BERNARD ISRAELITE KOUCHEL
July 4, 1927 ~ April 9, 2013
Sadly, we must mark the passing of our Founder and President Emeritus, Bernie Kouchel, who has guided this organization for the past 25 years. Bernie was buried April 11, 2013 in the Veteran's section of Vista Memorial Gardens, with military honors.
As one of the pioneers of Jewish genealogy, and a member of the JewishGen Board, Bernie has left his indelible footprints on the pages of JewishGen. Recognized in a proclamation declaring the month of December, 2001 to be "Bernard Israelite Kouchel Month
," the award read, "Such honor [is] bestowed upon our friend and loyal member of the JewishGen Board for his illustrious service rendered over a long and productive tenure and his accomplishments both outstanding and unforgettable to this virtual community."
More recently, in 2012, he was beyond thrilled to be the recipient of the Outstanding Program or Project Award from IAJGS
for the conception of the popular ViewMate Project, which by now must have close to 20,000 images archived.
As the Jewish Genealogical Society of Broward County marks its 25th year, having been founded by Bernie Kouchel in 1988, I published in our March newsletter, greetings from renowned genealogist, Miriam Weiner (Roots to Routes) who wrote, "His leadership, innovative ideas, continuing quest for new resources and involvement in Jewish genealogy on both a local and national level led to the establishment and continuing growth of your society."
His accomplishments are far too numerous to mention, but included the chair of the Broward County Research Committee for MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida
, an important Florida project which is now a part of the Jewish Museum in Miami.
After retiring as a buliding contractor in New York and Florida, Bernie authored a book entitled, Book of Israelite Family History
. From his mother, he inherited the candlesticks his grandmother, Sarah Israelite brought with her from Novogrudok, Belarus in 1902, arriving in Brooklyn with three children to join her husband, Michl. "I envision Shabbat candle lighting rituals with Bubba waving her hands over the lit candles,"
he wrote, "it endures in my memory."
He now joins them, and Bernie will endure in our memories, having well-earned his rest on earth.
The JGSBC extends our condolences, love and profound sympathy to the family of Bernie Kouchel.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER ANNOUNCED
The keynote speaker at the conference will be Aaron Lansky, the founder and president of the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Mr. Lansky is responsible for revitalizing the study of the Yiddish language and motivating hundreds of young scholars to study and teach Yiddish. He has saved over a million Yiddish books since he started collecting them as a 23-year old graduate student in 1980. His mission to rescue Yiddish literature earned him a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" in 1985.
By collecting books once destined for dumpsters, Mr. Lansky has been able to establish or strengthen Yiddish collections at 700 libraries in 26 countries. With help from Steven Spielberg, his Yiddish Book Center has digitized most of its collection, including many Yizkor books, and posted them online. The Center now sponsors a range of educational and cultural programs that not only preserve Yiddish culture of the past but also bring it to younger generations for the future. Mr. Lansky has told the story of his lifelong work in his best-selling book, Outwitting History, which was awarded the Massachusetts Book Award in Non-Fiction.
Mr. Lansky will speak at the opening plenary session on Sunday evening, August 4. He also will be available to meet with attendees at a "Breakfast with the Experts." There will be a special bus tour to the Yiddish Book Center offered during the conference.
To view a YouTube video with Mr. Lansky talking about the Center, click here.
CLICK THE URL BELOW to learn more about the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH GENEALOGY SOCIETIES ~ IAJGS ~ ANNUAL CONFERENCE:
Share Your Story
Whether in person at our monthly meetings or in writing as a submission to Family Gatherings, our monthly newsletter, we'd love to hear your story.
If you'd like to submit an article or story of interest to Jewish genealogists for possible inclusion in Family Gatherings, please contact email@example.com.
Hitting a Brick Wall?
OR, do you want to share a breakthrough? We're here to help. Member volunteers with a broad range of understanding and experience are available for consultation the first 30 minutes of every JGSBC monthly meeting. If you've had research success, please share your methodology with our group. Your experience may help someone else!
Are you interested in having a speaker from the Jewish Genealogical Society of Broward County speak to your organization? Whether you're a synagogue, social group, club or school, Jewish genealogy is a popular topic for all age groups.
Contact the JGSBC Speakers Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss designing or scheduling a talk.
Family Photo Rescue
IMPORTANT!! PLEASE NOTE THE DATE OF THIS MEETING HAS CHANGED from the previously scheduled date. Please join us on Wednesday, May 22, 7pm at the Soref JCC
MONTHLY MEETING & PROGRAM:
JGSBC Member, Neil Wiseman will show us how to repair, restore and retouch our old family photos, and will also demonstrate how to use our photos to create a family photo montage.
Neil is an author, psychologist and retired professor whose interests include photography and rescuing old photographs.
JUNE MEETING: Our June meeting has not yet been scheduled, but we are planning an interesting program and research day to be held at the Soref JCC for our final meeting of the season. More information soon!