Cafi Cohen earned degrees in chemistry and medical technology from UCLA and the University of North Dakota, and spent many years in a variety of pursuits – from laboratory research and piano teaching to promoting home education as a nationwide speaker and author of three books on homeschooling.
In 1995 Cafi began researching her family to learn about her maternal grandmother. Within a year, she was hooked on growing her family tree. She has followed her ancestral lines from California, the Midwest, the old south, and New England to Scotland, France, Germany, Ireland, and Italy. Researching her husband’s Jewish family—immigrants from Poland, Romania, and Russia to New York City and Texas—broadened her experience. In addition, since 2005, Cafi has completed more than 30 family history books for Bridge To Yesterday clients, whose ancestors hailed from diverse locations, including St. Louis, Houston, Pittsburgh, New York City, Kentucky, Hawaii, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ireland, England, and Germany.
Cafi’ s formal genealogical education includes:
- National Genealogical Society Home Study Course (1997-1998)
- National Institute on Genealogical Research, Washington, D.C. (2008)
- “Find Your Irish and Scotch-Irish Roots,” (Ulster Historical Foundation) (2009)
- Family History Library, Salt Lake City, more than 30 classes (2001-2009)
- Conferences nationwide, more than 40 classes (1999-2009)
- Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research (2010)
- PROGEN Study Group, studying Professional Genealogy (2009-present)
As Education Chairperson of the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society, Cafi has presented many sessions on research techniques and Internet genealogy. She enjoys coaching fellow genealogists by helping them organize, search the Internet, develop goals, and complete projects. Together with business partner Cheryl Storton, Cafi founded Bridge To Yesterday to couple professional genealogy research with family history book layout and publishing. “We do the Research – We make it Beautiful.”
Cafi is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the National Genealogical Society, the New England Historical and Genealogical Society, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, the Southern California Genealogical Society, and the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society. Several of her articles have been published in the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society Bulletin. In 2003, she received the California State Genealogical Alliance Distinguished Service Award.