The New JewishGen.org Discussion Group Member Guide
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?
What happens to the archived messages on the old JewishGen Discussion Group?
All the messages will be accessible and searchable, as they have always been. In the near future, we will be migrating all of the old messages (going back to 1993) into our new platform, and at that point, we will shut down the old platform.
Are all of the JewishGen Discussion Lists being improved?
To start, we are upgrading the main JewishGen Discussion Group. In the near future, we will focus on the Discussion Groups of various JewishGen areas and projects as well (such as the previously known SIG lists, topical lists, etc).
What if I have questions or need assistance using the new Group?
Send your questions to: email@example.com
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:
Topics: Posts should relate to Jewish genealogy. We do not discuss religious issues (such as "Who is a Jew" and other discussions that are frequently raised within the context of researching one's roots).
Moderation: This group is moderated to ensure civility, and that posts are related to Jewish genealogy.
Frequency: You may post unique messages as often as you like, but please try to be thoughtful in your posts, and do not abuse this approach by posting many messages the same day, etc.
Commercial Posts: We welcome everyone, including other non-profit organizations, to share commercial offers as long as they are related to Jewish genealogy, and that those posting them do not abuse the privilege. Commercial posts should not repeat more than once every three months. (For example: authors should feel free to post about recent book publications, etc., just please try not to abuse the privilege).
Fundraising Posts: Please do not post fundraising requests for other organizations.
Images/Files: You may attach images and files (if a file is too large, we will do our best to resize it, or ask you to upload it somewhere else, and provide a link).
Language: The official language of the group is English, but we can accept messages and content in most languages. If posting something in a language other than English, please provide a sentence describing the content.
Links: If posting a link to a website not in English, please provide a description of the content.
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
Thanks to all who responded privately. Case closed! On the next occasion, I will take Fredel's advice to post to ViewMate instead.
Ancestry Expands its DNA Reference Panel Updating its AncestryDNA Ethnicity Estimates #DNA
Jan Meisels Allen
Ancestry has announced that they are updating their DNA ethnicity estimates. This means over the next few months you may receive an updated ethnicity estimate.
In the new update they divided Native-American-Andean and Native American- North, Central, South into 11 smaller regions. So if you were in one of these larger regions your new estimate may have more precise regions. There are other areas that may be similarly affected.
You may also find some ethnicity areas are reduced because with the larger number of ethnic areas, some of yours may have moved to a neighboring area. For example, some people with ancestors from southern Italy will lose their small amount of Turkey/Armenia and possibly gain a bit of Near East instead.
An example of the greater breakout:
Eastern Europe & Russia
To see a list of AncestryDNA regions see: https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/List-of-AncestryDNA-Regions
To read the blog post see:
I have no affiliation with Ancestry and I am sharing this solely for the information of the reader.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee
Seeking Marjorie Wiener Wein New York author of 'My Family History' #ISO
I’m trying to locate Marjorie Wiener WEIN in New York, author of ‘My Family History’ published in 1990 but is now out of print.
If anyone happens to know Marjorie or has her current address in New York I would appreciate them contacting me.
Perth, Western Australia
Re: Plain text
toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Notin this group - but definitely in other groups that haven't been switched yet
The original post stated:
As of yesterday (when I discovered them), images from many Revision Lists from LVIA / 515/15 / 1-500 (approximately) are online at Familysearch.org. These primarily represent the 1795, 1811, and 1816 revisions for Vilna gubernia.
From the FamilySearch.org Catalog Search page, how does one navigate to these revision lists? Do we know which towns in the Vilna gubernia are included in these lists?
David J Ellis
Natick, MA 01760
At first glance, I am able to translate part of the gravestone:
A straight and nice man, the glory of his home and his children,
Aharon the son of Avraham Parish of blessed memory
dear wife, crown of her husband, glory of her children, Hildel the wife of Aharon Parish
on Wednesday, the 27th of (month of) Tevet and buried with a great eulogy on Friday the 29th of it (of month of Tevet) 5655
(the 27th of Tevet 5655 corresponds to the English date January 23, 1895)
Hope you are able to get a translation for the rest of it
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Megan Lewis to speak in Fort Wayne #JGSNews
The Northeast Indiana Jewish Genealogy Society is pleased to present the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Megan Lewis at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 17th at the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. The event is free and open to the public. As one of Fort Wayne’s “Violins of Hope” events, Megan’s presentation will discuss the research involved in tracing and documenting victims of the Holocaust. Megan will give two presentations that afternoon. The first, “The Basics of Holocaust-Related Genealogical Research,” will discuss how to get started with Holocaust-related genealogical research including the information needed to start and online resources that are good places to begin. The second presentation, “Putting the Pieces Together,” will begin at about 3:30 p.m. Megan will provide case studies of how multiple collections in different formats come together to document one individual’s history. The case studies will come from different parts of Europe.
