Free live webinar Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, from JGS of Illinois with Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus #jgs-iajgs #announcements

Martin Fischer

Jewish family surnames to be focus of JGS of Illinois talk on Aug. 29, 2021: 

“What the Genealogist Needs to Know About Jewish Family Names” will be the webinar topic of Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus, co-owner, founder and editor of AVOTAYNU, the International Review of Jewish Genealogy, at 2 p.m. CDT, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, for the virtual meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. Her live streaming presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be preceded by a separate JGSI members-only genealogy question-and-answer discussion time at 1 p.m. 

To register for this free event, go to After you register, you will be sent a link to join the meeting. This webinar will be recorded so that JGSI’s paid members who are unable to view it live will be able to view the recording later.  

From the genealogical perspective, Jewish family names are anything but simple. In this talk, we will hear how, why and when Jews acquired family names; what kinds of names they adopted; some special aspects of rabbinical names; techniques devised to avoid being identified; spelling considerations; Soundex; the variable effects of emigration; expert sources; and a few words about how to locate maiden names and married names of women. 

Dr. Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus, Ph.D., has been at the forefront of the development of organized Jewish genealogy since its inception. She is co-owner, founder and editor of AVOTAYNU, the International Review of Jewish Genealogy; co-founder and chairman of the board of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy associated with the Israel National Library in Jerusalem; past president of IAJGS—the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies—and recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award. She was the chair or co-chair of seven IAJGS conferences. 

Sack is also president of the Avotaynu Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Jewish genealogy; and the founding president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington. She has written or co-authored seven reference books on Jewish genealogy, and received the Jewish Library Association “Body of Work” award. She has served on advisory boards at the U.S. National Archives and at Beth Hatefutsoth, the Museum of the Jewish People, in Tel Aviv, Israel, and has lectured and taught how-to-get-started courses in genealogy in countries across the world as well as in the U.S.  

Sack currently serves on the Executive Committee of the IAJGS Documentation of Jewish Records Worldwide (DoJR) Project. She recently organized the Upper Valley Jewish Genealogy Society of New Hampshire and Vermont.   

Sack is a graduate of Radcliffe College and Harvard University, and earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the George Washington University.  

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots. The JGSI motto is “Members Helping Members Since 1981.” The group has more than 300 members and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies

JGSI members have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members’ forum, more than 65 video recordings of past speakers’ presentations, monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more. Members as well as non-members can look for their ancestors on the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database

For more information about JGSI, see or phone 312-666-0100. 

Martin Fischer
Vice President-Publicity
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

JGSI website:

Join to automatically receive all group messages.