Monday, May 08, 2006

JTA Discovers Jewish Blogs

The JTA released an article today by Sue Fishkoff (author of The Rebbe's Army) about Jewish blogging, which would be like the AP releasing an article about digital cameras, I think. Which is to say, Jewish blogs have been changing the dynamics of Jewish communities for at least a couple years now (not that digital cameras change people's lives, but they've at least been around and everybody uses them or at least knows someone who does -- not exactly news).

If I sound a little bitter about the whole thing, maybe it's because I am. In the piece, Sue Fishkoff mentions Jewlicious at the Beach v2.0, which brought together numerous leaders of the Jewish blogosphere and many active Jewish bloggers, as well as two carloads of students from UCSC. She also mentions the upcoming conference in Israel this summer, ROI120, a gathering of 120 progressive, young Jewish leaders (many of them bloggers as well) to discuss the future of Judaism.

Sue interviewed me at Jewlicious about the Jewnification Project, and I was therefore hoping that our blog would be mentioned in the article, but apparently we're not popular enough yet; burn. Also, I happen to know that a small handful of students from UCSC applied to ROI120 and got rejected; double burn. On the positive side, the photo in the article, which features our good friend and fellow blogger Esther from Jewlicious.com and MyUrbanKvetch.com, also features, more subtly in the background, our good friend and UCSC student Alex Miller! Yes! That's one burn for you, JTA!

Jewlicious.com and Jewschool.com and a couple other big blogs get mentioned, but remember, they too were once little blogs! Jewlicious.com isn't even two years old. Now the article might have been more timely had it focused on the smaller community blogs that are trying to make a difference, but I guess then they wouldn't be able to mention the philanthropic efforts of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Yeah, we're poor and small. But there is still hope.

But bitter feelings aside, I could identify with some of the content in the article.
Activists increasingly are translating the Internet’s organizing potential into real life.

“They’re moving from being a virtual community to a physical community,” says Roger Bennett, vice president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. [...]

[...] Ariel Beery, 26, a Manhattan-based Jewish activist and co-editor of BlogsofZion [...] sees Jewish blogs as 21st-century versions of the European coffeehouses of a century ago, places “where people would get together, argue and write something up. Each cafe would have its own literary journal; communities were built around the written word.”

The blogging world, he says, is “developing its own language,” which he sees as the precursor for a new worldwide forum for discussion and activism.
The potential is there, we just have to harness it.

One of the impetuses behind the launch of the JewniProj was a vision to build community through a blog. During the fall of 2004, when I first got into Jewschool.com, I saw a virtual community of bloggers materialize in real life at the first meeting of the Corner Prophets Initiative at Daila, on Shlomzion Hamalka in Jerusalem, right off of Yafo street. Since then, I've been an addict.

I know this post is rambling, and there's not much of an angle (sorry Talia, if you're reading this)... I just wanted to get that off my chest. JewniProj contributors, you guys rock. Keep it up.

By the way, the JTA article is available here.

**UPDATE** Speaking of Jewlicious at the Beach v2.0, there's a preview of the Jewlicious video online available here. I spotted at least five Jewish slugs... see how many you can find!

6 Comments:

Blogger netmessiah said...

i got burned by ROI120 too. But i got them back, i got the jewniproj listed as one of the main jewish blogs in their jewish resources page :) take that ROI120!!

Tue May 09, 01:12:00 AM 2006  
Blogger G-D SQUAD said...

hahaha. yesssss...

Wait, just so there's no misunderstanding, I support the ROI effort 100% and I think it's a great initiative. Any dissing of the program is completely in jest.

Tue May 09, 11:33:00 AM 2006  
Blogger XyentaX said...

I was going to say that even if the JTA dissed you I enjoy reading this blog more than most... than I see that you posted a link to a video I asked you not to share with people... Burned.

Wed May 10, 09:24:00 PM 2006  
Blogger G-D SQUAD said...

OHHHHHHHHHH! Diss. Sasha I <3 you. I totally respected your wishes until the clip got posted on the Jewlicious blog! Which I'm sure gets way more hits than the JewniProj anyway. :(

Do you forgive me?

Wed May 10, 10:29:00 PM 2006  
Blogger XyentaX said...

Ah, so if the Rabbi sells me out, you gotta go and do it too? Its ok, I forgive you because I enjoy your writing... And 'cause the final version is done and I expect you to post that link on here too :)

Thu May 11, 05:23:00 PM 2006  
Blogger G-D SQUAD said...

Dang, I didn't know it was so serious. I thought there was an agreement between you guys that it was "time" to release it to the public... I didn't know he sold you out lol... but yeah, of course we'll be posting the final version and giving credit where credit is due ;)

Thu May 11, 07:00:00 PM 2006  

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