Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

Want to learn more about genealogy?

Check out some of the informative genealogy podcasts and webinars being offered online mostly for free.

Just download this updated and improved compilation of resources: 

Free genealogy webinars and podcasts list.docx

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.

Join fellow JGSI members in online discussions about DNA

JGSI members are invited to join three members-only online discussion sessions about genetic genealogy. Scheduled for 7 p.m. Sundays, May 16, July 11, and Aug. 15, these times will provide opportunities for open discussions about genetic genealogy (DNA). Bring your genetic genealogy questions and brick walls, and help answer questions for others. JGSI members will be able to share their DNA discoveries and quandaries related to using genetic tests for researching their family history and discovering previously unknown cousins. 

More details and registration on the Programs page.


Online Jewish genealogy resources to be focus of May 23, 2021, JGSI talk

Eli Rabinowitz, a board member of the IAJGS who lives in Australia and is from South Africa, will speak on “Journeys from Shtetl to Shtetl” for the Sunday, May 23, 2021, virtual meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. His live streaming presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time on May 23. (A separate JGSI members-only genealogy question-and-answer discussion time will start at 6:30 p.m.) Please register/RSVP on the Programs page to receive the Zoom link in your email.

More details and registration on the Programs page.

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

Monthly Meetings

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.

Future JGSI events are also promoted on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

We hope to see you at our next meeting.

If you would like to receive meeting notices via email, please click here.

Follow JGSI on Social Media

Upcoming events

16 May 2021 7:00 PM • From the convenience of your home device.
23 May 2021 7:30 PM • From the convenience of your home computer.
27 Jun 2021 2:00 PM • From the convenience of your home computer.

Join JGSI Today!

Members have free access to the pay-for-use Jewishdata.com, meeting recordings and handouts, and an online members' discussion forum. 

Learn more about Membership Benefits and Join or Renew.

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. Many volunteer hours were spent compiling this information.  JGSI is proud to offer free access to both members and non-members.

What's New?

We have added about 1000 death notices to our JUF collection. 

JUF Death Notices & Obituaries Published 1994-Aug 2019 (17,753)

A Translation Guide to 19-Century Polish Language Civil Documents (Birth, Marriage and Death Records) by Judith R. Frazin is back in print. Information about the book is available at judithrfrazin.com. You can also contact Judith at judyfrazinbooks@gmail.com

Tour of Hebrew Benevolent Society (HBS) Cemetery