Jewish Genealogy Resources

Books:  

Check your local library for these books.

From Generation to Generation: How to Trace Your Jewish Genealogy and Family History, by Arthur Kurzweil, paperback published by Jossy-Bass, 2011, 400 pages.

Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy, by Gary Mokotoff and Warren Blatt, paperback published by Avotaynu, 1999, 66 pages.

Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy, by Sally Amdur Sack and Gary Mokotoff, hardback, published by Avotaynu, 2004, 608 pages.

Websites:

FamilySearch.org – FamilySearch has a huge number of listings for Jewish records, depending on the locale in which you are interested. Many are available on film, but have not yet been digitized. Use the FamilySearch Wiki to determine what records are in the collection. The Wiki listing will indicate if any of the resources are digitally available through FamilySearch. It also will list any outside sites that have records available, including paid sites.

Here is the FamilySearch wiki link to general Jewish Genealogy Research.

JewishGen – Many links to resources. This site also has a jewishgen digest which disseminates great information about specific towns, local histories and information on places Jews went to escape persecution. It is well worth signing up for the digest. This site asks for $100 contribution annually to cover costs as this is a non-profit site. Some information is available for free, but the drop down menu on the home page makes me think this might be worth the donation. You might want to check out reviews and ask friends if they have subscribed and used the site.

Avotaynu – Another site with many links to various resources.

American Jewish Archives – This site offers research services, but there are some free online materials.

About.com Free Jewish Genealogy Databases Online

Jewish Genealogical Society – This society is based in New York City. While it is a membership organization, there are some free links available on its website.

American Jewish Historical Society – Suggestions are offered for research along with links.

Leo Baeck Institute for German-Jewish Family Research – A site to check if your family was from Germany.

Jewish Genealogy Portal: A Guide to Jewish Projects and Resources on Geni.com

Center for Jewish History – Family history collections must be searched on site, but this link as an excellent list of research guides to find your family records worldwide.

Louis Kessler’s Jewish Genealogy Links – Mr. Kessler points out that there are thousands of web pages devoted to Jewish genealogy. He has provided links to those he feels are the greatest use to the most people.

Jewish Link – Its goal is to provided a link to every Jewish link.

Sephardim.com – If you have Sephardic family lines, this is a good resource.

The Jewish History Resource Page – This site is maintained by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has worldwide links.

CyndisList – Cyndi’s List has Jewish genealogy research broken down into 28 categories with a whole separate list of related categories.

While the above list covers many of the major websites for Jewish genealogical research, by no means is it comprehensive. There are many, many local Jewish genealogical societies organized either at the state level or located near a large city. I included two organizations in the New York and Boston areas, but if your family was from, say, Philadelphia or Chicago, be sure to search for a society in those places.

There are at least five Jewish genealogy groups on social media sites including: Tracing the Tribe: Jewish Genealogy and I purposely omitted sites that require a paid subscription to access most of their records. Further internet searching may well turn up sites not listed here that will direct you to specific records, but I hope this list will get you started.

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