Interview with Yoram Millman

Could you please briefly introduce yourself, and summarize what you do in the Jewish and Genealogical Communities?

I am the president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami (JGSGM).

I grew up in Israel- practiced law before I joined the family business in the USA.

Since an early age, I was interested in our Jewish heritage – In the recent years, I found it even more fascinating to research for a family member in conjunction with historical events. An example – the expulsion of the residents of Tel Aviv and Jaffa by the Turkish authorities in 1917-1918 – my paternal grandparents and my maternal great grandparents were affected.

You do various projects on collecting oral histories in the Greater Miami area. Could you please give a short summary of each?

Our society follows the guidance of Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of Jewish People in Tel Aviv with two project – one is labeled “My Family Story ” in which we do individual interviews of seniors – and the other one called “Generation to Generation” (G2G) – where the younger generation is doing the interview.

Here’s a link to see how it’s done. http://ravdori.co.il/stories/matzah-in-september/

Have the projects been rewarding for you?

Very much so.

Why do you think it’s important to look at oral histories?

The media is a part of our daily life – easy to share and get the exposure. My father in Israel had a recorded over 50 years ago the voices of our relatives and friends from that period. After they are gone the recordings are priceless.

Which project has been your favorite? Why?

Each new project I am involved with becomes my favorite until we complete it and move to the next one. The main reason is that it requires creativity and research, which I find rewarding by itself, whether the interview was successful or disappointing.

The JGSGO wishes to start similar projects in Orlando, can you give any tips or recommendations on where to start?

I will love to introduce the JGSGO to the staff of Beit Hatfutsot. You can review their projects at our website www.jgs-miami.org.

What are some success factors to look for?

You need a dedicated team to be successful. It is not complicated.

What are some problems we should be careful of?

The issue that we struggle with is the editing of the “raw” material when the “raw” interview is done. In our case, we are not trying to get a biography but interesting stories to share which should last 5 to 15 minutes max.