Feb 21, 2010

[shefa] proposal for the USCJ website

hi fred (and chevreh) - 

i've been hoping that the USCJ page would become the conduit for CJ Torah, since there is so much content already embedded.

examples: the COMPACT archive (online but not searchable),  the "how to keep a kosher kitchen interactive page", (all but invisible), the program bank, (which isn't searchable, etc....).  The USY program page is searchable, and the KOACH page is categorized quite well.  The USCJ page has a decent Hazak program-bank, but the only other place for quickly accessible program guidance is the Schechter awards section (again, not obvious from the home page).

So, if this 'conduit' approach were taken, individual shuls could choose their template and 'feed' from the USCJ page, similar to a blog service (which i utilize myself), and USCJ could serve as the convener and disseminator (though, significantly, not the author) of CJ Torah emanating from FJMC, JTS, Ziegler, Masorti, etc...  This would be a (welcome and) significant shift in USCJ's self-perception as "source" and the perception of others (shuls) of USCJ as confusing and chaotic, even in the midst of the obvious efforts at healthy transformation.

This profoundly simple while large task seems to have many Shefaniks and others fired up, and it would go a long way to changing not just perceptions but organizational facts on the (virtual) ground.  I'm hopeful that sites like jewishfreeware.orgthe Tali Virtual Midrash page (http://www.tali-virtualmidrash.org.il/DefaultEng.aspx),  the Jewish Educators' Network (http://www.jewisheducators.org.uk/) and the Mechon Hadar Niggun Database (http://www.mechonhadar.org/niggun-melodies) could be utilized as possible models for a new, searchable USCJ website.

I think it's in our reach, and would be more important than linking to the other organizations' websites - the content needs to be organized.  That's the major need, as I see it,for movemental cohesion.  We could reduce the competitiveness if each organization's mandate was to do "its thing" and USCJ's "thing" could be, in this framework, a conduit for CJ Torah.  (whereas conservativejudaism.org) could be the "global CJ institutional gateway.")

kol tuv, shavuah tov, and good luck!

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
-- www.netivotshalom.org
-- www.shefanetwork.org
-- menachemcreditor.org

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