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The Genealogical Research Division of

JewishGen Discussion Group

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How to Subscribe / UnSubscribe
  3. Managing Your Subscription
  4. How to Post Messages to the Entire Group
  5. Getting the Most out of Using JewishGen
  6. Disclaimer
  7. For Other Business


The JewishGen Discussion Group is an internet forum which fulfills the vision to unite Jewish genealogical researchers worldwide as they read and discuss each day's messages.  They share information, ideas, methods, tips, techniques, case studies and resources.  Their dedication is to Jewish family history with particulars from their own family lore and reminiscences. Not only do they want to know more, most JewishGenners are very willing to help others along the way.  This continual sharing is the very essence of JewishGen.

Moderation: The JewishGen Discussion Group is "moderated", that is, all messages are subject to review by a moderator, who in addition to sending a message through for posting, may reject inappropriate messages, or suggest a more suitable venue, or send it through to the Discussion Group with a comment.  The role of the moderator is to keep the discussion on track and to let it not get cluttered with irrelevant, inappropriate, or personal messages of no interest to the general readership.

Rules: To provide an orderly and courteous organization and an efficient line of communication, subscribers are asked to abide by the JewishGen Rules and Guidelines as developed by the JewishGen Rules Advisory Committee and discussed under Section IV below.  Adherence to the rules will make participation in this forum more productive and pleasant for all.

Formats: The JewishGen Discussion Group is presently available in two formats:

  • as an electronic mailing list (for which you need an e-mail account with any Internet Service Provider).
  • as the Usenet newsgroup soc.genealogy.jewish.

In each format, you will have access to the same set of messages, which averages 20 to 50 messages a day.

Newsgroup: If you opt to read messages via the Usenet newsgroup soc.genealogy.jewish, you should be aware that since newsgroups are site-specific to each ISP, JewishGen has no control over which messages a news server uses, or how long they keep them on their server.  If you want to be certain to receive all the messages, it is recommended that you subscribe to the Mailing List.

Mailing List: The electronic mailing list is a kind of electronic journal, which is sent to all subscribers daily via e-mail.  The electronic mailing list is available in three different modes: Digest, Mail (individual messages), and Index.  You select your subscription mode on the subscription form, and you may subsequently request one of the other modes at any time, using the procedure described below under Managing Your Subscription.

If you elect to read the JewishGen Discussion Group via the Usenet newsgroup (soc.genealogy.jewish), you may skip to Section IV.


You can subscribe (or unsubscribe) to the JewishGen Discussion Group mailing list by completing the webform at

Once you have confirmed your subscription, you will receive all messages which are posted to the JewishGen Discussion Group and approved by the moderator.

Subscription Modes:

  • MAIL: Also known as "individual message" mode — you receive each message as it is approved by the moderator.  You may receive anywhere from 20 to 50 messages a day.  If this is too much for you to handle, consider modifying your subscription one of the other modes.
  • DIGEST: The "digest" is one long e-mail sent nightly, which contains all of the messages that have been posted for the day.  This is the most popular subscription mode.
  • INDEX: The "index" version is a single posting per day, consisting of a listing of all the day's messages by subject line and address of person posting.  Each listing has an id number, and by using this number you can order any message that might be of interest.  Full instructions on how to order a message come with the index version.

You can choose "Mail", "Digest" or "Index" mode at the time you subscribe, and you can modify your delivery mode at any time using the Mailing List Management webform.

You are free to follow the discussions or join in.  You can send your comment to the entire group if you think it is of general interest, or send a private response to a person posting.

You can sign off (unsubscribe) from the list, or change your subscription options at any time — see Section III below.


JewishGen has no secretarial staff to enter changes of e-mail addresses, to put a temporary stop on your subscription should you be going on vacation, or to change you to a different mode of getting the messages.  You are expected to manage your subscription yourself, and this is a simple process.  For any changes, use the Mailing List Management webform at

For additional help, see the JewishGen Support Center.



