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JewishGen KehilaLinks Project Policy

  1. JewishGen KehilaLinks Project Policy
  2. Definition of a 'Kehila'
  3. Designation of Kehila Project
  4. KehilaLinks Pages 'Under Construction'
  5. Kehila Jurisdiction
  6. Region and District Study Groups
  7. Locations of KehilaLinks Pages
  8. JewishGen Acknowledgements
  9. Copyright Protected Material
  10. Static Lists
  11. Links
  12. Prohibited Material
  13. Ensuring the KehilaLinks Requirements are Followed
  14. Copyright Violations

I.   JewishGen KehilaLinks Project Policy

The JewishGen KehilaLinks Project facilitates what JewishGen was formed to accomplish: the collection and dissemination of information, and encouraging people to work cooperatively towards providing and sharing the information in a public forum.

We believe that information relating to the history of the Jewish people belongs to the Jewish people — past, present and future generations.  JewishGen KehilaLinks is provided as a forum where we all choose to freely share information about the places from which our families originated with anyone who has an interest.  KehilaLinks is for the benefit of all by all who will create, or who have already created, pages honoring their places of ancestral origin.  The following are the guidelines by which the JewishGen KehilaLinks project will be conducted.

II.   Definition of 'kehila'

For the purposes of the KehilaLinks project, a 'kehila' is any city, town or village anywhere in the world which had a Jewish community at any time in its history — a place that has or once had a synagogue, or a Jewish cemetery, or other signs of Jewish communal life.

Smaller localities (e.g.: hamlets, farming communities) may be described on the KehilaLinks pages for a nearby town, or within the pages of a Region and District Study Group.

III.   Designation of a KehilaLinks Project

  1. All KehilaLinks sites must first have signed a KehilaLinks Donor Agreement on file with JewishGen before any material can be placed on a JewishGen web server.

  2. Any kehila (as defined in Section II above) will be included in the KehilaLinks Index Page of the corresponding modern country, providing that a KehilaLinks Page has been completed and is online, or has been designated as being under the three-month construction limit with a start date noted.

  3. If a KehilaLinks page is not yet ready for listing, it will be listed as "Under Construction" on that country's KehilaLinks Index Page for a maximum period of three months, with a projected start date. (See Section IV, below).

  4. No group or person shall have the exclusive right to create a KehilaLinks Page for a locality.  Anyone with an interest in providing a page memorializing ancestral origins has the right to proceed under the direction of the KehilaLinks Project Coordinator, who will have the authority to implement and oversee the three-month period for page completion.

  5. Final approval for a KehilaLinks site rests with JewishGen's Vice President for Editoral and Content Management.  The Vice President's decision will be based on recommendations from the KehilaLinks Project Coordinator, acting in concert with the KehilaLinks Peer Review Committee.

IV.   KehilaLinks Pages "Under Construction"

Only three KehilaLinks Pages may be listed on a KehilaLinks Index Page as being "Under Construction" by one individual or group at a time.  This will ensure that the pages under construction can be placed online within a three-month time frame.  As each "Under Construction" site comes online, an individual or group may add an additional site as being "Under Construction".

If your KehilaLinks site is not ready within the designated three-month time period, the listing will be removed, unless you contact the KehilaLinks Coordinators and request an extension.

VI.   Kehila Jurisdiction

  1. Each kehila will be listed on the KehilaLinks Index Page for the modern country in which it is currently located.

  2. Each kehila will be listed on the KehilaLinks Index Page by its modern native name, as is the standard throughout JewishGen.  One or two alternate names for the place (e.g. pre-war name, Yiddish name) may appear in parenthesis following the modern native town name.

  3. Because a locality was subject to historical boundary changes and could have been included within the boundaries of more than one country during its existence, any KehilaLinks Page may be linked reciprocally to/from any SIG or Research Group focusing on that particular country or region, at the discretion of that SIG or Research Group.

VII.   Region and District Study Groups

Individuals, Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and Regional Research Groups all have a right to set up "Region and District Study Groups" for any geo-political administrative unit they choose.  Such units may be a town, a county or district during a particular historic period, or defined as being encompassed by a reasonable working geographical radius.  All are acceptable and may be determined at the discretion of a group or individual in order to work cooperatively on research and the creation of KehilaLinks Pages.

