The Latest from the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy

Posted by Ann Rabinowitz
Recently, I was contacted by Dr. Neville Yosef Lamdan, Director, International Institute for Jewish Genealogy and the Paul Jacobi Center. He wanted to let me know about the latest news from the Institute which is located at the National Library of Israel, Givat Ram Campus of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.

For those not familiar with the Institute, some of its goals are to engage in research and teaching of Jewish Genealogy at the university level and to make Jewish Genealogy a recognized field of academic investigation. In this regard, what follows are several things relating to the Institute and its programs which will be of interest to many genealogical researchers worldwide:

First, the Institute's Webpage has been greatly expanded. Among other things, you will find four papers that were presented by our scholars at the 9th Congress of the European Association of Jewish Studies (Ravenna, Italy - July, 2010) and two solid final reports from our research grant recipients, Profs. Ruth Kark and Joseph Glass; and Maria Jose Surribas.

The latter work by Ms. Surribas is particularly impressive. Not because the narrative runs to almost 100 pages, followed by another 650 of documentation, but because Ms. Surribas has overwhelmingly demonstrated that the archives of provincial towns such as Cervera in Catalonia, contain vast resources for the illumination of the lives and lineages of the Jews in pre-Expulsion Spain in the 13th-15th centuries. This is of great relevance to Sephardic and other families still living today. She has effectively opened up a rich new area of previously unrecognized research for Jewish genealogy.

Second, the Institute has just issued its annual "Call for Research Proposals" (CFRP), for original research in the field of Jewish Genealogy, to be carried out in the academic year of 2011-12. Successful applicants will be awarded grants of up to $10,000 for original research. Proposals are requested by May 31, 2011. Those meeting strict standards of academic excellence will be judged by the extent to which they broaden the horizons of Jewish genealogical research and/or create innovative tools or technologies to assist Jewish genealogists and family historians in their work.

The CFRP and “Instructions to Applicants” are to be found on the Institute’s website - under “RESEARCH”/ “Research Grants”. These Instructions should be followed carefully, as only applications in correct form will be considered. Successful applicants will be announced on September 1, 2011.

For those wishing to learn more about the Institute, its programs and how to support it, you may write to the following address:

International Institute for Jewish Genealogy,
c/o National Library of Israel,
Edmond J. Safra Campus,
Givat Ram,
POB 39105,
Jerusalem, 91390,

Other means of contacting the Institute are:
Telephone: +972-2-658-6967
Fax: +972-2-533-4692

You may also contact Dr. Neville Yosef Lamdan, the Director, via his e-mail: In the future, you will be hearing more about breaking news, announcements, and other items relating to the IIJG from Dr. Lamdan, right here on the Blog. So, stay tuned! Your comments regarding the IIJG are welcomed as well.


  1. I would like to know what is holding up the institute's mission to make the papers of Dr. Jacobi available to the general public. Why, for example, cannot the original pages be imaged and published on the web? If I read correctly, five years ago one of the primary goals of the Institute was to publish these papers.

    Jim Yarin

  2. Jim,

    The Institute's eventual goal remains to digitalise Jacobi's extensive hand-written research papers and to publish his 114 typed family monographs.
    Unfortunately, however, the necessary funding is still lacking. We have, of course, inventoried the collection of family monographs and posted the results two years ago. Currently, we are in the process of indexing the hand-written material but, given the condition of the material and Jacobi's almost undecipherable hand, this is an extremely complicated and excruciatingly slow business.

    Dr. Neville Y. Lamdan,
    International Institute for Jewish Genealogy and Paul Jacobi Center, Jerusalem


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