Global, Mishegas, Politics

Behind the Scenes: The Establishment Goes Digital

Boston’s Federation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, recently completed a year-long strategic planning process. One of the most palpable new programs to arise in the wake of the strategic plan is an ambitious new website-to-be, The website aims to be a major hub for Jewish communal life in the Greater Boston area, centralizing information from over 500 Jewish organizations and making that information usable to the casual consumer. God bless the folks attempting that project, I sure wouldn’t want that kind of pressure!
The people behind the website have put a lot of effort into community outreach, holding focus groups and open feedback sessions as the plans coalesced. Today, thanks to Twitter, I learned that the Jewish Boston website is live — sort of. While it doesn’t yet feature any of the bells and whistles planned for its proper launch, the folks putting it all together are using the domain for a blog about the process of creating such a gigantic undertaking. So right now, is the address for “Building – a blog about the development of”
This probably won’t be of interest to many, but for those of us who deal with how Jewish communities communicate and organize information, it’s a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain.

3 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: The Establishment Goes Digital

  1. Wow. What a fascinating project. I will be thrilled to see how develops. Several other cities have developed similar websites, including for Chicago, in Seattle, and in Los Angeles.
    Inspired by Jew-ish and JconnectLa (I did not yet know about Boston’s version), I recently (in August) created, an online community for Jews in Minneapolis and Saint Paul in their 20s, 30s and 40s to get information about everything from upcoming events, to Jewish political and cultural news, to suggestions for the best place in Minneapolis and Saint Paul to get pareve desserts. is entirely volunteer-run and is not affiliated with any major Jewish organization. By the end of the month of September, we’ll have a handful of writers including prominent Twin Cities Jews.
    I think it will be fascinating to see how these different cities’ online communities develop, and whether they can truly engage young Jews as we imagine and hope they can.

  2. Thanks for your good wishes re! We’re pretty excited about the effort ourselves and welcome your thoughts on progress, goals, and priorities.
    To the point about a glimpse behind the scenes, someone once told me that the art of collaboration is sharing information before you’re really ready, perhaps even past the point of fear. The blog certainly represents this.
    This project is indeed a new model for the “establishment”. Yet, in many ways, this is what the site is all about – building a communal platform that is useful to all individuals and organizations, where all events are promoted and easily found, all viewpoints shared, and all of us can participate in Jewish life whatever way we feel most comfortable.
    Love the site, btw. Great job.

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