CGS Membership Coffee

by Kathryn Doyle (12/13/2007)

Another in a series of CGS membership coffees will be held Thursday, January 24, 2008, from 2-4 p.m. in the Berkeley, Oakland and Piedmont area. Members living in these East Bay communities will be receiving a personal invitation by phone or email. The get-togethers are a fun way to meet members who live locally and are designed to help us link up with others who share similar genealogy research interests. The coffees are also a great way to set up car pools for future CGS meetings, events or research trips. CGS President, Jane Lindsey will give guests an update on current events at the society.

If you live in our target area, please save the date and let us know if you can come. You can also feel free to bring a friend who may be interested in joining our society. Let us know if you need transportation – we can help you arrange a carpool.

The first CGS coffees were held in 2006 in the Lamorinda and Rossmore areas (the latter was jointly hosted with the Mount Diablo Genealogical Society.) Future coffees are planned for members living in San Francisco, Marin, the Peninsula, San Jose, Napa/Sonoma and Sacramento. If you are interested in hosting an event in your area or you would like to help coordinate these events, please contact me at [email protected] or call the society.

The Universe of Immigration Records, 1882-1954

by Kathryn Doyle (12/12/2007)

The San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society presents The Universe of Immigration Records 1882-1954 by noted immigration historian Marian Smith, at its membership meeting on Sunday, January 13, 2008. Dr. Smith’s presentation will focus on records of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS, now USCIS) found at the National Archives and in Agency custody. It will begin with an overview of all types of records created and maintained over time, and how these records are distributed between the two agencies. Her talk will also cover the services and records becoming available through the new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Genealogy Program. A question and answer session will address the particular interests and concerns of researchers.

CGS Research Director, Nancy Peterson advises: “One should get there early as seating is somewhat limited. With respect to naturalization and immigration records, Marian is the smartest person in the country. You can check out some of her articles on the NARA Web site.”

Time and Place:
Jewish Community High School
1835 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA
Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Lecture begins promply at 1:00. Admission free.
Free parking: enter parking garage from Pierce Street.

Marian Smith is the Senior Historian at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. She regularly lectures at national and international genealogy conferences on the history and uses of immigration and naturalization records held in the National Archives, Washington, D.C.

The San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society (SFBAJGS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development, preservation and distribution of Jewish genealogical knowledge and material, and the sharing of techniques and tools with others who may be searching their Jewish Roots. The SFBAJGS functions through the voluntary efforts of its members, all of whom are encouraged to participate. The Society is governed by a Board of Directors, according to a set of published bylaws. The SFBAJGS is a member of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS).

Two ways to give back

by Kathryn Doyle (12/11/2007)

The California Genealogical Society and Library is celebrating our first holiday season at our new address in the Breuner Building at 2201 Broadway in Oakland. It was gratifying to receive this from the Breuner Building Operations Manager, Carly Perez-Banuet:

This holiday season we have two great ways to give back! The first is One Warm Coat. Please bring in any coat you no longer need and One Warm Coat will help distribute back into our surrounding area. You can drop off to security or the management office on the mezzanine level. My goal is to have the final coat pick-up on 12/21/07.

The second is our annual food drive with the Alameda County Food Bank. The food collection bin is set up in the lobby and ideally we will have multiple pick-ups. We will have them pick up once the week of the 17th and one the first week of January. I have attached a wish list of needed foods. You may have also noticed their billboards up in the area…our donations going right back into the community!

* The following is a list of the most needed food items:

  • Canned Fruit and Vegetables
  • Canned Meats and Fish
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pasta
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Canned Soup
  • Dry Cereal and Oatmeal
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Powdered Milk

From the One Warm Coat Web site:

Lois Pavlow created One Warm Coat because she wanted a coat to be given to someone in need. Lois organized the first One Warm Coat drive on Thanksgiving Weekend in 1992 at Union Square in San Francisco, California.

In 2002, Sherri Lewis Wood starting expanding One Warm Coat’s efforts beyond San Francisco so that all who had an interest in donating a coat or hosting a coat drive could easily do so. The impact of these simple and meaningful coat drives makes a difference in the lives of many. Today One Warm Coat drives are held in 49 states across the country from September through March, and include international locations.

From Alameda Counyty Food Bank Web site:

The Alameda County Community Food Bank is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been serving the community since 1985. As the county’s clearinghouse for donated food, the Food Bank provides food assistance for 40,000 low-income Alameda County residents each week, which includes 14,000 children and 7,000 seniors. Most adults served are among the working poor.

  • Provide food to 300 community agencies that serve on-site meals and/or food bags for their clients 
  • Distribute bags of food to school children in need
  • Distribute fresh fruits and vegetables several times a week to member agencies
  • Operate a toll-free hunger helpline that makes over 1,000 referrals each month
  • Conduct food stamp outreach clinics
  • Educate the community and public officials about the causes of hunger and poverty