JGS Colorado History
Founded in 1995 by Miriam Ohr (z''l) and Sandra Greenberg and part of a network of 70 societies worldwide, the Jewish Genealogical Society (JGS) of Colorado is a leader in education, research, information exchange forums and resources for Jewish genealogy. The Society is a nonprofit and run 100% by volunteers.
Providing members with the opportunity to be associated with those who share a common interest in Jewish Genealogy, meetings are a forum to exchange information, to share resources and experiences and to learn new techniques for research. Expertise and topical areas of interest span the globe and spectrum of Jewish history, including Colorado-based family history, but also for roots in Europe, South America, South Africa, Canada and elsewhere. Origins can be Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Israeli and Mizrahi.
JGS of Colorado has presented innovative programming and events over the years, including monthly meetings with guest lecturers from a variety of disciplines; field trips to libraries and archives; beginner workshops; and since 2008, a seven-part lecture series and innovative outreach program that travels to synagogues and runs as an adult education curriculum titled the Jewish Family Tree Initiative: Workshop and Mentoring Series (JFTI).
JGS of Colorado entered the electronic information age in 2001 by establishing its own web site on the Internet, and volunteers have since initiated indexing projects which have become databases. Notable among them are the surname index of the patient application files of the Jewish Consumptives Relief Society (JCRS) (1904-1954); 22,000 Jewish burials and gravestone translations located in Colorado (1861-present); 17,700 additional Jewish burials in Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota; mohel records of Dr. John Elsner (1867-1905) and of Rabbi Leopold Freudenthal (1874-1909); a list of Cotopaxi residents (1882); and obituaries of the Intermountain Jewish News (1915-present).
In 2003, JGS of Colorado applied for the competitive Malcolm Stern Grant from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies to complete the index for the patient application records of the JCRS. Started in 1991, the Malcolm Stern Grant provides funding to encourage institutions to pursue projects, activities and acquisitions that provide new or enhanced resources to benefit Jewish genealogists. This honor was awarded to the JCRS project at the 23rd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, held that year in Washington, DC.
A not-for-profit organization open to people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds, membership is available to anyone interested in genealogy. Dues are based on a fiscal year of January 1 to December 31. JGS of Colorado has a private library collection at Temple Emanuel in Denver which circulates for members. Monthly meetings and workshops are conducted in Denver and in Boulder. JGS of Colorado may be contacted by e-mail. You are invited to look around the web site to learn more about membership opportunities, programs and resources.