Jane Rosen Berenbeim, Vice President Programming is a consultant to non-profit organizations. She worked for more than 25 years as a Development Officer for New York City social service, educational, healthcare, and cultural institutions, including Columbia University, Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services. In earlier incarnations, she taught History and managed a financial planning service. She has been researching her family history for nearly fifteen years and served as Fundraising Chair of the 2006 IAJGS Conference.
Linda Cantor, a retired teacher for the New York City Department of Education, has been researching her family history for over thirty years and has done considerable research on her Lithuanian, Galician and Volhynian roots. She coordinates the Rokiskis, Lithuania town SIG and is the webmaster for five KehilaLinks sites. She was the registration chair of the 1999 Annual Conference on Jewish Genealogy, the co-chair of the 2006 IAJGS Conference in New York, secretary of JGS, and president of JGS, Inc (New York) from 2007 to 2010.
Stewart Driller, Treasurer, is an electrical engineer who retired from Con Edison ten years ago, when an interest in New York City history and the Lower East Side raised questions about his family's origins. Since then he has been researching his family in the Lublin area of Poland and northern Galicia. Stew is also a volunteer at the Genealogy Institute and Conservation Lab at the Center for Jewish History.
Gloria Berkenstat Freund was the executive director of a non-profit organization before deciding to devote full time to memorializing her ancestral towns in Poland and their people. She began studying Yiddish in 1996 and has been translating Yizkor Books for Polish and Lithuanian shtetlekh for the past few years. She is JRI-PL Shtetl CO-OP leader for several towns and the coordinator for one of the Polish State Archive indexing projects. Gloria was the Membership VP of JGSLI and the Vice President - Programs for JGS. She was the Program Committee Chair for the 26th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy.
Avrum Geller has been engaged in genealogical research on a professional basis for four years, after researching his own family for two decades. He has conducted family history workshops in assisted-living facilities and with Jewish service organizations. He performed volunteer work to help build online databases of New York City records. He is a volunteer with DOROT, an agency providing volunteer social services primarily for homebound elders. He has been a member of the Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus, performing music set to Yiddish text. He was previously Vice President – Marketing Services of Block Drug Company, a manufacturer of healthcare and household products, and was recognized as a specialist in advertising and marketing to older adults. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa.
Joy Kestenbaum is an art and architectural historian and librarian, who served as chair of the New York Metropolitan Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America. She has been on the teaching and library faculty of Queens College (CUNY), Pratt Institute, New York Institute of Technology, and Purchase College (SUNY), and was also Director of the Gimbel Art and Design Library at The New School. A consulting historian for numerous award-winning preservation projects, she has also lectured widely on Jewish architects and synagogue architecture. Her research on Henry Fernbach led to her rediscovery, in the 1980s, of his original nineteenth-century architectural drawings for New York’s Central Synagogue, which proved to be an invaluable contribution to the building’s restoration after a severe fire in 1998. She credits her interest in family history to meeting many of her older immigrant relatives at a very young age and to her grandmother, who requested that she visit her great-grandmother’s grave in London while studying abroad. She has researched members of her extended family who lived in the United States, Canada, England, Argentina and Palestine/Israel, in addition to her roots in Western Galicia and the Grodno/Bialystok region. In 2010, she traveled throughout eastern Poland, conducting archival research and visiting ancestral towns. She created the KehilaLinks web pages on Narewka, Poland, for JewishGen, and assists others with their genealogical research.
David M. Kleiman, publisher, historian, and educator, has been a genealogist for over 35 years. He is co-founder and chair of the New York Computers and Genealogy Special Interest Group, now in its 24th year and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and Genealogical Speakers Guild. David is president of Heritage Muse, Inc., digital and print publishers in the humanities. The company designed and published the IAJGS Conference Syllabi in 2006 (NY) and 2008 (Chicago) and is actively working on 2009 (Philadelphia). He created the databases for the Routes to Roots website Eastern European records search and he is designing and building the website for the new Loeb Visitors Center at the historic Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island. He has authored articles for PC Magazine, Home & Small Business Computing, Avotaynu, and other genealogical publications. He currently serves on the JGS EC, having served in the past as editor of Dorot. His recent genealogical consulting work has involved him in the publication of Lots of Lehmans, by Ken Libo, and An American Experience: Adeline Moses Loeb (1876-1953) and her Early American Jewish Ancestors, to be released Spring 2009. Trained in archaeology and anthropology, and through his work as a museum educator, university instructor, curator, folklorist, and systems and business consultant, David has developed a strong vision of using personal genealogies and family stories to illuminate and humanize broader historical contents and concepts.
