Frequently Asked Questions

The Jewish Buffalo History Center website makes materials available to all of those who are interested in Jewish stories and culture in the Buffalo metropolitan region. We showcase experiences from across a community of sub-communities, in an evolving resource. This website has a greater emphasis on the legacies of individuals who are no longer living, and a focus on organizations that are no longer extant or that continue with long histories. We are committed to bringing to the forefront unexplored areas and underrepresented histories. Across each section, we trace individuals and organizations who have played a part in the unfolding stories of Jewish Buffalo.

This website was created with the help of many people and organizations. Please visit our acknowledgments page regularly as it will be updated periodically. We hope that you will share in our excitement about making Jewish history more accessible!

How often will this website be updated? When will my submission be added?

We aim to update the website on a monthly basis. Depending on the volume received, and any additional research necessary, submissions for consideration may take up to two to three months to appear on the website. We will communicate with you throughout the process.

You are using spellings for names and places that aren’t familiar.

In some instances there are variant spellings and we may not have represented them all. In other places we may be in error! Please use this form to let us know.

Some of the addresses aren’t the ones I remember!

We have also noticed that buildings aren’t as stationary as we first supposed! Sometimes an address is listed at 151 [Any Street], but is known in popular memory to have been located at 155. It may indeed be both! We use letterhead and directories to establish an address, but know we may also inadvertently make errors. In addition, while the institution remains in the same physical place, some addresses are changed by the city/town over time. Institutions have also had multiple addresses, and we may not have listed them all. Sometimes only a block level or an area is given for an address. We welcome your comments and your information as we strive to be as accurate as possible.

Some of the founding dates seem later or earlier than I expected—why is that?

Sometimes an organization incorporates long after it forms, sometimes there are debates about when an organization or an event happened. We try to state whether we are using an incorporation or founding date. We do our best to verify these. If you have further information—please let us know here.

Why are some dates fuzzy, using terms like circa, about, “early,” “mid”, “late”?

Dates of the beginning or end of an organization, and even a specific event or a life span are not always listed on a source or are vague themselves. We do our best to verify information, but welcome further information—please let us know here.

A lot of the photographs on the website weren’t created by professionals—why is that?

We are trying to include a wider variety of historical data and are not limiting our inclusion to professionally produced images. If the image is too grainy or blurred we will not include it, however, not every image needs to be sharply defined or artfully composed. We are happy to collect materials for digitization in our collecting areas and return them when we have completed that task, subject to a written agreement that allows us to do that. To upload a contribution, please click here.

I have photographs I’d like you to post anonymously. Is that possible?

We are unable to include photographs anonymously.

Can I submit digital photographs that I took and altered parts of the contents?

We are unable to include photographs that have been manipulated.

I have photographs that are stuck in my album or that have stickers or other labeling on the original photograph/s. Shall I remove them before I give them to you to scan?

It is best to let us can see the images first before any actions are taken. Removing labels or stickers or taking images out of an album can irrevocably damage a photograph.

I have photographs that were created by a professional photographer, can I send them to you?

These creative items are covered by permissions and copyright regulations and we do not have the rights to post such materials without following protocols. This is not always an immediate or guaranteed process, and for that reason we favor images created by the individual or family themselves where the right to use an item can be established more easily.

Can I donate or loan you my own photographs for digitization?

Yes, thank you for considering this option. There are many ways to allow access to your materials, either via permanent donation or loan, both of which are subject to a written agreement/website form check off system. At the moment, we are particularly interested in business images, documents and other materials. Please contact us here.

I like some of the images I see on your website. Do you give your permission to post these images on Facebook or other sites by users of the website?

No we do not. We do not own many of these images and cannot give permission for their publication. We display content with permission through agreements with the agencies, organizations and individuals who provide content to us, and we are not able to transfer these rights. Please contact the relevant organization or individual directly.

Will you convert my old films, so that it can be put on the website?

We don’t currently have the ability to convert film but we can use clips from films that you have converted as long as these are not commercially produced materials or you do not have the rights to use them.

I have an item that is not an original, but a photocopy. Will you accept it?

Generally we do not use photocopies, however sometimes in rare cases, the original is so exceedingly fragile that it is better to take a photograph of the original rather than subject it to scanning. Photocopies, even if not posted to the website, can tell us what existed in the historical record, and what we might seek to find in original form.

Why do you use a form for some married women’s names with their husbands first name, for example, Mrs. Jacob Weinberg—Why not use their own first names?

This is mix of cultural mores of the times (generally pre-1980s) and lack of current information. We welcome updates of this information here.

I went to a linked Newspaper article but can’t get it to open, is the link broken?

The Buffalo News and the New York Times and other current newspapers are paid subscription-based services that allow visitors some free articles each month. If you have a free account, you may have exceeded this allowance. If not, please use the report a broken link form here.

How can I correct a bad link?

Please use the report a broken link form here.

How do I inform you of an error?

Thank you for your help. Please provide information about the items that gives you concern here.

How did you decide what and whom to include in the website?

The website aims to embraces a broad vision of Jewish life in Buffalo. Please make your suggestion here for an event or topic or individual.

How did you determine whether someone was Jewish or not?

We have not limited inclusion to a strict halakhic (legal) definition. Any individual who had a Jewish parent, who converted to Judaism, and/or who self-identifies as Jewish may be included.

How do I visit the Jewish Buffalo Archives at the University Archives?

Due to the pandemic, the University Archives are currently closed. We are looking forward to them opening, and will post information here once they are welcoming back users.

How can I suggest a topic or person for inclusion?

Please contact us here.

How can I contribute to the success of the JBHC?

To make a voluntary financial donation to underwrite the costs of maintaining and expanding this website, please click here.

Can you research family names on my behalf – paid or unpaid?

Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to undertake private research due to its complex and time consuming nature. We have, however, prepared an extensive list of local and national resources that can help. It can be found in the Resource section under “Genealogical Directions.” You can go directly to it here. It includes a list of private for hire researchers that is maintained by the Buffalo History Museum.

I don’t see my question answered here.

Please drop us an email. You may also refer to our privacy policy and terms of use as well as our acknowledgements page.

Last update: March 3, 2021.