tah-speakingI bring a fresh perspective on combining creative research, cutting-edge technology, and meaningful storytelling to make family history more engaging.  My talks combine real-world research and storytelling examples to demonstrate not only how to make surprising discoveries, but also how to share them in engaging ways.

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Congregation Beth Shalom
October 17, 2021, 2-4 PM

  • Homestead Hebrews Walking Tour (pre-registration required)

Digital Humanities in Jewish Studies: Marking the Launch of the Digitized Database of Jewish Cemeteries in Turkey, in Memory of Prof. Bernard Lewis z”l
Online symposium hosted by the Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center of Tel Aviv University
October 18–19, 2021

  • Homestead Hebrews:  A Case Study in Digital Community Reconstitution and Analysis (Tuesday, 10/19, 5:30 PM IDT/10:30 AM EDT)

Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh
October 31, 2021, 1 PM (Zoom)

  • Panelist for Ask the Experts – International Jewish Genealogy Month

Carnegie Library of Homestead
January 12, 2022 (Facebook Live)

  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Homestead’s Jewish History And Didn’t Know to Ask

Squirrel Hill Historical Society
February 8, 2022, 7:30 PM

  • The Chinese Laundrymen of Homestead

The Homestead Steel Strike and the Growth of America as an Industrial Power (week-long program offered twice)
July 10-16, 17-23, 2022

  • Homestead’s Jewish community after the strike – title TBD (July 15, July 22)

Past year

International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
August 2-5, 2021 (online conference)

  • Jewish Signature Tablecloths: An Evocative Heirloom and a Genealogical Treasure (Thursday, 8/5, 6:30 PM eastern)
  • Researching Your Jewish Ancestors in Pennsylvania (on demand)
  • Small Town, Big Data: Reconstructing Defunct Communities Through Technology (on demand)

The Braid: Inspiring Jewish Stories
June 13, 2021, 2 PM eastern (online)

  • Genealogy: Our New Favorite Pastime, with Libby Copeland, author of The Lost Family

The Podolsky Family of Pittsburgh and Homestead
August 1, 2021 (private family event)

The Battle of Homestead Foundation
June 10, 2021, 7:30 PM eastern (online)

  • The Destruction of the Ward, 80 Years Later

Software for the Past: Digital Technologies to Study the Past and Present
Online conferenced hosted by Kinneret College
December 8, 2020

  • Homestead Hebrews:  A Case Study in Digital Community Reconstitution and Analysis

Older highlights

North American Cartographic Information Society Annual Meeting
October 16–19, 2019; Tacoma, Washington

  • October 17, 2 PM:  Merging GIS and Genealogy to Recreate a Forgotten Community

Personal Digital Archiving Conference
May 2-4, 2019; University of Pittsburgh

  • Small Town, Big Data: Reconstructing the Forgotten History of Jewish Homestead through Mass Digitization

Congregation Beth Shalom
January 5, 2019, 12:45 PM; Pittsburgh, PA

  • Secrets of the Homestead Hebrew Chapel:  Variations of a Theme of Sunt Lacrimae Rerum

Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives
November 12, 2017, 10:30 AM; Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA

125th Anniversary of the Battle of Homestead
April 6, 2017, 7 PM; Rivers of Steel Museum, Homestead, PA

  • From Milltown to Hometown: How the Homestead Strike Shaped a Community

Family History Technology Workshop
February 7, 2017; Provo, UT

  • Data Management for Large-Scale Genealogy Projects

Skirball Cultural Center
December 2, 2015; Los Angeles, CA

  • Annual Herscher Dialogue:  Jack Skirball, A Boy from Homestead

The Library of Congress
May 18, 2015, 12 PM; Washington, DC

  • In Search of a Usable Past:  Reconstructing the Jewish History of Homestead, Pennsylvania

Past appearances


  • RootsTech 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • International Conference on Jewish Genealogy 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021
  • Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual Conference 2017
  • National Genealogical Society 2014
  • New England Regional Genealogical Consortium 2015
  • Jamboree 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society 2014
  • Family History Technology Workshop 2017, 2020
  • North American Cartographic Information Society 2019
  • A.J. Jacobs’ Global Family Reunion 2015


  • Library of Congress
  • Skirball Cultural Center
  • New York Public Library
  • Ellis Island
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Penn State
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Heinz History Center
  • Carnegie Library of Homestead
  • BYU Radio
  • SCGS Webinars
  • Family History Fanatics

Local groups:

  • AZ:  Arizona Jewish Historical Society
  • CA:  Southern California Genealogical Society, Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles, JGS of Conejo Valley & Ventura County
  • CT:  Darien Library-Family Search “Come Discover an Ancestor Day,” JGS of Connecticut
  • DC:  JGS of Greater Washington
  • FL: JGS of Palm Beach County
  • IL:  JGS of Illinois
  • MD:  JGS of Maryland
  • MA:  JGS of Greater Boston
  • NJ:  New Jersey Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Monmouth County Genealogical Society, Ben Porat Yosef
  • NY:  New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, New York Metro Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, JGS of New York
  • PA:  Carlow University, Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, Bucks County Genealogical Society, North Hills Genealogists, South Hills Genealogy Day, JGS of Greater Philadelphia, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Women’s Club of Upper St. Clair, Beth Samuel Jewish Center, Beth El of the South Hills, Beth Shalom Pittsburgh, JGS of Pittsburgh, Johnstown Area Heritage Association, South Hills Women’s Club, Squirrel Hill Historical Society
  • UT:  Utah Genealogical Association
  • Canada:  London Jewish Book Fair & Family Festival
  • Israel:  Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, Tel Aviv University (forthcoming), Israel Genealogy Research Association