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, open at 12:30 p.m. before each monthly hybrid meeting. This allows individuals to utilize genealogy library materials, seek assistance with genealogy websites, or pose genealogical questions before the main program commences at 2 p.m.
During every in-person JGSI monthly meeting, our "help desk" operates from 12:30 to 1:50 p.m. Member volunteers will access online databases and address genealogical questions one-on-one for both members and visitors, as time permits. The JGSI research library boasts over 600 volumes catering to Jewish family historians, including a diverse selection of historical and contemporary maps. All books and maps are available for perusal from 12:30 to 1:50 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.
More details and registrations for JGSI events are on the Programs page.
History of Chicago’s Jewish West Side to be the focus of JGSI's March 17 hybrid meeting
“It’s a Small World! Genealogy on Chicago’s Jewish West Side” will be the topic for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois hybrid meeting on Sunday, March 17, 2024. The online lecture by Beverly Chubat will begin at 2 p.m. Central Time via Zoom and at Temple Beth-El, Northbrook. She will discuss and take questions about institutions such as the Jewish People’s Institute and the Douglas Park Theater. Temple Beth-El will open for the JGSI help desk and library at 12:30 p.m.
More details and registration information are on the Programs page.
THE LATEST UPDATES
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... If you would like to help us identify these people, please click here.