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Jewish Genealogy Society
of Cleveland

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be Jewish and an experienced genealogist to join?

We are a diverse learning community and welcome people of all faiths who are interested in Jewish and Cleveland history and curious about their family roots.  We are deeply grateful for the support of our past members and encourage new members from all backgrounds to participate.  Please join us as we  celebrate our 40th and leave a lasting legacy!

How is Jewish genealogy different from other genealogy?

All genealogists research the same type of information (names, births, marriages, immigration, deaths, DNA), but the history, religion, languages, and customs of the Jewish people influence how the answers are found and understood and the answers themselves.

How can I participate if I can’t attend meetings?

JGSC recognizes the importance of making our programs and resources available to our diverse community.  We also value accessibility and safety. For the last 2 years, our free monthly programs were offered via Zoom, and we are committed to maintaining an online program presence with closed caption capability.  In addition, our program recordings and handouts are available online as a member benefit.

Where do I begin? I’m new to genealogy.

Start with yourself and gather some basic facts about your immediate family. Let your curiosity guide your initial research. Check out our resources to get started.

Is the use of DNA testing considered "cheating" and too expensive for beginning genealogy researchers?

The blending of technology and traditional genealogy methods has been happening for years and and will continue to offer interesting opportunities for anyone with a curiosity to discover their heritage. 

Do I need advanced genealogy experience or skills to volunteer?

JGSC looks for volunteers and members to lead the organization with a variety of skills to provide quality services and resources. While an interest in genealogy is key, organizational administration requires strategy, communication, fiscal planning.  If you're interested in volunteering or have a program idea, contact

How can I share my genealogy interest with a friend or family member?

We hope you'll consider gifting a JGSC membership.

How do I make a donation to JGSC?

Go to Donation. We appreciate your generous support to remember and honor our ancestors and support our non-profit organization.

One-Minute How-To Video: How to make a donation to JGSC

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Copyright 2023.  The Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland, Inc. (JGSC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (EIN: 34-1648203).  All Rights Reserved.