Thursday, January 19, 2006

Jewish Blogs? No way!

Jpost: At times, the chatter between American Jews can seem hushed, even silent. While questions about assimilation, Israeli politics and Jewish identity swirl overhead, many American Jews maintain an arms-length complacency about it all. But a post, click and hyperlink away, the burgeoning blogosphere offers a forum for Jewish conversation. Jewish blogs, or Web diaries, run the gamut from kosher cooking to Israeli advocacy. They include leftist rants, dating melodramas, rabbinic ruminations and secular musings from all corners of the globe. Last year, the Pew Internet and American Life Project estimated that 8 million American adults had created blogs. Though the number of specifically Jewish blogs is unconfirmed, those with knowledge of the blogosphere say the pool is substantial. "I d estimate the number of active blogs at some several thousand," says Steven Weiss, who currently blogs about religion (, food ( and the Jewish college experience (campusj). "Among young, highly-affiliated Jews, J-blogs are very popular," the 24 year-old New Yorker continues. "As you move up the age brackets, the popularity drops off somewhat, though many in the organizational and rabbinic establishment have started paying a lot of attention to them." The Religious Action Committee of Reform Judaism, for instance, launched a blog of its own last year at "The amount of interest in blogging has just gone through the roof," confirms Alexis Rice, the RAC's communications director. "I think the Jewish community is more connected now than ever before. "A rabbi used to give a sermon and it was heard by 200 people in services Friday night," Rice continues. "Now he puts the sermon on a blog, and thousands of people access it." What exactly are these Jewish bloggers seeking on the Web? Some, like 30-something New York blogging guru Esther Kustanowitz, say the blogosphere connects them to a larger, global Jewish community. "I started looking at other Jewish blogs to see if there were other people like me out there - single, Jewish and blogging," she explains....
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