Emily Grotta UAHC Department of Communications 212.650.4221 firstname.lastname@example.org
Launches College Student Webzine Hometown Rabbis Use E-mail to Reach Campus
reach 15,000 Reform Jewish college students this year
NEW YORK, Aug. 24, 2001- As
young people across America begin another year of college, the Reform Jewish
Movement this week launched a new webzine that will for the first time connect
college students with their hometown rabbis, college-town synagogues and campus
Hundreds of Reform rabbis
across the country will be sending personalized electronic webzines every
four-to-six weeks to their students on campuses through the Union of American
Hebrew Congregation's Etone on-line newspaper. Etone, Hebrew for newspaper, will
contain articles and entries personalized for students in regard to their home
congregations, their campuses and the Reform communities within their campus
Etone, which merges the
power of the Internet with sophisticated database technology, will also have
practical information for college students such as whether to hang a mezuzah on
a dorm room if they are living with non-Jewish roommates and how to make their
Jewish home away from home.
In addition to hearing from
their hometown rabbis, students can pull up buddy lists of former classmates,
and receive information on religious services, events, as well as job openings
at area temples. A password-protected site will include the names and E-mail
addresses of other Reform Jews who attend the same school.
"As tens of thousands of
Reform Jewish college students begin another year of school, Etone will serve
them in a sophisticated and personal manner on their own turf-the Internet,"
said Morton Finkelstein, chair, UAHC National College Committee.
"As students go through
college, Etone will offer regular updates to maintain interest and continue
their relationship with the Reform Movement and the Jewish community,"
College students have been
among the hardest people for the Reform Movement to maintain contact with
because most move annually and have many mailing addresses. But the UAHC has
identified an address that won't change over several years- E-mail.
"Etone will help Reform
congregations engage our young members during their college years, a critical
period when students are faced with major independent decision making for the
first time and where patterns of behavior are being set that may last a
lifetime," said Rabbi Andrew Davids, associate director of the UAHC Youth
Division and creator of Etone.
"Individuals find life
partners while on campus, make major decisions about future professional lives
and often establish their first Jewish home on their own during this period.
Unless Judaism can add real and perceived value to this critical episode in a
young Jew's life, it will be difficult to demonstrate a need for religious
involvement at a later stage," Davids said.
The Union of
American Hebrew Congregations is the central body of Reform Judaism in North
America, representing over 1.5 million Reform Jews in over 900 congregations.
UAHC services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated
and intermarried Jews, educational programming, and the Religious Action Center in Washington, DC..