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15th World Congress of Jewish Studies – Jewish Genealogy

The Institute sponsored a panel on Jewish Genealogy at the Fifteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, organised by the World Union of Jewish Studies (WUJS) in Jerusalem on August 2-6, 2009.

This precedent-setting event was part of the Institute’s effort to have Jewish Genealogy recognised as a sub-branch of Jewish Studies.

The moderator was Prof. Sergio DellaPergola (Hebrew University), who observed that this was the first time that a panel wholly devoted to Jewish genealogy had ever been held at a WUJS Congress. He hoped that it would be followed by many more.

The panellists and their papers were:

1. Dr. Neville Lamdan (Director, International Institute for Jewish Genealogy): Jewish Genealogy – A legitimate field for academic research?

An assessment of the status of modern scholarly Jewish genealogy and its potential as a sub-branch of Jewish Studies.

Click here for Dr. Lamdan’s paper.

2. Prof. Aaron Demsky (Professor Emeritus, Bar Ilan University): Abbaye’s Family Origins – A Study in Rabbinic Genealogy

A clarification of rabbinic sources, using genealogical methods to synthesize biography, historical geography and the communal recollection of genetic disorders.

Click here for an expanded version of Prof. Demsky’s paper, as subsequently appeared in Z. Weiss, O. Irshai, J. Magness and S. Schwartz (eds.), “Follow the Wise” (B. Sanhedrin 32b): Studies in Jewish History and Culture in Honor of Lee I. Levine (2010, Winona Lake), pp. 233-238

3. Prof. Ruth Kark (Hebrew University) & Dr. Joseph Glass (Toronto): Sephardi Entrepreneurial Elites in late 19th and early 20th century Palestine

An inter-disciplinary study of leading Sephardi families, combining genealogy with a historical-geographical research.

Click here for a “power point” summary of Prof. Kark’s and Dr. Glass’s work, as presented by Dr. Glass.

4. Prof. H.D. Wagner (Weizmann Institute): Genealogical Database Merging

A presentation of a new tool for merging family records from discrete sources and partially overlapping databases, using Zdunska Wola (Poland) as a test case.

Click here for a “power point” presentation of Prof. Wagner’s work..

Click here for photographs of the session and the participants.