Robinn Magid
Registration is off to a good start for the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) Conference on Jewish Genealogy that will be held 10–13 August 2020 in the middle of a pandemic instead of a hotel in San Diego. Being adaptable and blessed with electricity and dedicated volunteers, we have quickly converted to a virtual conference that will still feature intriguing topics ranging from DNA testing to the “How To” sessions that our attendees have come to love. Recognizing our diaspora across time zones, this conference will feature a “Video Archive” of recorded presentations – selected from the 100+ speakers who were accepted to speak in San Diego. The Video Archive will be available for the convenient viewing by paid attendees for up to 60 days following the end of the online conference.

Our deep content may be primarily pre-recorded, but this special 40th anniversary conference will feature four days of live, streamed events including plenary sessions, panels and game shows to provide an interactive and entertaining learning environment with sufficient breaks to combat “viewer fatigue”. Topics include choices for all levels of genealogists and the tentative program appears on our website.


Arthur Kurzweil, the founding father of our movement in many ways, will be on hand with Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus, editor of Avotaynu, the International Review of Jewish Genealogy, in a conversation about the evolving story of these Jewish Genealogy Conferences. Arthur served as co-chair of the first “seminar” on Jewish genealogy and authored the inspirational classic, From Generation to Generation, regarded by many as “The Bible” of Jewish genealogy. Sallyann co-chaired more than one of these conferences (back in the day when hundreds of people could meet in person). What a great year to explore how Times Have Changed! – They’ll even honor the person or people who have attended the greatest number of these Jewish Genealogy Conferences. Join us to find out who that is!


Our speaker roster includes some of the biggest names in genealogy, including Kitty Munson Cooper (; Janine Cloud (; Crista Cowan (; W. Todd Knowles (; Daniel Horowitz (; Schelly Talalay Dardashti ( & Tracing the Tribe); Randy Schoenberg ( & Jewish Genealogy Portal); Adam Brown (AvotaynuDNA) and Stanley Diamond (


We’ll provide meeting time for the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Birds-of-a-Feather Groups (BOFs) which are groups that share topical or geographical interests. Come visit our website at: where you can register for the conference. Join the discussion on Facebook by requesting membership at “IAJGS Conference Discussion.” Early Bird Discount Pricing is available until July 5, 2020! See you online!


Robinn Magid serves as the volunteer chair of the IAJGS 2020 Conference on Jewish Genealogy. Robinn also served as the chair of the IAJGS 2018 Warsaw Conference and lives in Berkeley, California. She can be reached at or