Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois


JGSI Programs  
Detailed meeting location information and map/directions are located at the bottom of this page.

Upcoming events

    • 24 Oct 2021
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • From the convenience of your home computer.
    Register

    Joel Weintraub to present two Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois talks on Oct. 24

    Joel Weintraub, one of the contributors to the Steve Morse One-Step website, will give two genealogy talks, one called “Here Comes The 1950 Census: What To Expect” and one called “Finding Difficult Passengers on the Ellis Island Manifests,” for the Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, starting at 1 p.m. CDT.

    Registration/RSVP for the virtual webinar by clicking on the button at left.

    In “Here Comes The 1950 Census: What To Expect,” Joel will prepare us for when the U.S. 1950 census will become public on April 1, 2022. He will cover what is a census, who uses the census, census caveats, how the 1950 census was taken, training of enumerators, enumerator instruction manuals, census sampling, 1950 population and housing forms, census questions, post enumeration codes, 1950 undercount, and a summary of the results.

    He will conclude this talk with a discussion of his and Steve Morse’s 1950 census locational tools, already online at the stevemorse.org website. Those 1950 utilities took almost eight years to produce with help from 69 volunteers, involve 230,000 or so searchable 1950 census district definitions with about 79,000 more small community names added, and street indexes for over 2,400 urban areas that correlate with 1950 census district numbers.

    In “Finding Difficult Passengers on the Ellis Island Manifests,” Joel will demonstrate 10 different strategies to help you locate the records of your elusive immigrant ancestors. He will start with a 12-year-old boy on his 1907 voyage from Hamburg, Germany, to New York, and then find out why some search strategies cannot find his record (including the Ellis Island search database), and, surprisingly, why some other strategies can find his record! There will be several take-home messages here for researchers, even those who have done many such searches, so be prepared to be learn about the assumptions behind the databases we use for immigration searches including some lesser-known ones.

    Joel Weintraub, a New Yorker by birth, is an emeritus biology professor at California State University, Fullerton. He became interested in genealogy over 20 years ago and volunteered for nine years at the National Archives in southern California. Joel helped produce location tools for the 1900 through 1950 federal censuses, and the New York State censuses for New York City (1905, 1915, 1925) for the Steve Morse “One-Step” website.  He has published articles on the U.S. census and the 72-year rule, the name change belief and finding difficult passenger records at Ellis Island, and searching NYC census records with the problems of NYC geography. He has a YouTube channel “JDW Talks” that has recordings of his genealogy (and biology) talks.

    The Jewish Genealogical Societyof Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots. The JGSI motto is “Members Helping Members Since 1981.” The group has more than 300 members and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

    JGSI members have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members’ forum, more than 65 video recordings of past speakers’ presentations, monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more. Members as well as non-members can look for their ancestors on the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database.

    For more information, see https://jgsi.org or phone 312-666-0100.

    • 14 Nov 2021
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • From the convenience of your home computer.
    Register

    Mike Karsen to present update on Chicago-area Jewish genealogy resources on Nov. 14:

    “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland—What’s New” will be the topic of a presentation by genealogist Mike Karsen for the Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. His talk, which will begin at 2 p.m. CDT, will be preceded at 1 p.m. by a members-only genealogy question-and-answer discussion time.

    To register/RSVP for this online event, click on the registration button at left. 

    This event will feature JGSI past president Mike Karsen giving his annual update covering various resources available to discover your Jewish roots in Chicagoland. He will include a wide range of records and research resources, including cemeteries, death certificates, death notices/obits, marriage records, birth records, and city directories. How to locate your ancestor’s naturalization records, which are essential for any genealogical research project, will also be covered along with some uniquely Jewish resources. Today, with so many records available online, you hardly have to leave your home to research your Chicago roots. Case studies will be utilized to demonstrate the research process.

    A professional speaker, Mike Karsen is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Genealogical Speakers Guild, and is a past president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. He has presented over 300 talks on genealogy topics locally, nationally, and internationally, including for the Newberry Library and the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. Mike is the author of the JewishGen website’s “Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland” and has published articles on genealogy.

    The Jewish Genealogical Societyof Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots. The JGSI motto is “Members Helping Members Since 1981.” The group has more than 300 members and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

    JGSI members have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members’ forum, more than 65 video recordings of past speakers’ presentations, monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more. Members as well as non-members can look for their ancestors on the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database.

