In Search of Lost Roots: How One Researcher Traced His Family Across Three and a Half Centuries
Hosted By: Kolot Mayim Reform Temple
Dr. Grayson has always been fascinated by family history. Ever since his childhood, genealogy connected him with his beloved grandparents—although back then, he had no way of knowing that it would become an obsession that would change the course of his life. Thanks to research skills honed in a doctoral degree at the University of Southern California as well as fluency in five foreign languages, Dr. Grayson was able to trace one branch of his family history back to approximately 1660, and many other branches to the early 1700s. Through his research, he learned about the many contributions his family made in fields as diverse as science, art, medicine, feminism, and Zionism. Dr. Grayson’s efforts also led him to reconnecting with living relatives he never knew he had.
Wanting to use his skills to help others, Dr. Grayson founded Lost Roots Family History, a website (https://www.LostRootsFamilyHistory.com), virtual museum, and research service devoted to helping other Jewish families reconnect with their roots, discover their past, engage with the present, and preserve their heritage for the future. On the theme of From Generation to Generation, Dr. Grayson observes that “No matter how much things may change, something of the achievements of those who came before us–some piece of what they have built–will live on forever to inspire and educate future generations.” Kolot Mayim’s Rabbi Lynn Greenhough adds, “Many of us participate in what we call ‘Jewish geography,’ trying to establish long-lost connections with each other through familial ties. Some of us who have chosen Judaism can sometimes feel outside these geographical memories, but the information we receive from all our collective ancestors can inspire all of us to treasure what we hold today.”
This online lecture will offer invaluable insights into the vast array of resources available for Jewish genealogical research including archival records, immigration documents, letters, oral histories, and digital databases. As well, Dr. Grayson will provide expert guidance on how to navigate these resources, overcome obstacles, and piece together the intricate stories of Jewish ancestry.
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