Gary Perlman, a Montreal resident, has been awarded the 2020 IAJGS Volunteer of the Year.   The award was presented Aug. 12 at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) 40th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, at its first virtual conference.

“Gary was up against submissions from societies around the world and a number of people,” said Stanley Diamond, President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal

Gary has submitted more than 60,000 records and photos of Montreal area Jewish cemetery gravestones to JOWBR (JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry), updated nearly 2000 gravestone images on JOWBR from Montreal’s Back River Cemetery and nearly 7000 records to better document broken, leaning, faded or Hebrew-only stones.  He has also made more than 10,000 additions and corrections to the Baron De Hirsch Cemetery’s in-house database, photographed and documented Holocaust and War Casualty Memorials while adding Holocaust-related text to JOWBR records.

In addition, Gary has linked supplemental genealogical information directly from JOWBR search results to the JGS-Montreal website and created the Jewish Genealogy Dashboard, a multi-source search engine, publicly available on the JGS Montreal website, enabling users to run a search across some 50 databases from a single webpage.

Gary has also assisted the new Documentation of Jewish Records Worldwide (DoJR) project and is a member of the technical team providing expertise related to working with OCLC Online Computer Library Center in the development of WorldCat.He has done volunteer genealogy at a local geriatric centre, Maimonides, for about five years, and has completed work on over 20 family trees for residents there.

IAJGS is an umbrella organization of more than 90 Jewish genealogical organizations worldwide.  The IAJGS coordinates and organizes activities such as its annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy and provides a unified voice as the spokesperson on behalf of its members. The IAJGS’s vision is of a worldwide network of Jewish genealogical research organizations and partners working together as one coherent, effective and respected community, enabling people to succeed in researching Jewish ancestry and heritage. Find the IAJGS at: and like us on Facebook at     

-Mike Cohen

Mike Cohen