jgbanner.gif (17838 bytes)

L'Shana Tova from JewishGen

Part V - Discussion Groups,Help Desks


As you have all gathered by now, we are devoting time to looking at specific projects within the JewishGen program...not only to highlight the projects, but more importantly to highlight the folks behind the scenes who have been doing yeoman's work to bring these special features to you all.

Tonight, it's mailing lists, front and center and we start by looking at the JewishGen Discussion Group which is usually the first step taken by most people as they begin researching Jewish ancestral lines on the Internet. This discussion group originally served the full range of needs.... beginners and all the way up to the highly advanced genealogist putting people in contact on a worldwide basis.

Over the years, this forum has evolved into a group primarily for beginners as we have been able to provide more focused mailing lists for specific topics over the past two years.

We've been able to attract many dedicated people as moderators and while some have moved on to accept greater responsibility within the JewishGen family we want to honor all of them tonight.

But most importantly, you all know the quality of exchange,   the sharing and guidance that is imparted by so many of you day in and day out and we can't begin to thank you all for your participation.

During the early days of JewishGen, during the Fidonet years, (1986-1993) we developed one of the first robo-moderation systems. Unfortunately, we had to abandon that slick system because there was a "four letter word" which showed time and again in Jewish surnames and towns. I just wonder if anyone of you out there can guess what this word is!!!

From 1993 to 1996 I single handedly moderated JewishGen with occasional help from Warren Blatt. In 1996, I turned over the baton to Carol Skydell who, not unlike her predecessor <grin>,  almost single handedly moderated for months and months.... As the discussion grew by leaps and bounds and the numbers of messages increased, we sought and found additional volunteers...Chuck Weinstein, Mike Hilson, Vivianne Ship,  Susana Leistner Bloch, Suzanne Waxman, Dick Plotz with occasional stints by Warren and Carol when no one else could take it.

Under Carol's tutelage, we formed a Review Committee of 20 or more of your peers spanning all continents. It was their task to help us develop the current guidelines under which we still  operate.

During the last six months... as we began our re-organization process, Susana Bloch, who made it known to us that she would be willing to be our "spare part" and we took her up on it. She carried on almost single-handedly for weeks on end. Dick Plotz has now assumed the role as manager of the moderators, and our recent call for additional help resulted in at least 10 new people who are at various stages of the moderation training process, and one, Maurine McLellan is already on board as a full time moderator. We honor and thank them all for their past, present and future contributions.

Added to the above, are the brand new (and already a year old) lists that have sprung up to focus on specific areas of interest and are hosted by JewishGen....so, in alpha order (how else can I be sure of leaving no one out (grin) the list administrators,  moderators, webmasters of all the special lists we are now running ....

Belarus - Dave Fox, Elsebeth Paikin, Risa Heywood, Ed Rosenbaum

Bereza - Stuart Liss, Steve Morse, Diane Jacobs;

Bobruisk - Don Mopsick, Joe Walker

Ciechanow - Stan Zeidenberg

Courland - Paul Berkay, Martha Lev-Zion, Abraham Lenhoff

Galicia - Shelley Pollero, Bev Shulster

GerSig - Arthur Obermayer, Peter Strauss, Meg Power, John Lowens

H-SIG - Lou Schonfeld, Marc Polster

Keidan - Andy Cassel

LatAmSig - Rob Weisskirch, Carol Skydell

Latvia - Arlene Beare, Marion Werle, Mike Getz

Leibovitz - Marvin Lebow, Roni Leibowitz, Sue Schudson

Lviv - Errol Schneegurt

Nesvizh - Mike Meshenberg

Odessa - Art Blutstein

SAfrica - Dr. Saul Issroff, Mike Getz, Trevor Tucker

Sefard - Bernard Kouchel, Ed Rosenbaum

ShtetLinks -Chuck Weinstein, Rachel Unkefer, John Berman,

Volhynia - Iris Folkson

Yizkor - Martin Kessel, Joyce Field

Webpage - Mark Heckman

Last but not least, those dedicated and patient folks who man/woman the help desks and respond to questions left in the Guest Book visits...

Guest Book - Steven Chall, C.J. Kingsley

FTJPhelp - Iris Folkson, Michael Tobias, Susan King

JGFFhelp - Iris Folkson, Michael Tobias, Warren Blatt, Susan King, Carol Skydell, Alex Sharon,  Ruth Grant, Ann Rothman

Support - Lori Miller, Phyllis Kramer, Carol Skydell TechSupport- Iris Folkson, Susan King

We can honestly say we have a "cast of thousands" now... evidenced by the number of certificates we have sent out thus far.. <grin> and the grassroots effort we have begun keeps going and growing, not unlike a bunch of "energizer bunnies". <widegrin>

If you are still reading.... this should be of interest... Just a brief look at what is coming down the pike in the next few weeks. Discussion and research groups for which application has already been made, and moderators  are in various stages of training are:

Baal Shem Tov - Molly Gordy

Bohemia-Moravia - Sharla Levine, Barry Spinak, Randol Schoenberg

Denmark SIG - Elsebeth Paikin

Ekaterinoslav - Jerry Touger

Gorodenka - Mark Heckman

Kiyev - Michael Jaron

Lodz - Shirley Flaum

Motol - Martin Kessel

Yiddish Theater & Vaudeville - Jonina Duker

Warszawa - Nicole Berline, Hadassah Lipsius

If there is a research group or mailing list which you would like to coordinate, and already have a minimum of (or the potential of) 50 subscribers, please get in touch with our Operations VP Carol Skydell at <cskydell@jewishgen.org> and help make the process as painless as possible.

We would also be remiss if we did not mention the separate and distinct organizations JewishGen hosts... specifically LitvakSIG, JRI-PL, Rom-SIG, the Gombin Society and IAJGS and their volunteers who have provided invaluable services to their respective organizations and from which all JewishGenners  derive benefits.


You know, this growth, the interest and the enthusiasm is not unlike a "double edge sword"... and for this we once again make a financial appeal, since without your financial support none of these lists would be possible. Please folks,   if you have benefited in any way, if you have learned from the questions, suggestions, research strategies discussed,  please take that important step to show your appreciation

for what all these people have worked so hard to accomplish on your behalf. Thank them, honor them, and recognize them in the one important way that makes it all possible...


L'shana Tova

Susan E. King