Why Did Our Ancestors Leave a Nice Place Like the Pale?


Speaker: Hal Bookbinder

Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue
15739 Ventura Blvd. Encino, CA 91436

Sunday, November 14, 2010 – 1:30PM


The Pale of Jewish Settlement

In 1880 fully 80 percent of our ancestors lived in Poland and the Pale of Jewish Settlement in western Russia. We all know of the pogroms (organized violence) and mass exodus of our ancestors to points west over the next generation. This talk will provide background on the 120 years of the Pale from its formation at the turn of the 19th century to its dissolution during the First World War. It will provide some context to our ancestors’ lives in the Pale, and of course, their decision to leave everything they had known to make new lives in the West.


Hal Bookbinder

Hal Bookbinder has been researching eight lines for over 27 years, identifying 4,000 relatives and tracing two of these lines into the mid 1700s. A former president of JGSLA and IAJGS, he created and continues to edit the annual Jewish Genealogical Yearbook. Hal has spoken at numerous conferences, synagogues and society meetings on topics from computing to geography to brick walls. He is the director of IT infrastructure and operations for the UCLA Health System, teaches business, mathematics and information technology for the University of Phoenix and directs continuing job readiness programs at two substance abuse recovery facilities in Los Angeles; the Midnight Mission and its sister organization, the Family Housing Facility. He and his wife, Marci, who were both raised in the legendary “Borscht Belt” of New York’s Catskills, have four children and four grandchildren.

Members free. Guests are $5. The traveling library will be available starting at 1:00PM.  Refreshments will be served.

Handouts from the meeting available by clicking HERE.