  1. All Region and District Groups will be listed only on the "Region / District Studies" KehilaLinks Index Page

  2. The places within these areas will be listed on the respective KehilaLinks Index Page for the modern country containing that town — only if:

    1. the locality meets the KehilaLinks Project's definition of kehila;  and
    2. the Region or District Group has actually created and placed a substantive KehilaLinks page for that town online;  and
    3. the resultant effort has the approval as per Section III.5 above.
    The link on the KehilaLinks Index Page will point to the specific KehilaLinks page for that town, and not to the Group's home page.

  3. Those towns without any actual KehilaLinks Page behind them will be handled in accordance with the policy described in Section IV above, which allows a person or group to have no more than three KehilaLinks Pages "Under Construction" at a time.

  4. Any person who has created or will create a KehilaLinks Page for a locality within an area defined by a group shall not be compelled to be part of that group.

VIII.   Location of KehilaLinks Pages

  1. All KehilaLinks Project pages will be housed on the JewishGen servers.  Pages housed on offsite servers will not be considered part of the JewishGen KehilaLinks Project.

  2. KehilaLink pages not on the JewishGen servers are not entitled to use the trademarked terms "JewishGen" or "KehilaLinks", or use the JewishGen or KehilaLinks logos.  Offsite pages are also not able to link directly to the JewishGen databases.  (Direct database access from non-JewishGen servers has been disabled, for security purposes, to prevent data mining and viruses).

IX.   JewishGen Acknowledgements

  1. KehilaLinks Logo:   All KehilaLinks pages are required to use the standard JewishGen KehilaLinks logo, referenced via HTML code such as: <IMG src="/images/KehilaLinksLogo.jpg">   Should the KehilaLinks page webmaster decide not to use this logo, a smaller-sized one may be used, provided that it is displayed with the print large enough to be clearly visible and legible.  In concert with the smaller logo, the text "This site is hosted by JewishGen, Inc. and part of the KehilaLinks Project" must appear.  The designer may choose the placement of the smaller logo taking into consideration the aesthetic impact on the total page.

  2. KehilaLinks Index Link:   All KehilaLinks sites must have a link back to the main KehilaLinks Page and/or the JewishGen Home Page.

  3. Webmaster Identification:   Each KehilaLinks site's webmaster must be reachable and identified by name and/or a linked e-mail address on the town's home page.  The KehilaLinks site's creator, or someone designated and authorized by the site's creator, is responsible for ongoing maintenance of his or her site.

  4. JewishGen-erosity Link:   A link to the JewishGen-erosity pages that are appropriate to the research interests of readers is strongly encouraged.

    Wording such as "This page is hosted at no cost to the public by JewishGen, Inc., a non-profit corporation.  If you feel there is a benefit to you in accessing this site, your JewishGen-erosity is appreciated." should be linked to

X.   Copyright Protected Material

JewishGen cannot post any copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder.  Since we have no blanket permissions from any source, you are responsible for getting that permission.  Your responsibility for any permissions is defined in the generic JewishGen Donor Agreement at

  1. All copyright protected material must contain the legend "Permission to print granted by [insert name of person or organization] on [insert date]".

  2. Any donated text must properly cite the source (author(s), title, publication date/place, archival source citation, etc.) and have a donor agreement on file with JewishGen.

  3. Photographs of any recognizable living persons require permission either of the person or the owner of the photograph. (The rule of thumb, for the time being, is that on pictures taken before 1925, all persons who appear to be adults can be considered to be no longer alive).

  4. Violations of copyright will be handled as described under Section XV, below.

Attorneys are still reviewing some of the copyright laws as they apply to the internet, thus it may be necessary to change these rules in the future.

