Erev Shabbat Online? say what?

It seems like the number of people searching to convert to Judaism has grown over the past few years. It’s a common question on many Jewish sites. Places like OneShul and PunkTorah have taken the Jewish community and put it on the web.  There are even sites to convert to Judaism online, although a Beit Din is still required and a local community is recommended.

But what if you have a community, and can’t get out of the home? Or want to follow a full liturgy alongside home ritual? Or, like me, your local congregation is small and meets only every other week?

Well, the Union for Reform Judaism has a listing of synagogues that stream services online.

http://www.reformjudaism.org/attend-shabbat-services-online

I found one that was online at the time I needed and played it. It was actually really cool. The synagogue I chose was M’kor Shalom out of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Yesterday’s Erev Shabbat service was their annual MLK Service. They paired with a local Baptist church and created a “Unity Choir” that sang a mix of gospel and Jewish songs throughout the service. It was pretty cool.

Do you use online resources to connect with others or advance your Jewish learning? If so, what are your favorites? I have a ton that I enjoy reading on a regular basis, including:

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Jew in the City / Kveller

My Jewish Learning

Jewish Virtual Library

ReformJudaism.org (Union for Reform Judaism)

Chabad.org

The Jewish Week

PunkTorah

I try to get information from a variety of sources. You’ll see that some of the resources I mention lean more progressive, while others are more conservative in their approaches. This is deliberate on my part.

Benefits of Online Learning:

-Available 24/7/365

-Free (usually)

-Variety of Opinions

-Connect with others

Drawbacks:

Limited conversation as opposed to a local group

- Variety of opinions (information overload!)

- Doesn’t replace community

What resources do you use, if any? What are the benefits/drawbacks of online resources?

 

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About Lynn Swayze

Lynn Swayze is a writer, IT professional , and mother of four. She was raised Southern Baptist, but began questioning her faith before she became a teenager. She is currently converting to Judaism. Email her at lynn {at} followingruth {dot} com.


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