Judaism: Understanding and Connecting with the Jewish Faith
The communities and resources of the Internet are perfect for learning about Judaism, and bringing members of the Jewish faith closer together. This guide will teach you about the oldest of the Abrahamic religions, including sacred Jewish texts, Jewish law, and Jewish holidays. There are also resources for helping Jews practice their religion, and tools for learning about Hebrew, Yiddish and other Jewish languages. It is often difficult to find kosher food and wine, but this guide will make that task easier. With the Internet, Jewish news, Judaica products, Jewish blogs and dating sites are also at your fingertips.
The oldest of the Abrahamic religions, Judaism is, surprisingly, not well understood. The common perception of Judaism is uninformed and made up of stereotypes and superficial facts. This perhaps stems from its non-evangelical nature and the reluctance of some sects of Judaism to teach outsiders about the faith. Fortunately there are many sites that have opened up this ancient faith to the inquisitive mind.
- Unlike many other faiths, Judaism is not simply a matter of religious belief but rather encompasses in differing ways the concepts of culture, nationality, history, and, some argue, ethnicity. Being Jewish can mean very different things for different Jews. Use these sites to explore the different perspectives and lifestyles the term includes.
- Many Jewish holidays' exact dates differ slightly depending on whether or not you're in Israel. Make sure which one a Web site is referring to before marking your calendar.
- The sites in this section on Jewish holidays provide overviews and explanations. For practical information on observing these holidays, explore the sites in the "Practicing Judaism" section of this guide.
For information about the Jewish religion ...
is written from an Orthodox perspective but does a good job of educating on all aspects of Judaism. Searchable and organized by topic, all the content headings are tagged for their level of difficulty, so whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced in your knowledge of Judaism, you'll find interesting and appropriate articles on this broad and comprehensive site.
's unique "Ask Moses" feature connects you live to an online scholar ready to answer any question you might have about Judaism. The site also has a large number of past questions and answers available for you to browse and search.
's clean and slick site is a great resource for anyone interested in Judaism no matter their religion, knowledge base, or involvement in the community. The Hassidic sect's site hosts a wealth of content on almost any aspect of Judaism, and its interaction with the rest of society in particular, such as with the articles in the "Torah and Science" sub-section of the "Ideas and Beliefs" section, accessible through the left navigation bar. You can also connect with the Lubavitch community worldwide using this site.
, housed at Torah.org, brings you all kinds of information about Judaism in a number of ways. Through interesting articles, e-mail based classes, audio, forums, and the "Ask the Rabbi" feature and archives, you can get a truly grand Judaic education here. A bevy of links for online learning, as well as Jewish online greeting cards and other fun tools, complete this rich site.
's site tackles some of the more controversial or sensitive topics related to Judaism, such as its teachings about abortion, homosexuality, and the environment, as well as Christian-Jewish relations. This secular organization's goal is to alleviate tensions between faiths. Its information on the Jewish faith contains nonbiased descriptions of the scriptures, Jewish stories, common Judaic beliefs, historical anti-Semitism, current important Jewish interactions, and even non-theological Jewish groups.
's site won't win any beauty awards, and its shoddy organization can try your patience, but it nonetheless delivers a large amount of audio and video recordings of Jewish music, speeches, and teachings.
For online Jewish texts ...
Navigating the BIBLE II
's excellent Torah tool displays the original Hebrew with n'kudot (vowel marks) section by section alongside the English translation and transliteration. Clicking on the speaker symbol next to any Hebrew line plays an audio recording of the line being read aloud. This tool is also available with Russian and Spanish translations. Further explore the site for additional tools for Torah study, genealogy, the Jewish calendar, and more.
's somewhat disorganized site has a number of different Torah texts to choose from for English, Hebrew, or Portuguese speakers, with accompanying audio recordings for some. You'll also find other information on Judaism based upon the content of the Judaism 101 site mentioned previously.
The Internet Sacred Text Archive
's Texts of Judaism page has an extensive amount of Jewish texts and commentary available for free online or for sale on DVD-ROM, starting at $20.
For answers on Jewish law ...
you can pose a question to the resident experts regarding Jewish law, or peruse the archives of past questions, organized by topic. You'll also find Jewish legal forms available to download for free here. The site is also available in Russian.
