March 21st, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are Lisa Kudrow? The Top 7 Jewish Genealogy Webistes

When I found out I’d be watching a whole hour of Lisa Kudrow on Who Do You Think You Are, I have to be honest, I was not looking forward to it.

Lisa Kudrow has never really been my favorite actor. Don’t get me wrong, I liked “Friends” and for a long time, I never missed an episode.

I don’t really know why I didn’t appreciate her acting, maybe it’s because people said I reminded them of Phoebe back then, the long hair, the long skirts and the forgetful, eccentric mannerisms, all I was missing was the guitar. I didn’t think I was anything like Phoebe so perhaps that’s why I didn’t like Lisa Kudrow’s acting!

But this episode made me appreciate Lisa Kudrow, the person, and I found her personality very endearing. In addition to all of this, I was entranced by the story, the tragedy, the unspeakable horrors of World War II, and the impact that those events still have on people today. I was moved by the connection of long lost family across the world. It was by far the best episode yet.

I hope these 7 websites help you research your Jewish Genealogy:

1. JewishGen

Often referred to as the official home of Jewish Genealogy, this is a free genealogy website with thousands of Jewish databases and Jewish resources. There are courses you can take to help you research your Jewish Heritage and discussion groups and resources and so much more.

2. JewishGen Family Finder

This is a free searchable database of ancestral towns and surnames currently being researched by Jewish Genealogists worldwide. The site is maintained by JewishGen which is a not for profit corporation that accepts donations to keep running. However, using the database is completely free once you create a profile and register.

3. Jewish Genealogy Links

Jewish Genealogy Links is exactly what the name suggests: a collection of helpful links for those people researching their Jewish Genealogy. The links on this website are only for Jewish resources so you won’t get bogged down trying to find Jewish genealogy information amongst other resources.

4. Holocaust Memorial Center

Search the online catalogues, contact a holocaust survivor, or visit one of the museums. The Holocaust Memorial Center has been around for 25 years and has received high acclaim for their exhibits.

5. The Holocaust Timeline

This website offers a list of important dates during the holocaust starting from 1933 – 1945. You’ll also find pictures, and articles relating to the timeline and important dates.

6. Jewish Encyclopedia

This Jewish Encyclopedia was published in the early 1900′s and contains over 15,000 articles and illustrations. It’s available online for free but it doesn’t contain information on the holocaust. It’s still a valuable resource for anyone researching Jewish Genealogy prior to 1905.

7. Sephardic Genealogy and Sephardim, Jewish Genealogy

Sephardim is the hebrew word for Spain so Sephardic Jews are Jewish people who came from the region around Spain and includes North Africa, Iraq, Syria, Greece and Turkey. This database won’t help you find your German or Eastern European or Russian Jewish Ancestors, but I include it here because of it’s wealth of information about Jewish Genealogy.

How is your genealogy research going? Have you found any useful sites that you’d like to share?