J e w i s h   G e n e s   |   2  0  1  8

  Annotated Guide to Jewish Ancestry and Heritage Research


compiled & curated: constantine kaniklidis
scholars for peace in the middle east (spme)


J e w i s h   G e n e a l o g y   R e s o u r c e s


JewishGen is the premier resource for Jewish genealogy offering an easy-to-use Jewish genealogy website with vast databases (120+ million records) including: Family Finder, Town Finder (Communities Database), the Holocaust Database, the Burial Registry, and the Ellis Island Database, plus 40+ country-specific databases, along with numerous comprehensive resource  tools like JewishGen InfoFiles on topics of relevance to Jewish genealogical research; the JewishGen FAQ; and a JewishGen Gazetter for place name search.

The most comprehensive and sophisticated source on Jewish ancestry and heritage.

Start with the short free videos in the JewishGen Learning Center, then proceed with the First Timer page. Also consult their very active and resource-rich JewishGen Facebook page for lively and helpful exchanges with other interested parties, and professionals.

JewishGen also hosts the award-winning KehilaLinks (formerly "ShtetLinks"), a project facilitating web pages commemorating the places where Jews have lived (existing pages, and user-contributable); and Regional Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for special interest in interest a geographic region of origin (like Galicia or LitvakSIG, among two dozen others), or special topics (like Sephardic SIG).

Free, but $100 annual donation to become Value Added Member provides access to full online interactive courses in Jewish genealogy.   

Affiliated with the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Ancestry Jewish Family History Collection

A partnership of the Ancestry genealogy service, JewishGen, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the American Jewish Historical Society and The Miriam Weiner Routes to Roots Foundation, the Jewish Family History Collection (JFHC), one of the world’s largest online collection of Jewish historical records, is available here for free (as long as the database is hosted on Ancestry.com). Although the  database is largely coextensive with that of JewishGen, JFHC provides a single interface and its own unique search protocol.

- American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS)

- Center for Jewish History (CJH)

Categorized Family History Collections, searchable at the Ackman & Zipf Family Genealogy Institute (at the Center for Jewish History (CJH) in New York). Provides in person support by visiting CJH (hours and location), or contacting them by phone or email (917.606.8217 | Email: gi@cjh.org) or by online Ask a Genealogist form.  

The Center for Jewish History (CJH) is home to five partner organizations - American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and also provides an excellent multiple-part step-by-step  Genealogy Guide: Getting Started with your Family History Research


The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center provides a Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database, of individual survivors and victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution searchable by Name or (document) List

Yad Vashem Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names

The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names (CDSVN) from Yad Vashem ("place and a name" [from Isaiah]), The World Holocaust Remembrance Center (in Jerusalem), is a searchable database of both the names and biographical details of 4.5 million of the 6+ million victims of the Holocaust (Shoah).

American Jewish Archives

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) provides a searchable genealogy database through their AJA Online Catalog, that accesses family genealogy files, but which does not however hold any official government records (such as birth, marriage, death, naturalization). Also provides an online Ask the Archivist! form for personal assistance, and a brief Genealogy Guide.

Museum of Family History (MFH)

The Museum of Family History is a virtual (Internet-only), multimedia, and interactive resource designed for learning more about Jewish history. The primary resources available is a valuable Jewish Records Guide that includes links to vital records, military records, and immigration and naturalization records, all with an accompanying brief tutorial.

International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS)

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) is an organization of organizations providing a common voice to advance Jewish genealogical avocation. Its primary resource is its exceptional list of Selected Websites of Genealogical Interest.


CastleGarden is an educational project of The Battery Conservancy, an educational non-profit promoting the rebuilding and revitaliing of The Battery public park (southern tip of Manhattan), and its major landmark, Castle Clinton National Monument. It provides a searchable database, the CastleGarden Searcher, on 11+ million immigrants spanning the "pre-Ellis" era, from 1820 through 1892, when Ellis Island opened. Invaluable for  pre-Ellis ancestry research.

Museum of the Jewish People (MJP)

Beit Hatfutsot / The Museum of the Jewish People is located at Tel Aviv University, and is dedicated to telling the story of the Jewish people. It provides several searchable databases: the Douglas E. Goldman Jewish Genealogy Center Database, the Jewish Communities Database, and the  Memi De-Shalit Database of Jewish Family Names.


date compiled: may 2016 updated mar 2018 | template courtesy: open source web design (oswd) project

adapted with redesign: constantine kaniklidis
all content compiled: constantine kaniklidis
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