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October 24, 2014 | 30th Tishrei 5775

Getting Started: Registering Your Domain Name & Finding a Website Host

Whether your congregation's website is hosted by the URJ or elsewhere, we recommend you register a unique domain name that will help your members easily find and remember your website.

Registering Your Domain Name

As you go through the process of registering your domain, it is important to think about who "owns" the domain name. Unfortunately, there are sometimes cases where a domain name is registered and "owned" by a volunteer who creates the web site and then leaves the congregation without transferring ownership, resulting in difficulties in making changes to the website and website domain names expiring.

The first step is to find a unique domain name (not easy if your congregation has a common name such as "Beth El" or "Beth Israel"). There are a number of sites at which you can find if a domain name is available and if so, register it:

Registration Tips and Suggestions

Tips for anyone planning to register a domain name for their temple:

  • Use your temple's name, address, phone number for the registrant, administrative and billing contact. Why? We have seen to many instances where the person who registered the domain name was no longer affiliated with the congregation.
  • Use your temple's email address for the registrant, administrative and billing contact.
  • Make sure that more than one person can access the temple email address and registrar account. Why? Most registrars will allow you to reset your username and password (used to manage the domain name) by emailing the email address on record for verification. Sharing the account information ensures that there is backup in case any changes ever need to be made.
  • Keep your domain contacts up-to-date - ICANN, the organization responsible for managing the assignment of domain names requires the contact information be kept up-to-date and accurate.
  • Register an easy to remember domain name - if your congregation's name is "Temple Beth El", chances are, the address "" or "" will already be taken. You may then want to consider adding the name of your city for something like "" or choosing an acronym instead like "" (if not taken already).
  • More tips on choosing the right domain name.

If Your Website is Hosted by the Union
When you are prompted for DNS Name Servers, please provide the following information to your registrar:

Primary Nameserver NS1.URJ.ORG (
Secondary Nameserver NS2.URJ.ORG (


Contact the Union Webmaster

Once your congregation owns the domain name, you must send a request to (please note that the only person who can make the request is the account owner under a valid email address) and provide the following information:

  • your temple name, city, state
  • your full name and phone number
  • your registered domain name (eg.


Hosting & Media Sharing

RJ Web-Builder
A web application that will enable your congregation to have a dynamic and robust website with regularly updated content, hosted by the URJ. Built on an easy-to-use content management system, RJ Web-Builder provides your congregation with a sophisticated, content-rich Web site that is easy to maintain and update.

Some vendors that our congregations use:

Low-cost website hosting, very good reputation.

Photo and video sharing site that allows direct uploads from Nokia phones.

See more vendors for web technology listed on our third-party services roundup.

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