Dr. Neil Rosenstein

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, 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.

Published Books
Haskamot (Rabbinical Approbations)
Published Articles
Other Contributions
Contact Information

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 2016.
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:
The index of more than 16,000 names appearing in Volume One!
Click here to download the PDF index file

Published Books

  Saul Wahl Saul Wahl (2006)
Polish king for a night or Lithuanian knight for a lifetime.
Buy it here | Cover Graphics | Title page & table of contents | Olameinu Comic on Saul Wahl | Review: NJ Jewish News | Mention: Jewish Press | Review: Seforim Blog

The Grandees The Grandees of New Jersey (2006)
A family saga and continuous history from pre-Inquisition Spain and Portugal to Holland, the Caribbean and the United States, where descendants of Joshua Naar played a major role in the history of New Jersey and New York. Buy it here | More Info | Review: NJ Jewish News | Review: Informer | Review: News Record

The Lurie Legacy The Lurie Legacy: The House of Davidic Royal Descent (2004)
Linking the Lurie lineage -- which includes such modern luminaries as Sigmund Freud and Martin Buber -- to Rashi, the 11th-century sage, and many other revered Jewish figures from Hillel to Hezekiah -- and ultimately to King David of the 10th century BCE. Buy it from Avotaynu | View Rabbinic Approbation | Review: Jerusalem Post | Review: Avotaynu | Review: NJ Jewish News | Review: Chicago Jewish News | Review: Canadian Jewish News | Review: JTA News | Photo with Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau

Avnei Zikaron 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.

Zerah Yitzchak 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 Gaon of Vilna and his Cousinhood The Gaon of Vilna and his Cousinhood (1997)
The genealogy of one of the most famous teachers in Jewish history. Buy it here | Buy it from the author: $65 including shipping in the US - send check to address below. | View Rabbinic Approbation

Hamagid on CD-ROM - Click for Sample Images HaMagid on CD-ROM (1997)
Computer CD-ROM containing scanned images of HaMagid's obituaries, wills, death notices and other records. HaMagid, the first ever Hebrew newspaper appeared in Europe in 1856. Sample images and pricing

The Unbroken Chain The Unbroken Chain (1976, revised 1990)
Much-expanded second edition. Biographical sketches and genealogy of illustrious Jewish families from the 15th-20th Century (two volumes). Buy it (Amazon) | Buy it (CCJG) | Review: New York Times Magazine | Photo with Baron David de Rothschild

A Rothschild Saga: From King David to Baron David A Rothschild Saga: From King David to Baron David (1989)
The Genealogical connections between Baron Guy de Rothschild and Baroness Alix de Rothschild. Co-authored with C.B. Bernstein, Esq.

The Margolis Family (1984)
History and genealogy of the Margolis family from Suwalki, Poland. Out of print.
See also: Geni: Margolis and Frankel Families

The Feast and the Fast 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.

Latter Day Leaders Sages and Scholars 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 Unbroken Chain (1976)
Biographical sketches and genealogy of illustrious Jewish families from the 15th-20th Century.

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.

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

  The Lurie Legacy: The House of Davidic Royal Descent
Approbation given by Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel
View the Approbation

The Gaon of Vilna and his Cousinhood
Approbation given by Rabbi Moishe Sternbuch, Head of the Johannesburg Jewish Torah Community
View the Approbation

Zerah Yitzchak
Approbation given by Rabbi Aharon HaLevi Soloveitchik, renowned Torah scholar
View the Approbation



Published Articles

  • Katzenellenbogen Family Has A Remarkable History, Southern African Jewish Times, p. 6 [January 12, 1968].
  • Maharam Schick - 100th Yahrzeit, Jewish Press, p.23 [February 16, 1979].
  • The Breuer Family Background, Jewish Press, p.28D [May 2, 1980].
  • Ambassador Blum's Connections, Jewish Press, p.57 [February 13, 1981].
  • Rabbi Menachem Zvi Eichenstein - His Roots, Jewish Press, p.56 [August 28, 1981].
  • Scion of Sagely Stock - Saul Lieberman - In Memoriam, Jewish Press, p.26B [April 29, 1983].
  • Remembering Rabbi Michel L. Munk And His Roots, Jewish Press, p.10A [March 8, 1985].
  • Ashkenazic Rabbinic Families, Avotaynu, Vol.III, #3 [1987].
  • Matriarchs And Their Matriarchal Family, Jewish Press, March 20, p.18B [1987]
  • Yiddish Names for Hungarian Towns, Avotaynu, Vol.IV, #3 [1988].
  • 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 [1990].
  • The Suwalk Lomza Kollel in Erets-Israel, Landsmen, Vol.1, #3 & 4 [1991].
  • A Seventeenth Century Luria Manuscript, Avotaynu, Vol.VII, #2 [1991].
  • Donations to Eretz-Israel Through The Odessa Committee, Landsmen, Vol.2, #2 & 3 [1991-1992].
  • The 19th Century Montefiore Censuses, Avotaynu, Vol.VIII, #2 [1992].
  • Rashi's Descent From King David, Avotaynu, Vol.VIII, #3 [1992].
  • Katzenellenbogens in Suwalki, Landsmen, Vol.4, #4 [1994].
  • Englard's Articles on Questions in Rabbinic Genealogy, Avotaynu, Vol.XII, #1 [1996].
  • Rappaport Family, Avotaynu, Vol.XII, #3, co-authored with Dov Weber [1996].
  • Organized Jewish Genealogy: The Early Years - Founding of Jewish Genealogical Society (the first 20 years, 1977-97), Avotaynu, Vol.XIII, #1 [1997]
  • The Edelman Hoax and the Origins of Anglo-Jewish Aristocracy, Avotaynu, Vol.XIV, #2, co-authored with Dov Weber [1998].
  • Braude Beginnings, Avotaynu, Vol.XVI, #3 [2000].
  • Shemot, Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, Letters to the Editor, p.31 [Dec. 2000].
  • Descent from Rashi: Response to Schellekens, Avotaynu, Vol. XIX, #3 [2003].
  • The Mother of the Tosfot YomTov Revealed in Code, Avotaynu, Vol. XX, #2, co-authored with Dov Weber [2004].
  • The Significance of the Wives of Rebbe Reb Heschel of Cracow for Rabbinic Genealogy, Avotaynu, Vol. XXII, #2 [2006].
  • 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 [2007].
  • Genealogical Golems of the MaHaRaL's Family, Avotaynu, Vol. XXIX, #1, [Spring 2013].
  • 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 [Summer 2014, NYC].
  • Difficulties in Rabbinic Genealogy: The Case Study of Reb Meilich and Reb Zusha, Avotaynu, Vol. XXX, #4, [Winter 2014].
  • 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 [2016]

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 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.

Contact Information

Telephone    908-353-2498
Email neil@tali.com
Postal mail: Dr. Neil Rosenstein
185 Shelley Ave.
Elizabeth, NJ 07208