We are tickled to announce that our friends at G-dcast have just released a series of adorable new animated shorts all about Jewish lifecycle events, from weddings to baby namings to funerals. You’ll find them all around our site, starting right here on this page. We hope you enjoy these as much as we do!
1. Why We Break the Glass at Jewish Weddings:
2. What is a Huppah All About?
3. All about the Ketubah, the Jewish Marriage Contract:
4. How to Dance a Hora:
5. Read about the Gomel, the blessing for new moms:
6. How to help a friend in mourning:
We have good news to share! We just learned that the Slingshot Fund has selected MyJewishLearning and Kveller as being among North America’s most innovative Jewish organizations.
In Slingshot’s words, “MyJewishLearning.com and Kveller.com are unique in their ability to host Jewish content in an agenda-free space.” We love being in a pluralistic community with readers as diverse and curious as you, and we value your engagement, whether you’re a first-time reader or a regular visitor.
We are so honored to be featured for the sixth year in a row and, as always, to be in such good company. See here for the complete list of this year’s most innovative Jewish organizations.
Thank you, readers, and thank you, Slingshot!
The High Holidays—like many Jewish holidays—are a foodie’s delight. Whether we’re feasting on Rosh Hashanah or abstaining—and then feasting—on Yom Kippur, it’s safe to say that many people’s experience of the holiday season is replete with delicious nosh. And the foods are rich with symbolic meaning.
With the holidays approaching, you might be wondering what kinds of gifts are appropriate to give to family members, friends, and dinner hosts. Since everyone loves a gift they can eat, we’ve pulled together this gift-giving FAQ with help from our friends at Kosher Gift Box.
What are some basic gift items you recommend?
Since we’re talking edible gifts here, we dig Kosher Gift Basket’s Rosh Hashanah Traditions Basket and their Sweet New Year Basket. If you’re looking for a gift appropriate for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, we recommend this delicious apple cake or traditional round challahs (perhaps paired with a delicious assortment of honey).
Is it appropriate to give a Rosh Hashanah gift to clients and customers?
Gift-giving is not a traditional part of the High Holidays as it is with Hanukkah, but we’ve never known of anyone to protest. And it can make good business sense. Some popular corporate choices are Shana Tova Wine Duo or Rosh Hashanah Elegance Basket.
What should I give my Jewish boss or coworker for Rosh Hashanah?
The best gifts for work-related recipients are probably non-personal items such as a gift basket that reflects Jewish tradition. Popular choices are our 5775 Breakfast Basket or a Honey Server and Dish Set with honey.
What do you recommend for a college student?
No better way to nudge college kids to mark the Jewish holidays than to lure them with delicious traditional foods. Our Rosh Hashanah Traditions Basket includes challah, babka, and rugelach—or you could send our holiday challah set. These gifts reflect holiday traditions and are great for sharing with roommates.
Does my gift need to be kosher?
Unless you know for a fact that your recipient does not keep kosher, providing certified kosher food ensures that everyone can enjoy the gift. All items at Kosher Gift Box are certified kosher.
We are going to our neighbors’ for Yom Kippur break-fast. What should I bring?
After fasting on Yom Kippur, a typical menu for break-fast is a dairy meal: lox and bagels, sweet kugel (noodle pudding), assorted cheeses, blintzes and fresh fruit. For dessert, our Sweet New Year Rugelach Collection, apple cake, or our Holiday Lox and Bagel Basket.
What is an appropriate gift to bring to dinner in the Sukkah?
Because Sukkot celebrates the harvest, gifts that reflect this are optimal. A dried fruit platter or fresh fruit basket make excellent choices.
As we announced a few months ago, MyJewishLearning, Inc. and JTA are merging. Now we’re looking to hire a marketing professional to join our team as Director of Audience Development for JTA to join us in our New York City office.
We’re a small organization that has a big impact in the Jewish world, but we need help growing even bigger.If Facebook, emails and search engines optimization make you happy, this might be the right fit for you. We are looking for a strategic, hands-on, metrics-driven person to manage and execute online audience growth and engagement initiatives. In addition to working on JTA.org, you’ll oversee audience development for our partner sites Kveller.com and MyJewishLearning.com as well as help launch other new endeavors.