    For more information, see https://jgsi.org or phone 312-666-0100.


    • 12 Jun 2022
    • 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Details to be announced.

    The Greater Chicago Jewish Festival is scheduled for  Sunday, June 12, 2022

    For more information, see: https://jewishfestival.org/

    FURTHER DETAILS WILL BE FORTHCOMING. 

    • 21 Aug 2022
    • 25 Aug 2022
    • Details to be announced.

    The 42nd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy is scheduled for Aug. 21–25, 2022, as an in-person event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    For more information, see: https://www.iajgs2022.org/

    FURTHER DETAILS WILL BE FORTHCOMING. 

Past events

29 Aug 2021 “What the Genealogist Needs to Know About Jewish Family Names” by Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus
25 Jul 2021 “A History of Jewish Name Changing in America” by Kirsten Fermaglich
27 Jun 2021 JGSI annual meeting with 'Kvell and Tell' talks
23 May 2021 “Journeys from Shtetl to Shtetl” by Eli Rabinowitz
25 Apr 2021 "Three Guides, Four Countries: A Daughter of Holocaust Survivors Travels to Their Ancestral Villages" by Deborah Long
21 Mar 2021 “Finding Your Kaplans” by Mindie Kaplan
21 Feb 2021 “Clued-In: Interpreting Real Photo Postcards from the Diaspora” and photo analyses by Ava Cohn
24 Jan 2021 “JRI-Poland Update and More” by Stanley Diamond
22 Nov 2020 “Using FamilySearch for Jewish Research” by W. Todd Knowles
25 Oct 2020 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland—What’s New” by Mike Karsen
30 Aug 2020 “Out of the Whirlwind: Finding Your Family Lost in the Holocaust” by Deborah H. Long
26 Jul 2020 "Comparing Jewish Resources on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage and JewishGen” and “What Would Nancy Drew Do in the Quest for Missing Family" by Ellen Kowitt
28 Jun 2020 Annual meeting with "Kvell and Tell"
07 Jun 2020 Mark your calendar for the Sunday, June 7, 2020, VIRTUAL Greater Chicago Jewish Festival
31 May 2020 “A Case Study in Getting Past a Genealogical Brick Wall” by Martin Fischer
03 May 2020 "When DNA or Documents Reveal Life-Altering Origin Secrets” by Steven Flack
22 Mar 2020 “When DNA or Documents Reveal Life-Altering Origin Secrets” by Steven Flack
23 Feb 2020 “Unique Aspects of Jewish Genealogy” by Debbie Kroopkin
26 Jan 2020 “Family History Resources from the Library of Congress” by Tina Beaird
17 Nov 2019 “Using Periodical Literature for Genealogical Research” and “More than Surname Surfing: Best Practices for Using the Internet for Genealogy” by Curt B. Witcher
03 Nov 2019 “Online Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland” by Mike Karsen
27 Oct 2019 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland—What’s New” by Mike Karsen
15 Sep 2019 “A Guide to Sephardic Genealogy” by Sarina Roffé
25 Aug 2019 “More Stories about Things I’ve Learned from Doing Genealogy” by Zalman Usiskin
11 Aug 2019 Tour of Hebrew Benevolent Society (HBS) Cemetery
29 Jul 2019 JGSI Dinner at IAJGS Conference in Cleveland
23 Jun 2019 Annual meeting with Kvell and Tell
02 Jun 2019 DNA: Tests, Tools and Tales -- A one-day conference
06 May 2019 “A 3-D View of Immigration" by Susan Weinberg
28 Apr 2019 “Three Hershberg Mysteries” by Barry Finkel
07 Apr 2019 “Resurrecting Grandpa’s Store” by Scott Meyer
24 Mar 2019 “The Margarine Moonshiners from Minsk” and “Conducting Story-Driven Research” by Tammy Hepps
03 Mar 2019 “Who Was B. Berman? A Case Study in Getting Past a Genealogical Brick Wall” by Martin Fischer
24 Feb 2019 “Write It! Tips for Saving and Sharing Family History" by Martin Fischer
27 Jan 2019 “Courthouse Finds” by Tina Beaird
