Call For Proposals

You are warmly invited to submit one or more presentation proposals for the 40th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy to be held from Sunday, August 9, through Friday, August 14, 2020, in beautiful San Diego, California. Hosted by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS), the conference objectives are to inform, instruct, and inspire attendees to explore and preserve their Jewish family history.

Proposals may be added (using the Abstract Submission page) or modified (using the Abstract Service Center) until the submission deadline stated below.

Speakers may submit any number of proposals. Because of the limited budget for speakers (see Complimentary Registration below), we will give preference to speakers for whom we can schedule two or more presentations.

It is not a reflection on the quality of your proposal if we do not accept all of your proposals. We greatly appreciate your willingness to give us a choice of proposals and your interest in sharing your expertise and knowledge. We receive about twice as many proposals as we can accept.

Table of Contents

Important Dates

A timetable of the abstract submittal process is as follows:

  • Proposal Submissions Due: Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 9:59 pm (Pacific Standard Time)
  • Notices of Acceptance Sent: on or before Wednesday, January 22, 2020
  • Acceptance Due from Speakers to IAJGS: by Wednesday, January 29, 2020 (within 1 week of offer)
  • Conference Lecture Program & Schedule: estimated to be announced by March 1, 2020


Based upon feedback from previous conferences, we are delighted to offer a series of themed tracks to link various presentations throughout the conference. Proposed abstracts that meet any of the following theme categories are encouraged, and other broad topics in Jewish Genealogy are encouraged as well. We would like to highlight the following tracks:

  • Beginners Track: for those who have never attended an IAJGS conference before and who may or may not consider themselves new to Jewish genealogy.
  • DNA Track: to help all of us become better acquainted with the immense insight that DNA is adding to the field of genealogy.
  • Heritage Track: to help provide cultural context that both inspires and enhances our genealogical explorations.
  • Shoah Track: specifically to honor the memory of those who were lost in the calamity of World War II.
  • Military Track: With the US Naval Base San Diego just a few blocks from our convention, we hope to offer sessions which will recognize military angles to Jewish genealogy, both from the USA and the rest of the world.
  • Latin America Track: Recognizing San Diego’s proximity to Central and South America and the need to find and understand our relatives who live or lived south of the border.

Please write to if you have an innovative idea for programming that you would like to discuss with the conference and program chairs prior to your submittal or before our deadline.

We are particularly interested in multi-media lectures/presentations that enable our participants to enhance their genealogical research by teaching them to:

  • View their Jewish family history within a historical context.
  • Explore and interact with the experts and databases through Internet and locally based sources.
  • Develop experience interviewing, accumulating genealogical data, and sharing it creatively with family and others.

Types of Sessions

  • Presentations will generally be scheduled for 60 minutes of lecture, followed by 15 minutes of questions and answers, with an additional 15 minutes provided for moving between sessions.
  • Short Presentations (aka “Sharing Stories and Techniques”) will run in 30-minute intervals. They are intended to encourage sharing personal stories in a structured format or to offer a way to include methodology presentations on very focused topics. The sessions are limited to 30 minutes, including 5 minutes for Q & A. They will be scheduled at a variety of times and rooms throughout the conference.
  • Panels that group speakers with varying views on a shared topic are encouraged by the program committee. They are typically scheduled for the same time slots as presentations but may be longer. A panel proposal should be submitted by the main presenter or moderator. When you are prompted to “Review the Submission”, there will be an icon to “Add an Additional Presenter”, which allows the additional presenters to be attached to the proposal.
  • Computer Workshops (hands-on) will be 1½ hours in length and limited to 25 paying participants.

Complimentary Registration

Our conference budget allows for no more than 100 speakers to be given “complimentary full conference registration”. Only the main presenter or moderator in a group presentation or panel will receive complimentary registration. Other panel participants who are not registered for the conference may attend that session only and must have an official guest pass to clear security. Please contact the conference chair with any questions about guest panelists.

There may be some exceptions provided for local dignitaries or other special invitees of the conference.


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Abstract submissions must contain all of the following:

  • Full name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number of presenter(s)
  • Brief biographical sketch (up to 100 words)
  • Summary of recent presentation experience (up to 100 words)
  • Title of presentation – limited to 15 words along with a 50 character short title
  • Session type (presentation, panel, or computer workshop)
  • Brief description of the presentation (up to 150 words)
  • Intended target audience (beginner, intermediate, or advanced)
  • Topic category (choose all matching from provided list)

Notification of Acceptance

An invitation to submit a proposal does not constitute a guarantee of acceptance. The Program Committee will evaluate all proposals and attempt to notify all submitters by the stated deadline. As we are volunteers, we know you will be understanding. Please accept or decline within one week of notification, so we can get on with publishing our conference schedule.

For each presentation, speakers are expected to provide handout material. Our attendees are particularly interested in receiving website addresses referenced in each presentation. The “handouts” are to be submitted in PDF form and will become available to all Conference registrants via our conference website and mobile device app. Further details will be provided in the letter of acceptance.

We look forward to receiving your proposals and thank you for your interest in our special 40th anniversary conference! Best of luck with your abstract submittals!

Program Committee, IAJGS San Diego 2020

Forgotten Speaker Password

If you have forgotten your speaker password from a past conference or from submitting an abstract to this conference, go to the Abstract Service Center. On the right, under the “Sign In” button, there is a “Forgot Password?” link. Click on it and follow the instructions in the window that opens.

A temporary password will be sent to you at the email address you provided (assuming that the email address is in the system). Use that temporary password to log into the Abstract Service Center again. You will then be asked to provide a new permanent password.

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