How you can help

I want to thank everyone who has already submitted new resources to add to the B&F Encyclopedia of Jewish Genealogy, and everyone who has shared links to the site. It has been gratifying to see how many people have been using the site, and have been submitting new resources. Since the launch I’ve added hundreds of new resources, many submitted by users.

The encyclopedia is intended to be crowd-sourced, with users submitting the bulk of the information. I look at the 11,000+ links I added at the beginning as priming the pump, and I hope the site will grow through user submissions over time to be much larger. It’s amazing how many resources are out there, and since no one can be an expert on every location around the globe, this site relies on the expertise of its users to fill in the missing pieces. Note that if you click on the Add a Resource link at the bottom of every encyclopedia page, it will actually fill in the Country and Province fields for you based on which page you are on (not cities though).


Submitting new resources isn’t the only way to help out, however. The encyclopedia was designed to be interactive. For any resource on the site, you can write a comment about your experience using it. If it’s a book you’ve read, write a review. If it’s a site you’ve found information about your family on, write what you found and how you found it. Know tricks for searching a specific site? Share them. Is a site in a language other than English, then you can write instructions on how to use it in English. Let’s share our communal knowledge about all of these resources, and help more people use them effectively.

I also welcome your comments on how to improve the encyclopedia. I have a page set up to allow the discussion of how to improve the site. Please join the discussion.

If you find a mistake on the site, please let me know. I’m thankful for the user that pointed out South Africa was missing (it wasn’t that I didn’t add South Africa, it was a bug that caused it not to show up). I’ve also run across other strange things like books that had the wrong cover images linked to them. Sometimes links from the same resource (such as the web site and its associated Facebook page) show up on separate lines instead of on one line. I want to know about even small problem like that, as I want everything to be perfect (of course), but also sometimes seemingly small problems are really just the tip of a much bigger problem. For problems on the site, send me a message through the Contact page.

Lastly, you can share links to this site. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, in mailing lists, and even on Pinterest (you’d be amazed how much traffic this site gets from Pinterest). If someone is looking for Jewish genealogy resources for a specific country, send them a link to the country page on this site. It’s actually pretty easy to figure out the links even without going to the main page. The site is organized so the link to a country is simply followed by the country name, so the link to Poland is:

and the link to the United States is:

Note that spaces in country names are replaced with dashes. Of course, you can just go to the front page and see the list of all the countries and copy the link from there. All encyclopedia pages also have links to all countries in the right sidebar. For links to provinces and states, you need to go to the country that province or state is in to get the list. For Polish towns, you can go to the Polish Cities page, or go to the province pages linked to from the main Poland page.

So thank you again for everyone’s help in making the encyclopedia a success. Let’s keep working together to improve it, expand it, and make it an even better resource for Jewish genealogy.

3 thoughts on “How you can help

  1. Congratulations and thank you, Philip, for this excellent resource. The structure is very user friendly and I look forward to contributing to it, especially in the sources of Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile your readers are invited to check out the Links page of, the website of the Jewish Historical & Genealogical Society of Western Australia. Your link is already on our page.

    1. Do you mean to link from the encyclopedia to your personal family trees? I don’t currently have a way to do this, although it is something I’ve been thinking about. Right now everything is geography-based, so there isn’t a way to link to a family. I do link to geographical projects (such as over 100 Geni projects), but not trees.

      It’s interesting that you want to link to three different family tree sites. I suppose I could do that the same way I link to a web site, Facebook and Twitter for the same site (all shown on the same line), except in this case, it would be different versions of the same family’s tree.

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