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Ask A Jew: Finding out more about your heritage

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What questions do you have about Judaism? Submit them online, or fill out the form below. 

By Neal Schindler

As someone who found out he has many Jewish ancestors, where would you start your quest to find out more about your heritage?

I’d try JewishGen, which is affiliated with the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Also worth looking into are some of the resources listed in a 2017 RootsTech article on the subject. (Note that RootsTech is associated with the LDS church; that doesn’t mean the genealogy resources it lists aren’t valid.)

You could also start asking relatives you haven’t spoken to about your Jewish heritage to see if they know anything that could inform or guide your search. It’s also worth going to your public library — in Spokane, I’d try the downtown location — and enlisting the help of a research librarian. Whatever paths you try, I wish you the best of luck!

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About Neal Schindler

Neal Schindler
A native of Detroit, Neal Schindler has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2002. He has held staff positions at Seattle Weekly and The Seattle Times and was a freelance writer for Jew-ish.com from 2007 to 2011. Schindler was raised in a Reconstructionist Jewish congregation and is now a member of Spokane's Reform congregation, Emanu-El. He is the director of Spokane Area Jewish Family Services. His interests include movies, Scrabble, and indie rock. He lives with his wife, son, and two cats in West Central Spokane.

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One comment

  1. I found out last Christmas through an Ancestry.com gift that I’m 4 percent Jewish!