Memorial Plaques Indexing Project

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS), in partnership with JewishGen, launched the Worldwide Memorial Plaques Indexing Project in 2014. “The goal of the Memorial Plaques Indexing Project (MEMPLAQ) event is to preserve Jewish ancestral records and create a valuable source of local data for researchers and family members worldwide.”

The goal for The Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto is to add thousands of new entries to the JewishGen’s Memorial Plaques Database from memorial plaques in the Greater Toronto Area.

Some of the benefits from the MEMPLAQ project are:
*       the database will serve as a permanent repository for memorial records for current and future generations to come;
*       the database will serve as a memorial for Holocaust victims and preserve the names in the future;
*       the Hebrew patronymic names will provide a link between two generations for those researching their Jewish ancestors;
*       the database will make it easier for relatives to access Yahrzeit dates.

The records can be accessed at no charge at:

For information on how to get your synagogue or institution to participate in this valuable project, please contact:
[email protected]




JGST SIG’s and networking forums allow members with particular interests to share knowledge, ideas and information.

Connect with other Jewish Genealogy members who have similar goals and challenges, and make sure you have your say on specific topics in one of our member SIG’s and forums.

The special interest groups are predominantly online – but from time to time we arrange meetings to enable face-to-face networking and presentations from speakers.

The Special Interest Groups operate as on-line discussion forums. If you’d like to join, log in or sign up for our website and join the forum you are interested in.

Membership of JGST’s Special Interest Groups is open to members only.

Read more about each of the forums below.

Ukraine SIG Forum

We share histories, resources, data, and research tips to help each other research Jewish Genealogy.

We cover the region of nine historical Russian Empire gubernias now mainly in Ukraine but also in Russia.

The Ukraine Special Interest Group (SIG) is for members of the JGST with interests in the lands that were included in the eight Russian Empire gubernii (provinces) that were in the Pale of Settlement, as well as Kharkov gubernia and the parts of Galicia and Bukovina that are now in Ukraine:

  • Volhynia (Volyn)
  • Kiev
  • Chernigov
  • Poltava
  • Podolia
  • Kharkov
  • Kherson (contains Odessa)
  • Yekaterinoslav
  • Taurida (Crimea)
  • Eastern Galicia
  • Northern Bukovina

These lands more or less overlap with the current territory of Ukraine. The purpose of the SIG is for members to explore areas of common interest, pursuing research and sharing information with each other, and enhancing our abilities to advance our personal genealogical agendas.

Lithuania SIG Forum

LithuaniaWe share histories, resources, data, and research tips to help each other research Jewish Genealogy.

We are concentrating on Lithuanian-Jewish (“Litvak”) genealogy research. We are dedicated to discovering and preserving Litvak heritage. Our mission is to discover, collect, document, disseminate and preserve information about the once vibrant Jewish community of Lithuania for both ourselves and our history.

Poland SIG Forum

This group is for members of JGST who wish to explore their Jewish roots from the European region known as modern day Poland.

Exchanging information and challenges, the members will grow together as they discover the riches of their past.


Our DNA group aims to help you understand the uses and benefits of DNA testing as it applies to your own family research and to support your research by sharing information and expertise about how to interpret your test results.

All and any DNA questions are welcome in the Forum, but you need to be a JGST member to comment and contribute.

The following are some of the topics we will cover over the year, but not in this order.

  • Basics of DNA (as needed)
  • Understanding the tests & testing companies
  • How DNA helps genealogy
  • Understanding your test results
  • How to become a project administrator
  • Tips for maintaining a DNA project and recruiting new members
  • DNA book recommendations and discussions
  • Being pro-active genetic genealogists
  • DNA and Privacy concerns
  • Y-chromosome DNA and Mitochondrial DNA
  • Bio-geographical DNA
  • Autosomal DNA, including the X-chromosome
  • Chromosome mapping
  • Third-party tools for genetic genealogists
  • Share test results and answer the question: What do I do now?


Cemetery Records

The Cemetery committee is the oldest JGST project, beginning with the creation of the Society in 1985. Starting with the earliest Jewish cemetery in Toronto, the Pape Avenue (Jew’s) Cemetery, we have now collected basic burial records for over 77,000 graves from each of the twelve Jewish cemeteries, as well as five other cemeteries containing Jewish graves, in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Each record contains basic information about the deceased, while a large number also include photographs of the tombstones.

Records for these burials have been submitted to the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) and can be searched by given name, surname, location, and town.

At present time, this project has been put on hold as no one has volunteered to manage the project since long-time coordinator, Alan Halberstadt, died in January 2014.  For us to continue this important work, post new photographs that have not yet been uploaded to JOWBR, and add information for burials that have taken place since 2012, we need help to translate or check the translations of tombstone information (mainly Hebrew and English, although there are some Russian texts), and assistance to crop photographs for the standards required for JOWBR.

To volunteer for this project, please contact the JGST President at: [email protected]


Tracing Our Roots – Telling Our Story was our society’s Twenty-fifth Anniversary project

It is an anthology of over 45 compelling and entertaining contributions, written by members of our society.

The themes include tales of research and discovery, escape, struggle, family reunion, growing up, lives led. Some will make you laugh, some will have you reminisce and a few may even make you weep.

Winner of 2013 IAJGS Award for Outstanding Publication by a Member Organization.
Copies may be purchased at the discounted price of $18.00 (Supplies are limited), by emailing our Secretary, Adena Glasner at [email protected] Or leave a message at 647-247-6414.



Yad Vashem Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names

Click on the Central Database Link below to retrieve information and material about the Yad Vashem Database and the 11th hour names recovery campaign.


Future Project Ideas

If you have an idea for a project, please submit it to: [email protected]