Culture, Global, Mishegas, Politics

Austin gets its own jewblog: Git Nu

My first post at Jewschool was about being a Jew from Texas. Finally–now that I’ve lived in New Jersey for nearly four years and I’m getting ready to graduate and move somewhere other than my hometown of Austin–it seems that Jewish life in Austin is beginning to diversify.
I started thinking about this when I got an email from Mike Wachs, founder of Austin’s very own, brand-spanking-new local jewblog, Git Nu. It’s got a pretty daring design. Each post has an image. Mouse-over and of the images and the text of the post displays, and click on the image and you go through to the post.

Git Nu, Austins new jewblog

So far, there aren’t so many posts. With the help of a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Austin, Mike is just getting Git Nu off the ground. Here’s part of what he said in his email:

I’ve started a small, alternative outlet for Jewish Culture in Austin and just wanted to say hi. The site is called Git Nu and while there have only been a few outside contributions so far, the initial response seems to be one of excitement.

If you have any advice on soliciting content, building community, leading the discussion–in a general sense–or any other topics, any help would be much appreciated.

According to my mom’s boyfriend–he’s on the board of the Austin fed–Austin is the fastest-growing city in American for 20- and 30-somethings. He says that’s not a percentage, but in sheer numbers. So more people means more Jews. And more young Jews means more diverse offerings in the Jewish community in Austin.

At least, in theory. I haven’t seen a whole of evidence of it yet, but Git Nu looks like an indicator.

8 thoughts on “Austin gets its own jewblog: Git Nu

  1. awesome! as a proud resident of the WEST, seeing yidn rise up in land of the Alamo brings tears to my eyes.

  2. This is especially galling since Texas (Tejas?) was once part of the Spanish (Sepharad) Empire at one time and a whole lot more people in Austin would understand Ladino than Yiddish.
    But apparently some parts of the Austin Jewish community would rather the culture of darker Jews be ignored.

  3. Boxhead, do you have any clue what you’re talking about?
    I’m gonna guess there are very few people in Austin that would understand Ladino or Yiddish.
    Looking through “Lone Stars of David: The Jews of Texas,” (yes, there is such a book and yes, I own a copy) it’s pretty clear that there’s never been a significant Sephardi population in Texas.
    Most Jews in the state post-date Spanish ownership of the region. My family, for instance, arrived the US at the port in Galveston, TX–from Ashkenaz itself!–in the 20th century.
    And, if you read my post, you’d see that I’m mostly talking about relatively new arrivals in Texas, coming from elsewhere in the US. And since the majority of Jews in the US are decidedly Ashkenazi…
    Well, you can see where this is going.

  4. Go to:
    Now scroll down to a comparison between Ladino and Spanish.
    Its obvious that as I said, lots (I would say millions) of Texans (and Californians) can understand Ladino, whereas very few can understand Yiddish.
    Yet the Austin Jewish community insists on subsidising a website with a Yiddish name.
    Do I ‘have any clue what I’m talking about’? Yes, or should I say, si.
    Now having been surrounded by the Yiddish-supremist Bundist milieu (even when living in a heavily Hispanic area), I can understand how a Jewish Texan can be so ill-informed about Ladino.
    And now you’re better educated. Aren’t you glad?

  5. Hey Dave,
    I’m the Mike from Git Nu.
    First, thanks for getting riled up about this. For real. It’s totally awesome that people would think this is big enough of a deal to get riled up about. But I also have a couple comments:
    – I don’t see any comparison link on Wikipedia. Am I totally blind?
    – The Austin Jewish community didn’t insist on subsidizing a website with a Yiddish name. I’m sure they would have been just as amenable to funding a website with a Ladino name. The fact is, I am Ashkenazi, have had a sporadic interest in Yiddish, and started collecting articles I thought were interesting. I then got an email–because I’m on a bunch of listservs–about some money possibly being available for new projects and decided to apply for some of that money to try and slowly grow Git Nu. They ended up accepting my application and will eventually pass me a check, but they don’t really tell me what to do or what to link to. It’s very non-conspiratorial and boring in that way.
    -I’d agree with the other Dave when he supposed that very few people in Austin would understand Ladino or Yiddish. The liason at the Federation certainly didn’t know why the hell I named it Git Nu. There is a Yiddish center at UT, but I haven’t met any of those people.
    -I’d love to learn/learn about (my actual foreign language skills are terrible) Ladino!
    -In fact, if anyone would want to write about Ladino culture, you should totally holler at [email protected].
    -Choosing a Yiddish name over Ladino or Hebrew or Spanish or English was not a malicious thing. I liked the sound of it and it also worked as being a declarative statement in English (Get new Jewish culture).
    -I’m sorry to have galled you. Are you from Texas?

  6. For once, I think Boxthorn actually has a decent point. I think it’s a problem that Jewish culture is seen as Ashkenazi culture, and I think that the title of the Austin webpage is indicative of that larger trend. Mike, I don’t think you were being malicious, just, perhaps, unaware of this issue.
    For the record, I’m about as Ashkenazi as it gets. But I’ve started taking an interest in how privilege and marginalization plays out within the Jewish community, and the marginalization of non-Ashkenazim is a big one.

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