XI.   Static Lists

KehilaLinks pages should cooperate with existing JewishGen programs; not compete with or duplicate them.  In order to avoid duplications of effort and data, to promote uniformity, and to provide ease-of-use for researchers, the following JewishGen publishing standards and policies apply to lists of data:

  1. Databases:
    Any list of more than 2,500 items (i.e. 2,500 records, 2,500 individuals) should not be placed directly on a KehilaLinks page as a static list — all such lists should be placed in a searchable JewishGen Database instead.  Please review the "Contributing Databases to JewishGen — Guidelines for Contributors" at$description.html, and contact the Database Project Manager to proceed.  Reciprocal links between the relevant databases and KehilaLinks pages are recommended and encouraged — see the KehilaLinks documentation.

    Databases or portions of databases already online should not be duplicated on a KehilaLinks page.  Instead, the searchable database should be linked to from a KehilaLinks page.

  2. Temporary Static Lists:
    To promote the availability of information not yet online in a searchable JewishGen Database, a temporary static listing of data is permitted on a KehilaLinks page.  However, this data must be removed as soon as the data is available in a JewishGen Database in searchable format.

  3. Researchers' surnames of interest:
    Lists of researchers and their surnames and towns of interest may not be included — all researchers should be encouraged to list their surname/town interests in the JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) instead, and the KehilaLinks Page should provide a direct link to the JGFF, as described in the KehilaLinks documentation.

    This policy is in place to protect the privacy of researchers, by ensuring that their names and contact information can not be captured and reported via web search engines, thus making them readily accessible to spammers.  The use of the JGFF also helps to ensure that all contact information is always up-to-date.

  4. Cemetery / Burial Data:
    We require that all burial data must be submitted to the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR).  However, we realize that a visual perusal of a static list of this type can be a useful way of making connections, so burial lists may also be presented in static form on a KehilaLinks Page.  Photos of cemeteries and an occassional headstone may be included.

  5. Family Trees:
    Extensive family trees should not be placed on KehilaLinks pages.  Instead, they should be submitted to JewishGen's Family Tree of the Jewish People (FTJP).

XII.   Links

All links to external web sites must be genealogically related. KehilaLinks sites can not link to commercial vendors, with the exceptions noted below.  If there are any questions, check with the KehilaLinks Coordinators.

  1. External web sites: Links to external web sites may be used to enhance or provide additional resources or information only when the primary purpose of the site is not commercial.  However, there are exceptions to this rule.  Some specific examples might help ensure clearer understanding of when a link to a commercial site is permitted:

    • If a publisher is willing to grant permission for the inclusion on a KehilaLinks Page of a copyright protected portion of a book far greater than what would be "fair use", then we permit a link to that publisher's site or business address.
    • If the KehilaLinks Page included a mention of a book or a list of titles, no hyperlink to the publisher would be allowed, since there is nothing being granted to the KehilaLinks Page that is out of the ordinary.
    • If a commercial site provided a free resource of genealogical interest, there could be a link to that commercial site.
    • If the same commercial site instituted a fee to access the above resource, there could be no link to the site, but the URL could be listed on the KehilaLinks Page as a genealogical resource.

  2. Professional researchers and their addresses may be listed as a resource, but they may neither be recommended nor criticized, and there may be no live link to their e-mail addresses.  Additionally, the following disclaimer is required: "This listing implies no warranty on the part of JewishGen or this KehilaLinks page and is provided only as a convenience.  All researchers are encouraged to investigate each professional listed privately, thus performing due diligence prior to engaging in any contractual arrangement."

XIII.   Prohibited Material

  1. Page creation programs / Hit counters:  No commercial mentions of the program used to create the page or the program used to create a hit counter are permitted.  For more detail on page usage, set up Google Analytics for your site.

  2. Yizkor Book material:  No material from a published Yizkor Book may appear on a KehilaLinks Page — all Yizkor Book material should appear only on the JewishGen Yizkor Book Project site.  Reciprocal links between the KehilaLinks Pages and the respective material about a locality on the JewishGen Yizkor Book Project are recommended and encouraged.
    [A Yizkor Book is defined as one listed in the Appendix B, "Bibliography of Eastern European Memorial (Yizkor) Books", in Estelle Guzik's Genealogical Resources in the New York, (New York: Jewish Genealogical Society, 2003), pages 302-361.  This list of books can also be found on the JewishGen Yizkor Book Bibliographic Database].

