Landsmanshaftn in New York: A Quick Online Guide

By Dorot Jewish Division Staff
December 4, 2015
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

From dances and banquets to health insurance and free loan societies, landsmanshaftn helped immigrants in New York and many U.S. cities. Landsmanshaftn are Jewish community organizations of immigrants from the same city in Eastern or Central Europe. Documents from landsmanshaftn (spreadsheet of our collection) provide important information for genealogical research and for understanding immigrant life.


Jewish immigrant at Ellis Island. Image ID: 79886

Getting started

Town of origin

Are you researching a specific person or family? Check Ancestry for vital records, such as immigration, census and military documents, for the town that they came from. Also, check for documents in personal or family archives.

Town or city name

Find the official, modern name of their hometown town and its location. Use JewishGen's Town Finder to look it up, or consult the gazetteer Where Once We Walked.


A Day In Castle Garden. Image ID: 805474

Organizational publications

Some landsmanshaftn published souvenir journals, by-laws, and constitutions, which often include photos of members and background information. Yizkor books were published by survivors and landslayt, and usually contain photos, essays about town history, communal life, wartime and lists of residents.

View our list of landsmanshaftn publications, compiled by Roberta Saltzman

Type of document
Souvenir journals
Organizational documents
Illustrated publications for landsmanshaftn activities
Constitutions or bylaws describing organizational procedures
See the list of Landsmanshaftn Publications at NYPL
Search the catalog by town or city name
Search for archives at CJH, American Jewish Archives, Joint, ArchiveGrid
Yizkor books
Memorial books of communities destroyed in the Holocaust; most include essays, photographs and sometimes lists of residents
Read at NYPL's Yizkor Books Online
See JewishGen's bibliographic database and translations
Search WorldCat
Find major collections at YIVO, Yad Vashem, USHMM

Landsmanshaftn records

Use these sources to find information about organizational records of landsmanshaftn.

American Jewish Year Book (1899-2008)
Includes list of Jewish organizations
Available electronically or in print at NYPL
Center for Jewish History - Landsmanshafn records
Resources for researching
Available online; contact CJH for more information
Di Idishe landsmanshaften fun Nyu York (1938) Kliger, Hannah. Jewish hometown associations and family circles in New York : the WPA Yiddish Writers' Group study
WPA Survey of Jewish hometown associations in New York
Read it at NYPL or online
Read it at NYPL
Jewish Communal Register (1918)
Survey of Jewish communal organizations of New York City
Read it at NYPL or online
Landsmanshaftn Department, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Correspondence of JDC Landsmanshaftn Department and landsmanshaftn, loan associations and communities in Eastern Europe
Use online finding aid; collection is at CJH
Master List of New York Landsmashaftn (1970-1980)
Alphabetical list of New York landsmanshaftn
Read it online
YIVO Landsmanshaftn Collection;A guide to YIVO's landsmanshaftn archive: From Alexandrov to Zyrardov, by Rosaline Schwartz and Susan Milamed.
Landsmanshaftn records at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
Use online list; collection is at the Center for Jewish History


Street scene on East side, New York City. Image ID: 416514

Burial records

Many landsmanshaftn had their own burial societies and established burial areas in local cemeteries. The information on the graves themselves, such as names, dates, and symbols can also provide research clues.

Burial Society Database - Jewish Genealogical Society of New York
Database of landsmanshaftn/burial societies and cemeteries
Available online
Cemetery Directory - Jewish Genealogical Society of New York
Names and contact information for New York-area Jewish cemeteries
Available online
International Jewish Cemetery Project - International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies
Jewish burial sites in New York; arranged geographically
Available online
JewishGen Online WorldWide Burial Registry (JOWBR)
2 million+ records of Jewish burials worldwide
Available online

Want to learn more? Try these books.

See also Jewish Genealogy: A Quick Online Guide