“A World Beyond: Jewish Cemeteries in Turkey 1583-1990” with Dr. Minna Rozen

Add to Calendar04/18/2021 12:00 PM04/18/2021 01:00 PMAmerica/New_York“A World Beyond: Jewish Cemeteries in Turkey 1583-1990” with Dr. Minna RozenThe story behind the “A World Beyond: Jewish Cemeteries in Turkey 1583-1990” website is also an inspiring tale of scholarly persistence and a lesson about the importance of preserving primary sources.Online – ZoomJewish Genealogical Society, Rauh Jewish History Program & ArchivesfalseMM/DD/YYYY

A World Beyond: Jewish Cemeteries in Turkey 1583-1990 is an online database of more than 61,000 Jewish tombstones in Turkey, including photographs, transcriptions, and descriptions. The result of decades of work, this incredible repository is an essential resource for anyone researching Ottoman Jewry. The story behind the website is also an inspiring tale of scholarly persistence and a lesson about the importance of preserving primary sources.

This program will include a video presentation by Dr. Minna Rozen, followed by a question and answer session with Dr. Rozen about the project and the website.

This program is made possible by support from the William M. Lowenstein Genealogical Research Endowment Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation.


This virtual program is free to attend. Please register online.

This program is a collaboration between the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh and the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives at the Heinz History Center. The program is free to attend.

Register now

For more information, please contact the Rauh Jewish Archives at rjarchives@heinzhistorycenter.org.

Prof. Minna Rozen (born 1947) is an emerita of the University of Haifa. A historian of the Jewish Mediterranean diaspora in the early modern and modern eras, she initiated and carried out documentation and digitization projects of Jewish archives cemeteries and synagogues in Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria. The digital archive of 61,000 Jewish tombstones from Turkey which evolved from an idea of the late Professor Bernard Lewis, and commemorates him, has been uploaded on the internet by the Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center at Tel Aviv University, a center she was the head of in 1992-1997. She is the author of ten books and scores of articles. Among her last publications are: A Journey Through Civilizations: Chapters in the History of Istanbul Jewry, 1453-1923 ,Turnhaut: Brepols Publishers, 2015; The Mediterranean in the Seventeenth Century: Captives, Pirates, and Ransomers at the Juncture Between Religion, Politics, Economics, and Society, Palermo: New Digital Frontiers S.R.L. and Casa Editrice Mediterranea, 2016. She is presently writing a monograph on Salonikan Jewry in the interwar period.

Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh

Foundations of Eastern European Genealogy

Add to Calendar05/23/2021 10:00 AM05/23/2021 05:30 PMAmerica/New_YorkFoundations of Eastern European GenealogyJoin genealogy experts for the History Center’s first virtual Eastern European Genealogy workshop.Heinz History CenterHeinz History Center, the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh, and the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical SocietyfalseMM/DD/YYYY

Join genealogy experts for the History Center’s first virtual Eastern European Genealogy workshop.

Benefitting beginners and seasoned genealogists alike, this in-depth virtual workshop will explore the core genealogical knowledge essential to tracing Eastern European ancestors. Attendees will gain insights into researching ancestors who lived in modern-day Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and more.

Featuring live Question and Answer sessions and interactive virtual networking opportunities, this workshop will foster connections between attendees and expert speakers on tracing your Eastern European ancestors.

Live virtual presentations include:

  • Who Do You Think You Are? The Real World
  • Where is That? Determining Place Names in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Crossing the Pond: Successful Strategies for Researching Eastern European Ancestors
  • Understanding and Interpreting Birth, Marriage and Death Records in Eastern Europe
  • Jewish Genealogy Research in the former Russian Empire

Special access to recordings of the lectures will be made available to attendees following the live workshop.

This workshop is offered in partnership with the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh, the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.


General registration  is $25.

Registration is $20 for members of the History Center, Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh, and Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society.

Please register online.

Register now

To request special accommodations or for more information, contact Sierra Green at 412-454-6361 or sgreen@heinzhistorycenter.org.

Accessibility: Open Captioning Live captioning will be provided at this virtual program.

About the Speakers

Lisa A. Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A., is a freelance writer, instructor, and internationally recognized lecturer, specializing in Eastern European genealogical research, writing your family history, and using the Internet to trace female and immigrant ancestors. She grew up in Duquesne, Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1987 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. Lisa is the author of eleven books, including The Family Tree Polish, Czech and Slovak Genealogy Guide, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women, and hundreds of magazine articles.  Lisa is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine and works as an online educator and writing coach through her website Research, Write, Connect. She also developed the Eastern European Research Certificate Program for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Lisa is a frequently invited speaker for national conferences, genealogical and historical societies, and webinars. An avid genealogist for more than 30 years, Lisa chronicles her family history adventures on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist.  Visit LisaAlzo.com for more information.

Lara Diamond

Lara Diamond began researching her own family around 1989. She has traced all branches of her family multiple generations back in Eastern Europe using Russian Empire-era and Austria-Hungarian Empire records. Most of her personal research is in modern-day Ukraine, with a smattering of Belarus and Poland. She has done client research leading to their ancestors in many parts of the former USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania and more. She is president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland and is JewishGen’s Subcarpathia Research Director. She has lectured around the country and internationally on Jewish and Eastern European genealogy research as well as genetic genealogy. She also runs multiple district- and town-focused projects to collect documentation to assist all those researching ancestors from common towns. Lara blogs about her Eastern European and Jewish research at http://larasgenealogy.blogspot.com

Karen A. Melis

Karen A. Melis, a Pittsburgh native and University of Pittsburgh graduate, is passionate about placing our Eastern European ancestors in the very contexts in which they lived. Having studied Slovak at Pitt and earning a 2011-2012 Fulbright Scholarship, she spent 10 months studying in Slovakia, speaking the language and embracing the culture firsthand.  She has over 25-plus years of hands-on research in over 200 villages of the former Spiš and Orava Counties, Kingdom of Hungary, digitizing records in the Spiš, Zamagurie, Orava, and Podhale regions. With regular research trips overseas, she actively seeks out records and other documents in the Slovak Republic and Polish State Archives as well as land and civil registry offices to better understand the very conditions under which so many of our ancestors lived and decided to migrate. Based on her intimate knowledge, experience, and research capabilities, she formed SlovakGenealogy, LLC to help others find their roots. (See www.ourslovakroots.com for more information.) Karen also moderates a regular monthly Eastern European Special Interest Group (SIG) with the North Hills Genealogists and has lectured on Eastern European genealogy at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP).  As a volunteer group administrator of four geographic DNA projects with FamilyTreeDNA, she assists project members in understanding their genetic matches by combining traditional genealogy and DNA testing.