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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ List

I am having trouble using this website. What should I do?

If you experience problems using the contribution form or the map browser on this website please consider upgrading to the latest web browser.

This website is best viewed at 1024 x 768 or higher screen resolution using Mozilla Firefox 1.0+ or Internet Explorer 6.0+ web browsers. This website works best with JavaScript enabled.

If you continue having trouble using this website, please contact us.

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I’m not sure if my story is right for the collection. What are some suggestions of stories you are collecting?

To give you some ideas of what kinds of stories we are collecting, look at StoryStarters: 20 Questions to Ask for Katrina's Jewish Voices.

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I wasn’t personally affected by Hurricane Katrina. Should I still contribute my story, image or other file?

Yes! We want to hear from you. In addition to the stories of those who were directly impacted by Hurricane Katrina, we are interested in hearing about the experiences of members of regional Jewish communities who helped settle and care for evacuees, and individuals and organizations across the country who participated in relief efforts.

We are also interested in your memories of the community before Hurricane Katrina struck, as well as your thoughts and hopes for the future.

Your contributions may be of any length.

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I would like to contribute multiple stories, images, or other files to Katrina’s Jewish Voices. Do I have to upload them one by one?

If you are only submitting a few items, we ask that you upload them one by one through our online interface. Just click on “Add Your Voice” to access the contribution form. You will only be asked to complete the background questions one time. If, however, you would like to submit more than 20 objects, you may contact us to make special arrangements for your contribution.

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If I want to contribute an email, will my email address or the names and email addresses of the recipients be viewable online?

No. We will remove all email addresses. We also suppress the names of the recipients of the email unless we have their permission to publish them. Phone numbers and addresses in the signature of the email are removed.

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Are there any special guidelines for uploading images?

Images and other files larger than 5MB may not be uploaded through the website interface. However, if you would like to contribute files larger than 5MB, please contact us to make special arrangements.

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What are tags? How do I use them?

Tagging is a new, freeform way to categorize items which is being used on a growing number of websites. A tag can refer to a general category or description, such as "Biloxi" or "synagogue," or to a concept, like "hope" or "community," or it can be more personal, "Sanford Cohen." An item can be tagged with as many, or as few tags as seems useful to you. A tag on this site can contain more than one word. Multiple tags are separated by commas.

The large collection of tags that you see on our home page, or the "browse by tags" page, is called a "tag cloud." Inside the "tag cloud," tags are displayed larger and bolder when they are used more often. Thus, you can quickly see what tags other people are using, what items they are categorizing, and which tags are most popular. Clicking on separate tag links will show you other items that share a given tag.

You can add, delete, or edit the tags that you have assigned (but not anyone else's tags) whenever you are logged in to this website. (See also, "How/why do I get an account on this website?") When viewing any specific object while logged in, you will see a list of tags (if any) already assigned to the object. You will also see a text input line in which you can enter your own tags, using commas to separate more than one. When logged in, you can also add, delete, or edit your tags from your MyArchive pages.

If you feel that someone else's tag is inappropriate, you may contact us.

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What is MyArchive? What is it for?

"MyArchive" is the place on the website where you can personalize your experience of Katrina’s Jewish Voices. You must have an account and be logged in to use "MyArchive"—in fact, if you try to visit "MyArchive" without being logged in, you will be taken to a page inviting you to either log in, or to create an account. Once you are logged in, as you browse objects on this site, you will see a badge on the top of each object page inviting you to "Mark as Favorite". You will also see a text input field below any tags inviting you to add your own tags. The "MyArchive" section is where you can see all of those favorites in one place, see and edit a list of tags that you have used, and see any objects that you have contributed. The final tab in "MyArchive" is "MyProfile". This is where you can change your personal information, as well as change your password.

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How/why do I get an account on this website?

Public accounts on Katrina’s Jewish Voices are free, and are created immediately upon request. There are two ways to get an account. (1) If you Add Your Voice for the first time, an account will be created for you automatically. If you choose to add your voice again, if you weren't already logged in, the site will ask you to log in when it comes time to submit the new item, so that you don't have to fill in your personal information again. (2) The second way to set up an account is to click on the "Sign up or sign in" text link that sits on the right-hand side of this page, just below the "Katrina's Jewish Voices" logo at the top of the page.

To set up an account, you need to provide only an email address and a name. A password will be emailed to you. As soon as you receive the password, you can log in. To change your password, your name, or your email address, go to "MyArchive" and choose the "MyProfile" tab.

