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CJH Guide: Ackman & Ziff Genealogy Institute

Find information here about the Ackman & Ziff Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History

Ackman & Ziff Genealogy Institute

About the Ackman and Ziff Genealogy Institute

The Ackman & Ziff Genealogy Institute provides a place for focused search into the vast archival records of the Center’s five partner organizations' holdings in order to assist novice, academic, and professional researchers in reconnecting with ancestors and living relatives. Today, the Institute provides access to a wealth of genealogical resources not only through the building's physical holdings but through a carefully curated reference book and microfilm collection, digital research guides created by the Center's skilled library and archives professionals, and an extensive collection of online genealogy databases.

Many of the GI's resources are available both on-site and online, including some of the most comprehensive databases available. Extensive microfilm collections are accessible to all researchers, including those on indefinite loan from the Family History Library which contain records on births, marriages and deaths.

Learn more about how the Genealogy Institute can kickstart your family research today!

About Our Partner Organizations

American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) is the oldest national ethnic historical organization in the United States, founded in 1892. It provides access to more than 25 million documents and 50,000 books, photographs, art and artifacts that reflect the history of the Jewish presence in the United States from 1654 to the present. Among the treasures of this heritage are the first American book published in Hebrew; the handwritten original of Emma Lazarus’s The New Colossus, which is the poem that graces the Statue of Liberty; records of the nation’s leading Jewish communal organizations; and important collections in the fields of education, philanthropy, science, sports, business and the arts. While the bulk of the AJHS collections are housed in New York, there is an additional AJHS branch in Boston.

American Sephardi Federation (ASF) was founded in 1973 and has worked to support, revitalize and strengthen American Sephardic communities. Sephardic House joined with ASF in 2002, creating one unified organization to preserve and support the rich cultural traditions, spirit and history of all Sephardic communities. ASF’s library and archives contain more than 8,500 cataloged books and thousands of archival documents, including materials from Spain, Portugal, the Middle East and North Africa. ASF has also amassed a collection of books and periodicals on Mizrahi Jews. Through its mission of preserving and promoting Sephardic heritage, ASF provides new and unparalleled insights into world cultures in which Sephardim have played a role.

Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) is a research library and archive that contains the most significant collection of source material relating to the history of German-speaking Jewry, from its origins to its tragic destruction by the Nazis and continuing to the present day. Dating back almost 2,000 years, when Jews first settled along the Rhine, the Jewish communities of Germany, Austria, and other German-speaking areas of Europe had a history marked by individual as well as collective accomplishments. To appreciate the impact of German-speaking Jewry in modern times, one need only recall such names as Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and Franz Kafka. Founded in 1955, the LBI was named for the rabbi who was the last leader of the Jewish community in Germany under the Nazis. Rabbi Leo Baeck survived the concentration camp of Theresienstadt to become the first president of the Institute. The Institute was set up with offices in New York, London and Jerusalem, with New York the site of the LBI library and archives. Since the opening of the Jewish Museum Berlin, LBI NY also maintains a branch of its archives there.

Yeshiva University Museum (YU Museum) was founded in 1973 with the mission to present, research, and interpret Jewish art and culture across history and from the four corners of the world. A prominent Jewish cultural resource and tourist destination, the Museum develops artistically creative and thought-provoking exhibitions that offer revealing perspectives on Jewish texts, traditions and experience. Through its programs, the Museum provides a window into Jewish culture around the world and throughout history, mounting concurrent exhibitions that explore contemporary and historic manifestations of Jewish art and life.

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO) was found in 1925 in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) as the Yiddish Scientific Institute. YIVO is dedicated to the history and culture of Ashkenazi Jewry and its influence in the Americas. Headquartered in New York City since 1940, YIVO is the world's preeminent resource center for East European Jewish Studies; Yiddish language, literature and folklore; and the American Jewish immigrant experience. It holds over 385,000 volumes in 12 major languages, and its archives contain more than 24,000,000 items, including manuscripts, documents, photographs, sound recordings, art works, films, posters, sheet music and other artifacts.