A talk with slides by Jim Van Buskirk 

At the age of 54, Jim Van Buskirk, who had been raised "devoutly Unitarian" met with him mother after a long estrangement. Facing her own mortality, she said she had something to tell him: "You are Jewish."

She went on to give him a suitcase filled with photographs, letters, and documents. Jim began to look for answers to his family's history --and his own identity -- by researching his genealogy, talking to previously unknown relatives, and examining the contents of his grandmother's suitcase. The uncovered family saga ultimately stretching over 120 years and three continents was more complicated than he'd ever imagined. This audio-visual presentation is adapted from his memoir-in-progress.

Jim is an accomplished public speaker, author, and historian who offers unique and entertaining perspectives on California gay and lesbian history, Jewish identity, and Bay Area-related movies. He is currently available for bookings with this presentation, as well as readings, workshops, and more. For availability, rates, and other information, please send him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..