German Research Division
Jewish Genealogical Research in German-speaking Regions
German RD Search

Discussion Group

Discussion Group

The GerSIG discussion group forum was created to foster the exchange of information on German Jewish genealogy. Contributions on genealogical issues are welcome from beginners to experts. Discussions are encouraged on historical, political, religious, and social issues which affected the activities of our ancestors and enable us to understand their lives in the contexts of their times.

JewishGen, Inc. hosts a number of online discussion groups, including one for the German Jewish SIG. There is no charge to participate in this mailing list, but you must follow our list rules when you write to us. To subscribe to the GerSIG email list, log in to JewishGen with your user name and password.  After you have logged in, use the JewishGen SUBSCRIBE page.  Then find the German Jewish SIG in the list and click 'subscribe'.  You can manage your email list settings at List Manager.  At the very bottom of this page are important links including 'how to change the email address for your subscription.

Complete email instructions are available in English, Hebrew, French and Spanish in the Mailing Lists section at the Jewish Gen Support Center.

Please note:  Only GerSig member/subscribers can post messages to the GerSig Discussion Group.

To post a message that will be distributed to all subscribers on the list, send e-mail in plain text only to: Send email regarding problems you experience with the listserver or other technical problems regarding the functionality of the listserver DIRECTLY to the moderators of the list. You will receive a rapid response from:

If you have misplaced the introductory letter from the Moderator, you can read it here.

Discussion Group House Rules and Netiquette

Please read and follow these rules for messages that you send. If the rules are ignored your message will not be accepted.

  1. YOU MUST SIGN YOUR POST: All messages must be signed as follows:Name + USA city of residence + state of residence or Name & non USA city of residence + nation of residence.First Name Last Name City State or Nation E-mail ! NOTHING MORE! Please do NOT include full mailing address, telephone or fax numbers or company name in your signature. This is to prevent our list from being attractive to and used by companies or individuals who wish to collect such information for commercial purposes.
  2. FAMILY NAMES - Family names (surnames) of people you are researching in both subject line and body text should be written in ALL UPPER CASE characters. Example: (Albert EINSTEIN) Use of all upper case for other text should be avoided except (as here) for subject headings and R A R E special emphasis.
  3. AVOID UMLAUTS and other ACCENTS - For technical reasons, you should not write ä, ö, and ü with umlaut or use the ß (esszet) character in your email to the GerSig Forum. Use of accent marks will often produce garbled text.Please write ae, oe, ue, and ss instead. To be very clear, it is best to write it this way: 'Loewenstein / Lowenstein (o umlaut)'.
  4. A MEANINGFUL SUBJECT LINE IS REQUIRED - Your subject line should give readers an idea of the content of your message.If you are responding to a previous posting, your subject line should begin with RE: (subject line of previous post) + qualifier if needed.
  6. PLAIN TEXT ONLY, MIME, HTML and MIXED MULITPART messages will be rejected for technical reasons. For help with PLAIN TEXT go to:
  7. TOWN NAMES: Except for large, well-known cities, your ancestral towns mentioned in postings to GerSig should be identified as fully as possible. Examples: Wallau (near Wiesbaden, Hessen); Hochspeier (near Kaiserslautern, Rheinpfalz, Bavaria). Some researchers use the modern German postal code to fully identify towns. You may also use the map coordinates which you can obtain from the JewishGen ShtetlSeeker ( Spell place names as they are today; you may add other versions or spellings in parentheses. This will make it easier to spot a relevant posting.
  8. Write email the way you do a business letter: get to the point first, then put in the details. You must always sign messages with your full name and your city and state or nation of residence. Example: Jacob Levi, Chicago, Illinois. Don't assume people know where you are. GerSIG is read in dozens of countries worldwide.
Thanks for your cooperation.