About Us

Administrators of the Jews of Frankfurt DNA Project:

Janet Billstein Akaha has been a genealogist for almost 20 years with a focus on German-Jewish genealogy.  She has given presentations at the 2012 & 2013 conference of the International  Assoc. of Jewish Genealogical Societies on topics related to this Jews of Frankfurt DNA project.    She co-authored an article on the use of Autosomal DNA in connecting rabbincial dynasties that appeared in the 2013 Winter Issue of Avotaynu.  She administers a number of projects at Family Tree DNA including the Jews of Frankfurt, German Jewish DNA  Project, SHAPIRO, WERTHEIM & HAAS surname projects, and the J-L817 hapologroup project.

Bennett Greenspan, President of Family Tree DNA

Rachel Unkefer has been researching Jewish families for more than twenty years, specializing in German-Jewish immigrants to the United States before 1870. She is the administrator of the Bacharach/Bachrach DNA Project and co-administrator of the Suwalki-Lomza DNA Project.

Lars Menk lives in the Berlin area and has been an ardent Jewish genealogist since 1989.  He is the author of “A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames” and was  one of the 2007 recipients of the prestigious Obermayer German Jewish History Award.

Karen S. Franklin is a guest curator at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.  She has served as a president of International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and chair of the Council of American Jewish Museums.  A museum director for over 20 years, she has served on the board of the American Association of Museums (AAM) and is presently on the boards of International Council of Museums-US and ICOM’s International Committee on Memorial Museums.  Mrs. Franklin is a Ger-SIG Coordinator and juror for the Obermayer Award.  She speaks frequently throughout the world about museums, looted art and genealogy.