Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

(Updated June 2014)

  1. Please tell me about JGSGW?
    The Jewish Genealogy Society of Great Washington (JGSGW) was formed in 1980 to:
    • Collect, preserve, and disseminate Jewish genealogical knowledge and information
    • Promote interest in genealogical research
    • Stimulate and provide instruction in the use of research methodology and adherence to standards of accuracy and thoroughness in research
    • Foster careful documentation and to promote scholarly genealogical writing and publication
    • Promote the preservation of Jewish genealogical records and resources
    • Hold meetings for the instruction and education of its members and the general public
    • Conduct such other purposes as the organization shall from time to time elect to pursue.

    The Society is open to all those interested in Jewish genealogy. The Society is a member of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS).

  2. What are the main benefits of JGSGW Membership?
    • Workshops on the "how to" and "where to" geared to Jewish genealogical research. These workshops are not open to non-members.
    • Monthly programs with guest speakers who are authorities in genealogy or related fields.
    • Regular gatherings to meet others interested in Jewish genealogy.
    • Access to our growing library (only Members of JGSGW and B'nai Israel, upon presentation of membership card or equivalent, may access the Library).
    • Subscription to Mishpacha (our quarterly Journal). Mishpacha contains a variety of articles of interest to genealogists, book reviews, abstracts of overseas genealogical articles, practical research tips and useful addresses. We are keen to publish members' own articles.
    • Subscription to our Member Directory. The directory presents member research names and cities/shtetlach of research interest to our members.
    • Reduced prices for DNA testing through JGSGW DNA project at FamilyTreeDNA.com.
  3. What programs and activities does the JGSGW offer?
    Meetings are generally held monthly on Sunday afternoon, 8 – 10 times a year. Meeting content consists of guest lectures, movies and other subjects of interest to those interested in genealogy. Workshops are held frequently and are open to members only. Our Beginner’s Workshop is taught by members of the Society and is geared as a comprehensive introduction to those getting involved in research. Other recent workshops include: Intermediate, Internet, Research in New York City, and Using the Resources of the United States Archives. A series of hand-on computer-based workshops is planned for members only.
  4. Does JGSGW have a newsletter?
    Our quarterly publication, Mishpacha, is in PDF format and a link to the newest edition is emailed when it is available. Subscriptions are available to non-members for $20 per year in the United States; $25 elsewhere.
  5. Does the Society have any publications to help researchers?
    "Capital Collections" is the most comprehensive resource for Jewish genealogical research in the Washington, D.C., area; including Annapolis, Baltimore, and Richmond. A new edition, prepared for the 2011 IAJGS Conference in Washington, is still available at a discount. See the Capital Collections page.
  6. Does the Society have a Library? What can I find there?
    The JGSGW Library includes almost 2,000 books, published and unpublished works, microfiche and CD-ROMs related to general topics and Jewish genealogy.
  7. How can I join the JGSGW and how much does it cost?
    An application may be downloaded. The form should be completed and mailed as directed with the first year’s dues. Annual dues are payable by October 1. Individuals pay $30.00, families pay $45.00. A Patron membership has been established which offers, for an annual rate of $100, recognition in the Mishpacha newsletter and at general meetings of the Society.
    There is a discount for 3-year membership: $80 for individuals, $120 for families. A Lifetime membership is $500. Dues may also be paid by PayPal.
  8. Are contributions tax-deductible?
    The Society is certified as a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code; contributions may be deductible according to law. Members and family may wish to commemorate special events with a donation to JGSGW. For more information, see our Donations page.
  9. What information is available at the JGSGW Website?
    The society's website is accessible to both members and non-members and is continually up-dated. The site contains information on:
    • Upcoming programs, workshops and special events.
    • Library holdings
    • Link to JGSGW DNA Project
    • Links of interest to Jewish genealogists
    • DC area research repositories
    • Directions to meetings

  10. Can you recommend any other websites?
    You may wish to try the following to help your research along:

JGSGW website: http://www.jgsgw.org or http://www.jewishgen.org/jgsgw

© 2014, Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, Inc.

© 2014, Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, Inc.