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.

A great honor in memory of Peggy Morrow: Morasha, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois newsletter formerly edited by the late Peggy Morrow z"l and now edited by Dale Amdur, has won the first-place award for newsletters in the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors’ 2020 Excellence in Writing Competition. Congratulations to all JGSI volunteers who regularly contribute to Morasha!


JGSI member Steven Flack to discuss impact of discovering family secrets in free live webinar on May 3, 2020:

Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois member Steven Flack will speak on “When DNA or Documents Reveal Life-Altering Origin Secrets” on Sunday, May 3, 2020, in a free live webinar from the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. His presentation will begin at 2 p.m. CDT.

To register in advance for this free live webinar, go to  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6858780324627002381. Webinar viewers need not be members of JGSI.

Registrants will receive an email prior to the event with a link to click on just before the 2 p.m. presentation time that will download the “GoTo Opener” software needed to view the presentation. While the email will say the viewer can join the webinar at 1:15 p.m., that time is for webmaster setup, and the actual webinar won’t start until 2 p.m. CDT.

More details on Programs page.

Mystery Photos. If you would like to help us identify these people, please click here.

Northbrook Monthly Meetings

JGSI hosts our monthly meetings in Northbrook with speakers, assistance using research materials in our over 800-volume library, and expert genealogy volunteers at computer help stations.

Mark your calendar now for our future events, which are listed on the Programs page of this website. Also, sign up for Burbio.com, a free website and mobile app that lists events from local organizations in one online calendar. We hope to see you at our next meeting.

If you would like to receive meeting notices via email, please click here.

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Upcoming events

03 May 2020 2:00 PM • Join us from the convenience of your home computer. Guest Speaker 2:00 pm
31 May 2020 12:30 PM • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest speaker 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm
07 Jun 2020 11:00 AM • St. Paul Woods, Cook County Forest Preserve

Join JGSI Today!

Members have free access to the pay-for-use Jewishdata.com, additional databases, meeting recordings and handouts, and an online members' discussion forum. 

Learn more about Membership Benefits and Join or Renew.

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. Many volunteer hours were spent compiling this information.  JGSI is proud to offer free access to both members and non-members.

What's New?

We have added about 1000 death notices to our JUF collection. 

JUF Death Notices & Obituaries Published 1994-Aug 2019 (17,753)

A Translation Guide to 19-Century Polish Language Civil Documents (Birth, Marriage and Death Records) by Judith R. Frazin is back in print. Information about the book is available at judithrfrazin.com. You can also contact Judith at judyfrazinbooks@gmail.com

Tour of Hebrew Benevolent Society (HBS) Cemetery