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The New Discussion Group Member Guide


What is the Discussion Group?

The 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 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 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,, 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 (

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:


How do I access the Group’s webpage?

Follow this link:


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



The Team