I belong to one genealogy society – the Jewish Genealogical Society of Connecticut (JGSCT.) I’m not much of a joiner. I like to do research and I love to learn new things, but I’m pretty reluctant to do so if it involves getting off my couch. (Just ask my husband!)
So, why did I join the JGSCT? Pretty much because I’m 100% Ashkenazi Jewish, and I figured if any group could help me with my research, it would be these folks. I don’t even remember when I joined JGSCT. I do know it was before 2010 because my mom used to attend meetings with me. I think one of the first meetings we attended was a presentation called “Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy.” (A similar series is being held in November and December, by the way.) After my mom passed away in 2011, I continued to attend meetings. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful. I learned about resources like JewishGen and the annual conference held by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS.)
At some point, the President, Doris Nabel, suggested I join the board as a member-at-large. She said I didn’t have to do anything except attend the monthly meetings. I felt a little weird because I wasn’t “observant” (of the religion and customs) but Doris assured me that the society was about genealogy, not the religion so much. So – I agreed. I am still on the board. I’m a tad more involved now, as the co-editor of QUEST, our society newsletter. I have also attended three IAJGS conferences – Boston (2013), Salt Lake City (2014) and Seattle (2016.) It’s been a great experience. I’ve met some terrific people, made some great connections, and improved my “networking” skills.
Have you been thinking of getting involved in a genealogy society? The mission of the JGSCT lists three things societies will assist you with:
- Promoting genealogical research
- Providing instruction in the use of research methodology and adherence to standards of accuracy
- Fostering careful documentation and scholarly genealogical writing and publication
As I write this, I’m thinking maybe I should practice what I preach. I’ve been toying with joining the Connecticut Society of Genealogists. It’s time.