Jeffrey Levin is a self-employed attorney who has had a lifetime passion devoted to learning about the roots and stories of his extended family and of the Jewish immigrant experience in America. Among his diverse interests, he has served as a volunteer with many civic and political organizations. He is the founder of WNYPIRG (Western New York Public Interest Research Group), a predecessor of NYPIRG. He is a past board member of the Temple Israel Center of White Plains Community High School, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Yonkers and the Tuckahoe Youth Association. He has coached and managed youth baseball, softball, ice hockey and basketball teams and is a past president of Scarsdale Summer Baseball and the Quaker Ridge Athletic Association. After graduating from SUNY Buffalo and St. John’s Law School, he was an assistant corporation counsel and prosecutor for the cities of Mount Vernon and Long Beach, New York. He is the co-coordinator of Westchester for Obama, a coordinator of Westchester for Change and a vice chair of the Scarsdale Democratic Committee. He has attended three Democratic National Conventions as a newspaper journalist and a radio reporter. As a member of the JGS executive council, he hopes to encourage and further others' interest in their families’ histories and in the preserving of family documents and photographs for the enjoyment and knowledge of future generations.
Michael Levine, Vice President Membership, is a Systems Analyst in the telephone industry. He started researching his family when he was in high school. He resumed his search when he found that he could combine his interest in genealogy with his interest in computers. Michael led an effort to transliterate revision lists from the Borisov District of Belarus, whence his family originates.
Roni Seibel Liebowitz, President, held the position of Vice President of Programming from 2009 through 2011. A board member of Jewish Records Indexing-Poland, she is the Archive Coordinator of Lodz and the Town Leader of Belchatow. She serves as coordinator of JewishGen’s KehilaLinks for Lodz, Lodz Area Research Group, and Belchatow, Poland. As consultant and participant in a documentary about a World War II liberator and survivors, she traveled in the United States, Poland and Israel to interview subjects. At the 26th IAJGS Conference in New York in 2006, she was Registration and Exhibit Chairperson. She is a retired speech and language pathologist.
Hadassah Lipsius is a Supplier Quality Engineering Manager for a major defense contractor. She was co-chair of the 26th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in New York. She is a board member of Jewish Records Indexing-Poland, a board of Governor of JewishGen and the Database Manager for the Warszawa Research Group. Hadassah has traveled many times to Poland to pursue her family research. Das takes pride that her family were city dwellers (Warszawa and St. Petersburg) for over 200 years.
Harriet Glickman Mayer, Vice President Communications, is a retired school librarian who has been researching her family in Belarus and Ukraine, and her husband’s family in Germany, for ten years. She has done extensive research in German archives and maintains contacts with research facilities there.Harriet currently serves as a volunteer for the Italian Genealogical Group database project, and has in the past volunteered on projects for Ancestry and Jewishgen. She is a member of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the Computers in Genealogy Special Interest Group.
Howard Rotblatt, Secretary, has been a bank examiner for more than 20 years. Prior to that, he had been an assistant nursing home administrator at several health care facilities in the New York City area. The son of a Holocaust survivor, he has been researching his family history from the Lodz area of Poland for the past ten years.
Rivka Schiller is an archivist at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (New York) and has worked in librarian capacities at the Center for Jewish History (New York), the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies (Chicago), and at Bar-Ilan University (Ramat-Gan, Israel). She is also a multilingual freelance writer and Yiddish translator. She has been interested in tracing her family’s roots since she was a child, and began in earnest to research her maternal line, which hails from Warsaw, Kielce, and the Kielce region, over ten years ago.
Steven W. Siegel, Past President, z"l, was the archives consultant and library director at the 92nd Street YM-YWHA in Manhattan. He was a past president of the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York and the 2004 recipient of the Round Table's Award for Archival Achievement. He was president of the Jewish Historical Society of New York, serves on the Jewish Book Council Board of Directors, and a member of the Cornell University Hillel Board of Trustees and the Cornell University Council. Steve was a founding member of the JGS and president (1985-1989), and he has served as managing editor and acting editor of Dorot. His research and lectures focus on Jewish genealogy, Jewish archival sources and New York City local history. Steve was co-founder and co-editor of Toledot: The Journal of Jewish Genealogy (1977-1982) and compiled the Archival Resources volume of Jewish Immigrants of the Nazi Period in the USA (1978). Steve Siegel passed away January 2012.
Paul Silverstone is the author of several books on naval vessels and recently completed a five-volume series covering all US warships from 1775 to 2007. He does genealogical research on his extended family with particular emphasis on families from Winnipeg, Makow Mazowiecki & Shumskoye. Paul has been a member of the Executive Council since December 1996 and was Treasurer of the Jewish Genealogical Society, Inc. from 2000 to 2007. He is the treasurer of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS).
Steve Stein has been a software professional and manager in the telecommunications industry for more than 35 years. He has been researching his own and his wife's genealogies for more than 30 of those years, whose origins include Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine and Romania. He has volunteered for H-SIG and JOWBR, is currently coordinating research projects related to Nesvizh, Belarus, and hopes to start a ShtetLinks page for Kupel, Ukraine in the near future. He has served as president both of the local day school and his synagogue.