JewishGen.org Discussion Group FAQs
What is the JewishGen.org Discussion Group?
The JewishGen.org Discussion Group unites thousands of Jewish genealogical researchers worldwide as they research their family history, search for relatives, and share information, ideas, methods, tips, techniques, and resources. The JewishGen.org Discussion Group makes it easy, quick, and fun, to connect with others around the world.
Is it Secure?
Yes. JewishGen is using a state of the art platform with the most contemporary security standards. JewishGen will never share member information with third parties.
How is the New JewishGen.org Discussion Group better than the old one?
Our old Discussion List platform was woefully antiquated. Among its many challenges: it was not secure, it required messages to be sent in Plain Text, did not support accented characters or languages other than English, could not display links or images, and had archives that were not mobile-friendly.
This new platform that JewishGen is using is a scalable, and sustainable solution, and allows us to engage with JewishGen members throughout the world. It offers a simple and intuitive interface for both members and moderators, more powerful tools, and more secure archives (which are easily accessible on mobile devices, and which also block out personal email addresses to the public).
I am a JewishGen member, why do I have to create a separate account for the Discussion Group?
As we continue to modernize our platform, we are trying to ensure that everything meets contemporary security standards. In the future, we plan hope to have one single sign-in page.
I like how the current lists work. Will I still be able to send/receive emails of posts (and/or digests)?
Yes. In terms of functionality, the group will operate the same for people who like to participate with email. People can still send a message to an email address (in this case, main@groups.JewishGen.org), and receive a daily digest of postings, or individual emails. In addition, Members can also receive a daily summary of topics, and then choose which topics they would like to read about it. However, in addition to email, there is the additional functionality of being able to read/post messages utilizing our online forum (https://groups.jewishgen.org).
Does this new system require plain-text?
Can I post images, accented characters, different colors/font sizes, non-latin characters?
Can I categorize a message? For example, if my message is related to Polish, or Ukraine research, can I indicate as such?
Yes! Our new platform allows members to use “Hashtags.” Messages can then be sorted, and searched, based upon how they are categorized. Another advantage is that members can “mute” any conversations they are not interested in, by simply indicating they are not interested in a particular “hashtag.”
Will all posts be archived?
Can I still search though old messages?
Yes. All the messages are accessible and searchable going back to 1998.
What if I have questions or need assistance using the new Group?
Send your questions to: support@JewishGen.org
How do I access the Group’s webpage?
Follow this link: https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main
So just to be sure - this new group will allow us to post from our mobile phones, includes images, accented characters, and non-latin characters, and does not require plain text?
Will there be any ads or annoying pop-ups?
Will the current guidelines change?
Yes. While posts will be moderated to ensure civility, and that there is nothing posted that is inappropriate (or completely unrelated to genealogy), we will be trying to create an online community of people who regulate themselves, much as they do (very successfully) on Jewish Genealogy Portal on Facebook.
What are the new guidelines?
There are just a few simple rules & guidelines to follow, which you can read here:https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main/guidelines
Thank you in advance for contributing to this amazing online community!
If you have any questions, or suggestions, please email support@JewishGen.org.
The JewishGen.org Team
Does anyone know how to get a photo of a grave on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem? The person in question, Yeruchim Tsvi Rotkowitz, died in 1910. A family member is known to have seen the grave in 1967 after the 6 day war.
I've posted a vital record in Russian for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Phoenix, Arizona USA
Hello all! The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island is delighted to invite you to our bonus monthly meeting featuring our guest speaker, Gary Pokrassa the Data Acquisition Director of the JewishGen Ukraine Research Division.
JGSLI is extending the invitation to the broader genealogy community. We ask that you register in advance (see below). Please share with your friends!
Wednesday, January 13th, 7:00 PM, via Zoom
Speaker: Gary Pokrassa
Alex Krakovsky has been using Ukraine’s freedom of information laws to force archives throughout his country to allow him to scan records and post them online. Gary Pokrassa will describe how to navigate Alex’s wiki to locate town records. He will also describe the Ukraine Research Division's projects to capture and translate Alex’s scanned files on the JewishGen server -- including index files for Kiev, Zhitomir and Elizavetgrad.
There are two ways to join our meeting:
When: Jan 13, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
This webinar is free and open to the public.
I look forward to "seeing" you all then!
Jericho, Long Island, NY researcher #59766
I've posted a vital record in Polish for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address:
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Sharon E Siegel
Sharon E. Siegel
Port Jervis, NY USA
Who is the better option for DNA: siblings or father and son? #dna
If the sought relatives are on the father's side, father and son are better because father will provide almost twice the dna sought than both sons, given that he is a generation closer to the source..
