Hebrew Heritage
8/1/2006
Say shalom to your Jewish roots. We raise the curtain on resources for researching your ancestry.

What do comedian Billy Crystal, actress and singer Barbra Streisand, director Steven Spielberg, MGM co-founder Samuel Goldwyn and movie-theater tycoon Marcus Loew have in common? These mega-movie millionaires all have Jewish heritage.

But it doesn't matter whether your own Jewish family tree includes Hollywood stars or ordinary peddlers and tailors: Researching your roots can prove more rewarding than winning an Oscar. “Jewish genealogy is like kissing. You just can't experience it from the outside and know how good it is,” says Arthur Kurzweil, author of From Generation to Generation: How to Trace Your Jewish Genealogy and Family History (Jossey-Bass).