For information about Jewish holidays ...
gives a listing of the Jewish holidays, some better known than others, with brief summaries and calendar dates. Click a specific holiday to learn the story behind it, how to celebrate it, and recipes for traditional foods specific to the chosen holiday. On the right side of the page there are links specifically to help you find the right dates and times to celebrate for each Gregorian calendar year.
has an extensive listing of Jewish holidays and is made child-friendly by its illustrated logos, simplistic information, crafts, brief vocabulary lists, fun activities, and more. This site is helpful for parents who want to share the holidays with their children while refreshing their own knowledge on the subject. For the uninitiated, a good place to start is with the "Hebrew Calendar" button at the bottom right of the page, which explains the ways the Hebrew months and years differ from the "civil" (Gregorian) ones.
Practicing Judaism can be tricky, even for the strictest observers. With a lunar calendar, days that begin at sundown, and thousands of years of tradition, it's no embarrassment to rely on some electronic help to keep track of it all. The tools on these sites can give you that helping hand for understanding Jewish practices.
- Most of the sites in this section are intended primarily for fairly observant Jews. However if you have an interest in the Hebrew calendar, language, or the workings of Jewish holidays, you still might find them of interest.
- The Jewish calendar is a lunar one, not in sync with the Gregorian calendar, and the Jewish day begins at sundown. Do not rely on Gregorian dates from one year to the next for any Jewish holiday or event.
- If you're looking for a synagogue or other prayer location, use the "Locating a Synagogue" section of this guide.
has a number of free online tools to help you navigate the Hebrew calendar and its holidays, and to convert dates and events to the Gregorian calendar. Many of the calendars and results it generates for you are available to download for iCal, Palm devices, and Outlook. It also has a Torah tool with complementary audio files.
's site provides prayer times in English and Hebrew for any location in the world based upon the location ID or U.S. zip code and date you enter. This convenient tool also allows you to print out a monthly table, as well as access this information over your mobile phone through SMS.
The Chai Air Travel Tables
enable those traveling between different time zones to easily compute when to perform their prayers. Just input your flight details into the site's simple interface and you've got your schedule.
bills itself as the worldwide minyan database. On this site you can find and connect with minyans everywhere, as well as make use of the various other services and tools it provides for your davening needs.
sells a variety of Jewish software designed to aid you in your religious and language education, as well as in the practice of Judaism
is a virtual lending library of Torah lecture MP3s. For $9.95 a month you can take out up to 50 lectures a day on all aspects of Torah. To "return" files you simply delete them from your hard drive, and as such the entire system is based on the honor code.
has collected an enormous amount of databases, tools, projects, and links to help you trace your Jewish ancestry and reconnect with the past. Though the site can be overwhelming and hard to figure out, here lies the serious firepower you need to trek back through the ages of Jewry.
To download or buy Jewish software for your mobile devices ...
bills itself as a first in Judaic software. Among its catalog it has a number of Torah and prayer programs for your iPod, Palm Pilot, and other mobile devices, such as iDaven or Esh Siddur (the complete siddur for your PDA).
has a number of programs to make the lives of practicing Jews easier through their Palm Pilots. The site is a bit bogged down by ads so to find the programs you want, use the expandable list on the lower left of the page. Choose a category, click "search," and then scroll down to find the product list.
The Homer Calendar
is here to help you count the omer. This whimsical site is also a very useful tool for keeping track of the days throughout the long period of omer. Who knew the Simpsons were Jewish?!
is an add-on to GPS devices, pinpointing kosher restaurants when driving. With over 1,000 restaurants listed in the U.S. and Canada, you may never have to worry about maintaining your kosher diet again. With the $18 download, you also receive a free add-on listing 2,000 locations to attend an Orthodox Minyan. You can read more about these products at The Jewish Advocate.
Hebrew is the holy language of Judaism, the language of the Torah and of prayer. But for hundreds, even thousands of years Jews around the world have been speaking many other Jewish languages, like Yiddish, using them to sustain traditions, culture, and history. Although many are on the decline, they still live, and the Internet has the resources to connect you to these timeless Jewish tongues.
- Most Jewish languages, including Yiddish, are written with some sort of alphabet based on Hebrew. To view sites written in these languages make sure you have the correct settings on your Web browser and all the correct character sets installed.
- A language, though perhaps preserved, is not truly alive if not spoken. If you're really interested in any of the languages featured below, think about using these sites to connect with speaking classes in your area.
