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  • February 05, 2024 5:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The recording and chat from Adam Mendelsohn's February 4 presentation about “What was it like to be a Jewish soldier in Lincoln’s Armies?” are available. After logging into jgsco.org, you can find a link to this event (and most past events) on the website's Events page by going to menu item JGSCO Events > Past Events' Handouts and Recordings, then scroll down to the Past Events section. (If you don't log in then you won't see past events.) Links are at the bottom of each event's information. Alternately, you can click here to go directly to this event.

    Please mark your calendar for JGSCO's upcoming January events: February 26 (Indexing JCRS Records at University of Denver) and March 3, Canadian Resources for Jewish Genealogy. Sign up at jgsco.org > Upcoming Events (lower left on Home page).

  • January 07, 2024 1:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The recording and chat from Adina Newman's presentation on January 7, "L’Dor V’Dor: Using DNA to Reunite Holocaust Survivors" are available. After logging into jgsco.org, you can find a link to this event (and most past events) on the website's Events page by going to menu item JGSCO Events > Past Events' Handouts and Recordings, then scroll down to the Past Events section. (If you don't log in then you won't see past events.) Links are at the bottom of each event's information. Alternately, you can click here to go directly to this event.

    Please mark your calendar for JGSCO's upcoming January events: January 8 and 22 (Indexing JCRS Records at University of Denver) and January 17 (Visit to FamilySearch Library on S Monaco Pkwy). Sign up at jgsco.org > Upcoming Events (lower left on Home page).


  • December 20, 2023 4:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The recording, handout, and chat from Barry Halpern's presentation on December 17, "Researching Your Lithuanian Roots," are available. After logging into jgsco.org, you can find a link to this event (and most past events) on the website's Events page by going to menu item JGSCO Events > Past Events' Handouts and Recordings, then scroll down to the Past Events section. (If you don't log in then you won't see past events.) Links are at the bottom of each event's information. Alternately, you can click here to go directly to this event.

    Please mark your calendar for JGSCO's January events:

    • "L’Dor V’Dor: Using DNA to Reunite Holocaust Survivors" on January 7
    • "The FamilySearch website and how to use it to further your research" on January 17
    • Volunteer to help index JCRS patient applications at the University of Denver on January 22

    You can sign up for these on JGSCO's home page, jgsco.org > Upcoming Events (at lower left) or go directly to https://jgsco.org/JGSCO-Events.

    Have a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you in 2024!

  • November 07, 2023 1:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Several site updates today:

    1. Updated Colorado Research page to include a link to 'Colorado Names Index on JewishGen'
    2. Fixed a broken link to "State and Local Repositories'
    3. Updated verbiage on the JCRS Research page, 2ndto last paragraph

    Thanks to Ellen Kowitt for the helpful inputs.

  • October 29, 2023 3:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The recording and chat from Ellen Kowitt's presentation on October 29, "Inside America's Alligator Family: The David Crystal Story," are available. After logging in to jgsco.org, you can find a link to this event (and most older events) on the website's Events page by going to menu item JGSCO Events > Past Events' Handouts and Recordings, then scroll down to the Past Events section. (If you don't log in then you won't see past events.) Links are at the bottom of the event's information. Alternately, you can click here to go directly to this event.

    Please mark your calendar for JGSCO's November events: Jewish Consumptive Relief Society (JCRS) records indexing at the University of Denver on November 13 and 27, and A Walking Tour of Jewish Auraria on November 16. You can sign up for these on JGSCO's home page, jgsco.org > Upcoming Events (at lower left).

  • September 04, 2023 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The recording, handout, and chat from Debbie Shaw's presentation on August 22, "Introduction to Jewish Genealogy," are available. After logging in to jgsco.org, you can find a link to this event (and most older events) on the website's Events page by going to menu item JGSCO Events > Past Events' Handouts and Recordings, then scroll down to the Past Events section. (If you don't log in then you won't see past events.) Links are at the bottom of the event's information. Alternately, you can click here to go directly to this event.

    Please mark your calendar for JGSCO's next event on October 29, when JGSCO member Ellen Kowitt speaks about "Inside America's Alligator Family: The David Crystal Story." You can register for this presentation by logging in and then following the link in the Upcoming Events area to here. Please note this event occurs at BHM-BJ Synagogue, 560 S Monaco Parkway, Denver, CO 80224, and will not be transmitted via Zoom nor recorded.

  • August 19, 2023 5:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Although we were unable to record The Sassoons presentation on 16 August 2023, the Jewish Museum made post-meeting information available. If you go to this event's listing, you can access the following.

