Researcher and Author
Jewish and Rabbinic Genealogy
As a result of five decades of investigative study of rare books and manuscripts, trips to libraries and cemeteries, travel and correspondence, countless phone calls and emails, Dr. Rosenstein has accumulated a vast matrix of material on Jewish genealogy, especially in the field of rabbinical dynasties for which he has become world famous.
Announcing The Unbroken Chain – Third Edition
NEW! Forty Years After the First Edition!
Volume One of The Unbroken Chain – Third Edition will be available before the end of 2017. Volume One includes Chapters One, Two and Three, consisting of more than 750 pages of text and photos, plus a name index.Now available for free download: An index of more than 16,000 names appears in Volume One! Click here to download the PDF index file
ATTENTION Avotaynu.com purchasers of Volume One
http://www.avotaynu.com/books/UnbrokenChain-1.html (other volumes to follow) of the new 2016 Third Edition of The Unbroken Chain:
You now have the opportunity to order the complete Two-Volume 1990 2nd edition collector’s set at the substantially reduced rate of $36 (plus shipping in USA $9.00).
Payment by either PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or by check/money order to Neil Rosenstein, 185 Shelley Ave, Elizabeth, NJ 07208
The Margolis Family (1984)
History and genealogy of the Margolis family from Suwalki, Poland. Out of print. See also:
Zerah Yitzchak (1998)
The rabbinical responsa of the author's great-great-great-grandfather, R. Joel Isaac Katzenellenbogen, originally published in Warsaw in 1898 with an approbation by R. Haim HaLevi Soloveitchik (grandfather of R. Aaron HaLevi Soloveitchik, who gave his approbation to this new edition), as well as the biography of R. Joel Isaac and the family genealogy. View Rabbinic Approbation | Buy it from the author: $49.95 including shipping in the US (add $10 for international orders) - send check to
Stones of Remembrance (Avnei Zikaron) (1999)
This volume contains 921 pre-World War I East European epitaphs from 51 communities with 20 genealogical charts. Includes CD-ROM. Co-authored with Dov Weber. Buy it from the author: $49.95 including shipping in the US (add $10 for international orders) - send check to
Approbations by Gedolei HaDor (Leading Rabbis of Our Generation) to Dr. Rosenstein's books
Approbation given by Rabbi Aharon HaLevi Soloveitchik, renowned Torah scholar
The Gaon of Vilna and his Cousinhood
Approbation given by Rabbi Moishe Sternbuch, Head of the Johannesburg Jewish Torah Community
The Lurie Legacy: The House of Davidic Royal Descent
Approbation given by Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel
- Second International Jewish Genealogical Seminar (London, England, 1987)
- Fifth International Seminar on Jewish Genealogy (Paris, France, 1997)
- Seventh Summer Seminar (Washington,D.C., 1988)
- Eleventh Summer Seminar (New York, 1992)
- Fifteenth Summer Seminar (Boston, MA, 1996)
- Eighteenth Summer Seminar (Los Angeles, CA, 1998)
- Nineteenth Summer Seminar (New York, 1999)
- Twentieth Summer Seminar (Salt Lake City, UT, 2000)
- Twenty-second Summer Seminar (Toronto, 2002)
- Twenty-fifth Summer Seminar (Las Vegas, 2005)
- Twenty-sixth Summer Seminar (New York, 2006)
- 27th IAJGS Conference (Salt Lake City, 2007)
- 33rd IAJGS Conference (Boston, 2013)
- 35th IAJGS Conference (Jerusalem, 2015)
- Krotoschin and its virtual cemetery: An in depth study of Krotoschin`s rabbinic history and its role as a major center for famous rabbis (a discussion on the virtual reconstruction of the Krotoschin Jewish cemetery based on an old Hebrew manuscript and what can be learned from such a source - that some genealogies are based on false information as well as confirming the accuracy of other sources)
