Siegel, Steven Papers

Span Dates: 1938-2008
Bulk Dates:
Volume: 27 linear feet


The Steven Siegel Collection documents the life and professional activities of Steven Siegel, archivist, genealogist, and an active member of the LGBT community. The collection consists of correspondence, seminar and conference materials, publications, lists, manuscripts, original genealogical research, minutes, official documents, photographs, project proposals, and questionnaires. Materials related to Steven Siegel's personal life constitute a smaller portion of the collection and consist of personal correspondence, materials documenting his involvement with Cornell University and Congregation Beth Simchat Torah. Materials documenting Siegel's professional activities include documents pertaining to the Jewish Historical Society of New York, the Jewish Genealogical Society, and the Council of Research Libraries in Jewish Studies.

Hist/Bio Note

Steven W. Siegel, archivist, genealogist, and an active member of the LGBT community was born in 1946 in Teaneck, New Jersey. Upon graduating from Teaneck High School, he studied engineering at Cornell University. While at Cornell, he was actively engaged in student life on campus, served as the president of the Cornell Class of 1968 and the vice president of the Cornell Alumni Association. In 2011, Steven Siegel received Cornell's prestigious Frank H. T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award. Starting as the student president of the Cornell Hillel during his senior year, Steven Siegel was a life long supporter of Hillel and served on the Cornell Hillel Board of Trustees for over 35 years. For over 30 years Steven Siegel also served as the national coordinator of the Cornell University Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association (CUGALA). His involvement with the LGBT movement was not limited to CUGALA as he helped found Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in New York, the first and only synagogue serving the Jewish gay and lesbian community. He served on the Board of Trustees, helped organize and attended conferences, and was instrumental in publishing the Gay Synagogue News, the synagogue’s newsletter. In the early 1970s, Steven Siegel developed an interest in genealogy and as Gary Mokotoff writes “he became a pioneer of Jewish genealogy”. In 1977, along with Dr. Neil Rosenstein, he founded the Jewish Genealogical Society of New York (JGSNY), the first genealogical society devoted solely to Jewish genealogy created since the 1930s. He was a member of the Board of Directors from its inception and served in this capacity for 35 years. Steven Siegel was influential in the creation of many aspects of Jewish genealogy that are the standard today: he conceived of and published (along with Arthur Kurzweil) the first contemporary journal of Jewish genealogy, Toledot, organized the first annual conference on Jewish genealogy, helped publish the first major book by the Jewish Genealogical Society: Genealogical Resources in the New York Metropolitan Area (1989), and organized and ran the New York City Family History Fair. Even though Siegel’s main interests were in the fields of Jewish archives and Jewish genealogy, he was also active in the wider genealogical and archival communities. Steven Siegel served as a president of the Archivist Round Table of the Metropolitan New York as well as a president of the Jewish Historical Society of New York (JHSNY), which he helped found. He was also the director and archivist at the 92nd Street YM-YWHA in New York for over 30 years. Steven Siegel died in New York on January 21st, 2012.

Finding Aid

An online finding aid is available.
https://search.cjh.org/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=CJH_ALEPH000412388&context=L&vid=beta&lang=en_US&search_scope=AJHS&adaptor=Local Search Engine&tab=default_tab&query=any,contains,gay&sortby=rank&mode=simple


American Jewish Historical Society - Center for Jewish History 15 West 16th Street New York, NY 10011


Jewish (ethnic, Reform, Reconstructionist, Orthodox) | Author/editor | New York City | New York