16 Dec 2018 "Stories about Things I've Learned from Doing Genealogy" by Zalman Usiskin
18 Nov 2018 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland—What’s New” by Mike Karsen
14 Oct 2018 "Resurrecting Grandpa’s Store" by Scott E. Meyer
26 Aug 2018 “Research Genealogical Resources in Israel From Your Couch” by Daniel Horowitz
29 Jul 2018 “Researching Individuals with United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Resources” by Diane Afoumado
24 Jun 2018 Annual meeting with “Kvell and Tell”
29 Apr 2018 “Gesher Galicia" and "Galician Portraits” by Andrew Zalewski
08 Apr 2018 “A DNA Discussion with a DNA Devotee” by Alvin Holtzman
11 Mar 2018 "Filling in the Blanks on My Jewish Family History" by Annette Gendler
04 Mar 2018 "Techniques for Using Jewishgen.org" by Debbie Kroopkin
18 Feb 2018 “Researching Jewish Ancestors on Ancestry Library Edition” by Jane G. Haldeman
21 Jan 2018 “Insight into FamilySearch and The Wilmette Family History Center” by Suzanne Hoffman
19 Nov 2017 “My Mother’s Life in Cuba: In Her Own Words” by Martin Fischer
22 Oct 2017 “Apple Does Not Fall: Shtetl Cousins Meet Iron-Curtain Cousins” by Bena Shklyanoy
27 Aug 2017 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland-What’s New” by Mike Karsen
16 Jul 2017 “Choosing the Right Family Tree Software” and “What’s New at Ukraine SIG” by Chuck Weinstein
25 Jun 2017 Annual meeting with “Kvell and Tell”
21 May 2017 “General DNA and Genealogy” and “The DNA of the Jewish People” by Bennett Greenspan
07 May 2017 "Online Genealogy Tools" by John Miller
26 Apr 2017 “Document and Share Your Genealogy Now!” by Clara Tomaz and Heather Hehman
19 Mar 2017 “Genealogy is Easy, Fascinating, and Fun: How I Found the Feldmans”
19 Mar 2017 “Making the Most of the County Clerk’s Genealogy Resources" by Angela Wright Madison
22 Feb 2017 “Getting Started in Genealogy” by Judith R. Frazin
19 Feb 2017 “Getting the Most Out of MyHeritage” by Daniel Horowitz
22 Jan 2017 “Genealogy is Easy, Fascinating, and Fun: How I Found the Feldmans” by Steven Flack
20 Nov 2016 “Archival Records of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County" by Philip J. Costello
30 Oct 2016 “Techniques for Using Jewishgen.org” by Debbie Kroopkin
25 Sep 2016 “Putting the Flesh on the Bones” and “Evaluating Evidence: Asking a mini-Minnie Question" by Ron Arons
28 Aug 2016 “Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland - What’s New” by Mike Karsen
09 Aug 2016 JGSI Dinner in Seattle, Washington
31 Jul 2016 "Specifics of Hungarian Jewish Genealogy - Historical Background and a Practical Guide" by Karesz Vandor
17 Jul 2016 “Getting Started in Genealogy” by Judith R. Frazin
10 Jul 2016 “Discover Your Family Genealogy” by Mike Karsen
26 Jun 2016 Annual meeting with “Kvell and Tell”
05 Jun 2016 Greater Chicago Jewish Festival
22 May 2016 “Cadastral Maps as a Genealogical Resource” by Alex Feller
17 Apr 2016 “German Jewish Genealogy: A Case Study” by Dennis Aron
07 Apr 2016 Newberry Library Tour & Research
13 Mar 2016 “The Children of La Hille: Eluding Nazi Capture During World War II" by Jeanne Reed
14 Feb 2016 “Jewish Genetic Genealogy - A Study in Endogamy” by Israel Pickholtz
31 Jan 2016 “Genealogy Research & Book Research Have a Lot in Common” by Walter Reed
22 Nov 2015 “Making the Dead Dance: How to Breathe Life into Your Ancestors” by S.L. (Sandi) Wisenberg
01 Nov 2015 “Getting Started in Genealogy” by Judith R. Frazin
25 Oct 2015 “The Greenebaum Family: From the Rheinpfalz to Chicago” by Joan Adler
27 Sep 2015 Tour of Zion Gardens Cemetery
30 Aug 2015 “Jewish Genetics” by Murray Brilliant
09 Aug 2015 "Stepping Stones to Researching Your Family's Jewish Roots" by Harriet Rudnit
19 Jul 2015 “Family History: Caring for Your Treasures” by Eileen A. Ielmini
