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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Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay


Researching Bavarian Jewish Communities
Presentation by Bill Peterson
Sunday, June 13, 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, June 13, 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): Researching Bavarian Jewish Communities

     Speaker:  Bill Peterson

     In this presentation we will discuss Jewish communities in Bavaria, with a focus on history and areas of interest for researching family context.  Bavaria is at the crossroads of Central Europe.  There were Jewish communities there since the Middle Ages.  Its recent history includes some of the most notorious Nazi party sites (Beer Hall Putsch, Nazi Party Rallies, Nuremberg Laws, Landsberg where Mein Kampf was written), and one of the earliest concentration camps (Dachau). After WWII it was the site of several Displaced Persons (DP) camps, the Nuremberg trials, and many US military bases through the Cold War until today.  It was home to over 500 former Jewish communities and 223 cemeteries.  Even now Bavaria is home to active Jewish communities, museums, and memorials to lost communities.  Many American German Jewish families have origins in Bavaria and its major regions of Franconia and Swabia.

     Bill Peterson, who serves on the Program Committee for the JGSTB, is a retired Army officer and Air Force civilian who spent his military career as an analyst and educator.  He served two tours of duty in Germany (three years in northern Bavaria and four in southern Bavaria).  During this time, he and his family traveled extensively throughout Germany and Europe, visiting many Jewish historical sites.  He also traveled extensively in the Middle East, visiting Israel, Pakistan, Bahrain, Jordan, and Egypt, where he toured historical Jewish remnants.  Bill served as a Jewish Chaplain’s Council certified Jewish Lay Leader in Germany, Egypt, and Kuwait, and he was a founding member of the military Jewish community at Riyadh Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield and Storm.  He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a B.A. in History, and a M.S. in Geography (Area Studies, Middle East and Africa), and of the University of South Florida with a M.S. in Library Science. Bill has worked on his family history since the mid-1980s using microfilm at the National Archives and LDS libraries before the advent of the Internet.  His family history interests are in Prussia, Vienna, and Sweden, and in his wife’s Galician family area.


     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 Researching Bavarian Jewish Communities



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