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* Jewish

Before the Civil War, German Jews were the primary Jewish immigrants arriving in America. After the war, though, Germany began to grant civil and political equality to Jews, and German Jewish immigration decreased. After that, the bulk of Jewish immigrants came from Eastern Europe, especially Poland, Romania, and Russia. The height of Jewish immigration to America was during the 1880's and 1890's, mostly due to Russian persecution of Jews at this time. Like the Eastern Orthodox immigrants, Jewish immigrants settled primarily in the Northeast and on the West Coast. The highest concentration of Jewish immigrants was in New York.

Contacts and Sources

American Jewish Archives
3101 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Telephone: (513) 221-1875
They can often answer short questions in response to inquiries by mail.

American Jewish Historical Society
2 Thornton Road
Waltham, MA 02154
Telephone: (617) 891-8110
Web site:

Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies
P.O. Box 50245
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Telephone: (415) 424-1622

Avotaynu, Inc.
155 N. Washington Ave.
Bergenfield, NJ 07621
Telephone: (201) 387-7200
Toll-free: (800) AVOTAYNU
Fax: (201) 387-2855
Web site:
Publication: Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy (Quarterly; covers a wide variety of issues of interest to Jewish genealogists. You can obtain an index of articles appearing in the first ten volumes of Avotaynu by sending a blank e-mail message to or by visiting

Leo Baeck Institute
129 East 73rd St.
New York, NY 10021
Telephone: (212) 744-6400

YIVO Institute
555 West 57th St., Suite 1100
New York, NY 10019
Telephone: (212) 246-6080
Web site:

Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People
Sprinzak Bldg., Hebrew University
P.O. Box 1149
91010 Jerusalem, ISRAEL
Telephone: [02]-635716

Web Sites

In Helpful Web Sites, you can find links to useful resources about the Jewish.
JewishGen is a Jewish genealogy community on the Internet. Their newsgroup address is soc.genealogy.jewish. Alternatively, you can subscribe to an e-mail list at The body of your message should contain "SUBSCRIBE JEWGEN FirstName LastName".


  • The Encyclopedia of Jewish Genealogy, Volume I: Sources in the United States and Canada, by Arthur Kurzweil and Miriam Weiner
  • Finding Our Fathers: A Guidebook to Jewish Genealogy, by Dan Rottenberg
  • From Generation to Generation: How to Trace Your Jewish Genealogy and Personal History, by Arthur Kurzweil
  • A Guide to Jewish Genealogical Research in Israel, by Sallyann Amdur Sack and the Israel Genealogical Society
  • How to Document Victims and Locate Survivors of the Holocaust by Gary Mokotoff
  • Jewish Genealogy: A Source Book of Family Histories and Genealogies, by David S. Zubatsky and Irwin M. Berent
  • Where Once We Walked: A Guide to the Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust, by Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Amdur Sack

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