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Jewish Genealogical Research in German-speaking Regions
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News Archive

 08/03/2021  2021 IAJGS Virtual Conference Update

New to German Research - Complete the JewishGen Form at

Staying Connected - Facebook Groups and Other Resources

GerSIG: German Jewish Genealogy Special Interest Group

Jewish Genealogy in Berlin

JEWS - Jekkes Engaged Worldwide in Social Networking

Hamburg Jewish Ancestors

Jewish Genealogy-Jews from Posen and Prussia

Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain German SIG - Handout on Jeanette's Blog:


Jewish Gen Discussion Group

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Search for archives messages at:


Obermayer Awards

2022 Award nomination deadline: August 13, 2021



German Research Division Projects

The German RD has several on-going projects:

- Surname Adoption Lists – West of the Rhine

- Württemberg Family Registers

- Former Eastern Germany Vital Records (Gatermann)

- Aufbau Newspaper Family Notices

Please visit for full details on these projects.

We need more help!

We cannot move forward without project managers

Can you help index - Scan, prepare materials, data entry, translation

Can you help research German-Jewish communities that are missing from the JewishGen communities database?

We need regional leaders

- We are looking to expand the German RD by adding regional leaders

- Suggest indexing projects and help to recruit volunteers to manager them

- Help compile basic overviews of research in your region

- Can you write up a research guide?

German Research Division Resource Cataloger sought

Index Your Town - Index the vital records for the towns your family came from

Transcription of the Mohel Book of R. Seligmann of Hüffenhardt -


Online Resources

Ktiv - The International Collection of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts -

Database of Jewish Cemeteries in Alsace and Lorraine -

Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe 229 -

Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP)

current catalog:

collection of PDF finding aids:

Archivalia blog

Sponsodred Speakers - Please let us know your suggestions!

Contact us through:

 03/25/2020  GerSIG Discussion Group migrated to New Platform

Dear Members of JewishGen German (GerSIG) Discussion Group,

As you know, our current/old Lyris discussion list platform is woefully antiquated. Among its many challenges are that it is not secure, and is no longer supported. In addition, the platform's archiving capabilities are limited, it requires messages to be sent in Plain Text, it does not support accented characters or languages other than English, it cannot display links or images, and it is not mobile-friendly, among other challenges.

This past Fall, our main JewishGen discussion group was migrated to and has permitted us to engage with new and current JewishGen members in more dynamic and engaging ways. Here are some of the exciting features on the JewishGen Discussion Group:

- A simple, secure, and intuitive interface that is mobile friendly. - In addition to English, you can post messages in other languages - Messages can have attachments, and display hyperlinks, photos, and images - You can include formatted (bold, italic, underlined, accented) characters

*What Happens Now?* Beginning today (Wednesday 03/25/2020), the JewishGen German (GerSIG) Discussion Group will be retired. All messages to this group will be now be re-routed to the main JewishGen Discussion Group.

*Do I Need to Join the Main Discussion Group?* No. Your account has been automatically migrated.

*Will I be able to search archives of old German Discussion Group messages?

Yes. As you may know, the archives have been broken since the fall of 2018 and inaccessible to most people. With our new system, we have made all 30,357 messages available and easily searchable.

*That's Great! How far back do the archives go?* All messages are available since 1998.

*How Do I Search The Archives?* There are a few ways:

- Visit, scroll down to the list of top hashtags and click Germany.

- Visit On the left side of the page click Chashtag and then click Germany.

- Visit On the left side of the page click messages. Use the search box to enter any text you would like to explore, and choose '#Germany' from the 'Hashtags' drop-down menu. You can also scroll through messages by date, even without searching for a specific text.

*How Do I Post Messages to the Main JewishGen Discussion Group and make sure they are categorized properly?* It's easy! In the subject line of your message, simply add ' #Germany ' at the end of your subject line. For example, if your subject is: 'Resources in Berlin,' you should list it as: 'Resources in Berlin #Germany'

*What if I forget to add the Hashtag?* No problem! Our moderators will add it for you!

*I am still confused about Hashtags. Do you have any more information about it?* Yes. We have created a brief guide to using Hashtags here:

*I still have questions about the group in general. Is there any more information about the New Discussion Group?* Yes. We have created a Member Guide which is accessible here: or

We also prepared specific Guidelines for participating on the Main Discussion Group which are accessible here:

*What if I still need help? Is there anyone available to help me get used to the new system?* Yes! A number of individuals have volunteers to help anyone in need. Please email for additional information.

