Kolot Mayim Reform Temple welcomes Dr. Joshua Grayson to speak on In Search of Lost Roots: How One Researcher Traced His Family Across Three-and-a-Half Centuries. The lecture will be presented on Zoom Nov. 5, 11 a.m., launching a new season of the Building Bridges speaker series on the theme of “L’dor V’dor: From Generation to Generation.”
Grayson has always been fascinated by family history and, thanks to research skills honed in a doctoral degree at the University of Southern California, as well as fluency in five foreign languages, he 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. His efforts also led him to reconnecting with living relatives he never knew he had.
Grayson founded Lost Roots Family History, which is a website (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, he observed, “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 added, “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.”
Grayson’s online lecture will offer insights into the resources available for Jewish genealogical research, including archival records, immigration documents, letters, oral histories and digital databases. As well, he will provide guidance on how to navigate these resources, overcome obstacles and piece together the intricate stories of Jewish ancestry.
L’dor v’dor generally emphasizes the passing on of knowledge and experience from older to younger generations. This year’s Building Bridges series will expand the concept of l’dor v’dor as a reciprocal relationship, where learning can also be passed from younger generations to elders. Speakers will highlight the Jewish experience of resilience, survival and renewal across generations.
For the full list of speakers and to register for any of the talks, visit kolotmayimreformtemple.com.
– Courtesy Kolot Mayim Reform Temple