Anne Byrne at Boulder Jewish Festival Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado
Local Programs and Mentoring for Tracing Jewish Family History Worldwide

JGSCO Officers

Ellen Beller - President
Ellen was born and raised on the Jersey Shore. She came to Denver in 1973 to attend the University of Denver. Graduating with a BSBA in Finance she became the first woman sales person for Samsonite Luggage. At 34 she went back to school to get a design degree as she had been painting since grammar school. She now works in glass. Having lost her mother as a child she knew very little about her family. Her parents were only children so there was no one to ask. A lover of history and a voracious reader researching her genealogy was a natural progression.
Ellen is researching Throne, Lithuania • Claster/ Klajstor,  Panevezys Lithuania • Beller, Kolbuszowa and Krakow Poland • Rabinowicz, Krakow Poland • Rozli/ Reki Szyja • Janczalek, Krakow  •  Bendytz, Krakow Adelung, Krakow • Lipman Adelung, Krakow • Eschelbach, Bavaria • Weckert, Bavaria • Herschfeld, Germany • Borchard, Prussia • Perel/Morel, Krakow • Arndt, Baden-Wurttemberg Germany • Stein, Baden • Steinhardt, Flonheim Rhineland Palatine German •  Levi, Herrnsheim Rhineland Palatinate German • Sanders, Germany • Levy, Germany • Hirsch, Mandel Germany • Marx, Zeltingen Rachtig • Baer/Baehr, Wiesbaden Germany • Samuel, Bad Kreuznach Germany • Gumbel,  Wiesbaden Germany • Loewy, Germany

Gail Marcus - VP Programming
Gail served as JGSCO President from 2014 - 16. She is a retired French teacher who enjoys playing with her cat Fanny, traveling, doing crossword puzzles, reading, attending theater and the cinema and being politically active.  She is relatively new to genealogy and began tracing her family just a few years ago. Gail's Colorado roots began in 1882 when her maternal great-uncle, Charles Prezant, settled in Cotapaxi Colorado with around 60 other Jewish immigrants. The Cotapaxi Colony lasted 2 years and Charles and his family moved to Denver. Twenty years later he sponsored his sister and brother-in-law, Yetta and Shea Levitt, and their very young family.  Gail's Bubbie and Zadie came from Kovel, Ukraine and lived on the west side. Gail's paternal grand-parents, Celia and Charles Marcus, came to Denver in 1905.They were early members of Temple Emanuel and owned a tailor shop at 925 E. 11th Avenue in Denver. Celia's brother, Morris Barmatz, was a patient at JCRS, which is why she and her new husband moved to Denver from the sweatshops of N.Y.  The rest of her siblings weren't far behind.  Celia's family is from Brest Litovsk, Belarus and Charles’ from Grodno, Belarus.


Marcia Levy - VP Membership
Marcia Levy Marcia 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. 

Lisa Herschli - Secretary
Lisa was born and raised in New Jersey.  She relocated to Denver in 1997, as the head trader for a start-up mutual fund.  She retired in 2001. Lisa enjoys reading, beading, and making coffee table books from her travels.  Before COVID, she enjoyed theater and movies.  She admits to being addicted to Mahjongg. Lisa started “playing" with genealogy 15 or so years ago.  Her biggest regret was not asking more questions when her family was alive. But thankful she kept many of her dad’s papers.  Her family names are Herschi (Hersli), Mozses (Moses), Rippner, Roth, Petyan, Rosenberg, and Liss. Lisa was fortunate enough to visit Simleu Silvaniei (Szilagysomlyo, Hungary), but, unfortunately, she wasn’t aware of what to look for and where.
Her father arrived in Toronto, Canada, from Șimleu Silvaniei, Romania, in 1924, at the age of 20.

Her maternal grandmother arrived from Budapest in 1900.  Her maternal grandfather from Austria-Hungary- Galicia in 1892. Lisa assumes that her paternal grandmother and many relatives perished in World War II.  Through Genealogy and DNA, she hoped to find a relative that may have survived. Lisa’s father and mother met at a mutual friend’s wedding in the Bronx in 1938. Lisa loves puzzles and mysteries.  To her, genealogy is the biggest puzzle in the world.

Elliot Cohen - Treasurer
Elliot CohenDr. Elliot Cohen has practiced general psychiatry in Colorado Springs for forty years and recently has retired. He was born in Brrooklyn Jewish hospital and raised in Silver Spring Maryland. He matriculated at the University of Maryland  for his undergraduate degree in psychology, and his medical degree at the Baltimore campus of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. After medical school and an internship in Honolulu, Hawaii he served as a general medical officer in the U.S. Navy for six years, followed by seven years as a psychiatrist in the U.S. Army which brought him to Ft. Carson in Colorado. His passion for genealogy began in 1977, while serving in Europe, he visited his ancestral village in Checiny, Poland. In addition, he has supported the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass. for twenty five years, in memory of the mother tongue of his ancestors.

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.

Joy Davis - Past President
Joy is a Vice President of the Austin Families Association of America, and is a member of Denver Chapter, NSDAR.