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“What the Genealogist Needs to Know About Jewish Family Names” by Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus

  • 29 Aug 2021
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • From the convenience of your home computer.

What the Genealogist Needs to Know About Jewish Family Names


From the genealogical perspective, Jewish family names are anything but simple. In this talk, we heard:

  • how, why and when Jews acquired family names
  • what kinds of names they adopted
  • some special aspects of rabbinical names
  • techniques devised to avoid being identified 
  • spelling considerations
  • Soundex; the variable effects of emigration
  • expert sources 
  • and a few words about how to locate maiden names and married names of women.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus, Ph.D., has been at the forefront of the development of organized Jewish genealogy since its inception. She is co-owner, founder and editor of AVOTAYNU, the International Review of Jewish Genealogy; co-founder and chairman of the board of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy associated with the Israel National Library in Jerusalem; past president of IAJGS—the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies—and recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award. She was the chair or co-chair of seven IAJGS conferences.

Sack is also president of the Avotaynu Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Jewish genealogy; and the founding president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington. She has written or co-authored seven reference books on Jewish genealogy, and received the Jewish Library Association “Body of Work” award. She has served on advisory boards at the U.S. National Archives and at Beth Hatefutsoth, the Museum of the Jewish People, in Tel Aviv, Israel, and has lectured and taught how-to-get-started courses in genealogy in countries across the world as well as in the U.S.

Sack currently serves on the Executive Committee of the IAJGS Documentation of Jewish Records Worldwide (DoJR) Project. She recently organized the Upper Valley Jewish Genealogy Society of New Hampshire and Vermont.  


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