- A classic now updated and revitalized, Leo Rosten's The New Joys of Yiddish is a comprehensive lexicon of all the Yiddish that has made its way into our everyday English, and then some. It's a stepping stone to the Yiddish language for anyone with the chutzpah to try. Buy it here.
- The Hebrew word for the Hebrew language is Ivrit. Hebrew, like Greek, has various ancient forms as well as a modern, spoken incarnation. For publications in modern Ivrit, check out the "Finding Jewish News" section of this guide.
For information on all Jewish languages ...
The Jewish Language Research Website
's clickable world map brings you information on Hebrew, Yiddish, and all the other Jewish languages of the world, such as Ladino and Jewish Arabic. You can find descriptions of their histories, written and audio samples, and links galore. This very informative site's simple design also makes it very fast to load, and easy to use.
For information about and tools for Hebrew ...
Hebrew for Christians
, though it might seem an odd source of knowledge of the Jewish language, is one of the best stores of Hebrew educational tools and explanations on the Web. This site, produced by a messianic Jewish lay scholar, provides an education in the background, history, and inner workings of the Hebrew language. A messianic Jew is one who believes in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but bases much of their religious study in the texts and traditions of Judaism, and as such is in fact Christian.
is the official online Hebrew educational franchise of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. On its vibrant site you can sign up for classes taught over the Web for all levels of Hebrew, as well as make use of the educational resources they offer, including a phrase guide. For its sister site on Classical, or Biblical Hebrew, go to http://www.classicalhebrew.com.
History of the Hebrew Language
is not for the feint of heart. This simple site gives a comprehensive and highly technical history of the Hebrew language from an anthropological and linguistic perspective.
For information about Yiddish ...
's Yiddish page gives a great overview to this Jewish language, including its history, culture, characteristics, alphabet, and more. Before you explore the Yiddish world, read this page.
The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
has a number of online archives, research programs, and education resources and information, including Yiddish courses at NYU and elsewhere. Founded in 1925 by Albert Einstein, among others, the institute's site has a large number of Yiddish links, as well as all kinds of Yiddish language and culture resources.
The University of Pennsylvania
hosts this chart showing both the print and written versions of each Yiddish letter, as well as their names and pronunciations.
To translate between English and Yiddish ...
ECTACO Electronic Translators' Web
site has perhaps the only free English-Yiddish translator online. Type in either language (only one word at a time) to translate to the other.
For Yiddish language news and publications ...
The Yiddish Forward
is the oldest and most respected Yiddish language publication in the United States. Published continuously for over 100 years, and having spawned an English-language version (featured in the "Where can I go for Jewish news?" section) this paper reports on Jewish and Yiddish issues, as well as world affairs.
For Yiddish cultural resources ...
The Dora Teitelboim Center for Yiddish Culture
connects you to a number of Yiddish culture and language resources, including online language classes (for a fee), radio programs, books, and Miami-area Yiddish cultural events. The center has also made a movie about the demise of Yiddish theater and culture in the Miami area, a trailer for which is available online.
NPR's Yiddish Radio Project
has done a huge service to the Yiddish language with this archive of Yiddish radio programs, documentaries, and exhibits about Yiddish radio, and a general hub for this culturally rich era in Jewish history, all aimed to rescue Yiddish radio recordings. Even more amazing is the site's "Yid-O-Matic" feature for their RealPlayer audio files that provides an instant English translation for all Yiddish audio content.
The Forward Hour
, broadcast by The Yiddish Forward, is available for online listening and is fully archived as well. Go here for international and cultural news, all in Yiddish.
The Yiddish Voice
's site has archived a number of episodes from this Boston-area Yiddish radio program. Check out its Yiddish links page for an enormous list of Yiddish sites, blogs, and resources.
brings you an animated version of the hit book "Yiddish with Dick and Jane." Ostensibly a satire of the original popular children's book, this offbeat feature is actually a great way for a novice to get introduced to some of the most common Yiddish words, many of which are used among English speakers today. To top it off, check out the even nuttier-and quite liberal-sequel, "Yiddish with George and Laura" (yes, that George and Laura).
The word kosher has crept into the English language retaining most of its original meaning of "proper." It is used by Jews to describe food that satisfies codified rules of eating and cooking known as kashrut, but kashrut remains an enigma to many non-Jews, and finding kosher groceries and restaurants remains a challenge to many Jews. Use the sites below to educate yourself on kosher food and wine ... and feed yourself.
- There are number of different kosher certifying agencies, some considered stricter than others. If you're shopping for Jewish friends or relatives, make sure to find out what their kosher standards are beforehand.
