Jewish Roots in Ukraine

Shortly after Russia expanded its war on Ukraine, I organized a genealogy workshop, Jewish Roots in Ukraine: Context and Connection, as a fundraiser.  Lara Diamond, Jennifer Mendelsohn, Brooke Schreier Ganz, and I presented an afternoon of lectures about history, genealogy, records, and heritage travel, capped off with a guest appearance by the one-and-only Alex Krakovsky, joining us from Ukraine.  With more than 500 registrants, we raised $30,000 to benefit the work the JDC and Razom for Ukraine are doing to help Ukrainians affected by the war.


  • Putting Your Family in Context:  The History of Jews in Ukraine (Tammy Hepps)
  • Bubbe was From Gubernia! Finding Your Town of Origin (Jennifer Mendelsohn)
  • Jewish Ukrainian Records (Lara Diamond)
  • Bearing Witness:  Reflections on Returning to Ukraine (Tammy, Lara, and Jennifer)
  • Making Jewish Ukrainian Records Available (Brooke Schreier Ganz)


“It was one the best webinars I attended since the beginning of the pandemic.”

“I really enjoyed it so much and learned some new things.”

“It was one of the best afternoons I’ve spent! Great presentations. I learned a lot.”

“Tammy, what a truly outstanding lecture today on Jewish Ukraine history!! You explained the geography, demographics, economics, and our current conflicting emotions honestly and so very well.”

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciated this wonderful seminar.  It was top notch, informative, sensitive.”

“This was a great workshop. The historical overview presented by Tammy Hepps was especially important in helping us to understand the nuanced relationship between Jews and Ukraine.”

“This was a spectacular program. Thank you and a tremendous yasher koach to everyone involved, including NYCG&B for hosting. I can’t wait to watch it again on replay to pick up everything I’m sure I missed.”

“This was an awesome afternoon!! So very glad I could join and learn from the best of the best. Jennifer, Lara, Tammy, Brooke and Alex — you guys totally rock!!”

“So well done and thoughtfully planned. Loved the way that Tammy Hepps’ presentation set the stage for all that followed. It gave everyone common background and presented the nuanced relationship between Jews and Ukraine. Lots of people were adding personal comments as the presentation went on and while I did not add any, Tammy’s presentation brought to mind the first person narratives I have from my grand father and his family fleeing the pogroms. Thank you so much.”

“It was superb. I had a lump in my stomach for the rest of the day. It’s a miracle to be here.”

“Excellent program with presentations that will stay with me for weeks to come. So grateful for this opportunity to come together with other Jewish genealogists to support Ukraine.”

“You were all so generous with your time, knowledge and skills – and it wasn’t only useful for Ukraine genealogy, although particularly pertinent there. You all hit on an underlying special complexity of thought that pervades when we mull at all on how our ancestors lived (and were treated) as Jews in the past into the present there. Glad we were able to support the people of Ukraine now, share and learn simultaneously. Many thanks to you all – it was well run. Recommended.”

“Jennifer Mendelsohn..Tammy Hepps..Lara Diamond & Brooke Ganz …y’all ‘knocked it out of the Park’… IMHO!! The part when you went to ‘your towns’ was very moving for me…Thank You!!”

“So happy to be a part of it. You were all fabulous and so informative.”