In honor of Family History Month (October) and International Jewish Genealogy Month (the Hebrew month of Cheshvan), the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh is hosting “Ask The Experts.” A panel of Jewish genealogists from a variety of backgrounds, interests, and areas of expertise will be available to help break through those brick walls.
This program is made possible by support from the William M. Lowenstein Genealogical Research Endowment Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation.
This virtual program costs $10 per person. It’s free for Jewish Genealogical Society members. Please register online.
Register by October 15 for an opportunity to submit questions in advance.
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 for JGS-Pittsburgh members and $10 for the general public. To become a member of the JGS-Pittsburgh and receive a free membership code, please visit their website.
For more information, please contact the Rauh Jewish Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tammy Hepps is a local historian who focuses on topics within American Jewish history, especially small towns and synagogues. Her projects combine research techniques from genealogy and history and draw heavily upon her technology expertise to break new ground in data gathering and interpretation. She is best known for her community reconstitution project focusing on the Jewish community of Homestead, PA, available online at HomesteadHebrews.com. Tammy earned her AB in computer science from Harvard.
Areas of expertise: American Jewish roots, Western PA/Pgh Jewish community research, underused American records, technology for genealogy, family history writing
Caitlin Hollander is a New York-based genealogist, specializing in Ashkenazi Jewish genealogy in both the United States and Europe, Holocaust records and documentation, as well as forensic genealogy for high- value estates and assisting clients in citizenship reclamation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a minor in history from Florida International University, as well as academic certificates in Jewish studies and Holocaust and genocide studies, the latter of which she intends to pursue a master’s degree in beginning Spring 2022. With her business partner, Michael Waas, she co-founded Hollander-Waas Jewish Heritage services, a full-service genealogy and family history firm. Hollander-Waas specializes in Jewish genealogy and provides a customized full-service heritage preservation and genealogy service. Her citizenship reclamation work has been featured in Family Tree Magazine, The Times of Israel, and the South Florida Sun Sentinel, among other publications.
Jarrett Ross began researching his own family history in 2009 while finishing his undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Since then he has built his own personal tree with over 7000 people, successfully connected with thousands of relatives all over the world and has helped build hundreds of trees for people of varying ancestral backgrounds. Jarrett has found multiple specialties including Genetic Genealogy, Sephardic Jewish research with an emphasis on the Portuguese Jewish Community of Amsterdam, the Jewish Agricultural Societies of Southern New Jersey, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry in Ukraine, and American Jewish history. Jarrett writes a blog called “Sephardic Genealogy” and he also has a vlog called “GeneaVlogger” where he talks about his research, gives genealogy tips, interviews other genealogists and shows different aspects of working in genealogy. Jarrett currently works as the lead forensic genealogist at DNA Labs International where he helps solve cold cases. He also volunteers as a Search Angel where he helps people find their biological family, and he volunteers as a curator on Geni.com, home of the World Family Tree. Jarrett currently serves as the vice president of the Triangle JGS in North Carolina and as an IAJGS Board Member.
Michael Waas is a heritage professional, specializing in site research and evaluation, and archival research. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology with a specialization in Historical Archaeology from New College of Florida, and the subject of his Senior Thesis was “The Archaeology of Ethnogenesis of the Seminole People of Florida.” He then received his Master’s Degree from the Department of Jewish History at the University of Haifa and the subject of his MA thesis was “Istorya i oy: A comparative study on the Development of Jewish Heritage of the former Ottoman Empire.” He received the Gaon Prize for Outstanding M.A. Thesis research for the academic year 2017-2018 of the Moshe David Gaon Center for Judeo- Spanish (Ladino) Culture as well as the Prize for Research into the Heritage of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewry, awarded by the Ben Zvi Institute and the Israeli Ministry of Education, for the year 2017-2018. He has presented papers at multiple international conferences on Sephardic Studies, including most recently, the Terras de Sefarad conference in Bragança. Portugal, and the annual Society for Sephardic Studies conference in Lisbon, Portugal, both in June 2019. He also volunteers his time as the anthropologist and historian of the Avotaynu Genetic Census of the Jewish People Project.