- This article from United Jewish Communities explains the history of keeping kosher as well as how the kosher tradition has developed over the years.
- If you can't find what you're looking for from the sites below, a quick search might yield a local database or list of kosher restaurants and stores for your city or town. For example, this list organizes kosher restaurants in New York geographically.
For information about kosher food and kashrut ...
's thorough guide to kosher food is divided into easy sections such as "Why Observe?", "How Difficult?", "General Rules," and "Kashrut Certification." The site also provides a number of useful links to other kashrut-related sites.
The Orthodox Union
's cleanly designed site gives a detailed explanation about kosher products, answering the questions about what the term means, what the deeper meaning of the law behind being kosher is, and what exactly a kosher label signifies. Navigate through the left sidebar for an explanation of kosher, or click on "Kosher for Consumers" for more information on buying and eating kosher. If you have further questions, you can use the OU's "Ask a Kosher Question" feature to get answers.
is a valuable resource for anyone trying to navigate the modern world while staying kosher. With lists of kosher products, restaurants, and symbols, as well as articles on kosher issues such as travel, recipes, and a link to ask a rabbi your own kosher question, this site serves as a kosher database for the consumer.
provides explanations on just about every aspect of kashrut through articles, questions and answers, and informative guides. This kosher certification organization's site also has a section for businesses seeking to be certified.
To find kosher food ...
's kosher restaurant database lists thousands of restaurants around the world. Search by metropolitan area, restaurant name, or category to find helpful information including hours of operation, type of cuisine, and the all-important comments from patrons.
's kosher message board is an open forum to ask and answer questions about what, where, and how to find and make great kosher food.
lets you browse and search to order from a large inventory of OU kosher-certified products, so you can stay healthy and fit no matter what your kosher standards are.
Kosher Sports, Inc.
operates kosher concession stands in a number of professional sports stadiums and centers. Here is a list of the locations.
For kosher wine ...
Nextbook's Sara Ivry
takes an informative and humorous look into the history of kosher wine and just what exactly makes it kosher.
Gems In Israel
brings you this short article to clearly explain what makes a wine kosher, and just what mevushal actually is. Click through the left sidebar to read its other interesting features on the history and regions of Israeli wine.
allows you to search its large catalog of kosher wines according to color, varietal, region, producer, and mevushal status. This easy-to-use site provides user reviews for their reasonably priced wines, and even has a wine club option if you want an easy, no-hassle way to get acquainted with kosher wines.
's kosher wine club chooses a variety of wines to ship to you regularly, using your own ratings and reviews to tailor the selection to your taste.
The Kosher Wine Society
offers educational events, workshops, discounts, and a service to help you build and stock your own custom wine cellar. This organization, founded in 2005, is young and growing with the kosher wine industry.
The Kosher Wine Guy
's color-coded reviews help you find an outstanding kosher wine with minimal searching. This reviewer's down-to-earth opinions on wine, tasted with food in real-life settings, make this site approachable and easy to use.
and its sister site, Kosherfest, bring together the kosher business community. On this site you can subscribe to its weekly kosher business newsletter, and get information about the annual kosher food and beverage convention it holds.
The Jewish community is a strong one, but with such a small number of Jews spread over the world, for some it can be a distant one. Luckily for those far-flung Jews, or even for those in the thick of it who want more contact with their community, there are sites galore to further bind the Jewish community, locally and worldwide.
- There are a number of national and international Jewish organizations, but community thrives on local interaction. If you can't find what you're looking for online, start your own local group.
- The center of any Jewish community is the synagogue. To find one near your home, office, or vacation spot, read the "Locating a Synagogue" section of this guide.
For Jewish portal sites ...
takes its name seriously with its Kotel Camera, giving you a live view of the Western Wall in Jerusalem-just one of many features on this broad Jewish portal site. Come here to get connected in whatever way you prefer with the greater international Jewish community, including interesting and offbeat articles and blogs. You can even pose questions to a rabbi here and link up to a Jewish dating Web site.
The Frum Community
's region selection feature lets you focus on local offerings among the jobs, real estate, merchandise, and more that are listed on this site. Besides its commercial offerings, you're treated to a collection of articles, news, blogs, and forums focused on the frum community.