If all three are available, having the three is better than having only two. No son will have more of father's dna than father had, but if you have all three tested, you can probably reconstruct mother's dna from the three tests. Any dna that either son has that does not match father's must have come from mother. Because we receive a RANDOM half of our dna from each parent, mother's dna is unlikely to be complete, but good enough for many purposes.
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego CA 92110 U.S.A.
(619)260-4597 office, (858)453-2388 cell, lazer@...
Author: Mastering Art Law (2d ed. Carolina Academic Press 2020)
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego CA 92110
Author: Mastering Art Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2d ed. 2020)
Re: Who is the better option for DNA: siblings or father and son? #dna
My dad did a dna test and I'm always seeing ads for an even more extensive test. Does he need to get tested again if I pay more? Or do they use his same sample and just test more strands etc? Is it worth it to get an even more extensive test? Thank you,
I'm resurrecting this discussion, because I have finally figured out the ancestral town for my Lavine family, who settled in Trenton, New Jersey.
I contacted two different persons on Ancestry.com, who had my great great grandfather Simon Lavine in their trees. One of those individuals recently forwarded to me a written family history that was put together back in the 1990s, which did have enough information to show my great great grandfather was related to the larger Lavine clan of Trenton. It stated that he was one of four brothers, three of whom came to the US; the parents' names on Simon Lavine's NJ death certificate are in line with the parents' names of the other two Lavine brothers. The family history also stated that the ancestral town was Lida, and referenced two ship passenger lists, that I was able to find on Ancestry and verify that the town shown was Lida.
I also took another look at the 1920 US census, where Simon Lavine said he was from Minsk, presumably referring to the gubernia. In the same district, the same enumerator Mrs. Koplowitz also interviewed a daughter and a niece of Simon Lavine, and those two women said they were born in Vilna gubernia, which is more in line with Lida being the town.
Finally, combing through another tree on Ancestry that included my great great grandfather, and that had a lot of images attached to the tree, I found a nephew Isadore Lavine stating in his WW II draft card that he was born in Lida.
So that is the end of the mystery. Thanks to all for motivating me to look further into this subject.
I must note - this is one of the minority of times that public trees on Ancestry have been helpful to me, rather than being cornucopias of misinformation.
Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman/Lippman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lewin/Levin in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus
Question On Becoming A Citizen in 1920s Canada #canada
Happy New Year Cousins!
I'm trying to figure out a possible puzzle. I say possible, because I'm
not even sure I have the right people (same common name).
According to one index I found, it has my cousin (definitely him) taking
the Oath of Allegiance in Montreal in June 1923.
I found a person of the same name in the 1921 Canada census for
Montreal. Some of the information fits and makes sense (occupation and
marital status), some of it doesn't. It says this person's nationality
was "United States" and that he arrived in Canada in 1920. It was my
understanding that my cousin went right from Grodno Gubernia to Montreal
(date unknown), but I suppose that could be wrong.
How long did a person have to live in Canada before they could apply for
and obtain citizenship? I thought it was five years. This seems like
too short a time if these two people are one and the same.
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
Jan Meisels Allen
The Arolsen Archives has made additions to their archive. In mid-December they acquired the collection of materials by journalist and author Dorothee Schmitz-Köster. The SS founded the “Lebensborn” association (English: Fountain of Life) on December 12, 1935, as an instrument of its race and population policy. The Nazi regime set up maternity homes in Germany and in occupied countries in northern and western Europe to provide pregnant women with support. The only proviso was that the expectant mothers themselves, the fathers, and the unborn children had to be deemed “racially and genetically valuable.” This is expected to be put online in the future.
The 529 files held by the Arolsen Archives represent a large proportion of the surviving original documents on the “Lebensborn” association. They include the association’s statutes signed by Heinrich Himmler. In the early years following the end of the war, the International Tracing Service (ITS, now Arolsen Archives) used the documents to try to clarify the fate of non-German children who had been forcibly Germanized by the Nazis. Various Nazi organizations – including the Lebensborn – had torn tens of thousands of girls and boys from their homes, falsified their identities, and forced them to learn German. They then transported the children to Germany to place them with German adoptive parents as “orphans.” Thanks to the efforts of the ITS, the fates of some of these children could be clarified.