06 Jul 2015 35th IAJGS Conference in Jerusalem
28 Jun 2015 Annual meeting with “Kvell and Tell"
07 Jun 2015 JGSI Conference 2015
20 May 2015 “Online Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland: What’s New?” by Mike Karsen
26 Apr 2015 “Finding Frida: My Mother’s First Cousin, a Holocaust Survivor” by Ken Bravo
29 Mar 2015 “Clued-In: The Stories are in the Details” by Ava Cohen
22 Feb 2015 “Making a Family Tree Coffee Table Book” by Zalman Usiskin
25 Jan 2015 “How I Do Genealogy: Starting Research and Beginning to Gather Information” by Barry Finkel
23 Nov 2014 "Reconnecting with My Lithuanian Roots” by Harriet Rudnit
26 Oct 2014 "Out of Chaos: Hidden Children Remember the Holocaust" by Walter Reed, et al
19 Oct 2014 "Getting Started in Genealogy" by Judith R. Frazin
28 Sep 2014 “Using FamilySearch.org and the Family History Research Center” by Judith R. Frazin
24 Aug 2014 “Treasures in Print: Finding and Using Historical Newspapers” by Robin B. Seidenberg
28 Jul 2014 JGSI Dinner at IAJGS Conference in Salt Lake City
23 Jul 2014 “Looking Outside the BMD Box for Your Mother and Aunts: A Case Study Based on Eretz Israel” by Rose Feldman
20 Jul 2014 “My Cousin the Murder Defendant” by Martin Fischer
29 Jun 2014 "Ethical Wills-Values Handed Down Through Our Genealogy" by Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler
18 May 2014 “Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors’ Arrival Records Online” by Mike Karsen
04 May 2014 JGSI Beginners' Genealogical Workshop by Judith R. Frazin
27 Apr 2014 "Why am I stuck? 10 Solutions to Common Genealogical Brick Walls" by Marsha Peterson-Maass
30 Mar 2014 “Locating Israeli Relatives and Holocaust Survivors: Search Strategies and Integrating Resources” by Rose Lerer Cohen
16 Feb 2014 "The Mystery of the Green Dumpster" documentary film
26 Jan 2014 "From Babylon to Skokie: A Short History of Ashkenazim" by Ron Grossman
24 Nov 2013 "Chicago's West Side Jews vs. South Side Jews" by Mark Mandle
27 Oct 2013 "More, Much More Than Fiddlers on the Roof!" by Brian Zakem
29 Sep 2013 Beginners’ Genealogical Workshop by Judith R. Frazin
25 Aug 2013 "Rembering Jewish Lawndale" documentary film
28 Jul 2013 "Researching Your Chicago Ancestors" by Stephen M. Szabados
30 Jun 2013 "My Cousin, The Gangster" by Mike Karsen
09 Jun 2013 Digging Deeper: Researching Our Ancestors With Technology 2013 JGSI Conference
19 May 2013 "Spreadsheets 101: Excel, the Genealogist's Underutilized Tool" by Jeanne L. Bloom
28 Apr 2013 “The Lemba Jewish Community of Zimbabwe” documentary film
17 Mar 2013 “Finding Living Relatives” by Martin Fischer
24 Feb 2013 "Rumbula’s Echo” documentary film discussion with Mitchell Lieber
27 Jan 2013 Ask the Experts panel discussion
Monthly Meetings are usually held at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook.
Please check
for any changes in venue by reading the event details, which has the event location.

The Temple will open at 12:30 pm for the help desk and library. JGSI members will be available to help answer genealogical questions, help with Internet searches, and help in the library.
Scheduled programs will begin at 2:00 pm.

Link to map showing location of Temple Beth-El.Select link to view map of Temple Beth-El

Want reminders about our meetings and events?

Email info@jgsi.org and request 'Email meeting and events reminder"

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An .ICS (iCalendar) file will be generated containing the event details and a link to the event page.
The file will be downloaded via your browser.

LINK TO FAQ How to add the file to your calendar.
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