To connect and stay connected with the Jewish community ...
organizes local Jewish events and opportunities by city. Find Jewish organizations, religious services, social events, and volunteer opportunities with its calendar and RSVP to activities through the site. You can also browse the activities targeted toward different groups such as families, young adults, singles, and senior citizens. Be warned: the list of cities in its database is not very extensive.
The JCC Association
is an organization of Jewish community centers around the country whose purpose is to bring Jewish communities together by offering a wide range of services and resources. As there are more than 350 program centers in the United States, use the "Find a JCC" tool to participate in your local Jewish activities sponsored by the JCC.
is a popular place to announce weddings, births, engagements, aliyah, and other happy events. You can browse through other people's announcements and view their pictures, as well as leave comments and congratulations for them, or you can post your own simcha announcement. The site is busy with ads and not the most well designed, but is heavily trafficked.
To further your Jewish education ...
Partners in Torah
offers seven types of free programs, all designed to help you further your Jewish knowledge in only an hour a week. Sign up to connect with a more experienced member of the Jewish community to study Jewish identity and history, the Torah, and Hebrew over the phone, in person, with other busy professionals, in your home, on your college campus, or with other Birthright Israel alumni. If you are already knowledgeable, you can conversely sign up to help a less experienced Jew study. Partners in Torah also runs occasional retreats with speakers and community activities.
For Jewish youth groups ...
The North American Federation of Temple Youth
(NFTY) is the premier organization for young Reform Jews. On this robust site you can find out about all the organization has to offer, including social events, youth camps, summer programs doing community work in Israel or the United States, other youth programs, and how you can get involved with them all.
United Synagogue Youth
(USY) is the preeminent youth organization for Conservative Judaism. Similar to NFTY in purpose, USY also offers year-long and school year programs with information on how to enroll, along with articles and magazines, information on Judaism, and tips on how to get involved with the group.
The National Conference of Synagogue Youth
completes the triad of youth organizations, serving primarily the Orthodox community though open to all Jews. This organization attempts to counter assimilation with a number of programs designed to further youngsters' Jewish education and identity, including trips in North America, Europe, and of course Israel. The site's homepage is littered with a great many banners linking to various features about Jewish life, culture, and religion.
Finding the right synagogue, or any synagogue at all, can be a challenge. It can seem like an endless quest searching for a place of worship with the right social and religious culture. Luckily there are a number of resources online to help you, whether you're new to an area, disenchanted with your old synagogue, isolated from the greater Jewish community, or just looking for a quick minyan.
- Because the content of the minyan directories listed below are user generated, they often display different results, so it is good to check both for a full listing.
- Jewish communities throughout the world have tightened security due to safety concerns, and some can be quite wary of outsiders. When visiting a synagogue while traveling, especially internationally, it can be helpful to call ahead.
To find a local synagogue ...
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
allows users to search for local Conservative Jewish places to worship. Click your state on the map or enter your city or zip code below it to get an extensive listing of area synagogues. Symbols next to synagogue names indicate times of prayer services and the size of the synagogue's membership.
The Union for Reform Judaism
includes a directory of Reform Jewish places of prayer by state, regional office, NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth) region, or a search criterion of your choice.
The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
ets you choose your state and then find your city on a list of Reconstructionist synagogues' and centers' sites. Each listing includes contact information as well as a link to the Web site.
The Orthodox Union
has this simple and effective search tool to connect you with the closest Orthodox synagogue. Results list contact information for each synagogue, including the Web site and e-mail addresses if available.
To find a local minyan ...
's simple and powerful interface uses GoogleMaps to quickly show you the local Minyanim in your area, based on the zip code or city you enter. It also lists the results with links to specific information for each, as well as schedules for morning, afternoon, and evening prayers, all neatly organized and separated for your convenience.
, noted earlier in this guide for its various davening tools, has a searchable directory for Orthodox synagogues and minyanim. Click on the link of your local Orthodox Jewish group for the address, times of prayer, and a link to a map and directions. You can use the "Minyan Maps" to find your city marked with its Orthodox prayer sites.
This is the section your mother's been wanting you to read. With the proliferation of Jewish dating sites, you can easily hook up with other Jewish singles for a nice conversation, a fun relationship, or even marriage. We've sifted through the Jewish dating sites and have found the ones that best help you find whatever, and whomever, your heart desires.
- The Jewish online dating world and social networking scene is a mixed one. There are very observant Orthodox Jews looking for marriage or companionship, there are secular Jews trying to find a date for Friday night, there are Jews of all types looking to connect with Israel, and there are even non-Jews who want to find a nice Jewish girl or boy. Deciding what you want before you start looking will help you figure out which of the sites recommended in this section are the best fit for you.
