Natalie Stien Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Natalie Stien

Today we’re introducing Natalie Stien of Redmond, Washington, who was nominated by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State (JGSWS). She was recognized for her dedication to excellence during the 2016 International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies annual (IAJGS) conference in Seattle.

Ms. Stien joined JGSWS in 2004, volunteering right away for various positions. However, her commitment to getting the job done right was exemplified when JGSWS co-hosted the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Annual (IAJGS) Conference in Seattle in August 2016. Ms. Stien served as a volunteer co-chair, a monumental job coordinating dozens of volunteers for the six-day conference. She was the first to arrive and the last to leave every day of the conference, often working 15-hour days. Her responsibilities included determining where volunteers would be needed, finding and adopting a software program that volunteers could use to sign themselves up for specific tasks and time slots, and dealing with last-minute schedule changes.

According to fellow JGSWS board members, Ms. Stien was often the first to volunteer for any extra tasks needed to support the organization. This display of dedication illustrates that Ms. Stien richly deserved being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at

Sneak Peek of Upcoming International Conference on Jewish Genealogy

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This summer, from Aug. 7 to 12, 2016, Seattle will host the 36th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. This is a landmark event with leading genealogical experts and family researchers from around the world gathering at the Sheraton hotel in beautiful downtown Seattle.

To explain what the conference is all about The Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State and the Seattle Sephardic Network will host a free Sneak Preview of this conference.  This Sneak Preview event is free and open to the public.  All are welcome!

Date and Time:  The Sneak Preview will take place on Monday, March 28, 2016, from 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Location:  the Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island, 3801 E. Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

Please join us for:

  • A brief introduction to Jewish genealogy and its ongoing importance to Jewish history, culture and identity
  • Highlights of the upcoming conference, including a sneak preview of the keynote address by Dr. Devin Naar, chair of the University of Washington Sephardic Studies Program
  • A presentation about Seattle’s Sephardic community (the third largest in the nation) by members of the Seattle Sephardic Network
  • Videos and slides on how to get started on your family’s history
  • A Q & A session with conference organizers
  • Flyers and promotional material
  • Sponsorship and advertising opportunities
  •      Free Refreshments, including Kosher cookies!

For information about the conference, go to
For information about JGSWS, go to
For information about the Seattle Sephardic Network, go to
For directions to the Stroum Jewish Community Center, go to
Questions? Comments? Contact co-conference chair Phyllis Grossman at

If you would RSVP for the sneak preview event, we’d love to have a head count!
Please email publicity committee member Karen Campbell at


Thank you and we hope to see you Monday evening!

International Conference on Jewish Genealogy August Seminar


If you have not yet registered and want to begin the process, use the REGISTRATION menu on the website, or click Here

If you have already registered for the conference and want to change or add items, or to revise your personal information, use the REGISTRATION menu on the website, or click this link to go to the Attendee Service Center.

When the schedule of optional items is complete, including Breakfasts with Experts, SIG Luncheons, the Gala Banquet, and  computer workshops, the form will be updated. Then you may use the REGISTRATION menu on the website, or click this link to Update Your Registration in the Attendee Service Center to select and pay for those events.
Registration types

We are offering several types of registration, including some money-saving packages. You will be asked to select one of these options to start. Please be familiar with them from descriptions on the Conference site before opening a new form. Continue reading

International Conference on Jewish Genealogy Save the Date



Topic tracks include:

The Sephardic Experience in the United States
European Migrations
South American, Australian and South African Branches
Westward Ho! Jews in the Western US
Coming Home to Israel

Program organizers welcome proposals for lectures, workshops and panel discussions on all aspects of Jewish genealogy, though the focus will be on these five topic tracks. Attendees are expected to span the full spectrum of expertise from novice to veteran and professional researchers; thus, a wide range of paper topics is encouraged.

The conference will be held in downtown Seattle from August 7 to 12 at the conveniently located Seattle Sheraton.

Proposals should be submitted through the official conference website The deadline for submission is midnight, December 15, 2015. For information about proposals and submissions, please contact the Program Committee at

Early registration will open in January 2016 through the conference website.

For more information about the conference, contact the conference co-chairs Janette Silverman, Phyllis Grossman, and Chuck Weinstein through the conference website