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 purchasers of Volume One (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 or by check/money order to Neil Rosenstein, 185 Shelley Ave, Elizabeth, NJ 07208 

Published Books

  • Latter Day Leaders Sages and Scholars (1982)

    Bibliographical index of prominent Jews, rabbis, scholars, leaders, etc. during the 18th to 20th Centuries. Co-edited with Emanuel Rosenstein. Out of print.

  • The Margolis Family (1984)

    History and genealogy of the Margolis family from Suwalki, Poland. Out of print. See also:

    Geni: Margolis and Frankel Families

  • These Are The Generations (1969)

    The result of Rosenstein's first research into the Katzenellenbogen family, as well as his own family's personal ancestry. Out of print.

  • 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

    address below

  • The Feast and the Fast (1984)

    The incredible story of the Tosfos Yom Tov, Rabbi Lipman Heller. Co-authored with Rabbi Chaim Uri Lipschitz. Includes numerous family trees.

  • 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

    address below


Approbations by Gedolei HaDor (Leading Rabbis of Our Generation) to Dr. Rosenstein's books

Zerah Yitzchak

Approbation given by Rabbi Aharon HaLevi Soloveitchik, renowned Torah scholar

View the Full Approbation

The Gaon of Vilna and his Cousinhood

Approbation given by Rabbi Moishe Sternbuch, Head of the Johannesburg Jewish Torah Community

View the Full Approbation

The Lurie Legacy: The House of Davidic Royal Descent

Approbation given by Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel

View the Full Approbation


  • 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)
Also - Jewish Genealogical Societies of New York, Philadelphia, North Jersey, Michigan, Los Angeles, Florida, Washington, DC, Canada, etc. plus numerous addresses at synagogues, temples, and Jewish organizations in the US and abroad

Published Articles

  • [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 [1987] Ashkenazic Rabbinic Families, Avotaynu Vol.III, #3
  • [March 20, 1987] Matriarchs And Their Matriarchal Family Jewish Press, p.18B, 57 [1988] Yiddish Names for Hungarian Towns, Avotaynu Vol.IV, #3 [1990] Rabbinical Family Origins, Avotaynu Vol.V, #1 [1990] Sixteenth Century Documents About the Origins of the Luria-Spira-Treves Families, Avotaynu Vol.V, #1 [1990] On Descent from Rashi, Avotaynu Vol.VI, #2 [1991] The Suwalk Lomza Kollel in Erets-Israel, Landsmen Vol.1, #3 & 4 [1991] A Seventeenth Century Luria Manuscript, Avotaynu Vol.VII, #2
  • [1991-1992] Donations to Eretz-Israel Through The Odessa Committee, Landsmen Vol.2, #2 & 3 [1992] The 19th Century Montefiore Censuses, Avotaynu Vol.VIII, #2 [1992] Rashi's Descent From King David, Avotaynu Vol.VIII, #3 [1994] Katzenellenbogens in Suwalki, Landsmen Vol.4, #4 [1996] Englard's Articles on Questions in Rabbinic Genealogy, Avotaynu Vol.XII, #1 [1996] Rappaport Family, Avotaynu Vol.XII, #3, co-authored with Dov Weber [1997] Organized Jewish Genealogy: The Early Years - Founding of Jewish Genealogical Society (the first 20 years, 1977-97), Avotaynu Vol.XIII, #1
  • [1998] The Edelman Hoax and the Origins of Anglo-Jewish Aristocracy, Avotaynu Vol.XIV, #2, co-authored with Dov Weber [2000] Braude Beginnings, Avotaynu Vol.XVI, #3 [Dec. 2000] Shemot, Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, Letters to the Editor, p.31 [2003] Descent from Rashi: Response to Schellekens, Avotaynu Vol. XIX, #3 [2004] The Mother of the Tosfot YomTov Revealed in Code, Avotaynu Vol. XX, #2, co-authored with Dov Weber [2006] The Significance of the Wives of Rebbe Reb Heschel of Cracow for Rabbinic Genealogy, Avotaynu Vol. XXII, #2 [2007] Finding the Genealogy Tree in the Sherwood Family Forest, Avotaynu Vol.XXIII, #2
  • [2007] 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 [2016] The Y-DNA Genetic Signature and Ethnic Origin of the Katzenellenbogen Rabbinical Lineage Avotaynu Online, co-authored with Jeffrey Mark Paull and Jeffrey Briskman [2016] Mussar Founder's Mystery Female Avotaynu, Vol.XXXII, #1

Other Contributions

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:


neil rosenstein


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.

Copyright © 2017 Neil Rosenstein. All rights reserved.