  3. Travel Agencies:  No links to travel agencies are permitted, but the KehilaLinks pages can include material freely provided by travel agencies to encourage trips to a particular location or to augment learning.

  4. Negative comments:  No negative comments about a researcher, archive or organization is permitted on any site hosted by JewishGen.

  5. Items for Sale:  No items for sale may be handled through a KehilaLinks page. 

  6. Mailing Lists:  If there is a mailing list associated with a place, the KehilaLinks page may include a suggestion to "join a mailing list", linking to the subscription site.  However, no JewishGen-hosted page may contain the logo of another organization or a link mentioning that organization.

  7. Records Acquisition:  No KehilaLinks page may solicit funds or promote a project to facilitate the acquisition of records on behalf on an individual or small group of people.  Any records acquisition project must be directed towards the acquisition or indexing of a complete body of records, which will provide a future lasting benefit to the entire JewishGen community.  These records will be placed in a JewishGen Database.  A link to a specific JewishGen-erosity page may be used as a source of fundraising for an approved records acquisition project.

  8. Fundraising:  There can be no fundraising or solicitation for any non-JewishGen project or organization, no matter how worthy.

XIV.   Ensuring the Requirements for KehilaLinks are Followed

  1. Before embarking on any new project, KehilaLinks webmasters and coordinators are advised to consult with the KehilaLinks Project Coordinator, so that duplication of other projects, either in negotiation or under construction, does not occur.

  2. FTP access may be granted to a KehilaLinks webmaster under the internal guidelines established by JewishGen.  No new pages will be linked to a KehilaLinks Index Page until the KehilaLinks Peer Review Committee has had a chance to review and recommend inclusion.

  3. Non-adherence to the requirements should be brought first to the attention of the KehilaLinks Project Coordinator to enable correction, if necessary.  If it is not possible to accomplish correction within 7-10 days, the KehilaLinks site should be hidden until such time as the necessary corrections are accomplished.  If satisfactory corrections are not made within one month of their having been brought to the attention of KehilaLinks site owner, it shall become the responsibility of the JewishGen Operations Committee or Vice President for Content Management to take appropriate action.  (See Copyright Violations, below).

  4. All new KehilaLinks sites will be reviewed by the KehilaLinks Peer Review Committee, under the direction of the KehilaLinks Project Coordinator, before being listed on a KehilaLinks Index Page.  All modifications to an existing KehilaLinks page should be brought to the attention of the KehilaLinks Project Coordinator as soon as they are added, and the Project Coordinator or his/her designee will conduct the review.  Anything requiring correction will be addressed expeditiously by the KehilaLinks site owner and only in the event of a serious problem will the page be hidden until corrected.

XV.   Copyright Violations

From time to time, JewishGen is notified of a potential copyright violation on a KehilaLinks site.  We recognize that everyone is doing their due diligence to ensure that the copyright laws are respected.  We also recognize that not all complaints are justified or accurate.

However, in any case, the following policies will be followed should there be a complaint regarding a violation of copyright.

These policies have been reviewed by JewishGen's legal counsel in order to protect both you, the donor, and JewishGen, and in no way reflects the quality of the work and the appreciation JewishGen has for the labor of love that volunteers are putting into JewishGen's KehilaLinks Project.  We hope you will work with us quickly and efficiently so that we can properly investigate the complaint and be able to render a proper legal judgment.

When a complaint is received, the actions stated below will be taken by the KehilaLinks Project Coordinator or by an officer of JewishGen, or by both:

  • JewishGen's legal counsel and JewishGen Operations Committee will be notified immediately of the complaint.
  • The material that is in question will be temporarily hidden.
  • The complainant will be notified that the above action has been taken temporarily until an investigation is undertaken.
  • The KehilaLinks Project Coordinator and a member of the JewishGen Operations Committee will investigate the charges, and a finding will be presented to the Operations Committee for a final recommendation.
  • Based on the recommendations of the Operations Committee, the challenged material will be permitted to go live again, or a request will be made to remove the material permanently.

By consensus: Warren Blatt, Joyce Field, Carol Skydell, for the JewishGen Executive Committee
November 13, 2001. Updated Nov 13 2003; Dec 1 2004; Apr 23 2005; May 31 2006.

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