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Genealogical Resources Outside the AJA

Jewish genealogy is a highly developed field of study. There are numerous resources for the beginning and advanced genealogist that are available on the internet and in most bookstores and libraries. A basic knowledge of genealogy procedures will allow researchers to make better use of their time and improve their chances of success.


  • Bishow, Marlene K. Capital collections: resources for Jewish genealogical research in the Washington, D.C. area. Rockville, Md: Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington. 2010. [Available for purchase online.] 
  • "Genealogical Resources at the U.S. National Archives." AVOTAYNU 26: 9-14.
  • Goldstein, Michael. "The Most Powerful Genealogical Research Tool of All: Jewish Genealogical Societies." AVOTAYNU 26: 17-18. 
  • Luft, Edward D. "He Left the United States: Where and When Did He Go?"AVOTAYNU 26: 29-31.
  • Sweany, James, and Peggy Pearlstein. "U.S. Library of Congress: Researching Jewish Family History." AVOTAYNU 26: 15-16.
  • Wilske, Zack. "U.S. Citizenship Records: Derivative, Replacement and Repatriation Certificate Files." AVOTAYNU 26: 3-8. 

AVOTAYNU articles are reprinted with the express permission of AVOTAYNU, www.avotaynu.com

Online Resources

American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS)
Holds many records that can be used for genealogical purposes. These include orphanage, court, military and immigration records in addition to many collections of family trees, memoirs and correspondence.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives (AJJDCA)
Houses one of the most significant collections in the world for the study of modern Jewish history. Comprising the organizational records of JDC, the overseas rescue, relief, and rehabilitation arm of the American Jewish community, the archives includes over 3 miles of text documents, 100,000 photographs, a research library of more than 6,000 books, 1,100 audio recordings including oral histories, and a video collection.

American Sephardi Federation
Includes a wide variety of Sephardic sources of genealogical information, such as family histories, cemetery records and histories of Sephardic communities.

A publisher of products and information of interest to persons who are researching Jewish genealogy, Jewish family trees and Jewish roots. They also publish a quarterly journal with the latest genealogical findings.

Center for Jewish History Genealogy Institute (CJH)
The CJH caters to all levels of researchers. They can help guide you through the records held at all of the CJH repositories which include institutional records, immigration records as well as personal and family papers.

Cyndi’s List
Includes a comprehensive listing of Jewish genealogy sites on the web.
International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies
An independent non-profit umbrella organization coordinating the activities and annual conference of more than 75 national and local Jewish genealogical societies around the world.

International Jewish Cemetery Project
A listing of every Jewish cemetery or burial site by town or city, country, and geographic region based on current locality designation. Some listings include links to other websites with additional information such as burial lists or a name to contact by email or mail.


The primary internet source connecting researchers of Jewish genealogy worldwide. Its most popular components are the JewishGen Discussion Group, the JewishGen Family Finder (a database of 400,000 surnames and towns), the comprehensive directory of InfoFiles, KehilaLinks for over 200 communities, Yizkor Book translations, and databases such as the ShtetlSeeker and All Country Databases. JewishGen's Family Tree of the Jewish People contains data on more than three million people. JewishGen also serves as host to independent organizations such as Jewish Records Indexing Poland. The site also has a comprehensive listing of genealogical resource books.

Leo Baeck Institute
A research, exhibition, and lecture center whose library and archives offer the most comprehensive documentation for the study of German Jewish history.

Louis Kessler's Jewish Genealogy Links
A listing of Jewish genealogy sites on the web.

North Carolina Digital Collections
A joint project of the North Carolina State Archives and the State Library of North Carolina. Included in the Collections are photographs of tombstones from Jewish cemeteries in the state.

Sephardic Genealogy Sources
Has links to websites with information on conducting research on Sephardic history and ancestors.

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
Holds a large collection of Eastern European and Yiddish genealogical resources. Much of the Eastern European material is from prior to World War II. There is also ample Holocaust material.