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Why would Seattle, a city seemingly remote from cities with a substantial Jewish population, host an international conference on Jewish genealogy?

That’s because Seattle has the third largest population of Sephardic Jews in the U.S., after New York and Los Angeles. “So it’s an ideal place to focus on this aspect of Jewish heritage,” said conference co-chair Janette Silverman in a press release announcing the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies’ annual conference in Seattle. According to History Link, Sephardic Jews, fleeing deteriorating conditions in the Ottoman Empire,  began arriving in Seattle in the early 20th century,

From Sunday Aug. 7 to Friday Aug. 12, up to 1,000 attendees from around the world will travel to study key aspects of the Jewish experience, from European migrations to Jewish families in South America, Australia, South Africa and Israel, as well as Jews in the western United States. Keynote speaker will be University of Washington professor Devin Naar, chair of the UW Sephardic studies program and an assistant professor of history.

The conference will be held at the downtown Sheraton in Seattle. For registration and other information, go to the web site of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State.


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