Once you are logged in, as you browse objects on this site, you will see a badge on the top of each object page inviting you to "Mark as Favorite". You will also see a text input field below any tags inviting you to add your own tags. Favorites and tags can also be edited from the MyArchive section of the site.

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Can I contribute to Katrina’s Jewish Voices if I am not Jewish?

Yes, please submit your contribution if it relates in any way to the story of the Jewish response to Hurricane Katrina or the history of the New Orleans and Gulf Coast Jewish communities.

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I thought JWA only collected women’s stories. Is that true for this collection?

No, for Katrina’s Jewish Voices, we are interested in gathering a diverse collection of materials, from women and men alike. This will contribute to our ability to construct an inclusive historical narrative about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the American Jewish community, and on the larger American society.

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Do I have to make my contribution available to the public?

No. When you submit a story, image or other file to Katrina’s Jewish Voices, we will ask you to consent to a release and to indicate whether or not you want your contribution made public. If you choose to keep it private, it will be held in the Katrina’s Jewish Voices virtual archive, but not made available to the public on the website. If at any time you change your mind and want a public submission made private, or vice versa, you can contact us.

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Are all the stories, images, and other files in Katrina’s Jewish Voices available to the public?

No. If the contributor indicates that s/he wants to restrict access, the object is held in the Katrina’s Jewish Voices archive, but it is not available to the public on the website.

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I recently contributed a story, image or other file to Katrina’s Jewish Voices. Why doesn’t it appear on the website?

Each contribution submitted to Katrina’s Jewish Voices is evaluated and processed by JWA staff. Thus, it may take some time between when you submitted your contribution and when it appears on the website.

Moreover, sometimes JWA staff determines—or you indicate on the consent form—that you lack the necessary ownership rights to an object to release it. In such cases, JWA may contact you, and/or the copyright holder, for further information.

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When I submit materials to Katrina’s Jewish Voices, do I retain the copyright?

Yes. Contributors retain any copyright they may have in the materials they submit to Katrina’s Jewish Voices. JWA owns the copyright to the Katrina’s Jewish Voices website as a whole.

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How do I get permission to use materials from Katrina’s Jewish Voices?

Objects that are publicly available on the Katrina’s Jewish Voices website may be downloaded, printed or used for non-commercial, educational purposes with proper attribution as stipulated in the Terms of Use section.

If you wish to request permission to reproduce, redistribute or use Katrina’s Jewish Voices materials for any other purposes, please contact us.

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How do I cite materials on the Katrina’s Jewish Voices website?

Please use the following format to cite materials on the Katrina’s Jewish Voices website: Author. Title, <URL>, in “Katrina’s Jewish Voices: An Online Collecting Project of the Jewish Women’s Archive” (month day, year). [Note that "month day, year" should reflect the day on which the site was viewed: today.]

For example: Loewy, Rabbi Robert H. “Katrina and Our Jewish Values,” <>, in “Katrina’s Jewish Voices: An Online Collecting Project of the Jewish Women’s Archive” (January 20, 2022 ).

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How do I know that the contents of Katrina’s Jewish Voices are authentic and factually accurate?

Most people who make the effort to submit an object to Katrina’s Jewish Voices share the goal of its organizers—that is, to create a reliable and permanent record about the Jewish communities of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and of the Jewish community’s experiences of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath—and therefore most contributions are authentic.

That said, JWA cannot vouch for the factual accuracy of any individual contribution. We do know, however, that every submission to Katrina’s Jewish Voices—even those that prove to be erroneous, misleading, or dubious—can contribute in some way to the historical record. A misleading individual account, for example, could reveal certain personal and emotional aspects of the event that would otherwise be lost in a strict authentication and appraisal process.

Nevertheless, as with any historical sources (including, for example, newspaper accounts), there are always questions about reliability, and all researchers need to evaluate their sources critically. It is for this reason that Katrina’s Jewish Voices requests information from every contributor—including name, email address, location, zip code, gender, age, occupation, and date received. As part of its evaluation process for each submission, JWA verifies that the contributor exists at the email s/he lists. We also urge researchers to examine the metadata in relation to one another, in relation to the content of the submission, and in relation to other authenticated records. Sound research technique is the basis of sound scholarship. Researchers with particular concerns should contact us for more information.

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How can I help the Katrina’s Jewish Voices project?

First and foremost, by submitting your stories, images, and other files through the website and telling your friends and family about Katrina’s Jewish Voices. You can also help by making a gift of your financial support. This project is made possible only through the generosity of individuals and foundations, and your donation would be gratefully received. If you have any questions about making a contribution of materials or financial support, please contact us.

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