- Many Jewish social networking or dating sites offer free limited memberships that allow you to browse profiles and create your own, but require fee-based memberships for e-mailing, instant messaging, and other easy ways to interact with other members.
- For a humorous look at the strange world of online "frum" classifieds, take a look at this article from the weekly Silicon Valley newspaper Metro.
For casual Jewish dating or social networking ...
is the most popular Jewish dating site around, even attracting non-Jews who dig the scene. Primarily for a younger, hipper audience, this site is free for limited use, ensuring a large membership, but if you want more power to connect you should pay the $25-$40 monthly fee to find your special Jewish someone. JDate offers many features such as member profiles, instant messaging, e-mail, and "flirts" (a light way of letting someone know you're interested).
, a mix of Facebook, JDate, and MySpace, is not just for dating. With Shmooze you can post a profile, create a blog, show your pictures, buy Israeli (and other) music, and more, all for free. Explore all the members and groups this hip network has to offer or just, well, shmooze.
's focus on community, connections, inspiration, and prayer give it a vibe that's laid-back and less intense than many other social networking sites. You can use the site to reconnect with old friends; find people to pray with; share your ideas, interests, and photos with other members; and, if you like, look for people to date. If you're observant and don't feel like jumping into the more intense dating sites, Frumhere's friendly site could be for you.
features some useful options for connecting with others such as its "Hookup" section, where you can let others know if you'll be in a certain city and want to meet up. Its quick personality test with questions like "Coffee or Tea" and "Health Nut or Mcfriendly" is indicative of its hip, younger focus.
is similar to other sites in price structure but lets you make use of their unique "click" feature to find matches while maintaining some anonymity. If you click "yes" on another member's profile, Jewish Mingle sends them a list of possible matches that includes you, without telling them which people actually clicked yes. It's like a more sophisticated version of passing one of those "Do you like me? Check yes, no, or maybe" notes in elementary school.
For Jewish marriage sites ...
, with features and a name similar to Friendster, is almost a matchmaking service rather than a dating site. All applications are carefully screened for decency and with the standards of the Torah in mind. Dishonesty and misconduct are strictly forbidden, as are non-Jewish members and those not sincerely looking for marriage. It offers the typical free limited membership, with full membership available for $10.95 a month and up ("scholarships" are available for those in financial need).
began in Israel and has recently expanded to the Diaspora, making it a particularly good site to find Israeli connections. Similar to Frumster, this site is meant for Orthodox Jews looking for marriage and allows you to tailor your searches with very specific preferences for dress, observance, and other personal/religious characteristics.
does not allow browsing of its member profiles, making it a matchmaking site rather than a social network. After signing up, you choose two matchmakers to handle your case and find your match among the thousands of members in the system, a human touch that sets it apart from most other dating sites.
for Jewish forums about Jewish and personal issues ...
has a number of helpful, active forums open to anyone but aimed toward observant Jews. Despite the site's name, the forums are useful for Jews of any age, and provide a supportive, educational, and inspiring community.
hosts a variety of forums for the frum community about specific medical issues. You'll find a good deal of information on care, treatment, and coping here, as well as emotional and religious support and prayers.
To access support and community for gay Jews ...
describes itself as "the crossroads of the world's two greatest neuroses." The playful tone extends to the rest of the site, a fun and simple way to connect with other gay Jews worldwide. You can link your profile with Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN IM services to chat with other members through GayJews.net. Take its GayJew-IQ Test to see how well your Gaydar/Jewdar is working.
is not a dating site but rather provides much-needed support, education, and community to gay frum Jews. On this easy-to-navigate site you'll find health and community resources, religious discussion about homosexuality, an events calendar, as well as a useful list of links and organizations with similar purposes.
is a serious support group for gay Jews between the ages of 18 and 30 who come from a frum background. On its site you'll find an online support and discussion forum, a way to sign up for the forum's e-mail list, as well as information on the groups' monthly in-person discussion and support groups. Among the numerous resources here, the site also provides a link for those wanting more anonymity, or for those not old enough to join, where they can contact a member of the support team for help, advice, and support. This site is not for dating purposes.
