Dear Members and Friends,

I cannot tell you how much I am honoured to be charged with the leadership of our organization. Thank you for your support and trust in allowing me to serve you for the next two years as your President. Our prior presidents, executive, boards and leadership have done an outstanding job in bringing us to the place we are today.

Our history, which began in 1985, has been rich with talent and discovery as members continued to become involved and expand our global and individual knowledge of family and history; both at home and in the community at large. Communicating originally by mail and slow modem blogs we soon learned to navigate the web as technology progressed. From snail mail and basic dial-up bulletin boards, we entered the technological world of the new internet. Now we are able to access digital records and communicate ancestral history immediately by email and the internet, instead of waiting months to receive the results of research inquiries.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto has provided a forum for the exchange of genealogical knowledge and information with regular monthly presentations, workshops and special interest groups along with our recently updated website, enhanced social media, and from the earliest days, our very special and now even historical gem, our Shem Tov newsletter, which has catalogued our days from the beginning.

Our upcoming year brings us an extraordinary opportunity to grow and celebrate our society as we enter our 36th (Double Chai) anniversary of discovering and sharing our ancestry. As such, we are looking at a signature event to highlight our history of assisting our members in their genealogical research and our community involvement locally to bring the Jewish history of the area to life for the present.

Thank you especially to all the volunteers from our board level to the committee and project level, to our presenters and our members, for all of your hard work and dedication over the years and today. YOU are what make this organization strong and viable, and who have taken us these 36 years to the present, and YOU will take us onward to the future as we continue to grow and share our stories and heritage with each other as we continue to explore and discover our ancestry and family histories.

I see the president’s role as leadership and the primary point of communication with the executive, board, and membership. I see the board members as the brain trust of the society and along with leading their own committees and communicating to the board the requirements, challenges, and achievements of other committees they oversee and work with.

In these uncertain times, we have learned to roll with the punches and have proceeded in a manner that we can all be proud of.

Although we have not been able to meet in person, your board and programming committee have instituted a series of locally produced Zoom meetings and webinars along with arranging exclusive series of webinars for our members from My Heritage and others to come through the summer, fall, and winter if necessary.

My vision going forward is to make sure that we continue the wonderful legacy that has been left us and both grow and enhance our society as we celebrate both the future and the past.  With our Executive, Board, volunteers, and membership I know that we will continue to do so.

Stay safe and keep healthy,

Sincerely,

Mel

President, JGS Toronto

July 2020