Dear Members of JewishGen German (GerSIG) Discussion Group,
As you know, our current/old Lyris discussion list platform is woefully antiquated. Among its many challenges are that it is not secure, and is no longer supported. In addition, the platform's archiving capabilities are limited, it requires messages to be sent in Plain Text, it does not support accented characters or languages other than English, it cannot display links or images, and it is not mobile-friendly, among other challenges.
This past Fall, our main JewishGen discussion group was migrated to https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main and has permitted us to engage with new and current JewishGen members in more dynamic and engaging ways. Here are some of the exciting features on the JewishGen Discussion Group:
- A simple, secure, and intuitive interface that is mobile friendly. - In addition to English, you can post messages in other languages - Messages can have attachments, and display hyperlinks, photos, and images - You can include formatted (bold, italic, underlined, accented) characters
*What Happens Now?* Beginning today (Wednesday 03/25/2020), the JewishGen German (GerSIG) Discussion Group will be retired. All messages to this group will be now be re-routed to the main JewishGen Discussion Group.
*Do I Need to Join the Main Discussion Group?* No. Your account has been automatically migrated.
*Will I be able to search archives of old German Discussion Group messages?
Yes. As you may know, the archives have been broken since the fall of 2018 and inaccessible to most people. With our new system, we have made all 30,357 messages available and easily searchable.
*That's Great! How far back do the archives go?* All messages are available since 1998.
*How Do I Search The Archives?* There are a few ways:
- Visit https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main, scroll down to the list of top hashtags and click Germany.
- Visit https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main. On the left side of the page click Chashtag and then click Germany.
- Visit https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main. On the left side of the page click messages. Use the search box to enter any text you would like to explore, and choose '#Germany' from the 'Hashtags' drop-down menu. You can also scroll through messages by date, even without searching for a specific text.
*How Do I Post Messages to the Main JewishGen Discussion Group and make sure they are categorized properly?* It's easy! In the subject line of your message, simply add ' #Germany ' at the end of your subject line. For example, if your subject is: 'Resources in Berlin,' you should list it as: 'Resources in Berlin #Germany'
*What if I forget to add the Hashtag?* No problem! Our moderators will add it for you!
*I am still confused about Hashtags. Do you have any more information about it?* Yes. We have created a brief guide to using Hashtags here: https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main/wiki/HASHTAG-GUIDE
*I still have questions about the group in general. Is there any more information about the New Discussion Group?* Yes. We have created a Member Guide which is accessible here: https://tinyurl.com/vvwnstw or https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main/wiki/The-New-JewishGen.org-Discussion-Group-Member-Guide
We also prepared specific Guidelines for participating on the Main Discussion Group which are accessible here: https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main/guidelines
*What if I still need help? Is there anyone available to help me get used to the new system?* Yes! A number of individuals have volunteers to help anyone in need. Please email support@JewishGen.org for additional information.
*A final note about the JewishGen German Research Division (formerly the German-Jewish SIG or GerSIG).* Although the mailing list is being transformed, the resources of the JewishGen German Research Division (formerly GerSIG) are still available on our website at https://www.jewishgen.org/gersig/ and in the JewishGen German Collection database at https://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Germany/.
Please continue to post your questions, queries and German-Jewish genealogy news to the main JewishGen Discussion Group as discussed above. The new list functionality, along with the influx of new members, will provide greater exposure for inquiries and allow the members of the JewishGen German Discussion Group to more widely share their invaluable knowledge and expertise.
Thank you again for your support.
This change comes as a result of our strategic plan to modernize our systems and to make JewishGen more robust, sustainable, and easier to use, and we would like to thank everyone who has played such an integral role in getting us to this point. Specifically, we would like to publicly express our appreciation to John Lowens who has managed this list for more than two decades with devotion, dedication, and sensitivity. He is owed a tremendous debt of gratitude, and we are extremely glad that he will continue to serve as a moderator on the new platform.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please email support@JewishGen.org.
Avraham Groll Executive Director
Alex Calzareth Director of German Research
Nancy Siegel Director of Communications