- 36th Anniversary of the Founding of the Jewish Genealogical Society of New York (New York, 2013)
- [January 12, 1968] Katzenellenbogen Family Has A Remarkable History Southern African Jewish Times, p. 6 [February 16, 1979] Maharam Schick - 100th Yahrzeit Jewish Press, p.23 [May 2, 1980] The Breuer Family Background Jewish Press, p.28D [February 13, 1981] Ambassador Blum's Connections Jewish Press, p.57 [August 28, 1981] Rabbi Menachem Zvi Eichenstein - His Roots Jewish Press, p.56 [April 29, 1983] Scion of Sagely Stock - Saul Lieberman - In Memoriam Jewish Press, p.26B [March 8, 1985] Remembering Rabbi Michel L. Munk And His Roots Jewish Press, p.10A  Ashkenazic Rabbinic Families, Avotaynu Vol.III, #3
- [March 20, 1987] Matriarchs And Their Matriarchal Family Jewish Press, p.18B, 57  Yiddish Names for Hungarian Towns, Avotaynu Vol.IV, #3  Rabbinical Family Origins, Avotaynu Vol.V, #1  Sixteenth Century Documents About the Origins of the Luria-Spira-Treves Families, Avotaynu Vol.V, #1  On Descent from Rashi, Avotaynu Vol.VI, #2  The Suwalk Lomza Kollel in Erets-Israel, Landsmen Vol.1, #3 & 4  A Seventeenth Century Luria Manuscript, Avotaynu Vol.VII, #2
- [1991-1992] Donations to Eretz-Israel Through The Odessa Committee, Landsmen Vol.2, #2 & 3  The 19th Century Montefiore Censuses, Avotaynu Vol.VIII, #2  Rashi's Descent From King David, Avotaynu Vol.VIII, #3  Katzenellenbogens in Suwalki, Landsmen Vol.4, #4  Englard's Articles on Questions in Rabbinic Genealogy, Avotaynu Vol.XII, #1  Rappaport Family, Avotaynu Vol.XII, #3, co-authored with Dov Weber  Organized Jewish Genealogy: The Early Years - Founding of Jewish Genealogical Society (the first 20 years, 1977-97), Avotaynu Vol.XIII, #1
-  The Edelman Hoax and the Origins of Anglo-Jewish Aristocracy, Avotaynu Vol.XIV, #2, co-authored with Dov Weber  Braude Beginnings, Avotaynu Vol.XVI, #3 [Dec. 2000] Shemot, Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, Letters to the Editor, p.31  Descent from Rashi: Response to Schellekens, Avotaynu Vol. XIX, #3  The Mother of the Tosfot YomTov Revealed in Code, Avotaynu Vol. XX, #2, co-authored with Dov Weber  The Significance of the Wives of Rebbe Reb Heschel of Cracow for Rabbinic Genealogy, Avotaynu Vol. XXII, #2  Finding the Genealogy Tree in the Sherwood Family Forest, Avotaynu Vol.XXIII, #2
-  The 1784 Slutsk Census and its Rabbinical Families: Isserlein, Landau, Gunzburg,& Lipschutz Jewish Family History Foundation [Spring 2013] Genealogical Golems of the MaHaRaL's Family Avotaynu, Vol. XXIX, #1 [Summer 2014, NYC] Judge Judy: From the Beth Din Judges to the Family Court Judge - A Five Hundred and Fifty Year Saga Dorot (The Journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society), Vol. 35, #4 [Winter 2014] Difficulties in Rabbinic Genealogy: The Case Study of Reb Meilich and Reb Zusha Avotaynu, Vol. XXX, #4  The Y-DNA Genetic Signature and Ethnic Origin of the Katzenellenbogen Rabbinical Lineage Avotaynu Online, co-authored with Jeffrey Mark Paull and Jeffrey Briskman  Mussar Founder's Mystery Female Avotaynu, Vol.XXXII, #1
Genealogical information provided by Dr. Rosenstein was incorporated in published books including:
- The Family History of Jacob & Beile Joffe, by Alan David Joffe, printed privately, 2006.
- Genuine Authentic, by Michael Gross, HarperCollins, 2003.
- Discovering Your Jewish Ancestors, by Barbara Krasner-Khait, Heritage Quest, 2001.
