Some of our ancestors Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado
Local Programs and Mentoring for Tracing Jewish Family History Worldwide
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Writing the Script: The Use of Language and Construction of Ancient Jewish Identity with Samuel Boyd
Sunday, March 19
Writing the Script: The Use of Language and Construction of Ancient Jewish Identity with Samuel Boyd  (Programs)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
JCC Denver, 350 S. Dahlia Street, Denver, CO 80246
Description
Language, both in speech and in writing, has played a major role in the history of Judaism. The scripts used for writing and the languages themselves have shaped Jewish identity as much as the content of what has been written. In this talk, I examine some of the languages used and the manners in which they were perceived as being essential for the construction and maintenance of Jewish identity, starting with the ancient Near East context and biblical records and ending with the role of language in rabbinic Judaism.
 
Speaker Bio
Sam Boyd is a scholar of the Bible in its historical, religious, and linguistic environments. He studies the formation of these texts and their history of interpretation in light of wider cultural factors from the ancient Near East. His focus is on the development of the Pentateuch through a new method known as the Neo-Documentary hypothesis, and he has side interests in the reception of biblical texts in early Judaism and Syriac and Ethiopic Christianity. Sam received his BA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago, where attained his degree as part of an interdisciplinary program between the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Divinity School. Sam's dissertation, jointly sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Divinity School, and the Department of Linguistics, is currently being edited for publication under the title Lingua Francas and Literary Formation: Israelite Access to Foreign Literature.



 “American Ghost:  A Haunting Tale of Jews, Germans and the American Frontier” with Hannah Nordhaus
Sunday, April 30
“American Ghost: A Haunting Tale of Jews, Germans and the American Frontier” with Hannah Nordhaus   (Programs)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Congregation Bonai Shalom, 1527 Cherryvale Rd, Boulder, CO 80303
Description
American Ghost untangles the life and legend of Hannah’s great-great-grandmother Julia Staab. She traveled the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico in 1866 as a mail-order German-Jewish bride—and whose phantom is reputed to haunt an elegant hotel in Santa Fe. In American Ghost, Hannah traces 300 years of German history and American immigrant experience from Europe through the American Southwest; unearthing family diaries, photographs, newspaper clippings and memories. This book weaves a masterful & moving story of fin-de-siècle Europe and pioneer life: Villains and visionaries, imagination and truth while exploring how lives become legends, and what those legends tell us about who we are. 
This presentation will share the research behind the American Ghost, and examine how this very American tale of phantoms and the western frontier is intertwined with the larger history of German-Jewish emigration and the fate of Germany’s Jews.
 
Speaker Bio
Hannah Nordhaus is a journalist and award-winning author of The Beekeeper’s Lament (HarperCollins, 2011) and American Ghost (HarperCollins, 2015), both national bestsellers. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the Financial Times, Outside Magazine, Times Literary Supplement (TLS), Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, The American Scholar, and many other publications, covering such subjects as litigious prostitutes in Montana; besieged beekeepers in California; snorkeling salmon-counters in Idaho; wildlife crime investigators in Oregon; and dog-poop mappers in Colorado. From 2007 to 2009, she was outdoors columnist for the Denver Rocky Mountain News.



Casting a Wide Net: The Power of Networking  for Genealogy Research with Judy Petersen
Sunday, May 21
Casting a Wide Net: The Power of Networking for Genealogy Research with Judy Petersen  (Programs)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
JCC Denver, 350 S. Dahlia Street, Denver, CO 80246
Description
Networking isn't just for college graduate job seekers!  Networking can have many benefits for genealogists.  The more resources you consult, the more places you list your information and the more people you enlist in your search may result in the greater your chances for success.  Or, if not success, then perhaps serendipitous discoveries you might never have made.
 
Speaker Bio
Judy Petersen didn't know it at the time, but she became a family historian/genealogist at the age of 12, when she interviewed her Odessa-born grandfather about his childhood.  After her grandparents died, she overheard her uncle tell her father--"we're orphans now, brother", which gave her the impetus to start searching in earnest for family members.  More recently, she was able to extend her mother's family back to the late 1700s in Hungary, and visited newly-discovered relatives in Hungary and Israel.  On her father's side, she commissioned research in Belarus and Ukraine which brought her research back to the early 1800s.  One way she tries to "pay it forward" for all the help she has received is to transcribe records for JewishGen Yizkor Book Project and for the Hungarian Special Interest Group.  In her non-genealogical life, Judy works as a Physical Therapist in a Rehab facility, is the Library Director for Congregation Har Shalom in Fort Collins and is a music paraprofessional for Wellington Middle School.