German-Jewish SIG
Jewish Genealogical Research in German-speaking Regions
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JewishGen German-Jewish Special Interest Group
Frequently Asked Questions

What is GerSIG and what are its goals?

The German-Jewish Special Interest Group (SIG) is part of JewishGen, Inc., an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

GerSIG was formed by JewishGen to facilitate research, to develop new publicly accessible resources, and to assist people researching their Jewish family histories in Germany and other German-speaking areas.

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What areas does GerSIG cover?

GerSIG covers current and former German-speaking regions. These places include modern-day Germany as well as areas now in Poland and France. Please see the maps on our website home page and our town lists for details.

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How do I contribute information or volunteer to help?

Our SIG is run by volunteers. We need volunteers for a wide variety of tasks. Some work requires language skills. Other work requires just persistence and enthusiasm. If you would like to share your information, resources, skills, or time, please contact any of our directors. You'll find their contact information, job descriptions and biographies here.

If you have technical problems with the website (broken links, etc.), please contact our Webmaster

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What is the GerSIG Mailing List, and how do I join it?

The GerSIG Mailing List is one of many JewishGen Mailing Lists. Here is how you subscribe:

  • You must first Login to JewishGen. If you are not yet registered with JewishGen, click the 'new user' link under the sign in boxes. Once you are signed in you will be on JewishGen's Mailing List page.
  • On the Mailing List page, scroll down to GerSIG and click the Subscribe button.
  • Fill out the subscription form.

You will have several choices for managing your subscription. For example, you can choose to receive messages as they are sent, or you can receive all messages for the day in a 'digest' at the end of each day. You can change your choices at any time by editing your subscriptions.

JewishGen maintains Archives of past messages. If you wish, you can search the Archives to see if your question was asked and answered in the past. Search hints and a search form are available here.

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Where do I find the Donor and Volunteer Forms?

When you contribute data, images, stories, or time-and-effort to JewishGen, you must fill out a Donor or a Volunteer form. The JewishGen Donor Agreement can be used for all materials you send to GerSIG. It is a simple one page form that gives JewishGen non-exclusive rights to the material you submit.

The JewishGen Volunteer Agreement can be used for all projects organized by GerSIG. One Volunteer Form will cover all of the projects you work on for us, so if you are ready to volunteer now, but still trying to figure out how you can help, just fill in First Assignment as 'Volunteer for GerSIG' and being supervised by the GerSIG Research Coordinator. If you know a particular project that you'd like to work on, you can note that project and the name of the person running the project.

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What information do I find in the GerSIG's town pages?

Each GerSIG town page is a portal where is 'referenced' all information identified by the SIG concerning the town.

A town page is not an information repository but an index to that information.

In a town page you will find:

  • Information about SIG's projects related to the town
  • Information about datasets/documents available for that town and their location
  • Categorized links to resources containing information about the town
  • In a town page you will NOT find:

  • Pictures
  • Data about people
  • Stories
  • etc
  • JewishGen has a specific section for that: the KehilaLinks pages. KehilaLinks are pages commemorating the places where Jews have lived. GerSIG coordinates with town leaders and KehilaLinks owners so the available information is available on the KehilaLinks.

    For more information please refer to the document 'KehilaLinks, JewishGen Communities Pages, & Ukraine SIG Town Pages' in our InfoSheets Page

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    How can I create a KehilaLinks page for my ancestral town(s)?

    JewishGen's KehilaLinks Project provides a place where people can commemorate their ancestral towns. Ukraine SIG has developed an InfoSheet, 'How to create a KehilaLinks website'. JewishGen KehilaLinks Owners also may be GerSIG Town Leaders. GerSIG Town Pages supplement KehilaLinks and serves as a portal to KehilaLink web pages.

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    How do I know which GerSIG projects I should join?

    Please go to GerSIG's Contributions page. There you will find a list of the many ways you can contribute to the SIG's work.

    Keep in mind that most of GerSIG's projects are geographic-specific. Check our Current Projects List. Select 'All' for each option on the search form and leave the Keywords box blank. Also check the Town Pages for your town(s).

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    I still have questions about JewishGen. How do I proceed?

    The JewishGen FAQ will answer just about any question you have about JewishGen. If you still have questions after reading the FAQ, post a message on the Mailing List. Someone is sure to respond with the answer you need.

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    How can I contribute money to GerSIG?

    You can donate money to GerSIG or to a specific GerSIG project on the GerSIG page at the JewishGen-erosity website.

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  • Last Modified: 07-30-2018
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