Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois 


Members Helping Members Since 1981

Are you researching Jewish family history and looking for a Chicago area network of experts and enthusiasts?

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.

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

Change in Members Only Section

For your convenience. we have combined the "JGSI Meeting Video Presentation" page and the "Meeting Handout" page into a new "Past Meeting Video and Handouts" page.

Amateur genealogist Zalman Usiskin will share “More Stories about Things I’ve Learned from Doing Genealogy” on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019

Usiskin has been interested in the genealogy of the various branches of his family since he was a teenager. Over the years, he has compiled family trees on three of his four grandparents with a total of more than 4,800 named relatives. On his paternal great-grandfather’s line he has names of more than 1,000 descendants of Usiskins all over the world but has never been able to definitively verify that any are blood relatives. 

Usiskin is a fine storyteller, and JGSI immediately invited him back when we heard that he had more stories to tell that offer research lessons or hints that might help others doing genealogy. In his new presentation, questions are raised and discussed: Who goes on a family tree? To what extent are family stories “cleansed”? How did a “black sheep” of the family turn out to be just the opposite? How did some Jews survive World War II in Europe and how might they be found even today? How did DNA help to find both biological parents of someone who was adopted? And he will explain how his wife’s heritage can be traced back to Adam and Eve. (What? You are skeptical?)  More

JGSI Dinner At IAJGS Conference Cleveland