Cover image for From generation to generation : how to trace your Jewish genealogy and family history
From generation to generation : how to trace your Jewish genealogy and family history
Kurzweil, Arthur.
Personal Author:
First edition, Updated edition with online resources.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 367 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Climbing up my family tree: Jewish genealogy as a spiritual pilgrimage -- Getting started: how to begin your search -- Are you ready to check the records -- How is Jewish genealogy different from all other genealogy? -- Avotaynu: the premier publisher in the world of Jewish genealogy -- Jewish genealogy in cyberspace -- Were your ancestors great rabbis? -- The names in your family -- Holocaust research: changing numbers into names -- Your immigrant ancestors -- Discovering the Old Country -- Jewish cemeteries: your history chiseled in stone.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CS21 .K87 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
CS21 .K87 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Ethnic Collection

On Order



Since it was first published in 1980, From Generation to Generation has inspired thousands to pursue the unique challenges and rewards of Jewish genealogy. Far more engaging than a mere how-to reference guide, this landmark book is also part detective story and part spiritual quest. As Arthur Kurzweil takes you along on his own fascinating journey through his family's past, you'll learn about the tools, techniques, and the step-by-step process of Jewish genealogical research - including the most current information on using the Internet and the newly accessible archives of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. But even more, after reading this fully updated, revised, and beloved classic, you will undoubtedly be inspired to embark on a genealogical quest of your own!

Author Notes

Arthur Kurzweil is a leader in the world of Jewish genealogy. Kurzweil helped launch the first Jewish Genealogical Society more than twenty-five years ago, was awarded a "Lifetime Achievement" award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, and has spoken about Jewish genealogy before hundreds of synagogues and Jewish organizations. He has served as director of the Jewish Book Club and editor-in-chief of Jason Aronson Publishers.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Given the extent of the Jewish Diaspora and the devastation of the Holocaust, it has always been a difficult proposition to trace one's Jewish genealogy. First published in 1980, From Generation to Generation provided invaluable information and research tips for Jews interested in plumbing the depths of their family history. In this latest edition, Kurzweil incorporates the most recent technological advances and innovations into his information-gathering guide. Using the Internet as\b a resource, it is now easier and less time-consuming to gather documents, cross-check references, and peruse government records. Although much of the information provided can be applied to any ethnic group, the author painstakingly outlines how Jewish genealogy substantially differs from all other genealogy. Brimming with worthwhile advice and handy shortcuts, this handbook will have immense appeal for a limited audience. --Margaret Flanagan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Table of Contents

ForewordElie Wiesel
Chapter 1 Climbing Up My Family Tree: Jewish Genealogy as a Spiritual Pilgrimage
Chapter 2 Getting Started: How to Begin Your Research
First Steps
Gathering Your History: Collecting Stories
Family Legends: Are They True?
Ten Common Family Myths-or Truths!
What Questions Should You Ask?
Tips on Interviewing Relatives
Observations on People Who Don't Appreciate Genealogy
Following Leads like a Detective
Taking Notes
Visiting Relatives and Others
Family Photographs
Writing Letters
Final Tips on How to Begin
Chapter 3 Are You Ready to Check the Records? Prepare Yourself
Telephone Books
Vital Records
Federal Census Records
State Census Records
Tips on Dealing with Government Agencies
City Directories
Synagogue Records
The National Archives
What if You Were Adopted? Canadian Research
A Few Important Canadian Resources
Cardinal Rules When Dealing with Libraries, Archives, and Other Institutions
Tips on Dealing with Librarians
Publishing Your Family History
Chapter 4 How Is Jewish Genealogy Different from All Other Genealogy? Memorial BooksYizkor Books
Are There Memorial Books for Your Towns? The Yizkor Book Project
Other Places to Look for Yizkor Books
How to Obtain Copies for Yourself
The Yizkor Book Special Interest Group (SIG)
Two Traditional Sources: Mohel Books and Ketubot
Archives, Libraries, and Organizations
American Jewish Archives
The Center for Jewish History
A Conversation with Robert Friedman
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
A Conversation with Zachary Baker
The Leo Baeck Institute
American Jewish Historical Society
Jewish Historical Societies Around the World
The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People
A Conversation with Sallyann Amdur Sack
Jewish Genealogical Societies Around the World
The Douglas E
Goldman Jewish Genealogy Center
LDS Family History Library
Other Valuable Jewish Sources
Toledot: The Journal of Jewish Genealogy
The Encyclopedia of Jewish Genealogy
Encyclopedia Judaica
First American Jewish Families
My Generations: A Jewish Genealogical Textbook
Other Jewish Genealogical Publications
Professional Genealogical Assistance
A Conversation with Ladislau Gyemant
A Conversation with Miriam Weiner
Ten Commandments for Jewish Genealogists
Chapter 5 Avotaynu: The Premier Publisher in the World of Jewish Genealogy
Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy
What Will You Find in Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy?
Avotaynu Back Issues on CD-ROM (1985-2002)
Books from Avotaynu
A Conversation with Gary Mokotoff
Chapter 6 Jewish Genealogy in Cyberspace
A Few Basics
A Guide to the Site
Discussion Groups
Projects and Activities
Hosted Organizations
Contributions and Fundraising
A Conversation with Warren Blatt
Chapter 7 Were Your Ancestors Great Rabbis? Rabbinic Dynasties
Rabbinic Sources
Rabbinic Texts
Hebrew Subscription Lists
A Conversation with Neil Rosenstein
Chapter 8 The Names in Your Family
A Brief History of Jewish Surnames