JGSWS meets on the second Monday of each month, from September through June. Doors open at 6:30 PM unless noted otherwise. Our meeting location, since September 2013, is the LDS Factoria Building, 4200 124th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98006 (in Factoria, just off I-90 and I-405). Occasional meetings will be held at the JCC on Mercer Island. Admission is free.

NEXT MEETING: Monday, May 8, 2017
at the LDS Factoria Building

  • Presentation starts at 7:15 PM
  • Doors open at 6:30 PM
  • Free admission and refreshments
  • Free Wi-Fi

Come early to use our extensive JGSWS library and network with other attendees. (Free access to pay-per-view websites is no longer available.)

"Beyond the Manifest: Methods for Confirming One’s Ancestral Origins,"
presented by Emily H. Garber


When several communities in Eastern Europe have similar names and their names have been changed over the years, it may be difficult to unambiguously identify a family’s shtetl of origin. Considering the investment in time and energy in researching one’s family shtetl, it is imperative that we apply rigor in identifying our family’s communities of origin, as required by the Genealogical Proof Standard. With its application and a well-designed research plan, we assure that our findings are robust and our conclusions not easily challenged. We will explore applied methodology and suggested genealogical sources and techniques. Resources will include landsmanshaft burial data, online archival material, and Shoah databases toward the goal of providing tools and methods for confirming the location of one’s family shtetl in Eastern Europe.



An archaeologist by training (B.A. and M.A.), Emily H. Garber has been researching her Jewish ancestry since 2007 and holds a certificate from Boston University's Genealogical Research program. She specializes in Jewish genealogical research and has worked with records for both German-Jewish and Eastern European Jewish immigrants. Her client work has included research into narrowly defined genealogical problems as well as development and writing of broadly based family history narratives. In June 2013, she toured family shtetlach in Ukraine and explored archives in Lviv, Khmelnitsky and Zhitomyr. She is chair of the Phoenix (Arizona) Jewish Genealogical Group, board member of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society, owner of Extra Yad Genealogical Services, and she blogs at She has served for several years as one of the moderators of the JewishGen Discussion Group and is communications director of the Ukraine Special Interest Group.

For more information about this month's program, e-mail


Download handout from the March meeting.

Download handouts from past meetings.

June 12: Linda Levi
September 11: Marcia Fine
October 9: Joel Weintraub


See the Events page.