The Director of Audience Development will oversee it all: SEO, SEM, email newsletter, social media, partnerships, and site recirculation. You should be an expert at understanding our users’ behavior and enhancing their interaction with our sites . The best candidates are those who can big pictures but also enjoy jumping into day-to-day operations.
- Strategy. Build and execute marketing programs focused on generating unique visitors and increasing engagement. Test, evaluate, revise and repeat.
- Analytics & Reporting. Use Google Analytics, email analytics and other tools to interpret data about our users and translate into action-oriented recommendations all of our staff and stakeholders can understand.
- Email. Find and implement opportunities to growth the email newsletter subscription base and optimize performance of current products.
- Social Media. Develop social media strategy. Supervise and contribute to the company’s Facebook, Twitter, and other social media presences with assigned editors.
- Page Optimization. Influence conversion through messaging, promotion, and landing page optimization.
- Search Engine Optimization. Serve as our resident SEO expert and continually deploy best practices in to grow organic search traffic.
- Online Marketing. Work with outside consultants to manage organization’s Google Adwords grant, paid SEM, and other marketing to drive highly qualified visitors to the site.
- Partnerships. Identify, negotiate and implement traffic-building partnerships with other digital media organizations.
Salary commensurate with experience. This is a full-time, salaried position with paid vacation, health benefits, pension plan, and federal and Jewish holidays off.
Desired Skills and Experience:
- 3-5 years of experience in consumer-facing online marketing roles, particularly with a content-based organization. Demonstrated track record of developing diversified digital marketing programs that drive sustained audience growth.
- Deep understanding of the digital media space and broad understanding of digital strategies and best practices.
- Excellent analytical skills and experience working with Google Analytics and Excel.
- Familiarity with Photoshop and HTML a plus.
- Self-starter who enjoys balancing multiple projects and priorities with varying deadlines.
- Strong interpersonal skills – the ability to work closely with creative teams and to influence and educate on digital marketing principles..
- Excellent communication skills and ability to write effective marketing copy.
- Knowing about online fundraising, working in an editorial organization and enthusiasm for Jewish topics are all plusses.
- Bachelor’s Degree required
Please send resume, cover letter and the following items to email@example.com:
- Description of something you’ve recently promoted (e.g. brand, event, or product) and the steps you took to boost your audience.
- Writing sample (e.g. blog entry, e-newsletter, press release, pitch letter) from a job or initiative with a similar capacity.
Hanukkah’s almost here, so let us make the gift-giving easy! Send any these delicious, festive and seasonal kosher gift baskets or other goodies to your friends and loved ones (or yourself – we won’t tell anyone!). Until November 27th, save 10% by using our discount code MJLEM1.
We’re Ready to Help You! Call 866-925-7747100% Guarantee & 100% Secure Shopping
Visit our website for more great products at
Hanukkah is less than 2 weeks away! We’ve got a huge selection of Judaica and Hanukkah gifts, all direct from Israel. So whether you need to stock up on candles or you’re looking for a menorah, jewelry, or home decor, we’ve got all your Thanksgivukkah needs covered. And until November 27th, we’re offering 10% off everything in our online store with coupon code: HANUKKAHMJL
Hanukkah’s on the horizon. Got your menorah? Candles? Gelt? Check out our snazzy picks for holidays basics, and be prepared when the sun goes down on Wednesday, November, 27.
And now, for the basics:
This colorful Israeli menorah ($95) makes a unique and beautiful gift, and would look gorgeous glowing in the window.
These Handcrafted, dripless Hanukkah candles ($14.50) from Safed, Israel come in blue, orange, and red, and will burn without a trace.
And now, candles crafted for the eco-conscious family. These Hand-Dipped Beeswax Chanukah Candles ($16.99) are made from renewable resources and packaged with recycled materials— can’t go wrong with these!
