'Newbie' is definitely the tag that would suit me best at the moment. New to MyHeritage.com, to London and to the genealogy community, but eager to learn and very curious, I am the new girl in charge of the french-speaking community! In the past five years I've lived in the Paris rythm, eating baguettes, reading the French sports paper L'Equipe in the metro and getting in touch with my own culture.
It's always a difficult exercise for me to explain my background without sounding confusing, so I'm going to give you a rather chronological description of it. My Mum is Alsacian (french), my Dad is Taiwanese and I was born and grew up in Luxembourg, where I went to a European School - 15 countries, 11 languages, from kindergarten to graduation. By the time I was 17, I was lucky enough to have friends from all over Europe and to speak French, English, Chinese, Spanish and understand German, Dutch, Portuguese and Italian.
Coming from a very multicultural background, I've learnt to make the best of communication systems at a young age. First the telephone, the mobile phone and finally the 'Interweb' as I like to call it, I've developed a particular interest for the tools that have helped me - and still help me - get in touch with my scattered family and friends.
I thought it was about time I introduced myself. My name is Farhan Rehman, and I've recently joined the MyHeritage.com team, as the Community Manager for the UK. I'm really excited to be working with MyHeritage especially given that we're the leader in social networking for the family, and we all know how much attention sites like Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and Twitter are getting, which are mainly social networking sites for friends.
I started blogging in 2004, to stay in touch with my friends and family, whilst travelling, and the more time that passes, the more I see how challenging it can get staying in touch with each other, with sisters living in Dubai, and Canada, cousins in New York, and an extended family in India.
Born and raised in the UK, with a Pakistani Mother and an Indian Father, I studied Computer Science at Durham University. After graduating I quickly learnt that I wasn't suited to jobs with all technology, and no people interaction. My passion always has been with helping people use technology, less in the building of it myself.
Since graduating, I've travelled and worked/volunteered in Switzerland, South Korea, San Francisco, and South Africa. Doing everything from working with large multi-nationals, volunteering with small non-profits, and even teaching English.
Genealogy is a world in itself. It's a unique one, with its rules, its secrets. You have to know how to read the signs of the past to find what you are looking for: the roots of your family.
It takes time, perseverance and a great deal of curiosity. Passion, above all.
If this is how you feel about this noble activity, we have a challenge for you: we are looking for a Genealogy Advisor to help us strengthen our bonds with the genealogy community in the UK.
If you are up for it, have a look at the job specifications.
It's a family here, join us!
Purim is a Jewish holiday that has its roots in the biblical Book of Esther. It is supposed to be celebrated with feasting, maybe that's why it is so popular among Jews around the world. The most obvious way of celebrating it nowadays is that people are dressing up: kids at school, youngsters at parties and grown-ups at company events.
For the MyHeritage Purim party 2009 everyone dressed up as well and our theme was "superheroes". So we dressed up as fantasy heroes from the likes of Batman, Roman gods, Zarra (the female Zorro), Kermit & Miss Piggy, to super cache, super chicken and a super family tree. The costume competition went into a tie break between the super photo page (see picture) and the ToDos slayer together with the invisible power translator. The latter ones were victorious.
Family Day is the modern version of Mother's Day in several countries across the world like Canada, South Africa and Israel. Here, children are asked to bring drawings and pictures of their family to school; Noa had asked us to bring baby photos of ourselves. We made it into a "Guess who's this" competition in the weeks running up to Family Day and you can see all of them below.
By the way: It was Ayelet who won, with an impressive 17 correct guesses out of 21. You can find her as a kid on the far left, in the red jumper and with the bread (and face) full of chocolate spread.
So this is the Israel-based part of the MyHeritage team, when we were kids. You can find some of us in our "about" section with other vintage photos.
The dedicated team here at MyHeritage has decided to get a head start on spring cleaning this year. We have put our heads together to spruce up your family pages with new additions that make your family site easier to organize.