For more information about the event, visit the NEIJGS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NEIndianaJGS/. For those from outside Fort Wayne, the Genealogy Center has open hours throughout the weekend. There are also a number of other Violins of Hope events that weekend, including the Klezmatics on Saturday evening, November 16th. For more information about the various Violins of Hope events in Fort Wayne, see www.violinsofhopefw.org.
Betsy Thal Gephart
VP, Northeast Indiana Jewish Genealogy Society
Gesher Galicia SIG #Galicia Survey to identify needs of archive users #Galicia
Gesher Galicia SIG
Kerstin Muff, head of communications at ICARUS, the International
Centre for Archival Research - a network of archives, museums,
libraries and other organizations in Europe - has written to us about a
survey they are conducting, on the needs of older archival users,
including researchers on family history. She is asking us to forward
her message to those we know who may be interested to take part in
their survey. Gesher Galicia has been an organizational member of
ICARUS for the past five years. Kerstin Muff's e-mail to us is
reproduced below. Anyone in what ICARUS calls the "silver-researcher
community" (by which they mean those over 60 years of age) who is
interested to take part in the survey should go directly to the link
provided at the end of their message, which is:
[Please do not reply to this e-mail address.]
Research Coordinator, Gesher Galicia
From: Kerstin Muff <kerstin.muff@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 14:50
Subject: Survey to identify fields of interest of archive users
To: info@... <info@...>
For many people, the prospect of retirement >from work gives an
opportunity to seek fresh directions and new challenges. Archives
seem to be an increasingly popular place to pursue such new ro(o)utes
(key word: genealogy). Our EU-funded project "digital treasures" -
https://www.digitaltreasures.eu - is keen to explore and co-shape these
routes together with the silver researchers.
There are already a lot of retirees that use the archives actively, for
research on local or family history, for example. Also, there are certain
groups of volunteers (i.e. retired historians) that support archives in
crowd-sourcing activities such as the identification of certain items on
As the archives increasingly adapt to the digital age, it seems though
that many of the elderly generation are faced with the challenges of
new technologies. The archives clearly need to adapt to their active
and potential users and explore together how to improve their
cooperation with user communities and keep opening their doors for
the silver researchers.
A survey to identify fields of interest of archive users:
- To learn more about the nature of silver researchers in archives, our
project has set up an online survey to identify pan-European fields of
interests and acquire more knowledge about the specific needs of this
specific user community.
If you are part of the silver researcher community (60+ years old),
please be kindly invited to take part in our survey. Your participation will
be an important contribution to further amplify the services of archives
as well as enhance the cooperation between the public and archives in
the digital age.
Follow this link to take part in our survey:
Please feel free to distribute this survey via any additional suitable
mailing list you may have available.
Mag. Kerstin Muff
Project Management, Head of Communications, Editor-in-chief of "insights"
ICARUS - International Centre for Archival Research
Address: Erdberger Laende 6/7, A-1030 Vienna, Austria
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL ADDRESS.
Send all inquiries to info@...
Three Stern sisters from Wieseck, Germany immigrated to Palestine in
the late 1920's. All daughters of Julius Stern, Mother Betty Hobach -
All born 1907 or before.
I would like to find their birth and death and any other pertinent
information on the following
Hedwig "Hede" Stern married to Walter Turnowsky, son Dan Toren
I believe she died in Ramat Gan
Betty Stern married Hugo Ranon, they 2 daughters Naomi and Edna.
We believe she died 7 January 1979 in Israel.
Selma Stern we believe never married, but we are not sure.
Any clues will help solve a family mystery.
I did a search on Barney in the Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository. Not one single naturalization application! In my opinion, they have not indexed the naturalization applications. That is why they can't find it!
toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
So if you think they have not indexed the naturalisations, where do you think the repositories of naturalisations are? Where could I search the unindexed documents?
Alternately - naturalisations were always advertised in the government gazette.
How can I search an archive of government gazettes? Would you know?
If you don’t who should I ask?
Back to that jewishgen group?
