Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I could not access Wertheimer's 2007 article, EBSCOHost required an additional log-in. Therefore this entry will be focused on the websites we have explored for class.

In evaluating the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's home on the web, I was surprised that the site doesn't clearly define the group's basis for Jewish identification. I was shocked I could not find where the group defines Judaism, who is Jewish and the principles of Judaism. Under the "About Us" tab, there is information on the bylaws, history and mission statement of the organization, but not on conservative Judaism. Next, I explored the tab Jewish Living, however this only presented information on prayers and Torah study.

Although it didn't touch on this important idea I feel a national Jewish website should have(basic definition of Conservative Judaism), compared to www.reformjudasim.org, I thought the USCJ's website is organized better. Reform Judaism had little information on their site and send the viewer to many other links for information. the UCSJ's site had many different tabs on the top and the left of information. I also liked how you could more easily find a local conservative Synagogue on the UCSJ's site.

Overall, it seems that the Reform site gives more information to a non-partisan viewer, while the UCSJ assumes most people viewing the site are Jewish and most likely Conservative Jews finding information about the parent organization.

I did however find www.shefanetwork.org very helpful for theological information on Conservative Judaism. I was especially impressed with the Audio/Visual Torah section, to see that some in the conservative movement are in tune with the newest technology, and can reach out to even the most tech savvy of us. I think this section would be most popular with the younger population of Jews, as they might not have patience to read the weekly Parsha(that is a whole other topic, today's youth impatience that is), but would listen via a podcast.

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