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

German RD Frequently Asked Questions

What is the German Research Division (German RD) and what are its goals?

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

The JewishGen German Research Division 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 the JewishGen German Research Division cover?

The German-Jewish German Research Division 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 group 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 JewishGen Mailing List, and how do I join it?

JewishGen maintains a mailing list. GerSIG used to have a separate list but this was merged with the main JewishGen mailing list in March 2020. Please visit to subscribe

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 digests in batches of 12, or a message with the topics once a 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 JewishGen and its German Research Division. 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 the German Research Division. 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 German projects' and being supervised by the German Research Division 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 German Research Division's town pages?

Each German Research Division town page is a portal designed to gather possible sources identified by the Research Division 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 Research Division'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. The German Research Division coordinates with town leaders and KehilaLinks owners so the available information is available on the KehilaLinks.

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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 German Research Division Town Leaders. German Research Division Town Pages supplement KehilaLinks and serve as a portal to KehilaLink web pages.

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    How do I know which German Research Division projects I should join?

    Keep in mind that most of the German Research Division'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 the German Research Division?

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

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