It takes a shtetl to run a genealogical society.
This thought (based, of course, on a traditional African saying) occurred to me as I reflect back on my first year as President of JGS Toronto: I am amazed at the countless hours our members contribute to JGS Toronto in so many ways.
I have seen how hard some work to seek out the right experts to speak at our meetings. These individuals consider the value of the topic to our members and the calibre of the presenter. They also have to work out the scheduling and be sure to cover a range of subjects of genealogical interest.
I have also seen the efforts made to create the popular Special Interest Groups (SIG), and I thank those who have stepped up to the plate by becoming SIG leaders or by giving presentations at SIG meetings.
I appreciate those members who visit shuls and other organizations to make presentations about genealogy; they share their enthusiasm for family research with others and thereby raise the profile of our Society.
Many members take the time to photograph headstones and yahrzeit plaques and transcribe the names thereon, such an important task to preserve the records of our loved ones.
So much other work is done behind the scenes administratively to ensure that we keep our membership data and website current, that we regularly publish a vital newsletter, that we keep our financial records in order and that we effectively communicate with our members and with the broader genealogical community.
In my second year as president, I look forward to new developments, with the help of our steadfast volunteers, to help us learn from one another. I encourage those who wish to take on increased responsibilities, big or small, to ensure the continuity and growth of this organization which we all consider to be so valuable.
On behalf of the JGS Toronto Board, I thank all of you for your membership and dedication. A most special thank you to those of you who have devoted, and who continue to devote, hours of work for our genealogical shtetl. And thanks in advance for all of you who will come forward to volunteer in the near future!
President, JGS Toronto