem is the oldest continuously operating synagogue in Utah. It affiliated with the Reform Judaism movement in 1996 which most notably brings a student rabbi one weekend a month to lead services and classes, among other duties.

Friday evening services are held most weeks and occasionally there are Saturday morning services.

More information can be found on their web site at

The Conference Family Finder

Family FindersIf you’ve been to the IAJGS conference before, you’ve probably registered, flipped through the materials, planned out your weekly schedule, packed in as much learning and networking as possible, only to go home, look at the Family Finder, and realize you missed the chance to meet with a potential cousin.

Well, those days are over. Today we are announcing the Online Conference IAJGS Family Finder.

This year, the Family Finder will be online and completely searchable before the conference begins. Attendees will be able to search by ancestral surname, town, DNA haplogroup, JGS or SIG, or registrant name. For privacy, the Family Finder will not provide contact information, but it will allow each registrant the opportunity to contact other registrants via email beginning 60 days before the conference begins.

The Conference Family Finder will only be available to conference and LIVE! attendees, password-protected, and available only until the next IAJGS conference.

World War One Stories

WW1 2nd Infantry Division Memorial, Washington DC

WW1 2nd Infantry Division Memorial, Washington DC

One hundred years ago, the second day of our conference, marks the outbreak of World War One. The anniversary of the “War to End all Wars” will be a major focus of our conference, with sessions exploring how the War impacted the lives of our ancestors.

The War didn’t just start out of nowhere. There were a lot of events that brought it about. Mental Floss has been blogging about it for over two years. Their WW1 Centennial series tells the story of how the world arrived at the Great War, beginning with a peace treaty in November 1911. Start at the beginning, The Treaty of Berlin, or visit the main page of the series to read the most recent entries or choose those that interest you.

But there is more to the war than those major events. There are stories about individuals and families, what they experienced and how they endured.

You are the keepers of your family history. Did your ancestors fight in the War? Were they living in Europe or had they immigrated to the US or elsewhere? Did they participate in the War effort or try to evade involvement? Were families separated by oceans in the process of immigrating?

This is where we are asking for your help. We want you to share your stories and photos with us, to be gathered into a larger collection that we will publish online and share at the conference. Once you’ve registered for the conference, either as an in-person attendee or for LIVE!, you will receive login information. Log in and you will see an option to upload your story along with up to three photos. (If you have more, please email us; the web site can only accept one story and three photos per person.)

We look forward to reading more about our history from you.

IAJGS at RootsTech

IAJGS at RootsTech

Hal Bookbinder, Conference co-chair, in the IAJGS booth

For the first year, IAJGS has a presence in the Expo Hall for RootsTech.

What is RootsTech? It’s a conference focused on technology and its use in genealogy. Hosted by FamilySearch, RootsTech is in its fourth year, taking place in Salt Lake City in February.

While several IAJGS regulars have been to the conference before, and two of our usual attendees have won or placed in the Developer’s Challenge, IAJGS has never had its own presence before. We are providing flyers about the conference, LIVE!, IAJGS, and Utah JGS.

If you happen to be at RootsTech, come by booth 334 and say hello. We’ve had quite a bit of interest in just the first day of the conference.

Eating in SLC – Trofi

Trofi/Spencer'sThe Trofi Restaurant is located in the lobby of the Hilton Salt Lake City Center. It doesn’t get more convenient than that.

The Trofi is a breakfast buffet, open from 6:30am to 10am, or 11am on weekends. Within the Trofi is a Starbucks Express, open until 2pm daily.

During our conference, the Trofi will be used for some official meal functions, including “Breakfast with the Experts”. Pre-packaged kosher meals will also be available in the restaurant during lunch.