Ed Richard Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado
Local Programs and Mentoring for Tracing Jewish Family History Worldwide

JGSCO Officers

Risa Heywood - President
Risa Heywood, President
Risa began researching her family over 25 years ago when she inherited a 6-generation family tree, meticulously drawn by her grandfather on the back of a large piece of wrapping paper.  It contained Americanized names, but no dates or places.   Since then, she has been able to trace all eight great-grandparents back to Belarus, Poland and Ukraine - many of the families back to 1800.  Risa was a founding member of the Colorado Jewish Genealogy Society and served as co-chair of JewishGen’s Belarus SIG.  She recently earned a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University.

Ellen Beller - VP Programming

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Marcia Levy - VP Membership
Marcia LevyMarcia has been a member of JGSCO since 2011. In that time, she has learned so much about her and her husband's families. She has also encouraged some family members to participate in our organization. As VP of  Membership, Marcia realizes that she is usually the first person members see when they attend our programs and takes this responsibility very seriously. Marcia's genealogical goal is to find her grandfather's relatives who he sponsored from Ukraine. The family story is that they survived the Holocaust by hiding out in the forest. 

Sandy Greenberg - Secretary
Sandra was co-founding President of JGSCO. She has been doing Jewish genealogical research since 1978, over 40 years ago. She has researched her family all the way back to the early 1870’s in Poland, Austria, and Romania while gleaning information from the original Polish and Romanian records. This was before personal computers. Sandra learned how to do research at the Mormon Family History Library in Salt Lake City when attending classes with the Avotaynu group every year for 15 years. She saw the beginnings of JewishGen and personal computers. Sandra started and maintained the JGSCO genealogical library at Temple Emanuel. In addition, she found 58 members of her great-grandmother’s family who were killed in the holocaust. She has been a member of APG. as well as many other genealogical organizations. Sandra is pleased with how far genealogical research has come since she started so many years ago and hopes to continue to be an asset to the present day JGSCO.

Debbie Harris Johnson - Treasurer
Debbie Harris JohnsonDebbie is a novice genealogist originally inspired by the life stories of her maternal grandparents who settled in Philadelphia in the mid 1950's after first emigrating from Poland to Panama in 1936. Her research got a boost a couple years ago when she was unexpectedly contacted by a distant relative in Warsaw, but she still has a lot of genealogical work to do on both the Polish and Russian sides of her family.

Randy Getz - Director at Large
Randy has been researching his family on and off for 20 years, kickstarted by a relative who was able to collate over 1000 family members before information was available on the Internet into a 2-inch binder of printed pages. Randy is working hard to understand his family's "vertical genealogy" (ancestors) as well as "horizontal genealogy" (living relatives). The latter has led to many new relationships around the world in both his and his wife's families.

Debbie Schwartz - Immediate Past President
Debbie Schwartz HeadshotDebbie grew up in the midwest US with a single mom and three siblings, but no extended relatives.  From an early age, she was determined to find out who were those relatives that called occasionally but rarely visited; why one grandmother had six babies, but only one lived; and why certain topics were forbidden.  Debbie knew relatively little about her ancestry until 2010.  Since then, she's been able to acquire abundant evidence to about 1800 for most of her eight great grandparents, all of whom were born in Lithuania, Poland, or Belarus.  She moved from Boston to Boulder in 2011, taking her educational-publishing career with her.