About Us

 

Welcome to the Kol-Yisrael Web Site

This page contains information for newcomers to the Kol-Yisrael web site. Please read the entire page: You will find that everything here will be important at some point.

Why are we here, and what are we trying to do?

Like the community itself, information of use, value, and interest to the world-wide community of Jews is dispersed, disarrayed, and frequently painfully isolated. The Kol-Yisrael Web Site seeks to provide a comprehensive collection of such information, ordered and formatted in a way that facilitates its use.

In brief, we hope that if it concerns Jews anywhere, you’ll find it here.

Policy, Disclaimers, and Other Unpleasant Matters

Money

For internet users, money is usually a most unpleasant topic.

Rest easy: access to the Kol-Yisrael Web Site is free. Period. And we intend to keep it that way. Basic name-address-telephone number listings in all of our directories are similarly free. And we intend to keep them free, too.

We do offer a number of other services at modest and reasonable cost. If you need or want more than a basic name-address-telephone listing, please contact [email protected] for further information concerning our extended services.

Content restrictions and disclaimers

Because of the litigious atmosphere in the United States at the present time, there are a few things we simply have to put up front so that we won’t have to waste our meager resources defending ourselves against the consequences of honest error.

First, the staff of the Kol-Yisrael site will not intentionally publish anything that is false, intentionally misleading, or patently offensive to the bulk of our intended audience. However, notwithstanding a number of both positive and negative claims to the contrary, because our staff is human, it is fallible. Thus, we must disclaim any liability for damages resulting from the use of material we publish, or the consequences of its use. Upon presentation of evidence that we have made an error, we will exert our best efforts to correct that error in whatever way we believe is most appropriate, ranging from correction of typographical errors to deletion of the offending item (or cancelation of service to the offending account).

In short, we do our best to provide accurate information of interest to our target audience. But you, the reader, are responsible for final verification of accuracy and usefulness. If you are unwilling to accept this responsibility, please leave the site until you are.

Since a common “net abuse” is the use of publicly available directories as the source of addresses for mass solicitations, we would like to remind our visitors that this practice is not only an abuse of the Internet, but is probably a copyright violation as well. In order to protect the privacy of our contributors, we explicitly forbid the use of our directories as sources of addresses for mass solicitation. We intend to enforce this rule rigorously.

Finally, we hope that our contributers and readers will have the good sense and common decency to avoid provoking action to enforce the provisions above, or the editorial prerogatives usually reserved to Web Site managers.

Submissions and contributions

To submit a request for a name-address-telephone number listing, for your institution, organization, or business, please send e-mail to [email protected] . The subject line of your e-mail should read “Request for directory listing.” Within the body of your letter, include the name, address (including zip codes for the US, and both country codes and national equivalent of zip code for countries other than the US), and telephone number (including area and country codes). You may also include a suggestion for the directory heading under which your entry should appear. While Kol Yisrael will make the final decision about where to place your entry, we will try to accommodate requests, and we will make new categories as required. Please note that Kol Yisrael reserves the right to reject listings believed not to meet our standards of accuracy or appropriateness.

Other contributions should also be addressed to [email protected] , but the subject line in the e-mail letter should read “Contribution.” Appropriate contributions include, but are not limited to, such things as useful graphics, clip art, photos, reproductions of valuable manuscripts, articles that should be permanently available, etc. Please do not attach lengthy contributions to your initial e-mail. If you have something large, ask us whether we can use it. If so, we will then make appropriate arrangements with you to get it to our site.

Technical Matters

Even if you are so technically inept that you have difficulty turning your computer on, please read this section anyway. It will tell you a lot about why things appear the way they do, what to expect, and how to make the most of what we have to offer.

Graphics, compatibilities, and other modern wonders

We try to obtain the best possible compromise between file size and appearance for viewing on 1024×768 monitors. Images may appear ragged on larger monitors, or on systems with lower resolution. If you want to reuse graphics we are willing to share (we may not want some of them copied, for various good reasons), we can often provide them in forms that will allow the user to optimize them for different monitors. Ask us.

