The Jewish Special Interest Group (J-SIG) of St. Louis Genealogical Society began in June 2005 as a revival of the Jewish Genealogical Society of St. Louis, formerly associated with United Hebrew Congregation. It took a hiatus for 2016 through 2018 but returned as an active SIG in 2019, assisted by the Center for Jewish Learning/Jewish Federation of St. Louis. The St. Louis Genealogical Society’s Jewish SIG continues to be a member of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.


Meetings in 2021 for the Jewish SIG

Until it is safe for everyone to meet together in person, meetings for 2021 will be scheduled as online webinars. All meetings will be livestreamed and recorded. They are free and open to all. If you are on the Jewish SIG mailing list, you will get a reminder to preregister for a livestreamed meeting. If you are not on the list and would like to be included, please send an email to

All Jewish SIG meetings are free and open to the public, but o receive links and passwords, you must preregister for each meeting.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021, 7:00 p.m. (Central)

Techniques to Determine Ancestral Origins

(Rescheduled from 2020) Finding the shtetl or village from where your ancestors came is often challenging. The clues can sometimes be found in American records, and we will explore some options that can help in your quest.

Featured speaker: Ilene Murray, StLGS publications director and Jewish SIG co-leader

To register for this meeting, click on the Registration Button below and follow the simple instructions that appear on your screen. Once you have filled in the registration form, an invitation with a link and a passcode to attend the meeting will be sent to the email you provided.

registration button

This meeting will be recorded and will be posted online for ninety days afterwards. Please give us time after the meeting to set up the recording and post a link on this page.

The handout for this meeting will be here.


Sunday, 5 December 2021, 1:00 p.m. (Central)

How to Navigate the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire

Learn about the emergence and the history of the Pale of Settlement in Imperial Russia, focusing on the international context in which it developed, what its shifting boundaries were, and the impact it had on Jewish life in Eastern Europe so we may better understand how and where we might search for our ancestors’ records.

Featured speaker: Dr. Hillel Kieval, Goldstein Professor of Jewish History and Thought, Department of History and Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies at Washington University, St. Louis

Recorded Meeting from Wednesday, 26 May 2021

St. Louis Stories: Four Jewish Family History Case Studies

Featured Speaker: Martin Fischer, teacher, author, and editor

Watch the recording here.   Password for recording is 3z$9BqcH

The handout for this meeting is here.

Recorded Meeting from Sunday, 21 February 2021

Jewish Genealogy Questions and Answers

Led by Jewish SIG leaders: Diane Everman, Phyllis Faintich, Ilene Murray, and Carol Waggoner

Watch the recording here.   Password for recording is 9j7odw0


December 2020 Meeting Handout

Finding Your Ancestors at the Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center

(This meeting was livestreamed only and not recorded. The handout will be available until mid-March 2021.)

The MHSLRC holds a wealth of resources that tell the stories of our St. Louis-area ancestors. Join us for an entertaining and informative look at the genealogical treasures stored at the Library and Research Center.

Featured Speaker: Dennis Northcott, associate archivist, MHSLRC

The handout for the December SIG meeting is here.

Jewish Newsletter

During its existence, the JGS of St. Louis had a monthly newsletter called Generations. Its first editors were founders, Art and Sylvia Jaffe. Then, for a brief time, it was edited by Gene Schneider, followed by Jerry Goldberg. In late 2000, Ilene Murray began her tenure as editor and remained in that position until the last issue, July 2005.

A complete set of all of the issues is available at St. Louis County Library Headquarters in the History and Genealogy Department and at the Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center.

Electronic copies of issues from November 2000 until July 2005 can be found on this site. They are in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format and can be downloaded, saved, and/or printed. To do so, click here for Jewish Genealogical Society Newsletters

Jewish Community

Click here for more information on the Jewish community in St. Louis.

Click here to go to the Jewish congregations page on this website, where you will find information about specific congregations and a growing set of marriage and death records.

Research Queries

Please address questions about Jewish research in St. Louis to J-SIG co-leader, Phyllis Faintich. You can reach her at .


Last modified: 10-Jul-2021 09:07