Until recent decades, many Jews believed it wasn’t possible to trace their heritage. Centuries of persecution, repression and sanctioned violence against Jews—culminating in the atrocities of the Holocaust—led people to assume that records of those persecuted would be equally battered or lost.
Today, however, vast Jewish archives, datasets and hard-earned expertise show otherwise. Tracing Jewish roots is both possible and, say Jewish genealogists, deeply rewarding. Many discover, in addition to family facts, renewed appreciation for their Hebrew heritage. Follow our guide to start reclaiming your Jewish relatives.