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JewishGen Logo.jpg
Preserving Our History for Future Generations
Founded 1987
Founder Susan E. King
Type Non-Profit
Key people
Warren Blatt
Avraham Groll
Michael Tobias
3 Staff/1,000 Volunteers Worldwide (2013)
JewishGen headquarters in the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, New York

JewishGen is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 as a resource for Jewish genealogy. In 2003, JewishGen became an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City.[1] It provides amateur and professional genealogists with the tools to research their Jewish family history and heritage.


JewishGen was founded in 1987[2][3] by Susan E. King in Houston, Texas, as a Fidonet bulletin board[2] with 150 users interested in Jewish genealogy. It later moved to the internet. On January 1, 2003, it became a division of the Museum of Jewish Heritage[1] and relocated its official headquarters into the museum in 2008.

JewishGen's website is designed to provide a simple and easy interface, and is offered as a free public service. Over 1,000 active volunteers throughout the world contribute to its ever growing collection of databases, resources, and search tools.[3] It lists more than 21 million Jewish records,[3] hundreds of translated yizkor (memorial) books, research tools, family finders, educational classes, historical components, and other resources. It has a userbase of more than 500,000 users worldwide.[citation needed]


  • JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) is a compilation of surnames and towns currently being researched by over 100,000 Jewish genealogists worldwide. It contains over 500,000 entries, including 120,000 ancestral surnames and 18,000 town names, and is indexed and cross-referenced by both surname and town name.[4] The Family Finder, like JewishGen's other databases, uses soundex and phonetic matching technology to yield results on all the different spellings of the name being searched.[3] It connects users who are researching the same surnames and towns.[3]
  • Family Tree of the Jewish People (FTJP) is a database of Jewish family trees. The central purpose of the FTJP is to enhance Jews' ability to connect and re-connect their families and to increase interest in Jewish genealogy.[5]
  • The JewishGen Gazetteer (formerly the "ShtetlSeeker") is a database containing the names of all localities in 54 countries in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The data is based on the U.S. Board on Geographic Names databases.[6]
  • JewishGen Communities Database contains information on over 6,000 Jewish communities in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, together with Jewish population figures, historical town names and jurisdictions, inset maps, and links to JewishGen resources.[6]
  • 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.[7]
  • Holocaust Database is a collection of databases containing information about Holocaust victims and survivors. It currently contains over two million entries, including concentration-camp lists, "transport lists, ghetto records, census lists, and ID cards".[3][8]

Country databases[edit]

  • Country Databases contain historical records, including birth, marriage and death records, census records, military records, etc. These databases are continual works-in-progress, and new data is added regularly.

Databases currently exist for Austria-Czech,[9] Belarus,[10] Britain,[11] Canada, Germany,[12] Hungary,[13] Latvia,[14] Lithuania,[15] Poland,[16] Romania and Moldova,[17] Scandinavia,[18] Ukraine[19] and the United States.[20]

Resources and research tools[edit]

  • The Yizkor Book Project aims to translate Yizkor (memorial) books, predominantly written after the Holocaust, into English. There are currently hundreds of completed or partially completed translated books online.[21]
  • The KehilaLinks Project aims to create “virtual” Yizkor Books online, by creating specific pages for towns and uploading information such as pictures, maps, personal recollections, and research data.[22]
  • The Family Pages Project allows family researchers to create their own webpage for free in order to help connect with relatives and learn about their history.[23]
  • The ViewMate Project allow users to post photographs and documents online, and request help in translating or identifying information.[3][24]
  • Discussion Groups provide researchers with the opportunity to connect, ask questions, exchange information and learn from others. Discussion groups are categorized by general and specific areas/topics of interest.[25]


  • Beginner Pages explain the basics of JewishGen and to navigate JewishGen.[26]
  • The JewishGen Education Center offers online interactive courses in Jewish genealogy to help researchers learn methodology, research techniques and organization of information for proper analysis.[27]

See also[edit]

  • Dor Yeshorim - Committee for Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases


External links[edit]