The #everynamecounts project (crowds sourcing) was launched one year ago. More than 10 000 volunteers have registered with the project and are helping Arolsen to enter the data of Nazi persecutees into our database. Data from more than 2.5 million documents have already been transcribed. aim is to finish linking the names to all the documents in the archive by 2025. It should be possible to find every single name that is on a document in the Arolsen Archives with a simple online search!
The Arolsen Archives upload selected documents and ask volunteers to transcribe various pieces of information. The names and the dates of birth are the most important pieces of information, of course. But a person’s prisoner category, their last address, and their profession are important too, as this information can be used later to reconstruct the fates both of individuals and of larger groups.
Many documents also list the names of the prisoners’ parents, for example. In the case of Jewish people in particular, we can assume that their parents were persecuted too, although the names of the parents may not be mentioned in any other documents.
The project is freely accessible in English and German. On January 27 Arolsen plans to launch an international campaign. The project is going to be translated into more languages to make this possible.
To read more about this project see:
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee
The mission of Jewish Records Indexing - Poland is to provide record indices and extracts of all available records in
Polish and other repositories Poland.
Przytyk and Kozienice are two of the towns have have been extensively indexed but NOT all the data appears online.
For information on your towns in Poland, researchers should write to [townname]@jri-poland.org
Stanley Diamond, M.S.M. (Montreal, 514-484-0100)
Executive Director, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc.
You could also try www.findagrave.com . Sometimes there are already pictures posted. Otherwise you can request one.
Re: How many "first names" did people have? #names
And sometimes they just changed their names. I have three aunts who were given the names Lena, Bertha and Tillie, and changed them to Leona, Beatrice and Lillian, respectively.
How old was your grandfather when this incident took place?
You might want to take a look at the question I asked this group with the subject title "Young Galician boys forced labor for Russian army during FIRST World War" #652747. The replies might be helpful.
According to my research on the Eastern Front, both sides used forced labor which included young boys and older men. Young boys also sometimes served their countries as soldiers. Remember, during World War I, there were no laws or conventions prohibiting the recruitment of children as soldiers, or the use of young civilians for forced labor. It's also possible that he was playing or seeking shelter in the foxhole.
Have you tried looking at Newspapers.com to see if it describes fighting in the Kamienczyk area during WWI?
Researching NEMETH, INGIER and BLOCH in Mariyampil, Stanislawow, and Knihinin
Researching WIESNER, FLEISIG, and KASTENBAUM in Kulikow and Lemberg
Sylvia Fleck Abrams
Join the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland
Installation of Officers
followed by a Program
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
starting at 7:00 pm (ET)
"Finding Our Kaplans"
Mindie Kaplan will discuss techniques for researching common names that, because they are so common, create difficulties in determining whether there is a relationship to the family being researched. To illustrate the process, she will focus on how she was able to find a bit more on her Cleveland relatives in the presentation. She may also illustrate her techniques with an example from our membership.
This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited.
Priority will be given to members of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland.
Preregistration is required and must be requested by 12:00 Noon on January 13th.
To preregister, send an email message with your name, email address, and complete mailing address, by clicking here: rsvp@...
After you register, you will receive an email reply acknowledging receipt of your request. On January 12th, we will forward the meeting details, including a link and passcode to each registrant.
On the day of the meeting (January 13th), shortly before 7:00 pm, attendees should click on the link provided, follow the prompts and enter the passcode to join the meeting.
If you have any problems registering for the program, please contact:
We will be using the Zoom meeting platform, so you may watch, listen and participate from the comfort of your own home.
Sylvia F. Abrams
On behalf of the Program Committee
It seems that in a time that we are searching for optimism, I am very pleased to note that the Yizkor Book continued to grow and thrive during 2020 and the December achievements are a reflection of what took place, in general, over this past year. The Yizkor Book Project continues to be a hive of activity and some clear proof of this is the fact that in December, we saw the completion of no less than three translation projects:
Ozerna, Ukraine (Memorial book of Jezierna) [Hebrew]
This time, we have the combined effort of Suri Edell-Greenberg and Talila Charap-Friedman, who after arranging the complete English translation of the Ozerna book turned their attention to preparing a complete Hebrew online version of this book. In doing so, Hebrew speakers who previously were unable to read the Yiddish sections, can now read them in their own language. Their dedication and persistence in seeing both of these projects to their successful completion is worthy of note.
Just to note, during 2020, there were 20 projects completed and as we are also aiming for higher I do hope that 2021 will see the completion of even greater numbers. I do know that there are quite a few projects with coordinators who very actively involved in leading the projects forward and am quite sure we’ll continue to see projects completed on a regular basis.