Everybody loves gelt on Hanukkah and we all usually consume LOTS of it. That’s why we found the cheapest option with the most gelt with these Milk Chocolate Gelt Coins. 24-pack! ($10.19).
Hanukkah ain’t complete without a game or two of dreidel. This package of Large, Natural Wood Dreidels ($8.95) will do the trick!
Ok, but nu, have you eaten? Inspire your own Thanksgivukkah latkes, or to inspire someone else’s? Check out one of our favorite cookbook pics of the season, The New Jewish Table ($22.99). We get hungry just looking at the photos!
Here is the ultimate gift for faraway family and friends — or for yourself if you’re tired of cooking! This Hanukkah Pure Essentials ($94.99) gift basket includes: fresh baked challah, babka, rugelach, California dried fruit (plums, apricot, peaches, pears), and 1 large wooden dreidel. And until 11/24 you can save 10% on all Kosher Gift Box orders with code MJLEM1!
Hope these picks help get your Hanukkah planning underway—Thanksgivukkah planning, that is!
Today, for the 5th year in a row, MyJewishLearning.com was named one of the top American Jewish organizations by Slingshot, for in their words, our “cutting-edge, influential work as well as its ability to do so much with a relatively small budget and staff.”
As delighted as we are by the recognition, we’re even happier by our esteemed company, which includes our blog partners at the Institute of Southern Jewish Life, Rabbis Without Borders, and Keshet. We couldn’t agree more that they’re doing vital, exciting Jewish communal work, from coast to coast (and even in the middle!).
If you don’t already follow their blogs, don’t wait another day. Read about their personal stories and community debates, and congratulate all our partners on their incredible work. Thanks for reading!
Changes are afoot at MJL, Inc. as we begin the exciting search for a new Chief Executive Officer. We are looking for an innovative and passionate visionary to lead the MJL team while developing new products and deepening the impact on current and future readers (like you!).
The ideal candidate will have a broad knowledge of the Jewish world, significant fundraising experience, and a passion for using technology and new media to engage Jews and non-Jews in Jewish learning and conversation. The job description is below, and all applications should be submitted by September 4th. Please share this post with anyone who may be interested.
Chief Executive Officer of My Jewish Learning, Inc.
MyJewishLearning, Inc. (MJL), the premier Jewish media organization, is seeking an innovative, dynamic, and passionate Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who will guide MJL’s continued growth as the leading online presence in pluralistic Jewish education and engagement.
The MJL CEO position presents a unique opportunity for a visionary leader to broaden the horizon of what is possible for the Jewish experience online. Singular in its commitment to enhancing Jewish knowledge and engagement from a trans-denominational perspective, MJL is a remarkable Jewish pluralistic initiative seeking an equally remarkable leader. We seek a creative thinker seasoned by real world experience in organizational leadership and implementation of new media strategies. Through the development of compelling content and creation of online community, the MJL CEO will stand at the nexus of Jewish life and technology. With a commitment to empower MJL users from every background to learn and engage with Jewish culture and tradition, the MJL CEO will run a fiscally viable not-for-profit media company while managing a dynamic staff committed to broadening the horizons of the Jewish virtual world.
Who We Are
MyJewishLearning, Inc. (“MJL”) is the leading non-denominational Jewish media organization. Through its various web products—MyJewishLearning.com, Kveller.com, TheJewniverse.com—MJL educates and engages more than 700,000 people a month. MJL has been included in the last four editions of Slingshot: A Resource Guide to Jewish Innovation, an annual compilation of the 50 most inspiring and innovation organizations in the North American Jewish Community, and has won multiple American Jewish Press Association Awards for “Most Outstanding” Jewish website.
MJL currently has three signature projects:
MyJewishLearning.com focuses on Jewish education and knowledge–everything from guidelines on religious customs, etiquette, and ritual to learning about obscure Jewish philosophers. MyJewishLearning.com also features weekly Torah portion commentaries, quizzes, recipes, and several dynamic blogs, including partner blogs produced with Keshet, The Institute of Southern Jewish Life, Rabbis Without Borders, The Foundation for Jewish Camp, and The Jewish Book Council.