*A final note about the JewishGen German Research Division (formerly the German-Jewish SIG or GerSIG).* Although the mailing list is being transformed, the resources of the JewishGen German Research Division (formerly GerSIG) are still available on our website at and in the JewishGen German Collection database at

Please continue to post your questions, queries and German-Jewish genealogy news to the main JewishGen Discussion Group as discussed above. The new list functionality, along with the influx of new members, will provide greater exposure for inquiries and allow the members of the JewishGen German Discussion Group to more widely share their invaluable knowledge and expertise.

Thank you again for your support.

This change comes as a result of our strategic plan to modernize our systems and to make JewishGen more robust, sustainable, and easier to use, and we would like to thank everyone who has played such an integral role in getting us to this point. Specifically, we would like to publicly express our appreciation to John Lowens who has managed this list for more than two decades with devotion, dedication, and sensitivity. He is owed a tremendous debt of gratitude, and we are extremely glad that he will continue to serve as a moderator on the new platform.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please email

Avraham Groll Executive Director

Alex Calzareth Director of German Research

Nancy Siegel Director of Communications

 10/27/2019  New Databases Added to the JewishGen Germany database

The JewishGen Germany database at has been updated with the following records:

The Aufbau Indexing Project - An index of announcements of birth, engagement, marriage, death and other special occasions that appeared in Aufbau from 1934 to 2004. There are currently more than 57,000 records in this ongoing project.

Altona Hamburg Census Index - 2,200 Jews of Altona listed in the 1845 Danish census, by household. Includes each member of the house, their age, place of birth and religion.

Jews in Bavarian Swabia- 28,000 19th-century civil records for the Jewish inhabitants of Bavarian Swabia — Births, Marriages, Deaths, Matrikel & Circumcisions.

LBI Family Tree Index - The LBI Family Tree Index is an index of select compiled family trees held by the Leo Baeck Institute an archive and research library devoted to the history and culture of German-speaking Jews, located in New York City.

 08/05/2019  IAJGS Conference in Cleveland Activity Summary

The 39th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Cleveland, Ohio concluded on Friday and was a great success. The German-Jewish SIG (GerSIG) was able to greet a number of familiar and several new faces at our breakfast, lunch and annual meeting. As promised, I'm providing a summary of GerSIG's conference activities and news. 

Databases that will become available through JewishGen's all Germany database in the next few weeks:

  1. Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) Family Tree Index (Phase I) including Salomon Bacharach Family Tree, Abraham Simon Lehr Family Tree, Bach Family Tree - Fischach, Dreyer Family Collection, 1877-1935, Fridberg Family Collection, 1938-1962, Isaac Meyer Frank Family Tree, Stammbaum der Familie Loevinson, Löwenthal Family (Ladenburg), Marc Family, Arolsen Collection, 1788-1972, Miloslaw Jaffe's Family Tree, Oppenheim Family Collection, 1938, Prerauer Family Tree, Robert Singer Family Tree, Rudolf Jakob Simonis Collection, Wolf Family Collection, Goldschmidt-Schloessinger Family Collection

  2. Index benefits include surnames and locations not otherwise noted in the LBI Catalog

  3. Data from Jewish Genealogy in Bavarian Swabia ( - with many thanks to the creator of the site, Ralph Bloch

  4. Aufbau Family Notices (currently available at ) - see below for the continuation of the indexing project

Call for Volunteers

GerSIG has four ongoing projects - Württemberg Family Registers, East German Gatermann Vital Records, Surname Adoption Lists (West of the Rhine) and Aufbau Family Notices

For more information on each project see
Please join our growing team of indexers by contacting our Volunteer Coordinator, Renée Klish (

GerSIG Website 

A new website was released at the Warsaw Conference in 2018 - please visit To see an example of the resource we would like to build, please visit the page for Karlsruhe at 

Select New Resources

German Refugee Rabbis in the United States of America -

Index of all 1939 German Minority Census data -

Peter Landé's index to the Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland has been updated through the letter S - the database is available at and the original cards can be seen through . Peter's database allows for additional search criteria such as the town of birth.

Jewish Places - - Work in progress (only available in German), introductory information in English at

Obermayer German Jewish History Awards - - Nominations Due September 8, 2019

Obermayer Anniversary Awards - - Nominations Due September 15, 2019 

GerSIG mailing list

Even if you are a member of the Facebook group, please also join the GerSIG mailing list. Visit , log in to JewishGen and then select the German Jewish SIG list. This list reaches additional members who share an interest in German-Jewish family history. Please post introductory message, questions regarding brick wall ancestors and best practices for using German-Jewish resources, including websites. 

