Jewish Research Guide


The Jews (Hebrew: יְהוּדִים‎, Yehudim), also known as the Jewish people, are an ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation.[3][4][5] Converts to Judaism, whose status as Jews within the Jewish ethnos is equal to those born into it, have been absorbed into the Jewish people throughout the millennia.

In Jewish tradition, Jewish ancestry is traced to the Biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the second millennium BCE. The Jews have enjoyed three periods of political autonomy in their national homeland, the Land of Israel, twice during ancient history, and currently once again, since 1948, with the establishment of the modern State of Israel. The first of the two ancient eras spanned from 1350 to 586 BCE, and encompassed the periods of the Judges, the United Monarchy, and the Divided Monarchy of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, ending with the destruction of the First Temple. The second era was the period of the Hasmonean Kingdom spanning from 140 to 37 BCE. Since the destruction of the First Temple, the diaspora has been the home of most of the world's Jews.[6] Except in the modern State of Israel, Jews are a minority in every country in which they live, and they have frequently experienced persecution throughout history, resulting in a population that fluctuated both in numbers and distribution over the centuries.

According to the Jewish Agency for Israel, as of 2007 there were 13.2 million Jews worldwide, 5.4 million of whom lived in Israel, 5.3 million in the United States, and the remainder distributed in communities of varying sizes around the world; this represents 0.2% of the current estimated world population.[1] (Other sources, such as the Jewish Virtual Library, cite higher estimates of the American Jewish population, as many as 6.5 million, or more than one in 50 Americans.[7]) These numbers include all those who consider themselves Jews whether or not affiliated with a Jewish organization.[8] The total world Jewish population, however, is difficult to measure. In addition to halakhic considerations, there are secular, political, and ancestral identification factors in defining who is a Jew that increase the figure considerably.[8]


Jewish Population Density in Europe about 1900


Where to Start


Geographical Sources & References

Cuba (and the Caribbean)


  • The Jews of Kojetin - Article about history and lines of Jews, with notes about Torah scrolls, maps, and links.




  • Romanian Jewish Genealogy - Special Interest Group - Covering the countries known today as Romania and Moldova, as well as the southwestern portion of Ukraine and Southern Hungary. Included in these countries are the areas formerly known as Bukovina, Moldavia, Bessarabia, Transylvania, Wallachia and The Banat.
  • Gura Humorului Jewish Community - Aim to provide a photographic record and to provide the burial records of the Gura Humorului Jewish cemetery, and others records from the Jewish community of that town.
  • Romanian Jewish Community


Mixed (or Non-Specific)

  • 2nd & 3rd Generation Holocaust Groups - This is a one-stop site to find all other Second Generation Holocaust Survivor Groups, as well as sites for individual Children of Holocaust Survivors. It's goal is to be an all inclusive, growing list to help second and third generation children find other groups, individuals and projects dealing with the subject of the Holocaust.
  • Jewish Data - One of the largest professionally compiled Jewish Genealogical resource of its kind currently available. Over 500,000 records including images of tombstones, school yearbook pages and Citizen Declaration documents. New records are added on an ongoing basis.
  • JewishGen: The Home of Jewish Genealogy - Website features thousands of databases, research tools, and other resources to help those with Jewish ancestry research and find family members.
  • JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) - The JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) is a database of ancestral towns and surnames currently being researched by Jewish genealogists worldwide.
  • Rabbinic Genealogy Special Interest Group - Forum for those interested in rabbinic genealogy or researching rabbinic ancestry within any geographic area or time period.