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Synagogue Web sites are — after an agonizingly slow start — coming of age. Rabbis are blogging and posting sermons on YouTube. Members are signing up and paying for classes online. And several synagogues have launched virtual yahrtzeit boards — complete with e-mail reminders. With the High Holy Days past, many synagogues are contemplating ways to fill their pews on a regular basis. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the key to building a physical sense of community may well lie in enhancing a synagogue’s online community, social media experts say. That’s why, despite the slumped economy, more and more congregations are realizing the importance of investing in fresh, easy-to-navigate synagogue Web sites (preferably equipped with “donate now” buttons).
Updated: Oct. 19, 2009
Genesis Philanthropy Group, the foundation founded by five Russian oligarchs two years ago, will be sharing more of its resources with Russian-speaking Jews in its own home turf. The foundation, which has made headlines with its high-profile grants meant to strengthen Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews primarily in America and Israel, announced a $6 million gift to The Jewish Agency for Israel to support floundering Jewish schools and summer camps in the former Soviet Union during the next three to four years.
Updated: Oct. 11, 2009