On Tue, 22 Oct 2019 at 18:35, Louis Zetler <louis.zetler@...> wrote:
My late father's name was ROPSCHITZ although there are variants spelt ROPSCHUTZ and ROBSHUTZ. Both his elderly parents and 3 married sisters and one brother died in Auschwitz. Until today I did not know the married surnames of two of the sisters so now I am hoping there may be some family left somewhere. The sisters names I now have are as follows: Amalia Merkel (married to Ludwig), Klara TODT and Roza RAUCH. They were born in Lwow in 1891, 1892 and 1897.
Thanks for any help. Yolanda, Somerset, England.
Re: ViewMate Translation Request Yizkor Book Article #Translations
If the Yizkor Book hasn't been bowdlerized by unskilled hands yet, I would consider a full translation as a project.
If this interests you, contact me via e-mail directly at jsberger@...
Thank you To Nu? What's Nu? A search tip and A Uruguay research request re GOLDSHMIDT #ISO
Dear Jewish Gen members and Gary,
Thank you to Nu? What's Nu?, edited by Gary Mokotoff for helping to weaken a brick wall. Gary mentioned that Family Search now has Uruguay Passenger Records online. I knew that Goldsmith family from Lithuania emigrated to Montevideo, Uruguay but not when. I found their records, thanks to Gary.
I want to share a research tip: Initially I searched Goldshmidt and did not find them. I then did a Gold* search which required perusing over 700 records, but I found them with the name spelled as Goldemidas.
Has anyone used a Uruguay researcher successfully? Has anyone had successful dealings with the Montevideo Jewish Community?
San Francisco Bay Area
Looking or Yakov/Jacob RASHAL b. about 1896 in Zalatopol, Ukraine, and wife Hinde, b. about 1897, on the SS RUSLAN, from Odessa to Jaffa, Palestine. This was a famous passage that arrived in Jaffa on 19 December 1919, and helped begin the Third Aliyah. Does anyone have a passenger list?
Yakov was the son of Benzion RASHAL. Benzion was probably born before 1875, and may have also come to live in Tel Aviv. Yakov and Hinde lived in Petach Tikvah, Palestine. Their daughter, Rivka, was born there about 1928.
Jacob, Hinde [later called Ida], and Rivka, came to the USA in March 1929.
Thank you very much!
Linda Wolfe Kelley
Portland, OR, USA
Re: Converso children #CryptoJewry
regarding question #2, if the woman converts prior to having children, the children willl automatically be Jewish. If the woman converts after the children are born, the children also have to undergo a conversion... the type of process will depend on their ages.
in either event, a reliable rabbinic authority should be consulted
Denise commented that she handled the entire application on her own without
the assistance of an agency or lawyer. Based on the many people who have
contacted JRI-Poland over the years in search of help in locating the documents
they need to complete the application, I would comment that Denise is the one of
the exceptions rather than the rule.
We have have been witness to or learned of many cases that stretched on for an
interminable length of time - for a variety of reasons - often caused by the intricacies
of applicable laws, additional documents required, such as proof of residence in
Poland within the prescribed period, and on and on.
We have built a list of reputable companies providing guidance and carrying out
such applications (not lawyers who have fee schedules that can be excessive.
A few companies with which we are familiar will examine the documents you
already have and what you know about your ancestor(s) circumstances and then
comment on your eligibility without charge .
Questions welcomed. Write to PolishPassports@...
Executive Director, JRI-Poland
I neglected to mention the method used to find these records on the Familysearch website. Go to the catalog and perform a dual search as follows:
1. Enter Vilnius as the place name
2. select Keyword and enter census
It is interesting to note these records are filed under census rather than separating the records by religion and categorizing the ones for the Jewish community under "Jewish records". Let this be word to the wise sleuth - when searching through Familysearch for records, absolutely do not limit your search to the "Jewish records" section.
ViewMate Translation Request Yizkor Book Article in Hebrew #Translations
My apologies for this second posting. I was mistaken that the language
recquiring translation from into English was Yiddish when in fact it is
I've posted three pages of a Yizkor Book article "The Beitar and the
Revisionist movements in Pinczow" which mentions my maternal grandfather
Zelig Hering (whom I never met as he perished in Auschwitz) featured in "A
Book of Memory of the Jewish Community of Pinczow, Poland". I understand
that his name appears in the text which refers to the two group photographs
in the article. The article appears in pages 210-212 of the Book and is
available on ViewMate at the following addresses...
I am of course looking for a complete translatlion of the text. I want to
know more about the Beitar and revisionist movements in Pinczow during the
two World Wars and also my grandfather's role in it.
Thank you very much.
Researching HEING in Pinczow
Located in Sydney, Australia