Logo SFBAJGS--Past Board Members

We remember past members of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society:



Dale Friedman
Board Member 2007-2023


Dale has been a board member of the San Francisco Jewish Genealogy Society since 2007.  He has been avidly researching all sides of his own and his wife’s family history for over 20 years. This in turn has led to an interest in Jewish life in Eastern Europe, house-centric genealogical approaches and single surname studies beyond that of his immediate family. Dale has been fortunate to find many heretofore-unknown relatives as well as meeting and forming wonderful friendships with other Jewish genealogists worldwide.

Pierre Hahn
Board Member-5/5/2024
I was born in 1928 in Paris, France, escaped with my parents in 1941 to the United States, finished my education in the US as an Engineer. Worked in the aerospace industry, gravitating into the specialty of measurements, from helicopters, airplanes, missiles, satellites, biological experiments in orbit, circadian rhythms, sleep disorders and a few other side endeavors, ending prior to retirement to having a teaching and research position in the department of Psychiatry of the Medical School of SUNY at Stony Brook.. Retired to the San Francisco area where my children were located, and with my brother (a UCB Prof) we pick up on all the collected letters, birth and death announcements which my parents had kept (a multi shoe box collection), set up an organization (genealogical software) for them and from this start we now have a pretty good tree of our ancestors with a forest of cousins. This forest is mainly centered in Western Europe. So for the past 20 years I have honed my genealogical capabilities on finding data in France where a great part of my family lived, and co-moderated the FrenchSig of JewishGen with Rosanne Leeson.


Jeff Lewy
Board Member -2023
Chair, Transcriptions


Jeff's interest in genealogy began about 15 years ago with an album of family photos from the late 19th century. He has found records of his ancestors in Bohemia, Mecklenburg in Prussia, Prussian Poland, and the Rhineland back to the 1790s. He has traced relatives in the US in the South before the Civil War and followed their migration to Chicago, where he was born and raised. Jeff enjoys helping others learn how to do genealogy research and work through their brick walls. He regularly writes articles for the SFBAJGS journal ZichronNote and has also written three "slim volumes" for his relatives to document their common family history. He often donates his genealogy services to nonprofit organizations for their fundraising auctions.


Dvorah Lewis
Board Member 2018-

Dvorah Lewis, MLIS, joined the California State Library in June 2017 as the Genealogy and Local History Librarian at Sutro Library. With a background in academic libraries and archives, she is excited to help genealogy patrons learn how to navigate the State Library’s extraordinary collections and resources.
Originally from Davis, Dvorah earned her Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Jewish Studies at UC Irvine and earned her Master’s in Library Science (MLIS) from UCLA. Prior to joining the California State Library, she worked as a Reference Assistant at the Charles E. Young Research Library and as a Project Archivist for two Los Angeles Jewish institutions.
Her passion for archives and genealogy was inspired by an interview with her great Aunt Essie, the then eldest member of her family, which revealed that Essie and her siblings grew up in America’s first Jewish orphanage located in Philadelphia.
Dvorah feels that by preserving the past we can understand the present and bring positive change to the future. Dvorah joined the board as member-at-large in 2018.



Jolie Pearl
Board Member 2017-

Jolie began researching her family in 2010 in the hopes of unraveling stories her mother and grandmother had told her about women done wrong. Along the way she’s met many new relatives and expanded both the Jewish and non-Jewish branches of her family tree. DNA technology has also introduced her to distant African American cousins, and she has worked with them to identify common relatives. Jolie is now embarking on a more formal oral history project with her elderly Jewish relatives, and the story of their migration from the Ukraine to Egypt to St. Louis to Boyle Heights (Los Angeles).
Jolie worked in public health for 20 years.  She has a Master of Public Health, and is a Registered Nurse. She currently works with public sector professionals as Leadership Development Coordinator and Union Organizer with the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE).
Jolie joined the board as member-at-large in 2017.

Avner Yonai
Board Member

Avner is an Israeli who has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2001. He received his B.A. in Political Sciences & Criminology Studies from the Bar Ilan University in 1999 and his M.A. in International Relations and Human Rights Studies at the University of Malta in 2001. Avner is managing partner and leads the international business development department at the Over Seas Relocations Co. he helped found in 2004. He volunteers at numerous local and national organizations such as Jewish Family & Children Services. He is a Yad Vashem-certified interviewer of Holocaust survivors for the Names Recovery Project, which awarded him the Cal Lubran award in 2009 and the Mensch Award in 2010. Avner has joined excursions throughout Poland and Belarus to reconstruct desecrated Jewish cemeteries and synagogues in cooperation with Jewish communities in Poland and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. Avner is the founder and project manager of the Ger Mandolin Orchestra revival: a memorial project reconstructing the Jewish mandolin orchestra of the town of Ger (Gora Kalwaria) where Avner`s grandfather and great uncle were active members circa 1920-1930. The orchestra debuted in San Francisco in March 2011 and performed in Ger and in Warsaw as part of the eighth Singer Festival. A documentary film about the Ger Mandolin orchestra project is underway.

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P. O. Box 318214
San Francisco, CA 94131-8214

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