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Survey Project Team

Victoria Australia

Meet the team from the Australian Jewish Genealogical Society (Victoria) (AJGS-Vic) who is discovering and cataloging historic records of Jewish lives.

Dr. Helen Gardner

AJGS-(Vic) DoJR Survey Partnership Project Lead

Dr. Helen Gardner holds a B.Sc. (Chemistry) and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology. She has had a long and varied career as a research biochemist, computer programmer, community development officer, psychologist and academic. Her interest in genealogy dates from 1997, when she discovered a branch of her family living in the USSR, and has continued more recently from 2014 with DNA analyses. She is a member of the AJGS-Vic committee and was the initiator of the society’s involvement in the DoJR project.

Dr. Evie Katz

AJGS-(Vic) DoJR Survey Partnership Project Team

Dr. Evie Katz has worked as a university researcher, lecturer and tutor in anthropology and sociology. Her teaching and research areas have been varied. Dr Katz also worked as social scientist at CSIRO researching ways of integrating social science research with biophysical science and technology research.

Dr. Katz has had a long interest in Jewish genealogy and is a member of the AJGS of Victoria. She currently volunteers in the archives of Mount Scopus College, Melbourne and in the digitisation project of the NSW branch of the Australian Jewish Historical Society.

Dr. Manny Kingsley

AJGS-(Vic) DoJR Survey Partnership Project Team

Dr. Manny Menachem Kingsley has a PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies and a M. Ed in Education. He trained as  a secondary teacher and was later appointed a VCE Examiner in National Politics, (Jewish) Texts and Traditions and Religion and  Society. Thereafter he became the foundational lecturer in Jewish Education at Monash University.

A child of Holocaust survivors, Manny has had a passionate interest in all aspects of Central European Jewish life and culture which he studied when he entered university.

He has an ongoing interest in the Foundational Texts of Jewish Civilisation.

Liz James, OAM

AJGS-(Vic) DoJR Survey Partnership Project Team

Liz James, OAM is a retired teacher-librarian whose interest in genealogy began when she discovered her ancestors came from a connecting network of multiple rabbinical family trees whose names included and counted among the oldest Jewish settlers in Germany who founded the Ashkenazi Jewish community. Liz is a committee member of both the AJGS-Vic and the Australian Jewish Historical Society Victoria and maintains the library collection for both societies. Since 2003, Liz has helped hundreds of people solve their family history mysteries and introduced countless children to the joys of genealogical research as part of the School Roots Program making sure they have access to important records kept within the resource collections of both societies.

Marcel Alter

AJGS-(Vic) DoJR Survey Partnership Project Team

Marcel Alter LLB (Hons) and B. Eco is a lawyer of many years standing  with a particular interest in how the law affects individuals and their relationships. Marcel’s parents were both Holocaust survivors who found Australia to be home. Thus Marcel is drawn to projects that make sure that the past is not forgotten and is accessible. Currently he is active as a member of the Holocaust Second Generation and with Courage to Care.

Bubbles (Lily) Segall

AJGS-(Vic) DoJR Survey Partnership Project Team

Bubbles (Lily) Segall is a retired nurse and midwife and now works as a Clinical Teaching Associate with medical students at Melbourne University and as a volunteer Doula with vulnerable women. Her working life was spent in the Northern Territory of Australia in various roles which included Remote Area Nurse, Audiometrist, Family Planning Practitioner, Community Development Officer and Administration Officer in an aged and disability program. She has been involved in genealogy since 1967 and was the editor of the South African Special Interest Group Jewish Genealogy Newsletter for five years. She has been the secretary of the AJGS-Vic since 2016.


The Australian Jewish Genealogical Society (Victoria) (AJGS (Vic))  is a central resource for members of its local community interested in tracing their Jewish ancestry, and for members of the international community seeking assistance tracing their ancestors who lived in or visited Victoria. AJGS (Vic) is a long-standing member of IAJGS and the first of its 95 societies to conduct a DoJR regional survey to discover and inventory documentation of Jewish lives. The society is proud to be a pioneer in this innovative project essential for our regional Jewish history and heritage so that it may be discovered and understood by both our local community and the Jewish people worldwide connected to the Australian Diaspora.

The AJGS (Vic) is conducting this local survey in partnership with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and the L’Dor V’Dor Foundation (LDVDF), both not-for-profit, international organisations.

Bnei Mitzvah students discover their Jewish roots (bialik.vic.edu.au)