Louis Kessler's
Jewish Genealogy Links


There are thousands of web pages out there of interest to Jewish Genealogists.
My list below is made up of the pages that I think are of greatest use to the most people.

I hope you can find something in this list that will help you in your research.

Permission is granted to reprint or repost any or all of this information for any purpose,
as long as full credit is given to:
Louis Kessler's Jewish Genealogy Links at
http://www.lkessler.com/jglinks.shtml
along with the Last update date.

Last update: Thursday November 06 2014

Search Jewish Genealogy Books at:
Click Here to search at Amazon.com (USA) Click Here to search at Amazon.ca (Canada) Click Here to search at Amazon.co.uk (U.K.)

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Contents

  1. The JewishGen Site
  2. The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies
  3. Avotaynu, Inc.
  4. Ancestry Jewish Family Collection
  5. FamilySearch Jewish Genealogy Resources
  6. The Federation of East European Family History Societies
  7. Museums and Research Facilities for Jewish Genealogy
  8. Holocaust Sites
  9. Jewish Genealogical Conferences
  10. Other Useful Jewish Genealogy Pages

Help! How Do I Use These Links?

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1. The JewishGen Site

JewishGen: The Official Home of Jewish Genealogy
The main site for Jewish Genealogy, having a vast amount of information. and links to just about everywhere else.
http://www.jewishgen.org
home
The JewishGen Fact Sheet
Information about JewishGen, and a historical account of their activity.
http://www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen/factsheet.htm
data
Jewish Gen FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
by Warren Blatt
The best online guide to Jewish Genealogy there is. This file is a must-read for all Jewish genealogists.
http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/faq.html
howto
JewishGen InfoFile Index
Hundreds of information files covering a wide variety of topics to help you in you Jewish Genealogical research.
http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/
howto
JewishGen Discussion Group
An internet forum allowing Jewish genealogical researchers worldwide to discuss and share information.
http://www.jewishgen.org/Jewishgen/Discussiongroup.htm
tool
The JewishGen Communities Database and Gazetteer
Pinpoint exactly where your ancestral towns in Eastern Europe are, find out how to properly spell their names, and find all the small towns nearby them.
http://www.jewishgen.org/Communities/
tool
The JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF)
Contains surnames and towns being researched by thousands of Jewish researchers worldwide. You can search it, and add new entries to it online.
http://www.jewishgen.org/jgff/
tool
The Family Tree of the Jewish People (FTJP)
A searchable database of a vast amount of GEDCOM data contributed by thousands of Jewish Genealogists. Submission to the JGFF is required for you to search.
http://www.jewishgen.org/gedcom/
data
The FTJP FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about the FTJP explain its workings. A link to the FAQ is not available on the FTJP page, so it is necessary to list it here separately.
http://www.jewishgen.org/gedcom/faq/
howto
The JewishGen Family Links Database
A searchable list of surnames and links to the web sites of Jewish researchers. If you have your family info on a website, add your surname interests to it online.
http://www.jewishgen.org/family/
links
The JewishGen KehilaLinks Project
Collections of information and links for people interested in particular ancestral towns. Formerly was called "ShtetlLinks".
http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/
tool
The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry
JOWBR is a database of names and other identifying information from cemeteries and burial records worldwide, from the earliest records to the present.
http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/cemetery/
data
Yiskor Book Project
A searchable list of Yizkor (Memorial) books of Jewish shtetls in Eastern Europe destroyed during the holocaust, as well as information about where to find them.
http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/
tool
JewishGen Databases
A list of, and links to the databases available on JewishGen, including those of general interest (given above) and others for more specific interests.
http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/
tool
JOS Calculator
Several tools to calculate soundex codes, convert calendar dates, and determine distances between towns.
http://www.jewishgen.org/jos/
tool
JewishGen-ealogy by Genetics
Coordinates genetic research for all Jewish Genealogists with their partner Family Tree DNA. A separate project page is organized by surname, location, society and other groupings.
http://www.jewishgen.org/dna/genbygen.html
tool

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2. The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies

The IAJGS Home Page
The Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies promotes Jewish genealogical research throughout the world and coordinates the efforts of individual member societies.
http://www.iajgs.org/
home
Jewish Genealogy Yearbook
Information about the activities being done by the genealogical societies worldwide.
http://www.iajgs.org/Jewish_Genealogy_Yearbook_2011.pdf
data
IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project
Here is a information about all Jewish cemeteries in the world.
http://www.iajgsjewishcemeteryproject.org/
tool

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3. Avotaynu, Inc.

