Photo of a single majestic tree.
By Rainer Lippert via Wikimedia Commons.

Get Started with Jewish Genealogy

Need help tracing your Jewish roots? Start here.

Are you Jewish and looking to know more about your ancestors? Maybe your family, like so many Jewish families in the last few centuries, was displaced, perhaps more than once. Maybe they started speaking a different language. Maybe you just discovered you are Jewish and want to understand your family tree better. The internet makes doing genealogical research easier than ever. Here are a few websites to get you started on your Jewish genealogical journey.

Read: How to locate a Jewish grave.


This is the primary internet source connecting researchers of Jewish genealogy worldwide, JewishGen self-describes as the, “global home for Jewish genealogy.” In addition to access to deep databases and user-friendly search tools, it has tools for researchers to connect with others on a similar journey of family discovery. People using the site have also discovered living relatives.

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies

The IAJGS is the front door for over 90 national and local Jewish genealogical societies around the world. If you know exactly where your family is from, this might be a good place to start.

Partnering with JewishGen, this popular website for researching one’s family tree now has many resources for Jews looking to explore their family history.

One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse

Comb through Ellis Island immigration records and U.S. census records.

Jewish Genealogical Society

If you had Jewish family in New York this is a good place to start. The Jewish Genealogical Society is a nonprofit organization with extensive online records and lots of programming, from field trips to lectures.


This website has tips and resources for those tracing their Sephardic heritage.

Yad VaShem

A premier center for Holocaust education, documentation and research, Yad Vashem contains the largest searchable database of Holocaust victims.

The Ackman and Ziff Family Genealogy Institute

This Center for Jewish History initiative offers Zoom and in-person appointments with genealogists and other resources for all levels of family historians.

The Israel Genealogy Research Association

This search engine scans more than 2.7 million materials located in Israel for data on Jewish communities around the world.


Access more than 19.4 billion historical records and find familial connections through MyHeritage.


Like MyHeritage, Geni is a popular international genealogy site that offers discussion boards, archival access and collaborative open-source projects for historians, genealogists and families alike.

Facebook Groups

Connect with other people researching their family trees and a learn more about the resources out there through these groups:

Good luck on your journey of family discovery.

Interested in knowing more about your ancestors? Check out our new four-part course How to Research and Construct Your Jewish Family Tree with author and genealogist Jennifer Mendelsohn, beginning March 25th. Learn more and register here.

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