    •    Exhibition audio guide
    •    Virtual Lecture: The Sassoons in their Indian Context: Synagogues, Commerce, and Politics
    •    Author Talk: Jonathan Kaufman, "The Last Kings of Shanghai"
    •    Lecture: John Singer Sargent’s Jewish Sitters

    After logging in, you can find a link to this event (and most older events) on the JGSCO Events page. After logging in, go to menu JGSCO Events > Past Events' Handouts and Recordings, then scroll down to the Past Events section. (If you don't log in then you won't see past events.) Links are at the bottom of the event's information. Alternately, you can click here to go directly to this event.

    Please mark your calendar for our next event on August 22, when Debbie Shaw will present An Introduction to Jewish Genealogy. This lecture is open to members and non-members at no cost. Please take a moment to register at https://jgsco.org/ to help us ensure we have adequate Zoom resources available.

  • August 13, 2023 11:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    If you are like most genealogists, you probably have cherished old family photos whose details, such as when they were taken, remain a mystery. Perhaps you flipped them over hoping to find more details, only to discover that your ancestors who treasured these photos didn’t leave any information behind. Until now, missing details about your photos could have remained a mystery forever, but here at MyHeritage, we set out to find a solution. Today we’re excited to announce the release of PhotoDater™, a groundbreaking, free new feature that estimates the year a photo was taken, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

    PhotoDater™ is one-of-a-kind: MyHeritage is the only genealogy service that offers date estimation for historical photos. Using powerful technology developed by our AI team, PhotoDater™ gives its best guess when a photo was taken. This can help you unlock further clues about who appears in the photo and the event at which it was taken, to solve mysteries in your genealogy research. PhotoDater™ is completely free!

    Check out the cool video below to see what PhotoDater™ can do:

    PhotoDater™ is already receiving praise from experts in the genealogy community. Maureen Taylor, known throughout the genealogy community as The Photo Detective™, says, “PhotoDater™ is a stunning addition to the suite of photo tools offered by MyHeritage. It’s a good first step when trying to understand a photo mystery.” Thomas MacEntee of Genealogy Bargains says, “MyHeritage keeps finding fantastic ways to harness the power of AI for practical genealogical use. PhotoDater™ is a super useful feature that can take the guesswork out of analyzing undated photos.”

    Try PhotoDater™ today

    How it started

    Our Founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet, came up with the idea for PhotoDater™ and first described it in his presentation at RootsTech in 2020.

    Gilad at RootsTech

    MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet at RootsTech 2020

    How it works

    PhotoDater™ uses a proprietary machine learning algorithm developed by MyHeritage to provide an estimate of the year when a photo was taken. The date estimation algorithm was trained on tens of thousands of curated, definitively dated historical photos to help the algorithm understand nuances such as clothing, hairstyles, facial hair, furniture, and other objects that are characteristic of a particular decade.

    The historical photos used to train the model came from open-source repositories such as the Library of Congress. Photos uploaded by MyHeritage users and stored on the company’s servers were not used to train the AI model.

    The algorithm provides date estimates for undated photos taken between 1860 and 1990, for which it is reasonably confident it can return results with high accuracy. Estimates are calculated only for photos that do not already have a date in the metadata, that include people, and that are actual photographs, not documents or gravestones. A photo of just a car or a scan of a historical record won’t receive a date estimate. Date estimates can be reviewed and saved by you to the photo’s metadata, or dismissed. If you prefer not to see any date estimates, you can turn off PhotoDater™ from the site settings menu.

    Extensive testing of the algorithm’s accuracy, conducted using definitively dated photos that were not used in the original training set, revealed the estimates to be extremely accurate, not just on a decade level, but often closer to an actual year. Analysis of the testing set, displayed in the graph below, shows that for approximately 60% of the photos, PhotoDater™ provided date estimations that were within 5 years of the actual dates the photos were taken.


    Histogram showing the accuracy of PhotoDater™: nearly 60% of its estimates are within 5 years of the actual year (click to zoom)

    Using photo date estimates in family history research

    Date estimates are valuable clues that can further your family history research. By figuring out when a mystery photo was taken, it becomes easier to identify who appears in it, and deduce what event it was taken at, such as a wedding or other milestone. For example, if the date estimate suggests that Grandma and Grandpa were married in 1931, based on their wedding photo, and you remember Grandma saying she got married when she was 23, or you can gauge her age from her appearance in the photo, you can narrow down her birth year to circa 1908. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that date estimates are just that: estimates. While PhotoDater™ may narrow down the year with very high accuracy, it can be off by several years. This is why, if you choose to save the date estimate to the photo metadata, it appears as an estimated date in GEDCOM format, rather than an exact one. We’ll explain more about that below.

