* Webinar only * View from the comfort of your home * 1:30 PM *
Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire
The Jewish Genealogical Society of Connecticut is pleased to welcome Dr. Alexander Beider, Ph.D.
Born in Moscow, Russia, he lives in Paris, France since 1990. Dr. Alexander Beider holds one doctoral degree in applied mathematics from the Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology in 1989, and another in Jewish Studies from the Sorbonne, in Paris, in 2000. Dr. Beider uses onomastics and linguistics as tools to unravel the history of the Jewish people.
He has written a series of reference books dealing with the etymology of Ashkenazic and Sephardic surnames and Ashkenazic given names, all published by Avotaynu Inc. (1993-2019). His book Origins of Yiddish Dialects, published by Oxford University Press (2015), sheds light on the early stages of the development of Yiddish.
Alexander Beider's abstract for the presentation: "In Eastern Europe, Jewish families mostly adopted surnames at the turn of the 19th century following local governmental requirements. Yet, these - initially just administrative 'labels' that for long decades were marginal for the Jewish conscience - keep traces of the past of our ancestors, sometimes revealing elements that are much older than the surnames themselves."
JGSCT’s library contains six volumes for which Beider is appreciated by genealogy researchers: Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names, Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia, Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland, Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire, Handbook of Ashkenazic Given Names (2009, abbr. version), Jewish Surnames in Prague (15th-18th Centuries).
Due to the COVID pandemic, our ‘local’ members have asked when they will be able to again visit JGSCT's library. Dr. Beider’s reference books are most used.