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HomeUpcoming Meetings and EventsEmily Garber: It’s What They Answered To: Understanding Ashkenazic Jewish Names

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Emily Garber: It’s What They Answered To: Understanding Ashkenazic Jewish Names

Sunday, February 19, 2023, 1:00 PM until 3:30 PM
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Deborah Long
Monthly Meetings
Registration is not Required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Zoom link will be sent one week in advance of the event.
Available Slots:
No Fee


Genealogy researcher, writer and speaker, Emily H. Garber, is an anthropological archaeologist by training (B.A. and M.A) and has been researching her family history since 2007. She holds a certificate from Boston University's Genealogical Research program and owns Extra Yad Genealogical Services. She has an abiding interest family history methodology and historical context.

Emily blogs at, has written two books and several articles on genealogical research that have appeared in Avotaynu. She serves as chair of the Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group, and a member of the Board of Directors of both the IAJGS and the Arizona Jewish Historical Society.


Along with determining our immigrant ancestors’ communities of origin, determining the names our ancestors used in a variety of contexts is critical to following them back to the old country. Finding our ancestors in the new world and the old is dependent upon seeking out and understanding the clues that may come from a variety of records.

Our Jewish ancestors’ names were the result of a complex amalgam of family, business, social, and religious influences, as well as their interaction with the government. Unlike their Christian neighbors, most Jewish people only adopted permanent family surnames when required by the government. Ashkenazi Jews, depending upon context, may have answered to several different forenames in several different languages.

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