Yizkor Book updates
· Bessarabia (he Jews in Bessarabia; between the world wars 1914-1940, volume I)
· Biłgoraj, Poland (Destruction of Bilgoraj)
· Ciechanowiec, Poland (Ciechanoviec-Bialystok District; Memorial and Records)
· Dzyatlava, Belarus (A memorial to the Jewish community of Zhetel)
· Hrubieszow, Poland (Memorial Book of Hrubieshov)
· Jaroslaw, Poland (Jaroslaw Book: a Memorial to Our Town)
· Kamyanyets, Belarus (Memorial Book of Kamenets Litovsk, Zastavye, and Colonies)
· Kutno, Poland (Kutno and Surroundings Book)
· Lviv, Ukraine (The Encyclopaedia of the Jewish Diaspora, Poland Series: Lwow Volume)
· Makow Mazowiecki, Poland (Memorial book of the community of Maków-Mazowiecki)
· Nasielsk, Poland (Nashelsk: a name, a city, a people eternal!)
· Nyasvizh, Belarus (The Nesvizh Yizkor Book)
· Ozerna, Ukraine (Memorial book of Jezierna) [Hebrew]
· Przytyk, Poland (Przytyk Memorial Book)
· Radomysl Wielki, Poland (Radomysl Wielki and Neighborhood)
· Rafalovka, Ukraine (Memorial book for the towns of Old Rafalowka, New Rafalowka, Olizarka, Zoludzk and vicinity)
· Siedlce, Poland (Memorial book of the community of Siedlce)
· Skalat, Ukraine (Skalat: A Memorial Anthology for a Community Destroyed in the Holocaust)
· Sokołów Podlaski, Poland (Memorial Book Sokolow-Podlask)
· Stowbtsy, Belarus (Memorial volume of Steibtz-Swerznie and the neighboring villages Rubezhevitz, Derevna, Nalibok)
· Uhniv, Ukraine (Hivniv (Uhnow); memorial book to a community)
· Ustilug, Ukraine (The growth and destruction of the community of Uscilug)
· Zgierz, Poland (The Book of Zgierz, Volume II)
· Zolochiv, Ukraine (The City of Zloczow)
Last month, the publishing of this book was announced and in parallel, we have now enabled the book to be freely read online.
New Yizkor Books in Print
Before ending this report, here are some important links to note:
Wishing you all a markedly improved and healthier civil New Year,
Director of Special Projects - Yizkor Books
Re: 1910 Census lists German as language, but country of origin is "Russia. #russia
I wish to thank everyone who responded to my question. Based on the answers I received in response I feel that it was very possible that the person in question was able to speak fluent German as a Jew living within the Pale.
Thank you everyone one and all who took the time to answer my question.
San Rafael, CA
If you have registered for the Zoom event, Tue 1/12/2020 and have a question, do this.
If you have specific question(s) that don't require too much detail, please send them to Arthur (see email below) before the meeting. He will try to prepare an answer or research approach.
Example: Looking for family surname Sissman on JewishGen.org, what would be a research strategy. Know the given names, too.
Jewish Genealogy SIG of SW FL
Re: Origin of Latvian Jews #latvia
I have found it helpful to map the migration patterns discovered in the course of a
250 member family project at FTDNA.As shown here, there are ample opportunities
for mixing of Sephardic and Ashkenazic as well as pre-Sephardic and pre-Ashkenaic
genetics-- and this pattern is derived from only one lineage (yDNA) of one modern
individual (who happens to be my great-grandfather). One can imagine what this map
would like if it attempted to include all possible Hebraic migration/mixing patterns!
Shmuel Leib CITRON, Minsk and Vilnius #lithuania
Shmuel Leib CITRON (1860-1930), Hebrew and Yiddish journalist, writer, and
He was born in Minsk and from 1903 lived in Vilnius.
He was the brother of my wife's great great grandfather Gershon CITRON. b.
1839 in Minsk, a merchant of wine and spirits, who in 1883 was living in
Dvinsk , Latvia; in 1897 in Kreutzburg/Krustpils, Latvia; and in 1909 was
living in Zichron Yakov near Haifa.
While there are several biographical mentions of Shmuel Leib CITRON , none
mention if he was married with family. I will be grateful to whoever may
know and can provide details.
Shmuel Leib and Gershon were the sons of Jankel & Chana CITRON . According
to family narrative they had a brother Isaac who was murdered with his
family in the pogroms that followed the First World War. JewishGen tells of
a sister Aidele CITRON b. 1847 in Minsk but I have found no further
information about her.