Dedicated to enhancing knowledge of those who came before us,
enabling those who follow to enjoy and learn from our discoveries

Our meetings are open to everyone. You are welcome to ask genealogy research questions, report success stories, and show old photos, reference books and family heirlooms. JGSWVO members can borrow books and newsletters from our library and list family names and towns on our website.

JGSWVO is a member of International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies

November 10, 2019 (Sunday) - 1:00 PM
Video Talk: Why Did Our Ancestors Leave a Nice Place Like The Pale?
—by Hal Bookbinder

This talk will provide background about the 120 years of the Pale from its formation in the late 18th century to its dissolution during the First World War. The speaker breaks the life of the Pale into six distinct periods which he designates as “Creation,”, “Containment,” “Repression,” “Enlightenment,” “Pogroms” and “Chaos.” The talk will provide some context to our ancestors’ lives in the Pale and their decisions to leave everything they had known to make new lives in the West.

December 8, 2019 (Sunday) - 1:00 PM
1. Problem solving for JGSWVO members. Bring in your family genealogy questions and we will try to help you discover answers. Ask general questions on topics that you have wondered about.
2. Watch short videos on genealogy topics of interest.
3. Share early Hanukkah cookies and other treats.

January 12, 2020 (Sunday) - 1:00 PM Video Talk: The History, Adoption, and Regulation of Jewish Surnames in the Russian Empire
—by Dr. Jeffrey Mark Paull

The history of the adoption, regulation, and use of Jewish surnames in the Russian Empire is quite complex. There were a number of ways by which Jewish surnames were created, assigned, or adopted, while tight restrictions were placed on changing or altering surnames. As a result of Russian laws and mandates, many non-related Jewish individuals acquired the same surname, while many related family members acquired different surnames. The purpose of this presentation is to explain the various laws and mandates pertaining to Jewish surnames in the Russian Empire.

All meetings are held at:
Temple Beth Israel
1175 E. 29th Ave., Eugene, Oregon
Email for more information about JGSWVO
• Become a JGSWVO member
Mail membership renewals to: Dave Jacobson, PO Box 71681, Springfield OR 97475


The Jewish Genealogical Society of Willamette Valley Oregon is working with YAD VASHEM, The Holocaust Martyrs’ & Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, to help identify and remember every possible victim of the Holocaust. More information...

Jewish Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR)

Topographic Maps of Eastern Europe
JGSWVO member Hap Ponedel is building a website with the primary goal of gathering the widest possible variety of historical maps for Jewish genealogists and researchers interested in the Jews of Eastern Europe. Maps from libraries around the world, as well as online sources, are offered along with links to Jewish encyclopedias to create a historical atlas. Check-in periodically as maps and links are continuously added.

Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
724 NW Davis St.
Portland, Oregon 97209.
Tuesday-Friday, 11 am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, Noon-5pm; Closed Monday
Information: 503.226.3600

©2019 JGSWVO