Our meeting programs feature guest lecturers, workshops, seminars, roundtable discussions and the opportunity to network with others sharing the same interests. Visitors with an interest in Jewish genealogy are always welcome.

Meetings are held from September to June, normally on the second Sunday of each month, beginning at 1:30 PM. Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are held at the offices of Gulf Coast Family and Community Services in Clearwater.


14041 Icot Boulevard
Clearwater, FL 33760-3702

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(Scroll down to view our 2021 Monthly Meeting Schedule)


Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay


Deciphering Jewish Tombstones
Presentation by Robin Meltzer
Sunday, May 16, 2021


     Because of the continuing COVID-19 epidemic, This meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay will be a virtual meeting (Webinar) held online using Zoom.

Reservation requests should be emailed to

     Date:         Sunday, May 16, 2020
     Time:        Zoom sign in 1:30-2:00 PM

     Program - 2:00 PM
     Place:       Zoom website – RSVP to to receive sign-in instructions.
     Program (Zoom Meeting): Deciphering Jewish Tombstones

     Speaker:  Robin Meltzer

Jewish tombstones are an invaluable source of genealogic information.  Tombstone inscriptions can provide the deceased's Jewish religious (Hebrew) name(s), original or alternate versions of family surnames, maiden surnames, the names of the deceased’s parents, his or her place of birth, age, profession, rabbinic lineage, community activities, even the names of living family members.  But there are common problems that make it difficult for researchers to accurately translate and interpret Jewish tombstone inscriptions.  Using examples from Jewish tombstones, the presentation will focus on building skills in understanding an inscription's context, determining the accuracy of the information presented, Jewish naming conventions, recognizing Kohain and Levite status and symbols, identifying rabbinic status, interpreting honorifics, and understanding Hebrew calendar dates and abbreviations.  The presentation will also suggest best practices for on-site cemetery visits and tombstone photography. 

Robin Meltzer, an attorney and genealogist, assists families in obtaining legal records, discovering nontraditional information sources and interpreting documentary evidence.  Robin is an administrator of “Tracing the Tribe: Jewish Genealogy on Facebook,” co-founder of the Jewish Community of the 15th Ward, Syracuse New York Facebook group, Associate Producer of the documentary films “Stories from the Syracuse Jewish Community” and “People and Places of the Syracuse Jewish Community,” and a former vice-president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington (JGSGW).  She lectures on topics in Jewish genealogy and research methodology and has appeared on the cable television program “Tracing Your Family Roots.”  Robin has written articles on Jewish genealogy and local history appearing in several publications, including Avotaynu, Mishpacha, The Galitzianer, and the Jewish Observer of Central New York.


For further information about this program and how to attend it, contact Chris Burklund by email at  An RSVP is required for security purposes to receive sign-in instructions.






2021 JGSTB Meeting Schedule
Date Topic Presenter
June 13, 2021 TBD Bill Patterson
May 16, 2021 Deciphering Jewish Tombstones Robin Meltzer
April 11, 2021 A Guided Tour of the Price Library of Judaica: With Highlights of its Treasures and its Resources for Genealogists Rebecca Jefferson
March 14, 2021 Witness For My Father Barbara Bergen
February 14, 2021 The Leo Baeck Institute (LBI): Resources for German and Austrian Jewish History Michael Simonson
January 10, 2021 Hidden Gems of Jewish Genealogy Marlis Humphrey