Jewish culture is not exactly known for its quiet reserve. Whether kvetching, kvelling, or kibbitzing, someone usually has something to say. In recent years, Jewish discussion has spilled over onto the Internet in the form of some entertaining, educational, and informative Jewish blogs.
- Blogs are incredibly numerous-even those aimed at small, specific audiences-and as such this section provides just a taste of the Jewish blog offerings out there. To find more, check out the "blogrolls," which are lists of a blogger's favorite other blogs that usually appear on the sidebars of most blogs.
To read about Jewish life, culture, and people ...
The Velveteen Rabbi
is a blog written by a young female rabbinical student who also holds an MFA in creative writing. She writes about her own experience with her studies and ritualistic Judaism, as well as exploring the relationship between writing and prayer.
is written by a Modern Orthodox mother in New York's Five Towns community. She writes about her own life and experiences and stays current with religious and political matters. A sample of postings includes a link to a New York Times article about a holiday party in Brooklyn, reflections on a Muslim student who refused to attend graduation for religious reasons, and reflections on Hillary Clinton. Orthomom is well read and her blog is well written and a good read for anyone even mildly interested in Judaism.
The Jew and the Carrot
is a kosher food blog that centers on Jews' relationship to food, written collectively by several different authors. With banter about the dwindling number of kosher delis or a discussion of blintzes, this blog entertains while also listing upcoming Jewish or kosher events and suggested reading material.
Kosher Food blog
is a more straightforward and informative site than The Jew and the Carrot. It explains away many common questions on Judaism, debunking myths as well as giving a basic guide to the meaning of keeping kosher.
A Day in the Life of a Tel Aviv Woman
is just what it sounds like. Read Leora Fischer's insights and get a taste of life in Israel and its everyday goings-on. As an expatriate, she notes differences between American and Israeli life such as the large Holocaust remembrance day events, the huge numbers of worker protests throughout the year, and even the Israeli-style gay "Love Day" parade.
Rabbi Without a Cause
muses over rabbis, things that rabbis think about, rabbis' opinions on other rabbis, and other everyday events in the life of a rabbi. Entries are listed alphabetically by topic on the right-hand side of the page in case you want this rabbi's thoughts on a specific subject.
examines serious current issues and provides academic insight into Orthodox Jewish life. Yet along with the list of top four biblical cruxes, you also find a list of Harry Potter books, ordered from best to worst. With a very liberal slant, the writing is smattered with Yiddish phrases and light Jewish comedy.
is a look at daily Jewish life and judgments from the perspective of a Jewish mother. Although the author claims to strive to counter Jewish stereotypes, she plays on her own traditional Jewish mother voice to write humorous, attitude-filled posts.
To read about Jewish current events and politics ...
is an in-depth take on current events with a Jewish spin. With a focus on Israel and the Middle East, this group blog comments on the issues that come up every day in the news and alternative media.
seeks to broaden the concept of Jewishness with a wide range of perspectives and identities on its liberal-minded group blog. With a huge variety of multimedia posts on music, politics, news, and with post titles like "Why every American Jew should love the Boston Red Sox and hate the New York Yankees" or "Fiddler on the Tatami Mat," you know you're in for a breath of fresh air and something new.
What War Zone???
addresses Israel and peace concerns lightheartedly, finding humor in the darker sides of living in the Middle East. Author Benji Lovitt also takes time to complain about his everyday annoyances in Israel and mock several aspects of his own Jewish tradition.
brings a Jewish voice to contemporary issues of justice. Seeking the activism of its readers, this blog offers suggestions for whom to write to about certain issues as well as links to important organizations. Jspot takes pride in the Jewish community's involvement in gaining and maintaining social and economic rights for everyone.
Jewish Current Issues
is a source for updates on Jewish news and the accomplishments of Jewish communities and their members. This blog includes articles, book reviews and recommendations, essays, and commentaries that relate to Jewish topics in the world today.
reports events and issues in Israel. With cartoons, videos, and photographs, One Jerusalem is a truly multimedia update on the Israeli perspective. Filter the blog by category using the links on the left to read about people, politics, art, culture, and more.
as a Bagel serves up an informed and opinionated take on Jewish affairs around the world, providing an independent view of such goings-on as American/Israeli Jewish relations, the World Jewish Congress, and more.
For Jewish skepticism ...
The Bacon Eating Atheist Jew
's title tells you right away that this blog isn't very PC. Rather, it's an angry and skeptical rebuttal to religious views from a Jew turned atheist. Though not the prettiest blog, it makes up for its poor design in moxy.