Just as we like riding around town in our fancy electronified limousine, when it’s not in the shop for repairs, we like surfing the net for really glitzy multi-media stuff, when it’s compatible with the browser we’re currently running. However, when we need to get somewhere reliably, we tend to use the battered old jeep (which just keeps going, and going, and . . . ), and we keep our pages simple enough to work with our venerable version of Tuebingen Mosaic. Anything that works with Tuebingen Mosaic will probably work pretty well with just about any other browser, although one currently popular release did have the temerity to turn the nice granite-grey on our home page into a garish marble pink. So, . . . , if one of our pages does not work with your browser, please try at least one more browser before you complain to us.

Traffic signs

When we’re surfing the net, we really object to stumbling on pages that contain nothing more than a 200,000 byte “under construction” sign, or a page that is sometimes available, and sometimes not. We’ve decided to help our visitors avoid annoyance by using a couple of standard traffic signs to warn them of rough going. Here’s the legend for those signs.

The big caution sign to the right indicates that the page it appears on (except for this one) is currently undergoing major renovation. In general, we avoid allowing our visitors to see pages requiring as much work as those showing this sign, but sometimes we will have to keep a page on line in order to keep important links active. You will rarely see this sign. In any case, you can assume that the construction will be complete in three or four days (at least that is what we plan).

The sign  at the left of a link, on the other hand, simply means that the page pointed to is being worked on (if the link is active), or that the phrase next to the sign is going to become a link in the immediate future. For active links, this sign should be taken to mean, “This page is available, but we are updating it, so you might want to take another look in a few days to see what has changed.”

Finally, the sign  at the left of a link means that you may experience difficulty with this link: It may refer, for example, to a site that is only available at limited times of day, or is so busy that access is difficult (and you will repeatedly get snippity messages about the page being unavailable or the server refusing to serve the page to you). In essence, this sign means, “Come to a full stop, think about what you want to do, and proceed with caution. You may have to take a detour.” Please be assured that as soon as we discover that a link is permanently bad (e.g., no longer exists), we will either remove or disable it. This means, in general, that if you keep trying, you will eventually get through. However, if you find that repeated attempts to use the link fail, please notify us so that we can check it out; we’ll disable or remove it if we find that it really is “bad.”

Fonts, foreign Languages, and [email protected]#$%^&* gobbledygook

We think that directories should not only be searchable (using, say, a search engine), but browsable (meaning the user should be able to scan lists of entries), which means the material must be presented in some reasonable (generally alphabetic) order. For international directories, this leads to severe difficulties: There is no rational way to alphabetize a directory containing entries from numerous “foreign” languages. Since we really can’t please anyone here, we have decided to offend everyone (equally, we hope) by keeping our directories entirely in English, with material from other languages transliterated rather than translated. Monolingual English speakers will, no doubt, be annoyed that we haven’t had the courtesy to translate. Our French friends will certainly object that we leave the accents off the famous “eleve,” used for so long to teach the difference between acute and grave accents. Our Spanish compadres will question our use of “ninos,” wondering just what happened to the “y” that usually hides in the tilde over the second n. And so forth.

Because of our use of transliterations, we ask contributors to provide us with a preferred transliteration. For example, our German-speaking contributors should change “o-umlaut” to “oe,” if they don’t want the character to appear as simply “o” in our directory. There is only one word of caution here: some popular transliteration schemes use a variety of accents and diacritical marks that are not available in the standard ASCII character set. Please do not use any of these schemes. If you do, we will simply have to turn your entry over to one of our linguists (who may not be professional) to retransliterate. The results may not be at all pleasing to the original contributor.

Now for a bit of good news. Just because our directories are in English doesn’t mean we won’t be using Hebrew (and other “foreign-language” fonts) everywhere else. Getting your browser to speak Hebrew may be a bit of a nuisance (and you might want to enlist the aid of computer wizard), but it is doable. If the word νεμω looks chaotic instead of being peacefully readable Hebrew, you will want to look at our computing directory, which contains pointers to a number of sites where you can obtain Hebrew fonts and instructions for convincing your browser to display Hebrew properly.

The Last Word

While our goal to provide a comprehensive reference for the Jewish community is clearly ambitious, it can succeed, with your help. If something you think ought to be here isn’t, tell us. If something here shouldn’t be, tell us. Be critical, be complimentary, but tell us what you think. We need the feedback from our constituency in order to assure that our efforts and limited resources are directed where they should be.