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Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

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The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois (JGSI) is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization established in 1981 and now with over 300 members. JGSI is a member of IAJGS, the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

We help members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors and serve as a resource for the worldwide community to research their Chicago area Jewish roots. JGSI hosts our monthly meetings with informative speakers and expert genealogy volunteers to answer your questions about Jewish genealogy.

JGSI hybrid meetings feature easy access to useful research library and genealogy help desk

The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El in Northbrook, Illinois, will open at 12:45 p.m.  for each monthly hybrid meeting to accommodate those who want to use genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m.

At each in-person JGSI monthly meeting, our “help desk” will operate from 12:45 to 1:50 p.m.  Member volunteers will access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows. The JGSI research library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians.  The library also includes a good selection of historical and new maps. All the books and maps are available for perusing from 12:45 to 1:50 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.

    More details and registrations for JGSI events are on the Programs page.

    Adam Brown to speak on Jewish genetics and migrations for the Oct. 22, 2023, JGSI hybrid meeting

    “The Genetic Origins and Migrations of the Jewish People” will be genealogist Adam Brown's topic  for the Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois hybrid meeting. In his online talk, Adam will describe what the Avotaynu DNA Project has learned thus far about Jewish origins, as well as the latest discoveries about our migrations during the last 3,000 years of Jewish history.

      More details and registrations are on the Programs page.


      Upcoming events

      Mark your calendar now for our future events, which are listed on the Programs page of this website. Also, sign up for Burbio.com, a free website and mobile app that lists events from local organizations in one online calendar.


      The Chicago Jewish Post and Opinion newspaper (August 1962-December 1981) is now available as part of the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections thanks to the University of Illinois and a bequest to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois from the estate of Peggy Morrow, z''l.  Search at

      JGSI Jewish Chicago Database (JJCD)

      The JGSI Jewish Chicago Database (JJCD) includes information compiled from cemeteries, obituaries, memorial plaques, retirement homes, and other Jewish organizations.

      Mystery Photos

      Mystery Photos... If you would like to help us identify these people, please click here.

      © 2023 JGSI | P.O. Box 515, Northbrook, IL 60065-0515 | 312.666.0100 | info@jgsi.org
      JGSI is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.