The International Institute for Jewish Genealogy is committed to developing Jewish genealogy into a recognized field of academic investigation, within the realm of Jewish Studies and in association with a broad range of other sciences on an inter-disciplinary basis.
It seeks to do this by conducting scholarly research into all aspects of Jewish genealogy, both independently and collaboratively with other institutions and social scientists, as well as by promoting the teaching of Jewish genealogy at university level.
In so doing, the Institute aspires to enrich and advance the work of family historians and, at the same time, make a meaningful contribution to the future of the Jewish People by nurturing and enhancing its roots.I also found an expansion of this idea in a paper entitled, "Jewish Genealogy - The Challenge before Us," by Neville Lamdan. I was interested to find out if there are any other academic institutions or organizations with the same or similar goal? In the Lamdan paper, he makes the following comment:
For many here this evening, possibly most, it may be almost self-evident that Jewish Genealogy is an academic discipline. But let's be honest with ourselves – this is by no means the prevailing view at universities in Israel and around the world.I would certainly agree with this assessment. I have written in the past about some of the underlying reasons why genealogy is not generally accepted as an academic discipline. For example, a recent book on the history of genealogy, Weil, François. Family Trees: A History of Genealogy in America. 2013, was written by a French scholar. I think this was likely the only way this type of publication could be written given the atmospheres of the academic community in the United States about genealogy and its acceptance as a valid discipline.
I am sure there are those that fear that establishing genealogy as an academic discipline will adversely affect its popularity as an activity for the "masses." But is this even an issue? I can be as interested as I care to be in the history of the United States, but it is also a valid inquiry for academia. I don't see acceptance as a valid discipline lessening genealogy's appeal. I see acceptance as an academic discipline and a fundamental step in establishing some generally applicable realistic standards of proof and evidence.
This discussion is not taking place in a vacuum. See the following for another example:
A White Paper, Theory Development and Historical Antecedents in the Field of Generational Family Matrix Research by Carl Edwin Lindgren, DEd, FCP (London), FRAL, FRSA and LaWanna Lease Blount, PhD, FColT.
I can guess that you might question my involvement in this type of discussion given some of my previous comments about "people with letters after their names" but since I happen to be one of those people, I feel I am qualified to enter into this type of discussion.