Avotaynu, Inc. Home Page
Avotaynu is the main publisher of products of interest to Jewish genealogists.
http://www.avotaynu.com
home
Nu? What's New?
A bi-weekly Internet magazine published by Avotaynu providing information of interest to persons tracing their Jewish family history.
http://www.avotaynu.com/nu.htm
news
Avotaynu Journal Page
Their quarterly journal Avotaynu is the defininitive source of up-to-date information and a must-subscribe-to!
http://www.avotaynu.com/journal.htm
howto
Books Published by Avotaynu, Inc.
A list of the valuable books Avotaynu publishes for genealogists, and information on how to order them.
http://www.avotaynu.com/allbooks.htm
howto
Recommended Material for a Jewish Genealogical Library
I just love the way they set up this list. Use it to recommend to your society what they should order!
http://www.avotaynu.com/recommend.htm
howto
Avotaynu Index Summary
This is an index to most of the past volumes of Avotaynu.
http://www.avotaynu.com/indexsum.htm
tool
Avotaynu Consolidated Jewish Surname Index
A search tool to find which databases contain particular surnames. More than two million entries in dozens of databases are indexed.
http://www.avotaynu.com/csi/csi-home.htm
tool
Soundexing and Genealogy
by Gary Mokotoff
Here is the complete definition of how the Russell, American, and Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex Systems are defined.
http://www.avotaynu.com/soundex.htm
data

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4. Ancestry Jewish Family Collection

Jewish Family History Collection
Partnering with JewishGen and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), they've created the world's largest online collection of Jewish historical records. These collections will remain free as long as they exist on Ancestry.com
http://www.ancestry.ca/jewishgen-all
data

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5. FamilySearch Jewish Genealogy Resources

FamilySearch.org - Jewish Genealogy Resources
The LDS church maintains the world's largest genealogy collection. They have some material not available elsewhere. This is their Resources page for Jewish researchers.
https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Jewish_Genealogy_Research
home
Research Outline - Jewish Genealogy
An excellent guide to everything you need to know for Jewish Genealogy research.
https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/2/24/Jewish_Genealogy_Research_Outline.pdf
data

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6. The Federation of East European Family History Societies

The FEEFHS Home Page
This worldwide organization concentrates on aiding Genealogical research for those with roots in Eastern Europe - no matter what their ethnicity.
http://feefhs.org/
home
Research Outline Jewish Genealogy
Introduces records and strategies that can help you learn more about your Jewish ancestors.
http://feefhs.org/guides/Jewish.pdf
tool

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7. Museums and Research Facilities for Jewish Genealogy

