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Jewish Genealogy Society Showcases Collection At POB Library

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island (JGSLI), which was founded in 1985 and dedicated to encouraging and assisting the pursuit of Jewish family history, meets in Plainview once a month from June through September. Their goal is to bring together people interested in tracing their Jewish family roots.

The meetings, according to JGSLI president Roda Miller, feature international and national guest speakers and are free to attend. Meetings begin with Mispocha Mavens, Hebrew for family experts, available to answer questions and offer advice for people to get personalized help with their genealogical research.

The society also owns an extensive collection of books, newsletters and pamphlets on Jewish genealogy that is housed at the Plainview Old Bethpage Public Library. Although this collection has been at the library since 1994, it was recently moved to the adult reference section after the society purchased and donated new shelving to move the collection to a more predominant area.

The collection is available as reference only and can’t be checked out. Since this is a reference item, use of the information is not limited to Plainview Old Bethpage residents – anyone can come to the library, located at 999 Old Country Road in Plainview, and peruse the collection.

“It is nice to see organizations collaborate for public good,” said library director Gretchen Brown. “In this instance, the library and Jewish Genealogy Society have collaborated to offer the community the availability of these wonderful materials and also a staff that is knowledgeable of the materials.”

All materials in the 280-piece collection can also be found on the library’s on-line catalog.

This collection has been expanded by donations of members including a large donation by Arthur Kurzweil, who is considered one of the fathers of Jewish genealogy.

“We are extraordinarily grateful for all that the library has done in working together to really bring this collection to their community,” said Miller. “It was definitely a win-win event and this is a model example how two organizations can come together for the good of the community.”

JGSLI is very active on Long Island and looking to expand their group further east and west. Their next meeting is Sunday, March 21 at the Mid Island Y JCC at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will feature Jeffrey Malka, M.D. who will speak on the topic of Sephardic Research.

More information can be found on their website