Kveller.com features parenting resources on everything from pre-conception through preschool–information on Jewish genetic diseases, circumcision, Jewish kiddie music, and much more. Kveller also has a Jewish baby name bank, multiple bloggers (including actress Mayim Bialik), and a robust online community that facilitates profound conversations, connecting Jewish parents living all over the United States.
TheJewniverse.com is a spin-off of MyJewishLearning’s popular daily email, keeping subscribers up to the minute with news and information of interest across the Jewish world. Additionally, MJL owns Shamash.org, one of the first Jewish websites, which publishes several highly trafficked webpages, including a popular kosher restaurant database.
Across all these platforms, the CEO is responsible for conceiving strategies to deepen MJL’s impact on its large and diverse audience, while also developing new products and expanding its constituency.
What We Are Seeking
As the leader of a uniquely positioned not-for-profit organization, the MJL CEO is an important communal thought leader on the intersection of Jewish life, media and technology and an advocate for the masses of Jews who engage with Jewish content and community online. The MJL team is made up of talented, energetic individuals working collaboratively in content, technology, design, marketing, and finance roles, and the CEO will lead and inspire them, while increasing the scope of MJL products and readership.
The talents and experience we seek include:
- Demonstrated success in growing an organization, employing effective management, creativity,
- A deep knowledge of the American Jewish landscape.
- Excellent verbal, written, and technological communication skills.
- A passion for using technology and new media to engage Jews and non-Jews in Jewish learning and conversation.
- Ability to lead and inspire a team and grow and engage a board.
- Demonstrated ability to raise and attract financial resources.
Leadership and Visioning
- Provide leadership, vision, and policy guidance for MJL.
- Serve as a public spokesperson for and grow MJL’s national profile to become a visible resource/expert to the Jewish community on Jewish learning and engagement in the age of the internet.
- Establish editorial priorities and direction for MJL’s growing base of media platforms.
- Partner and collaborate with other Jewish organizations, and pursue content and distribution partnerships with other Jewish organizations and media outlets.
- Increase MJL’s readership and audience.
- Advance the MJL brand and presence in the general online world.
- Engage and strengthen a committed board of directors.
- Strengthen existing donor relationships and cultivate new major donors.
- Expand financial resources for the organization and create strategies for monetizing web traffic.
- Explore and implement innovative approaches for increased diversification of income streams.
- Build and grow a highly functioning organization.
- Engage and empower a team of talented staff members and recruit and develop talent for the organization.
- Ensure the fiscal soundness of the organization and spearhead its development, marketing, public relations, and programmatic expansion.
MJL is based in New York City and the CEO position requires significant travel. There are currently eight full-time employees and one part-time employee, and a network of freelance writers and editors.
How to Apply
Please forward your resume and cover letter to MJLCEOPosition@gmail.com, describing what interests you about this opportunity and why you feel particularly suited for this position. Indicate your name and “CEO” in the subject line. Applications should be submitted by September 4th.
We’ve finally organized all the books we’ve been meaning to read, picnic gear we’ve been meaning to buy, and kitsch we’ve been meaning to show off. Lucky you!
We know, we know, you promised yourself you’d read Proust one of these days, and you still haven’t gotten to Pride & Prejudice. But how can you, when all these great new books are coming out? Here are our favorites.
The Summer Things You Never Knew You Needed
Don’t hog all the fun. Share our ridiculous finds with your dog and your children—and when things get out of hand, whip out your “Keep Calm I’m Jewish” t-shirt.
Road-Tripping and Picnicking
There’s nothing that screams “summertime!” like Magen David ice cubes, Jewish bumper stickers, and those awesome folding camping chairs. We want two of each.
Classic Reading, Sort Of
From Leon Uris’s classic tale of the founding of the State of Israel to Daphne Merkin’s scandalous personal essays, sometimes you just want to sit by the pool with an old favorite. Here are some of ours.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our finds as much as we have!
And since MyJewishLearning, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that relies on donations and revenue-raising, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds of any purchase you make using our links.
Happy summer 2013!