Tracing your Jewish ancestry

You never know when you might discover a Jewish ancestor in your family tree, if you are not Jewish. If you are, or have discovered that a parent or grandparent is, you may already have discovered the fascinating world of Jewish genealogy. It can be harder than regular genealogy, and the brick walls thicker, introducing you to different types of records in different languages from different countries. You may even decide to get on a plane to visit the lands of your ancestors!

In this workshop, Leigh Dworkin, Chairman of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain – as well as being Windsor Branch chairman of Berkshire Family History Society – will show you how to trace Jewish ancestors, detail the best resources online and in archives, explain how DNA research might help, and attempt to answer questions that you might have from your own family research, with pointers to the next best steps.

Ticket price includes tea/coffee and biscuits. Places limited, pre-booking required.

Please note that free parking at Davidson House is no longer available for attendees of events at The Centre on Saturdays.


18 Jan 2020


11:00 - 13:00


The Centre for Heritage & Family History


The Centre for Heritage & Family History
2nd Floor, Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3BQ


  • Leigh Dworkin
    Leigh Dworkin

    Leigh Dworkin is an IT Consultant and currently works for Samsung Electronics on their security software for smartphones and tablets. In his spare time, he acts as the webmaster for a number of charities he supports and has performed this task for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB).

    Leigh has been Chairman of the JGSGB since May 2016, having joined Council in 2014 and been Vice-Chairman since 2015. He Chairs the Preservation of Records subcommittee, and advises on matters to do with the website, social networking and other technical items. He has spoken frequently at the Chilterns Regional Group and the Eastern European Special Interest Group and at both the JGSGB London and Manchester conferences.

    He is a passionate amateur genealogist and has been working on his own family tree for about 35 years. Genealogically speaking, he considers himself to be 5/8ths Polish, ¼ Lithuanian and 1/8th Belarusian, judging by his great-grandparents’ nationalities, which is far more interesting and exotic than being just an Essex lad.

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Berkshire Family History Society works to meet the needs of those researching their ancestry across the UK and overseas – as well as those looking for former relatives in historic Berkshire.  You do not need to be a member to benefit.

The society offers:

  • Research Zone in central Reading that is free to use and open to all

  • Free access at The Centre for Heritage and Family History to online resources like FindMyPast, the 1939 Register, The Genealogist, the British Newspaper Archive and Ancestry (the worldwide edition)

  • Regular free help and advice sessions

  • Meetings in Abingdon, Bracknell, Newbury, Reading, Windsor and Woodley — open to everyone

  • Online discussion list for members  informed answers to research queries and advice from experienced researchers

  • Members’ Area with data and other information not readily accessible elsewhere

  • Indexes and transcriptions of Berkshire’s historic records on CD — parish registers, probate documents, monumental inscriptions, maps, First World War history and more

  • Quarterly magazine, the Berkshire Family Historian, for members

  • a chance to join in project work, recording, transcribing and helping to preserve records

  • Links to the research experience, advice and support of members worldwide

  • Opportunities to volunteer and so help others with their family history