The Beth-Hatefutsoth Home Page
The Museum of the Jewish People holds Israel's major collections of Jewish Genealogical Information.
http://www.bh.org.il
home
The Douglas E. Goldman Jewish Genealogy Center
The primary Genealogical resource site in Israel.
http://www.bh.org.il/database-about.aspx?genealogy
tool
The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP)
In Jerusalem, they collect and preserve the archival remnants of Jewish communities throughout the world. They are especially rich in material from Central and Eastern Europe.
http://cahjp.huji.ac.il/
home
The Israel Genealogical Society (IGS)
The IGS is the State of Israel's premiere genealogical organization, affording its members a full range of research materials, guidance and support. It is a non-profit organization founded in 1983.
http://www.isragen.org.il/
home
The American Jewish Archives
Seeks to preserve any documents illumination the history of Jews in the Western Hemisphere. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
http://www.americanjewisharchives.org/
home
The Center for Jewish History
Comprised of the following four institutes of higher Jewish learning: Leo Baeck Institute, the AJHS, Yeshiva University, and YIVO
http://www.cjh.org/
home
The Leo Baeck Institute
The Leo Baeck Institute is a research, study and lecture center, a museum, a library and archives, devoted to the history of German-speaking Jewry.
http://www.lbi.org/
home
The American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS)
Historical societies are valuable resources for genealogists. The AJHS is the national society for the collection of materials related to American Jewish History.
http://www.ajhs.org/
home
Jewish Historical Societies in the United States and Abroad
A listing and links to Jewish Historical Societies world-wide.
http://www.ajhs.org/portal/other_hist_soc.cfm
links
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
The preeminent repository of library and archival materials on the history and culture of Eastern European Jewry and their descendants in the United States. Located in New York City.
http://www.yivoinstitute.org/
home
The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe
The only resource of its kind, this encyclopedia provides the most complete picture of the history and culture of Jews in Eastern Europe from the beginnings of their settlement in the region to the present. This Web site makes accurate, reliable, scholarly information about East European Jewish life accessible to everyone.
http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/
data
International Institute for Jewish Genealogy and Paul Jacobi Center
Opened in January 2006 in the Jewish National and University Library at Givat Ram, Jerusalem.
http://www.iijg.org/
home
The Ellis Island Home Page
Ellis Island in New York is where a great number of Jewish immigrants arrived to North America. They now have a comprehensive online searchable database of all the immigrants.
http://www.ellisisland.org/
home
Searching the Ellis Island Database
by Stephen Morse and others
A front-end developed for the Ellis Island Search Engine that will allow you to specify all your search parameters at once and optimize the search for Jewish passengers.
http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/EIDB/
tool
Ellis Island Database FAQ
by Elise Friedman for JewishGen
A comprehensive description of what is available in the Ellis Island Database and how to best access it.
http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/eidbfaq.html
data
The American Immigrant Wall of Honor Page
This is a monument at Ellis Island that has inscribed on it over 500,000 names of immigrant ancestors. There is a search tool available from this page to search the names on the wall.
http://www.wallofhonor.org/
home
Museum of Family History
A virtual (Internet-only), multimedia, and interactive creation that was designed for those who are interested in learning more about modern Jewish history, as well as those who were a part of this history, who now grace the many branches of our family tree. They have a blog.
http://www.museumoffamilyhistory.com/
home
The Polish Jews Home Page
The main purpose of this site is to collect on photos all possible remembrances about Polish Jews (like cemeteries, synagogues, monuments, etc.), which remain today.
http://www.polishjews.org/
home
Sephardim.com
A Research Tool for Sephardic Jewish Genealogy
http://www.sephardim.com/
home

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8. Holocaust Sites

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The national museum for the Holocaust - in Washington, D.C. is collecting much information of interest to researchers.
http://www.ushmm.org/
home
Collections and Archives Search
Online queries to some of the Museum's catalogues and finding aids are available from this page.
http://www.ushmm.org/research/collections/
tool
Gateway to Electronic Resources on the Holocaust
... and there are a lot of them!
http://www.ushmm.org/research/library/eresources/
links
Yad Vashem Home Page
The Holocaust Memorial of the Jewish people in Jerusalem.
http://www.yadvashem.org/
home
The Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names
A searchable computerized database containing information about approximately half of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The actual Page of Testimony can also be viewed online, and you can submit new Pages of Testimony online.
http://db.yadvashem.org/names/
data
The Shoah Related Lists Database
Lists of data that Yad Vashem has that they are entering into the Names database.
http://www.yadvashem.org/lwp/workplace/listoflist?WT.mc_id=lolen
data
USC Shoah Foundation California
The University of Southern California's site with information about Steven Spielberg's project of videotaping and archiving interviews of Holocaust survivors all over the world.
http://dornsife.usc.edu/vhi/
home
The Simon Wiesenthal Center
An international center for Holocaust remembrance and the defense of human rights and the Jewish people in Los Angeles.
http://www.wiesenthal.com/
home
Museum of Tolerance Online
Includes an Online Multimedia Learning Centre, Virtual Exhibits, Teacher's Resources, and Special Collections.
http://motlc.wiesenthal.org/
home
Cybrary of the Holocaust
A rememberance site. Lots of information of various types here.
http://remember.org/
home
The Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
New York City's Holocaust and Jewish History Centre, and now the parent organization for JewishGen.
http://www.mjhnyc.org/
home
Holocaust Learning Links
An extensive collection of links to other Holocaust sites.
http://remember.org/cylinks.html
links
The International Tracing Service
The American Red Cross has been providing tracing services to help people seeking the fate of their loved ones missing during the Holocaust and WWII.
http://www.redcross.org/services/intl/holotrace/
data