Before posting, please read the Rules and Guidelines of the JewishGen Discussion Group.  Not only will the rules and guidelines teach you what constitutes a proper post and an effective subject line, but they will also guide you to proper "netiquette".  The rules and guidelines were established not to constrict but to help newcommers understand appropriate procedure and how to get the most out of a request for information.  Additionally, the rules and guidelines governing JewishGen restrict certain types of messages, so it's best to understand what is and is not appropriate for this Discussion Group.


When you are ready to send a message to all participants of the JewishGen Discussion Group, please address your message to:

Whether you send a message to the Mailing List via, or post via the Usenet newsgroup soc.genealogy.jewish, the message will come to the JewishGen moderator on duty.  Once approved by the moderator, your message will appear in both the Mailing List and the Usenet newsgroup, so there is no need to post the same message to both the Mailing List and to the newsgroup.

Before sending a question to the entire Discussion Group, try to answer it yourself, e.g. by going to a public library and/or checking the JewishGen FAQ ("Frequently Asked Questions") document, the JewishGen InfoFiles, and any of the other services of JewishGen, Inc.  See How to get the Most out of JewishGen below.


Provide a clear and descriptive Subject line.  Think of the message subject line as a "headline" capturing the central point of the message you are sending.  For example, you are asking a question about the 1910 Federal Census, it makes no sense to write a general subject line such as: "Need census information"; you need to be much more specific and can still keep it short by saying "Need 1910 Census Info", for example.


Sign your message with your full real name, and city/country location.  Don't add long signatures, cutsey sayings, high ASCII characters, or advertisements of your personal business connections.  This is a waste of bandwidth and imposes unnecessary burdens on those people who pay for incoming messages.


If you wish to reply to the author of a particular message, first consider if your remarks are of general interest to the entire readership, or would be best sent as a private response.  If you are sending privately and you use the reply option of your mail program, please verify that the address to which your message is going is the address of the person to whom you are replying and not the address for the mailing list.

When you post a public reply, please identify the message to which you are referring by giving the name of the author and the date.  It is appropriate to quote some, but not all of the original message.  Quote just enough so that people know the general content of the post to which you are responding.  Excessive quotes are a waste of bandwidth and put the onus on the moderator to delete the extraneous portions.

If you access the Discussion Group through the Usenet newsgroup soc.genealogy.jewish and you wish to join in the discussion, you can send a "follow-up", "reply" privately to the author, or "compose" a new message.  Your newsreader program may use slightly different names for these functions, so for further details please consult the manual or read the help files for your newsreader program.


The JewishGen Discussion Group Message Archives is a database of all 100,000+ messages which have been posted to the JewishGen Discussion Group since 1993.  The message archives can be searched in a variety of ways.


The JewishGen Discussion Group is only one small part of JewishGen, and you should take the time to investigate all of the resources available to you.  JewishGen, Inc. is a non-profit corporation, formed to provide a wide rangle of services in the field of Jewish genealogy through volunteers.

JewishGen maintains an award-winning World Wide Web site at  There, you can find out more about JewishGen's activities.  The web site offers a wealth of valuable information.  Among other things, there are:

These programs and databases have all been prepared to provide guidance and information to those searching their Jewish ancestry.

JewishGen's web server also hosts the web pages of other Jewish genealogical organizations, such as various Jewish Genealogical Societies and Special Interest Groups (SIGs), but JewishGen, Inc. does not assume any responsibility for such pages.


Neither JewishGen nor the moderators of the Discussion Group are responsible for the accuracy of information or representations made in messages posted to the JewishGen Discussion Group, nor do they endorse or recommend any products or services described in such messages.

For further information, see the standard JewishGen disclaimer notice on site use and privacy.


For commonly asked questions, see the JewishGen Support Center.

If you have other questions, comments, suggestions, praise, criticisms or other business for the moderators of the JewishGen Discussion Group, send an e-mail to  Please note that this address should not be used for questions about Jewish genealogy — those questions should be sent to the JewishGen Discussion Group.

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Last updated 30-Nov-2013   WSB.
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