Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando presents 'BillionGraves and Beyond'

 

Brian Moncur

ORLANDO-Join the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando (JGSGO) on May 6, from 7 p.m. to 9.m., for a program featuring BillionGraves' chief technology officer, Brian Moncur, "BillionGraves and Beyond."

The aim of BillionGraves is to collect images and the location of all headstones throughout the world before these valuable historical records disappear, and make them freely available to the world. This is a monumental task and not one that we can do alone. This is especially important for Jewish headstones as they traditionally document the name of the deceased's father-enabling one to go back another generation in a family tree. Moncur will show why this work is important and how to get started. BillionGraves uses cutting edge technology to make it easy and fun to collect and search for grave site records.  

Prior to the program, starting at 6:30 p.m., there will be time for newcomers to network and receive free consulting assistance or mentoring from a Jewish genealogy maven. With Yom HaShoah, there is no better time to research one's family tree.

Moncur has been working on BillionGraves for three years now and has been a huge asset to BillionGraves from the start. He graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from Brigham Young University and has an extensive background in software design and development. He was the CTO for Fonix (a speech recognition company) as well as for AppTime, the original developer of BillionGraves. In his spare time he loves mountain biking, rock climbing/canyoneering and talking technology with his three sons who all had a hand in the creation of BillionGraves. 

The program is open to the public and costs $5 for nonmembers (free to members) and will meet at the JCC Maitland campus.

There will be an Israel Independence Day Festival at the JCC in Maitland from 5-9 p.m. the same night as the JGSGO meeting. Lin Herz, JGSGO publicity chairperson, suggests that those interested arrive early for the 5 p.m. festival. While enjoying the festival, which includes kosher food and assorted vendors, they'll avoid the parking issues of arriving later for the JGSGO meeting. 

Also, they can park, if they wish at Congregation Ohev Shalom and then take the free shuttle back to the JCC.  

The JCC will be showing a film in the Senior Room until 6 p.m. and JGSGO will use the same room later. Two shuttles from Ohev will be running to help with parking.

 

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