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9. Jewish Genealogical Conferences

Future Conferences on Jewish Genealogy
Here is a list of all the future seminars.
http://www.iajgs.org/future-seminars.html
data
Past Conferences on Jewish Genealogy
Here is a list of all the previous seminars.
http://www.iajgs.org/prior-seminars.html
data

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10. Other Useful Jewish Genealogy Pages

Jewish Heritage Europe
A web portal with news, information and resources concerning Jewish monuments and heritage sites all over Europe. In particular, there is information about Jewish cemeteries and synagogues here that you cannot get elsewhere.
http://www.jewish-heritage-europe.eu/
home
Webpages by Stephen P. Morse
by Stephen Morse
Various tools for Jewish Genealogists developed by Stephen Morse, including database searches, Jewish Calendar conversions and more.
http://www.stevemorse.org/
tool
The Genealogy Indexer
by Logan Kleinwaks
Allows searches of historical directories primarily from Central and Eastern Europe, Yizkor books, and other documents of interest to Jewish genealogists.
http://www.genealogyindexer.org/
home
Tracing The Tribe
by Schelly Talalay Dardashti
A JTA News Service blog about Jewish genealogy - the developments, tools and resources to help you in your research.
http://tracingthetribe.blogspot.com/
news
Tracing the Tribe - Jewish Genealogy on Facebook
by Schelly Talalay Dardashti
A consolidation of Facebook pages where 4,000 global talented members delight in assisting those with questions, helping with translations and brick walls and having vibrant conversations all focused on Jewish genealogy
https://www.facebook.com/groups/20364215746/
data
Jewish Virtual Library
by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE)
The most comprehensive online Jewish encyclopedia in the world.
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/
data
The Virtual Jewish History Tour
Gives excellent information about the Jewish History of every country in the world.
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/vjwtoc.html
data
The Jewish Encyclopedia Online
Contains the complete contents of the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, which was originally published between 1901-1906. It is public domain, free to access and is completely searchable.
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/
home
Jewish Web Index
by Ted Margulis
An easy-to navigate site with excellent links and information that have a heavy emphasis on Jewish Genealogy.
http://www.jewishwebindex.com/
links

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Help! How Do I Use These Links?

I have never really been happy with most of the other web-link pages that are out there. I have tried to make my links more useful with a number of differences. I hope you like what I have done:
  1. I link to individual pages, not just to home pages of sites. My links will identify good pages that are buried deep in a site.
  2. I have organized my links by site, and sub-site. This way you can see at a glance what a particular site has to offer.
  3. I set up a "Contents" and have navigation hot-links to make it easier to get between sections.
  4. I display the web addresses (also known as URLs). It is nice to know where you are going.
  5. I give a brief description of what I think is generally useful on each page.
And, for quick pigeon-holing, I classify each page into one of seven types as follows:

Home These are home pages of a web site or sub-site. Generally they act as a table-of-contents, containing mostly local links to the rest of the site.

News Up-to-date information about current activities and events. These pages are changed quite often, so check them regularly.

How to These pages give instructions on how to go on in your information quest, where to look next, and increase your level of overall expertise.

Tool A web page that is designed to help you find or do something. It may be an index, guide, or even an online program.

Data The pages most researchers get really excited about. This is real data that has been made available online.

Files Collections of files, not designed to be looked at online, but made for downloading (using FTP) to your own computer. May often contain useful software.

Links Pages with the best collections of links to the multitude of other web sites. If you want to, you can follow all these until the wee hours of the morning.

Finally, you may see the following codes:

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My Home Page
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Behold

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