In its efforts to have Jewish genealogy recognised as an academic discipline, the Institute has been primarily engaged in scholarly research.
As a matter of policy, IIJG has attempted to expand the scope and horizons of Jewish genealogy. Traditional genealogy tends to focus rather narrowly on individuals and their direct families. The Institute has consciously tried to move beyond those parameters and sought to increase the unit of analysis to progressively larger groups – from extended families and kinship networks, through whole communities, on to complete segments of society and indeed to a national Jewry in its entirety.
Between 2006 and 2016, twenty (20) “pure” research projects (as against projects in the “Tools and Technologies” category) were launched with Institute support and funding, all of them interdisciplinary while each remained unique in its own way.
The following is a year-by-year listing of the Institute’s “pure” research projects to date, with some indications of the evolution of the process. By clicking on the project title (underlined), the project page will be opened, where additional links to the project’s final report and related material will generally be found.
In its first year, 2006, the Institute launched 2 research projects “in-house”.
i. A Genealogical Reconstruction of Destroyed Communities, headed by Dr. Sallyann Sack.
ii. Sephardic DNA and Migration led by Alain Farhi.
In spring 2007, the Institute launched its first Grants Awards programme for research proposals in a variety of genealogical fields, including the production of tools and technologies for the advancement of Jewish genealogy. Two projects, meeting the Institute’s standards of excellence and other criteria, received grants. One proposal was in the category of “pure” research:
iii. The Ties that Bind: Jewish Kinship Networks and Modernization in Darbenai and its Diaspora, carried out by Prof. Eric Goldstein of Emory University.
The other proposal combined genealogy with computer sciences, falling into the “tools and technology” field (see under TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES/ “Merging Datasets” in the Main Menu).
In spring 2008, the Institute announced its second research competition, this time in six specifically designated research areas. Three awards were made:
iv. Crossing the Boundaries: Jewish Networks in Early-Modern Italy between the Mediterranean and the New World (16th – 18 Centuries) proposed by Dr. Federica Francesconi of the University Bologna.
v. A Genealogically Centred Approach to the Historical Geography of Eretz Yisrael: Case-studies of the Moyal and Chlouche Families in Jaffa during the late Ottoman and British Mandatory Periods, proposed submitted by Prof. Ruth Kark of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Dr. Joseph Glass of Centennial College, Toronto.
vi. The Notarial Archive of Cervera (Catalonia, Spain), a source for the study of Jewish Genealogy, Migrations and Life in the Middle Ages, proposed by Maria Jose Surribas Camps of Barcelona.
In spring 2009, the Institute established an “open competition” framework and announced the two successful proposals in September:
vii. A Systematic Study of the Riga House Registers as a Source for Jewish Genealogy in Inter-War Latvia, proposed by proposed by a strong team of experts, headed by Professor Rubin Ferber, Chair of the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Latvia in Riga.
viii. Communal Protocols and the Daily Life of Hungarian Jews – Proposal for a new [Genealogical] Research Tool to be conducted by Dr. Howard Lupovitch of the University of Western Ontario.
In September 2010:
ix. Hungarian Jewish Families in the Modern Era – A Prosopographic Study of the Munks and Goldzihers, proposed by Dr. Erzsébet Mislovics of the University of Budapest.
In October 2011:
x. Transfer of Goods – Transfer of Culture Jewish families and the tobacco monopoly in the Habsburg Monarchy, submitted by Dr. Louise Hecht of the Kurt and Ursula Schubert Center for Jewish Studies, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic.
xi. Sephardic Origins and Transformations in the Spanish Extremadura, proposed by Prof. Roger L. Martinez, of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In September 2012:
xii. Family and Kinship in the Jewish City of Piotrków Trybunalski in the 19th Century, to be carried out by Tomasz Jankowski, a doctoral candidate at the University of Wroclaw in Poland.
In September 2013:
xiii. A Genealogical History of the Jews of Pinczow (Poland) in the 18th & 19th centuries, to be conducted by Prof. Heshel Teitelbaum, University of Ottawa, Canada.
xiv. Jews, Frankists and Converts in Habsburg Moravia, 1700-1900, Prof. Michael Miller, University of Budapest, Hungary
xv. Destruction of the Jewish Community of Tarrega in 1348 and its Re-constitution, proposed by Maria Jose Surribas Camps of Barcelona.
In September 2014:
xvi. Social Networks, Demography, and Identity A Prosopographic Study of Vienna’s Jewish Upper Class 1800-1938, Dr. Sara Yanovsky, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
xvii. Hispano-Jewish Onomastics In The Middle Ages. Jewish Population Records From Xvth Century Castile, Dr. Ricardo Muñoz Solla, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain
In November 2015 Tagger Prize:
xviii. Modern Genealogy of Polish Jews, Dr Kamila Klauzińska, Poland.
xix. Reading Between the Lines: Mining Jewish History Through Extraction Of Polish Archival Data, Ms. Judy Golan, Israel.
In November 2016 Research Grant:
xx. Reconstructing and Analyzing a Jewish Genealogical Network: The Case of the Roman Ghetto (17th-18th century), Dr. Michaël Gasperoni, École Française de Rome, Italy.