- Learn Torah, Love Torah, Live Torah - HaRav Mordechai Pinchas Teitz, by Rivkah Blau, Ktav, 2001.
- Shnei Keruvim [Two Cherubs] - Tosfot YomTov & Ketzot HaChoshen], by R. Mayer Herskovics, Jerusalem, 2000.
- Encyclopedia of Hasidism, by Tzvi M. Rabinowicz, Jason Aronson Inc., 1996.
- The Book of Destiny, Arthur F. Menton, 1996, pps. 405, 408, 412-14, 418 & 576.
- The Generations of Jacob and Beila Joffe, Alan David Joffe, 1996.
- Ten Generations In Eretz Israel, Descendants of Rabbi Abraham Shlomo Zalman Zoref-Solomon, 1994.
- A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames From The Russian Empire, A. Beider, 1993, p.19 (Rabbinical Surnames).
- Where Once We Walked, Mokotoff & Sack, 1991, p. xviii.
- Perfect Pitch, Autobiography of Nicolas Slonimsky, 1988 p.27.
- From Generation To Generation, Arthur Kurzweil, 1980, p.269.
- Finding Our Fathers, Dan Rottenberg, 1977.
Radio and TV appearances:
- National TV (The Joe Franklin Show) and local TV channels, 1977-78.
- Nachum Segal Show (1998) - Recorded Interview: The Jewish Point of View
- Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan and Michael Hoffman interview on Wed. 12/29/04, broadcast on Sun 1/2/05,10:30AM, on Awake, Alive & Jewish which aired from 10-11AM on WFED AM1050 (Washington metro area).
- History Channel: The Real Jesus Family, as the genealogical expert for this BBC production. First aired 3/25/05.
Dr. Rosenstein served as a genealogical consultant to these television documentaries:
- The Real Family of Jesus, Discovery Times Channel & BBC, 2005
- Who Do You Think You Are? (Series 6), Australian Television, 2014
- PBS TV genealogy series, Finding Your Roots, Season 3, Episode 9: The Long Way Home, which aired March 1, 2016. Natalia Warchol, Associate Producer, Ark Media for PBS: “The material you came up with blew [actress and producer Julianna Margulies'] mind. It was definitely one of the strongest episodes we have had so far.” View episode credits
Neil Rosenstein was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1944. He studied medicine at the University of Cape Town and interned in Israel. He specialized in surgery at the Mt. Sinai hospitals in Cleveland and New York City, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey. He maintained a private practice as a general surgeon in New Jersey for over 30 years.
As a result of over four decades of investigative study of rare books and manuscripts, trips to libraries and cemeteries, travel and correspondence, Dr. Rosenstein has accumulated a vast matrix of material on Jewish genealogy, especially in the field of rabbinical dynasties for which he has become world famous. His research has included travel in South Africa, Israel, USA, Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, England, Italy, and France.
He founded the Jewish Genealogical Society, Inc. (New York) in 1977, and is also founder and director of the Computer Center for Jewish Genealogy.
Dr. Rosenstein is the author of many works on Jewish Genealogy, his magnum opus being The Unbroken Chain, first published as a single volume in 1976. An expanded two-volume second edition was published in 1990. Other noted works include Saul Wahl, The Grandees of New Jersey, The Lurie Legacy: The House of Davidic Royal Descent, Avnei Zikaron (Stones of Remembrance), The Gaon of Vilna and his Cousinhood, and Latter Day Leaders, Sages and Scholars. He has produced a CD-ROM with the indexed obituaries of the first-ever Hebrew weekly, HaMagid, which was in print from 1856 to 1903. In addition, he is contributor of articles to various Jewish genealogical publications and The Jewish Press. He lectures frequently and has spoken many times to various Jewish genealogical societies, in the United States and abroad, as well as at the International Seminars for Jewish Genealogy and the annual National Summer Seminars. His biography is included in Who's Who in World Jewry (1987) and is listed in Marquis' Who's Who in America (from 1997 onwards).
Dr. Rosenstein and his wife, Mavis, live in Elizabeth, New Jersey. They have five sons and more than 20 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.