AJGS will occasionally record talks and presentations to the society. Members will be able to access video and audio recordings from this page. You can also watch our video directly in our YouTube Channel and subscribe for updates.

Dr Maros Borsky: Reviving Jewish Heritage in Slovakia

Feb 2023, at the Sydney Jewish Museum

Reviving Jewish Heritage in Slovakia:
The Story of a Lost Community in Senec

Guest Speaker: Dr Maros Borsky
Recorded: Sunday 19th February 2023 at The Sydney jewish Museum

Dr Maros Borsky is a director of the Jewish Cultural Institute and Jewish Community Museum in Bratislava. He will share his knowledge of the rich Jewish heritage of Slovakia, and the various activities and projects implemented to preserve it. His main focus will be the restoration of the Senec synagogue.

Dr Borsky manages the research, curatorial and educational project to preserve the memory of the lost community that built this synagogue. Learn more at

Belonging - Dianne Johnstone's Story

June 2022, Hybrid event.

Member Presentation: Dianne Johnstone
What does it mean to Belong? Do we belong to others?
To those who raised us? or to those who gave birth to us?
In tracing the truth about her family, Dianne Johnstone made some amazing discoveries about her past. Join us to learn how life-changing it can be to uncover family secrets and discover the true meaning of Belonging.

The Hobart Synagogue Digital Archive

May 2022, via Zoom

In this joint AJGS/ AJGS (Vic) presentation Jeff Schneider, President of Hobart Synagogue, takes us through the Hobart Synagogue Digital Archive, launched in 2022.

During the Covid lockdowns of 2020/21 Hobart Synagogue president, Jeff Schneider, undertook the mammoth task of digitising and cataloguing the archives of one of Australia's oldest synagogues. The Hobart Synagogue Digital Archives' earliest records are from the late 1820s. Crowdsourcing volunteers to transcribe handwritten board meeting minutes, and cross-referencing newspaper links to Trove, this archive is a valuable tool for any genealogists with connections to the Hobart Jewish Community.

Uncovering the Stories of Jewish Service Men & Women

December, 2021, via Zoom.

AJGS member Peter Allen is working on a very special project to record the personal histories of Australian Jewish Service Men and Women. The main aim is to establish which Australian Service Men and Women were Jewish, and then to discover what these people did when they returned to Australia.

  • What were their professions?
  • Did they marry and have families?
  • What can we find out from all the records that are available?

Having gathered all this information, it will be recorded and preserved for future generations to discover.

AJGS 30th Anniversary Celebration

November 2021, via Zoom

AJGS celebrates 30 years since its founding. Listen to the stories of long time members as they share how the Australian Jewish genealogy Society has helped them make breakthroughs in their research.

Below are the two videos shown at the event.

Reminiscences and Recollections

The Role of the President

The Together Plan - Reconstructing the fragments of Brest Cemetery

October 23, 2021, via Zoom.

Debra Brunner, direct from London, shares information about the Together Plan and a community based cemetery reclamation project in Brest, Belarus. Debra explains the background to the charity and the project, the impact on the Brest Jewish community and how it connects to the work the charity is doing in Belarus as a whole. Debra is joined by Artur Livshyts, Country director, Belarus.

The Together Plan is a UK based charity that are currently running a very important heritage project to assist the community of Brest-Litovsk to collect the broken shards of matzevot, tombstones, that keep surfacing around the city. In June they signed an exclusive agreement with the Brest authorities to photograph and catalogue every piece and then to manage the design and installation of a memorial at the site of the former Jewish cemetery.

Debra has kindly shared some other videos created by TTP.
1 - In Feb 2020  Artur found the headstones that had "disappeared" from under the arches of the Brest Fortress:
2 - An interview with Sam Webb talking about his life in pre-war Brest (when it was Poland)
3 - a television clip showing Sam Webb returning to Brest 82 years after leaving

1 – “lost” matzevot found

2 – Life in Brest

3 – Return to Brest (News Report)

Come and Tell Your Stories

August 2021, via Zoom

On Sunday the 8th of August, in the midst of the Sydney lockdown, members came together to share stories of genealogical success discoveries, family mysteries and fateful journeys.

Some of the stories presented included:

  • Sunny Gold - Memories of my Mother
  • Dianne Johnstone - Letters Found
  • Peter Allen - Finding a South African relative
  • Terry Newman - Joseph Levy the ‘Yiddishe Ghost’

Moderated by AJGS President Barbara Simon, AJGS thanks everyone who participated.

Fabulous Freebies

July 25, 2021, via Zoom.

Presented by Robyn Dryen & Dani Haski

Is it still possible to find genealogical resources online for free?
Join us for an exploration of some surprising sources, mostly free and easy to access. We also explore where to find beautiful images of ancestral towns and regions online, how to download them to use in your family history narratives and important copyright issues to take into consideration.

Click the PDF Icon to download a handout with links to the websites Robyn mentioned.

Making the Most of My Heritage

April 2021, via Zoom and in-person.

  • Do you use My Heritage to house your online family tree?
  • Are you familiar with all the features & services available?
  • Do you know how to get the most out of your subscription?

Presented by AJGS Vice President Dani Haski, this workshop covered WHAT My Heritage is and the various services they offer, WHERE to find it, WHY it's worth using, HOW to use it and HOW MUCH it costs. We also looked at their relationship with other services and how to ensure your data is safe and secure.

Website Mystery Tour:

February 14, 2021, via Zoom.

Australian Jewish Historical Society website -
Speaker: Peter Philippsohn OAM – President AJHS

  • Are you already a member of the AJHS?
  • Are you making the most of your membership?
  • Have you ever visited the AJHS website?
  • Do you know what this website has to offer your genealogical research?

Peter Philippsohn OAM,  President of AJHS guides viewers through the many useful features of their comprehensive website.

Estelle Rozinski - The Missing Mezuzot Project

August 2020, via Zoom.

Estelle Rozinski - Australian Society of Polish Jews and their descendants (ASPJ) Co-Vice-President  - was born in Melbourne and is the daughter of Holocaust survivors. Today Estelle works as an artist, curator and educator.
The ‘Missing Mezzuzot Project’ is the first of a series of living history projects exploring Jewish life in pre-war Poland.

The ‘Missing Mezzuzot Project is now a permanent exhibit in the museum of Zdunska Wola, the town of her great grandparents. It records the history and stories of this town prior to 1939 when the town had a population of about 12,000 people, a third of whom were Jewish. The project was created to provide a parallel history to the Holocaust so that the next generations might better understand how people lived, worked and prayed. The project also helps to preserve the names of those who disappeared without a trace.

AJGS AGM 2017 - Peter Nash - Leaving behind your family tree - The Role of Coincidence, Luck and Chutzpah.

AJGS AGM Presentation: March 5, 2017

AJGS Life Member Peter Nash explains some of the strategies he's used over the last 25 years in researching his family history. Often by chance or through sheer chutzpah he's reunited family members who thought they were the last of the Nachemsteins.