Sallyann AmdurSack

Sallyann Amdur Sack has often been called the godmother of Jewish genealogy for creating the resources that have allowed Jews to research their heritage. Sack graduated from Radcliffe in 1957 and earned a PhD in clinical psychology from George Washington University in 1972. Since then, she has run a full-time private practice as a therapist. She founded the Jewish Genealogy Society in 1980 and organized the first international seminar on Jewish genealogy in Jerusalem in 1984. In 1985 she co-founded Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy and serves as president of Avotaynu Inc., which publishes materials on genealogy. She was active in getting the US National Archives to open former Soviet archives to Jewish genealogical researchers, and served as co-producer and co-host of Tracing Your Family Roots, a cable TV program, for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Washington. She has published numerous books, including Where Once We Walked: A Guide to Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust, which won the Association of Jewish Libraries’ award for best reference book. In 2000, the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies honored her with a lifetime achievement award.

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Widely regarded as the "godmother" of Jewish genealogy, Sallyann Amdur Sack first began to explore her family's roots at the behest of her youngest daughter, and later went on to found the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington and the journal Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy.

Institution: Avotaynu, Inc.

Date of Birth

Cleveland, OH
United States

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Sallyann Amdur Sack." (Viewed on April 19, 2021) <>.


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