For video blogs (vlogs) ...
follows the lead of YouTube, minus the goyim. Though technically not a blog site, Yideoz hosts many vlogs, as well as random videos of the kind you'd find on its bigger, more popular predecessor, but all with some connection to Jews or Judaism. Within the clips you'll find news, celebrations, personal messages, and of course, humor (a bit laden with Jackie Mason).
There is a great tradition of Jewish news, and many Jewish publications have served as a vanguard against distortion and ignorance for hundreds of years. Yiddish- and English-language Jewish publications have been reporting Jewish and secular news as members of the mainstream press for as long as Jews have lived as communities in this country. The tradition continues as the Jewish news world experiences a revival.
- Besides these sites, many local synagogues or Jewish communities have their own small publications or newsletters with local news and items of interest. Use the sites in the "Being Part of the Jewish Community" section of this guide to find them.
- Besides the American publications listed in this section, there are of course a great deal of Israeli news publications, and many of them do publish English-language versions. Use a Google search to find specific publications from Israel if you're interested.
- For news from Israel available only in Hebrew, check out the robust Web site of Maariv, one of the top newspapers in that country.
For listings of Jewish publications ...
's unwieldy site offers a large mess of listings for Jewish publications published domestically and abroad. It's not pretty but it'll help you find more localized Jewish newspapers and magazines.
For Jewish news ...
The Jewish Daily Forward
's current incarnation began as the English-language supplement to the historic Yiddish newspaper of the same name. Providing international news and analysis with a progressive Jewish bent, this site is a leader in Jewish news worldwide. Explore the many features of the site with the easy-to-use left navigation bar.
The Jerusalem Post
is the preeminent English newspaper of Israel. Offering a Christian edition as well, this daily newspaper brings coverage of international and domestic news, opinion, and all the comprehensive features one would expect of a major newspaper, with a well-designed site to boot.
's English edition is published daily (except Saturday) in Tel Aviv in conjunction with the International Herald Tribune. On its site you'll find international and domestic news and features, as well as a link to the Hebrew version of the paper.
The Jewish Press
is the largest Jewish weekly in America, bringing you feature stories, blogs, and special sections like the "Torah" and "Media Monitor" sections with a politically conservative and religiously Orthodox viewpoint.
is a smart and hip online magazine on the forefront of Jewish issues in modern culture and news. Self styled as a magazine, event-sharing network, social network, and store, Jewcy serves up feature articles, interviews, blogs, an online community, and sassy merchandise. Check this one out for some of the most relevant journalism in the category today.
The Jewish Week
reports on international, Israeli, and New York-area news for a readership of over 70,000. Browse the menu on the left side of the page for special features, columns, and a business directory for the greater New York area.
serves in the always-needed niche of The Onion for the frum community, with a similar style of satire, though perhaps lacking some of the talent found in its progenitor. Find humorous, satirical articles written specifically for an observant (or at least knowledgeable) audience.
Judaism is not lacking in Jewish products. Now location is no impediment to filling your home with the finest in Judaica products, and you don't have to stop there: from humble to humorous, Jewish clothing to drape yourself in abounds online.
- Though it's tempting to quickly snatch up the great deals you can find on the Web, take extra time and care to research the quality and authenticity of any item you buy online, as it can be harder and more of a hassle to return unwanted goods by mail.
For Judaica products ...
has an extensive collection of Judaica, including jewelry, Jewish art, books, and CDs, as well as the usual categories of religious articles and accessories. You can shop for all of these items on this easy-to-navigate site.
's simple site offers a range of Judaica for you to buy online. Along with all you need to practice the faith, you can order jewelry, clothing, and connect to their partner sites for Jewish recipes and food.
organizes its merchandise by event or purpose, making it easy to find the perfect bar mitzvah gift or matzah holder for Passover.
For clothing and other merchandise ...
's simple, stylish, and easy-to-use site lightens the mood and lets you shop for humorous and hip Jewish merchandise, including T-shirts, jewelry, books, food, and more. You won't get lost on this site, and you might find that perfect gift.
is a bookmark-worthy site for any woman looking to dress modestly without abandoning her sense of style. Check out the "fashion blog" section (though technically not a blog) for recent fashion and merchandise updates.
takes the humorous Jewish theme a step further with their funny and outlandish T-shirt designs. If you're looking to push some people's buttons, take a gander at the site's small but rich collection.
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