JEWISH INTERNET (1):
Introduction: The WWW Sites Where Jewish People Are Living At
As an old Jew I prefer to begin with question. I think, you too. So, ask me:
What does it mean: Internet, especially Jewish Internet? Why do you write: WWW? One W is not enough for you? Where is those sites, in which (or at which, who knows?) poor Jews have to spend their life? To tell the truth, what are we talking about?
Please calm down. Honestly, this is almost a piece of cake, nobody ought to be Ph.D. playing in this game. But, as all games, it needs the love: love for acquisition new knowledge, love for your computer, love for The Net... Love for being Jewish.
World Wide Web called also Web, WWW, or W3 is the special sort of connection between great number of computers. Imagine the giant structure of communacation: telephone lines all over the globe, satellites fliying above the Earth in dark sky of the Universe, underwater cables... In all knots of this invisible construction are compurers--and your computer, too.
Sometimes words Web and The Net have the same meaning, sometimes definition "The Net" also includes other kinds of computer links. Internet is slightly wider definition usually including people working for The Net, equipment and other environment.
Site is a text, graphic, date, sound or video (!) files, stored in computer and having individual address throughout the Web (called URL), which allows you to find this file. Each site has in its body references to addresses of other related sites, called links, and organized so that you can click on chosen link and open its site.
Good site looks like a big airport--you can open a front door and fly to hundreds of other airports. From each of them you can fly to hundreds others, and so on. Network of airlines covers all world but not so closely as The Net.
Good Jewish site looks like a big Jewish house. In the first room you can see a wise rabbi who answers on any questions about Jewish life and Judaica; in the second room kids are studying Torah and Computer Science; in the living room men talk about politics; in the kitchen women cook kosher meals; in the workroom some children crowd around computer and try to connect with Israel; ...and so on. In Europe, in America, in Asia...
"Wow!" you exclaim. "Now I guess what The Jewish Internet is: computer connection between Jewish people all over the world through Jewish/Israel related sites!" You are right. Join this connection using the list below.
Of course, this list is only slight touch to the Jewish Internet but the touch to the most significant its sites. It is very well for the first step.
THE BEST JEWISH/ISRAEL RELATED SITES
Jewish Communication Network (JCN)
Big, well organized, professionally created and daily/weekly updated site, oriented on news and communication. I think it is the best site in the Jewish Internet.
From front page you can enter Newsstand--JCN's Daily Jewish News, consists of about 200 daily updated articles. If you want to say your opinion and hear other voices from around the world, join the discussion in JCN Interactive, or Project 18, or read and send Letter or Comments to JCN... So much possibilities for Jewish communications!
You could read the hundreds of condolence notes from JCN visitors, following Rabin's assassinations, enter words of condolence at JCN's Rabin Condolence Page.
Take a look at JCN Navigate, Hot Max and This List In and thousands other Jewish/Israel related sites will be opened for you.
If you are interested in--sure you are--enter the lists How many of us are there: numbers of Jews that are in various countries and cities.
So my suggestion is: start you travel through The Net from JCN site.
2. SHAMASH Home Page--Jews For Judaism
This is big, well-done site, directed on Jewish religion. There are impressed list of Shamash members; connections to The Mail-Jewish, Tanach and Judaica Directories; good collection of Internet addresses of Jewish Organization; Gateway to Israel; Frequently Asked Questions (of course, and answers) about Judaica and Jewish life, including--do not pass it!--"Ask-the-Rabbi ' and get the answers" lists. I like them!
Site mainly directed to Jewish edication.
In today issue you can find a big article "A Covenant of the People" by Avrahm Burg who proposed Policy Guidelines for the National Institutions of the Jewish People. Virtual links to the Jewish Educational Resources: Joint Authority for Jewish and Zionist Education, World Zionist Organization, Jewish Education Service for North America, Coalition for Jewish Education, The Melton Centre for Jewish Education in the Diaspora, located in Hebrew University, Yeshivat Har Etzion Virtual Beit Midrash, The Shaar HaNegev Campus, The Twinning Project (Prof. Halbrecht's Institute) and Solomon Schechter School.
At last, news from Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs Home Page and links to Virtual Jerusalem that is very popular Jewish and Israel information source on the Internet.
4. The Jewish World ORTnet
ORT, founded in 1880 in St.Petersburg, is today a global, non-profit organization, meeting the educational and training needs of contemporary societies around the world.
ORT has consultative status for information and education purposes with
UNESCO, and observer status at the ILO (International Labour Organization). ORT is a founding member of ICVA (International Council of Voluntary Agencies).
What is more, ORT is only one bilingual English/Russian site among big Jewish sites. You can read it in Russian!
What is inside? News from ORT WWW Centres Around The World: from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Israel, and... Uruguay. Good Search Facility which allows you to find all topics of a Jewish nature across the whole of the Internet. Educational Resources: links for teacher and kids, schools On-line, information on programms and products developed by ORT.
Projects with a Jewish interest: Navigating the Bible, including background educational information and The Living Torah, Jewish games for kids to explore Jewish and Israel-related themes. Jewish festivals, and Holy days, and others. There is List of Jewish Community and organizations mainly based in Britain.
5. Jewish Bulletin of Northern California Home Page
Wow, this is our neighbors from other coast! The Jewish Star have already written about it, so I won't to repeat that. Good site without question, done with loving care.
6. Jerusalem Post
This is your newspaper, isn't it? Now you can read it from your screen on-line.
7. The Jews of Bukhara
the history of the Jewish community of Bukhara from earliest times to the present, by Donna L.Carr.
WHAT IS NEXT? I am going to write about the best Israeli sites, the Jewish sites from the former USSR, Russian/Ukrainian/Jewish sites that fotmer emigree from Ukraine and Russia can read in Russian, Jewish Usenet, and--I am writing that with some hesitation--about my hard experience in searching people in Israel through Internet. Maybe something else, who knows?
(To be continued)