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Over the last five years, JGSGP in association with the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center has worked on projects to make genealogically relevant Philadelphia data accessible to all those researching their roots in Philadelphia. Below are the projects, their status, and links to the databases that have been donated to JewishGen.


The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent Obituary Database

This database is an index of 35,000 obituary notices which appeared in the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. This project is still active and partially complete. Upon completion of the project, data spanning from April 1887 to the present will be available.  Data is currently available for the years 1887-1909, 1914-1936, 1946, 1950, 1955-1957, Jul-Dec 1958, Jan-Sep 1970, 1979, 1992-1994, and 2004-2007.

Thank you to the following volunteers: Lenard Duboff, James Gross, David Brill, Al First, Helen Gusoff, Martin Gusoff, Michael Levin, Joan Rosen, Steve Schecter, Harold Waitsman, Tracey Rich, Steve Bolef, Ruth Kuschner, Bernard Cedar, David Mink, and Joan Gross.


Click HERE to search the Exponent Database


"Ethnic" or "Immigrant" Bank Passage Order Book Records Database


In the port cities on the east coast of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century, many charitable organizations aided immigrants arriving from Europe.   The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) was one of those organizations.   The port cities also offered so-called “ethnic” or “immigrant” banks, conveniently located in Jewish neighborhoods where newly-arrived immigrants tended to settle.  These banks were commercial enterprises, started mainly by established German Jews, as a place where recent immigrants could save money and arrange to purchase steamship tickets to bring their families to the US.  In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, HIAS preserved the original records of these immigrant banks formerly operating in the city.  To our knowledge, no other such records have survived, either in Philadelphia or in any of the other port cities.


Today, the record books of the Blitzstein Bank, Rosenbaum Bank, and Lipshutz Bank are housed at the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center (PJAC).  They offer unique kinds of information, including the name and US address of the person who paid for the tickets, port of entry - usually, but not always the port of Philadelphia – and intended final destination (again, not necessarily Philadelphia).


Through the collaboration of PJAC, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia (JGSGP) and JewishGen, the banks’ records have been indexed and are searchable databases on JewishGen. 


Thanks to the following people for their efforts:


JGSGP: Selma Neubauer, Project Leader, Eileen Bobman, Al First, Deborah Glassman, Maurice Goldberg, Joan Gross, Helen Gusoff, Marty Gusoff, Lora Hull, Harriet Kassow, David Mink, Renee Nachbar, Joan Rosen, and Steve Schechter.


PJAC: Donald Davis, former Archivist, and Eric Greenberg, former Associate Archivist.

Click HERE to search the Blitzstein Database

Click HERE to search the Lipshutz Database

Click HERE to search the Rosenbaum Database


Tracing the Tribe - The Jewish Genealogy Blog

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Last updated October 23, 2013

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