25 Essential Online Jewish Genealogy Resources

By Family Tree Editors Premium

1. Avotaynu

Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy started in 1985 as a quarterly newsletter about Jewish genealogical issues. Also subscribe to the free e-newsletter “Nu? What’s New?” here and find other books and resources.

2. American Sephardi Federation

A membership organization dedicated to recording, remembering and rejoicing in the rich culture of Sephardic Jews.

3. Beth Hatefutsoth: Museum of the Jewish People

This Israeli museum keeps track of Jewish roots from cultures around the globe. The Douglas E. Goldman Genealogy Center has an extensive computerized database of more than 850,000 names. For $5, the staff will search the database for you and send you the results. You can upload your own family tree to the database for free.

4. Czestochowa-Radomsko Area Research Group

Search engine with access to a large online collections of archival Holocaust data. 

5. Consolidated Jewish Surname Index

Avotaynu’s gateway to information about 699,084 surnames, mostly Jewish, that appear in 42 online databases.

6. Cyndi’s List—Jewish

Links to more than 240 sites, books, audiotapes, Web rings and much more.

7. DoroTree

“Dorot” means “roots” in Hebrew, and this site offers a GEDCOM program that also types and prints out in Hebrew. You don’t need a Hebrew-language operating system to use the program, so it’s convenient for those who wish to share their heritage with relatives in Israel or those who have ancestors best represented with Hebrew characters, the same characters used for Yiddish. The site has a free demo and more Web links.

8. Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture

Resources and publications for Sephardic Jewish culture, history and genealogy.

9. Genealogy Resources on the Internet: Jewish Mailing Lists

Connect with other researchers via email.

10. GenealogyIndexer

Adds full-text and soundex search capabilities to important online genealogical resources.

11. Holocaust Names

Survivors searching for relatives and vice versa come together on this site.

12. Jewish Historical Archives and Jewish Genealogical Societies

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies is an umbrella organization for historical and genealogical organizations around the world.

13. JewishGen

The all-encompassing site for Jewish genealogy. Features include a directory of Jewish Genealogical Societies, Yizkor (memory) books project, Shtetl Seeker and the Family Finder, with surnames and town names. Upload your own family tree for free, in GEDCOM format, to be included in the Family Tree of the Jewish People. For Sephardic research, JewishGen also provides this page of research and name lists with sources.

14. Judaism 101: Jewish Names

Dispelling surname myths and explaining given-name practices.

15. Les Fleurs d’ Orient Project

Genealogies of major Sephardi Families from the Ottoman Empire and beyond.

16. Museum of Jewish Heritage

Billed as a “living memorial to the Holocaust,” the New York City museum celebrates and preserves 20th-century Jewish life and culture. An online Family History Center is currently under construction. Great for those who want an overview of modern Jewry, and you may even find an artifact connected to your family.

17. MyHeritage 

This multifaceted genealogy Web site has family tree software (download it or use it online) that works in multiple languages, including Hebrew.

18. One-Step Web Pages by Stephen P. Morse

Tools on this site help you search a variety of Holocaust- and Eastern European-related websites, convert Jewish calendar dates, translate Hebrew writing and more.

19. Nahman Genealogy

Family history of the Nahmans of Gerona and history of the Jews of Spain.


Resources for tracing Sephardic Jews.

21. Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies

This society “fosters the research of the historical and contemporary development of crypto–Jews of Iberian origin [and] provides a venue for the descendants of crypto–Jews, scholars, and other interested parties to network and discuss pertinent issues.”

22. Southern Jewish Historical Society

Works to advance research on the Jewish experience in the American South.

23. Tracing the Tribe

Schelly Talalay Dardashti’s blog is a must-read for news and resources about tracing Jewish ancestors.

24. US Holocaust Memorial Museum

This Washington, DC, institution and its extensive archive and artifact collection have grown to staggering proportions, and its holdings can be searched and viewed online. There are also Web exhibits, academic journals, visitor information and more.

25. Yad Vashem: The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority

This museum dedicated to remembering the Holocaust has in-depth historical information, news on the International Tracing Service (located in Bad Arolsen, Germany, the ITS holds concentration camp-related records the Allies gathered after World War II), a Shoah list of Holocaust victims, historical photo database and more.