    Accessing PhotoDater™

    To use PhotoDater™, visit MyHeritage and click “Photos” in the main menu. If you have undated photos that aren’t on MyHeritage yet, upload them first to receive PhotoDater™ estimates.

    Accessing your photos to use PhotoDater™

    Accessing your photos to use PhotoDater™ (click to zoom)

    The My Photos page will be displayed. Click the “Upload” button in the top right corner to upload more photos.

    My Photos page

    “My Photos” page on the MyHeritage website (click to zoom)

    Click any photo’s thumbnail to view the Photo Page.

    Photo Page: Date estimates will automatically appear for undated photos, as marked in red


    Save or reject an estimate, or view more details

    Clicking “More details” opens a histogram that explains more about the date estimate for the photo, and shows the confidence level of the estimate, as well as an average error range. In the example below, the histogram indicates a 90% confidence level that the photo was taken in 1953, with an average error range of 5 years, which means it was likely taken between 1948–1958. According to the histogram, there’s also a small possibility the photo was taken in the 1940s. The 1953 estimate is quite close — the particular wedding photo shown in this example was actually taken in 1951.

    If you are like most genealogists, you probably have cherished old family photos whose details, such as when they were taken, remain a mystery. Perhaps you flipped them over hoping to find more details, only to discover that your ancestors who treasured these photos didn’t leave any information behind. Until now, missing details about your photos could have remained a mystery forever, but here at MyHeritage, we set out to find a solution. Today we’re excited to announce the release of PhotoDater™, a groundbreaking, free new feature that estimates the year a photo was taken, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

    PhotoDater™ is one-of-a-kind: MyHeritage is the only genealogy service that offers date estimation for historical photos. Using powerful technology developed by our AI team, PhotoDater™ gives its best guess when a photo was taken. This can help you unlock further clues about who appears in the photo and the event at which it was taken, to solve mysteries in your genealogy research. PhotoDater™ is completely free!

    Check out the cool video below to see what PhotoDater™ can d

    Histogram of decades and the confidence level of PhotoDater’s estimate (click to zoom)

    FILTERING YOUR PHOTOS TO SEE ONLY UNDATED ONES

    If you have already added dates to your photos (like any good genealogist should!) then you might want to filter your photos to show only the undated ones, and then see what PhotoDater™ can tell you about those photos. This is optional. To apply such a filter, do the following: click the list icon on the top right of the page to open List View for photos.

    More details: Histogram of decades and the confidence level of PhotoDater’s estimate (click to zoom)

    The histogram is very helpful because it gives you more information about the estimate. In the example above, it shows that if not from the 1950s, the photo was probably taken in the 1940s.

    In the example below, PhotoDater™ estimates that the photo was taken in 1935. If the date estimate seems credible, or you can prove it using other sources, click the “Save” button in the popup to save the estimated year to the photo’s metadata. The year will be labeled as an estimate in the metadata, in a standard GEDCOM format for an estimated date. If the exact date of the photo is discovered at any point, you can easily replace the estimate with the actual date. You can also edit the date at any time, once it’s part of the photo metadata.

    Date estimates are saved in a GEDCOM format

    Date estimates are saved in a GEDCOM format (click to zoom)

    PhotoDater™ also works on photos originally taken in color. In the example below, the estimate places the year the photo was taken as 1973. The photo was in fact taken just one year earlier, in 1972.



  • August 11, 2023 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thanks to Shandra Fosu for pointing out there were two broken links in our Research link list. Links have been updated for

    • Jewish Theological Seminary Library
    • Simon Wiesenthal Center Archives and Library
  • May 08, 2023 10:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The recording and chat from the May 7th presentation of "How a N.Y. pediatrician and a French-Israeli volunteer solved the mystery behind my 92-year-old mother's post-war penpal," by Abigail Klein Leichman are available. After logging in, you can find a link to this event (and most older events) on the JGSCO Events page. After logging in, go to menu JGSCO Events > Past Events' Handouts and Recordings, then scroll down to the Past Events section. (If you don't log in then you won't see past events.) Links are at the bottom of the event's information. Alternately, you can click here to go directly to this event. If the video site requests a password then use 325066

    Please mark your calendar for our next event on May 11, when JGSCO and Temple Emanuel partner to present "DNA Testing For Genealogy: What Is It and How Can I use It?" This evening, on-site event will include presentations from JGSCO members Greg Liverman and Sue Black. You can register for this presentation by logging in and then following the link in the Upcoming Events area to here.

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The Jewish Genealogical Society (JGS) of Colorado is a leader in education, research, information exchange forums, and resources for Jewish genealogy.

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