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Where are North American Jews’ ancestors from? Which languages did they speak? What migration paths did they take? The HUC-JIR Jewish Language Project helps schools, youth groups, and synagogues collect this information and display it on a custom map.

What is it?

Ancestry mapping displays information about our ancestors on a map. This can include when they lived, where they lived, where they migrated to, and their languages. Here is a sample ancestry map of the Jewish Language Project's staff and volunteers.


FAQs and Topics

Why should we do it?

Ancestry mapping gives an organization a sense of where its members are from. You might be surprised at the diversity of locations and languages of your community.


We charge $300 for up to 100 respondents, $500 for up to 300 responses, and $1000 for unlimited responses or for a customized form.


What is included on the form?

The ancestry map uses this form. Each respondent can submit information for up to 8 ancestors in any order. 

  • Name (will not be displayed)

  • Relation to you (parent, great-great-great grandparent, etc.)

  • Gender

  • Birth decade

  • Country of birth

  • City of birth (or region or state)

  • Primary language spoken in childhood

  • Additional languages

  • Was this ancestor Jewish?

  • Did this ancestor emigrate?

  • If yes, what was this ancestor's ultimate destination country?

  • Ultimate destination city

  • Additional info (optional)

What about privacy?

You will be given a link to the map with your organization's data, and you can share it as you wish, privately or publicly. Your data will not be included anywhere else, and names and email addresses will not be displayed. We do not share your data with third parties.

Instructions for organizations

There is no minimum number of respondents. Even 10 will yield a robust map. However, we recommend as many responses as possible - including Jews of multiple backgrounds - to capture the diversity of your organization. 

  1. Determine your budget and estimate how many respondents you expect.

  2. Select a plan on our website.

  3. We assign you an organizational ID for your respondents to indicate on the form

  4. You send an invitation to your organization's members to participate, with a link to the form.

  5. We monitor the responses and let you know how many have come in.

  6. We map the number of respondents based on the tier you selected, and you can upgrade to a higher tier at any time.

  7. We clean up the data, aggregate it, and display it on a map.

  8. You share the map link with your organization.

Tips for respondents
We suggest you focus on ancestors who were born in another country, but if you don’t know where they’re from, you can include ancestors from the United States. You should include Jewish and non-Jewish ancestors. All questions are optional, so you can leave something blank if you’re not sure or don’t want something shared publicly. The more information you provide, the more accurate the mapping will be.

If you are interested in a map for your organization, or if you have questions, please email the following information to

  • Organization name

  • Organization location

  • Organization type (school, class, synagogue, youth group, etc.)

  • Number of people you expect will participate in the mapping

  • Do you require a custom form?

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