What you'll notice first is that your Site Members page has a new, sleek, blue and white look. The new page gives you a more clear overview of your family site members, along with several new and improved features. You can view:
1. Your members list, your site managers, and who has requested membership
2. Your relationship to each of your site members
3. Everyone's country and address
4. Who has visited, and who has never visited (but I'm sure they have a good excuse!)
5. Additional actions, like viewing member profiles
And this is what you can do:
6. Link a new member to your family tree - it's very useful
7. Send emails to all your family members at once
8. Invite more members to your family site
With the new relationship column (2) you can keep track of the whole family and, maybe most important, you can see which site members are not identified in your family tree and directly link them with their profile in the family tree. Site members might not be linked, if for example you published your tree through Family Tree Builder and we couldnt identify them automatically.
Just type their name in the relationship column, if you see a "find in family" box there and hit apply.
You finally want to put into practice all you have learned about online marketing? You know the US as your home country or from living there? You've had some contact with the online world already and joining an experienced team behind a website with 27 million users sound like the right thing for you to do now?
We offer a job in our marketing team, based in London (or Tel-Aviv or potential remotely from the US) starting anytime between now and January and on an internship basis to start with. Prepare a list with your 10 favourite websites, one sentence each about why you like them and send it together with your CV to mario (at) myheritage (dot) com.
Or maybe you know the right person for this job? Make them happy by directing him here. Feel free to email any other questions to Mario.
It is that time of the year when all Hindu families across the world get busy to celebrate festivals. Today the 'Festival of Lights' Diwali is being celebrated across all parts of India.
What does Diwali mean?
Diwali derives its origin from the Sanskrit word "Deepawali"- Deepa meaning light, wali meaning row, hence row of lights.
Why is Diwali celebrated?
Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the home coming of Lord Rama to his kingdom Ayodhya after an exile period of 14 years.
How is Diwali Celebrated?
All the houses look beautiful as people illuminate their homes with candles, earthen diyas and luminous bulbs. As a part of preparation, people white-wash their homes and maintain cleanliness in their surroundings. Family members wear new clothes as it is generally believed that Diwali brings wealth, knowledge to their homes and removes the darkness of ignorance.
Gal, Chris, Sara, Lora and Achutan (who missed the photo shoot) also say hi...
Purim is a great Jewish holiday, so good in fact that when someone's having too much fun, or a lucky streak, and you just have to cool them down, use the Hebrew expression "Not every day is Purim". Hint hint, tomorrow you're going down, pal.
So, what's the essence of this holiday: I'll spare you the historical background. These days, we celebrate Purim by dressing up - a masquerade - similar to Halloween, but without the trick-or-treat-junk-chocolate-bar-collect activities. But there certainly are special holiday foods to be devoured and the atmosphere is as joyous as can be. One of my favorite pastimes in the past few years has been to visit the Bnei Atarot school, right next to MyHeritage, on the morning of Purim, every year, with a video camera. It's great fun and I also feel as if I'm on an important anthropological quest: to document the generation. For you can tell a lot about the generation from the dresses and costumes that kids dress up each year. When I was a kid, not that many decades ago, but still in prehistory as far as Internet Time is concerned, those were naive times indeed. It was quite simple then, boys were cowboys, Indians or Popeyes, and girls were princesses or Queen Esthers. But it all went downhill in recent years. Mutant Ninja Turtles, industrial costumes from China, punks, hippies and drop-outs. But occasionally you can spot a unique, home-made, totally original costume that makes it all worthwhile. Years from now as I grow older I will prepare a 50-year research on this topic. But for now, enjoy the pictures below from our own celebration of Purim at MyHeritage, yesterday.
PHOTO: Purim 2007 at MyHeritage - click to enlarge.
Guy and Jaiel again, with Nir "Taekwondo (Take & Undo) Master",
Shmulik "Ross Parrot", myself ("how did I get that small hat over my horns?") and Ran "Don Corleone"