Other Facebook Groups focusing on German-Jews: 



JEWS - Jekkes Engaged Worldwide in Social Networking:

San Diego 2020 

GerSIG is looking for suggested speakers to sponsor to give several lectures at next year's IAJGS conferences. Prior year speakers include Malgorzata Ploszaj, Dr. Bettina Joergens, Stephen Falk, Dr. Yochai Ben-Ghedalia, Joachim Hahn, Bozena Kubit, Gerhard Buck, Bernhard Purin and Friedrich Wollmershäuser, who have spoken on German Records and various German-Jewish communities including those in Upper Silesia, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Nassau and Munich. Please forward your suggestions to Alex Calzareth.

Honoring Fritz Neubauer

Thanks to John Lowens for composing the following tribute on behalf of GerSIG: .

“I hope that this helps.” - There are over 500 messages from Fritz Neubauer in the GerSIG Email list archives with that closing phrase. With the illness and passing of Fritz Neubauer, GerSIG lost an irreplaceable helper and friend. .

He taught languages at The University of Bielefeld in northern Germany but if you were to visit him in his office there you’d assume his field to be Holocaust history.  Next to Dr. Neubauer’s desk was a collection of Shoah memorial books containing the names and details of Holocaust victims. When GerSIG members posted messages about “brick walls” in their German Jewish family research, Fritz routinely searched this personal library and, sometimes, found the missing relatives. Many of his GerSIG messages gave families of Shoah victims their first concrete information about their lost relatives. His help to GerSIG, JewishGen and Shoah research included providing translations. He was an expert on the tragic history of the Lodz Ghetto. The U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington has 2,400 pages of letters from Ghetto residents to friends and relatives outside, which Fritz helped translate and index. A search for Fritz Neubauer at will reveal what we were hoping for when GerSIG was organized at the 1998 Conference.

Thank you, Fritz Neubauer. You DID help. We have lost a dear friend. May his memory be a blessing.

We look forward to welcoming many of you to next year's conference, the 40th, which will take place in San Diego, California. 

Please stay in touch through our mailing list and through Facebook!

Alex Calzareth 

Director of Research for Germany

on behalf of the GerSIG Team

 07/26/2019  The 39th IAJGS Jewish Genealogy Conference in Cleveland

The JewishGen German-Jewish Special Interest Group (GerSIG) looks forward to seeing many familiar faces, first-time attendees and those new to researching Jewish ancestors in Germany. Please send us a quick email at to let us know if you’ll be joining us in Cleveland.

There are two GerSIG meal events during the conference:

Tuesday, July 30 at 8 AM - Breakfast with the Experts with Roger Lustig and Alex Calzareth

Thursday, August 1 at 12:15 PM - GerSIG Luncheon where Karen Franklin and Alex Calzareth will speak on new indexing for historical compiled German-Jewish Family Trees and other German research updates

Registration for the meals closes on July 20th. The breakfast appears to be sold out but tickets can still be purchased for the luncheon.

The annual GerSIG business meeting will take place after the luncheon on Thursday, August 1st at 1:45pm.

There are several presentation related to Germany and German-speaking Jews throughout the conference:

Sunday, July 28 at 4:15 PM - After the Shoah, Honor Your Family by Restoring German Citizenship, Stolpersteine, and the Ancestral Tour by Miriam Zimmerman and Michael Loewenstein

Monday, July 29 at 1:45 PM - Resources for Researching Refugees in World War II: The Case of Max Neugass by Karen Franklin

Tuesday, July 30 at 9:15 AM - Jewish Genealogy in the Germanies by Roger Lustig

Tuesday, July 30 at 1:45 PM - The Strauss Family of Cleveland - a Pioneering Jewish Family by Linda Levine

Friday, August 2 at 9:15 AM - The Flatow Fiction: When Records Deceive by Roger Lustig

Additional presentations touch on the German-Jewish immigrant communities in Ohio:

Monday, July 29 at 9:15 AM - An Introduction to the Cleveland Jewish Archives by Sean Martin

Monday, July 29 at 10:45 AM - Researching Louis Loeb, a Cleveland Native Son and Jewish-American Artist on the World Stage by Joy Kestenbaum

Monday, July 29 at 3:15 PM Genealogical Gems: Jewish History and Research in Central Ohio by Toby Brief and Elizabeth Plummer

GerSIG will also be at the SHARE fair held on Sunday, July 30 from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM .

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