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JewBelong.com

JewBelong
New York, New York United States
Leadership team

Archie Gottesman, Co-Founder
Stacy Stuart, Co-Founder

Organization website
Prize category
Local/Regional
Operational
1 – 3 years
Target audience
20s & 30s, Adults, Baby Boomers, College Students, Educators, Families, Interfaith, Jewish Professionals, Multi-ethnic, Unaffiliated, Women & Girls
Categories
Community Building, Experiential Learning, Family, Interfaith, Jewish Education, Outreach & Engagement, Ritual, Spirituality

Jewish practice is a gift that can fill us with joy, warmth and meaning and should be something we look forward to celebrating regularly. JewBelong.com provides the know-how and content to help people get there, no matter what their starting point is. From Shabbat to the major holidays to lifecycle events, JewBelong.com provides content that is touching and easy-to-use at home or in a larger community setting. Our how-to-guides, booklets and wisdom will speak to those with a regular Jewish practice, and engage those who are lukewarm, disengaged or totally new to Judaism.

What Jewish wisdom do you use in your work?

Examples of wisdom can be found throughout the site, including our Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah playbooks, and our Haggadah which includes original skits and songs meant to make the Seder accessible and relevant to any audience.

How does your program work to make that wisdom accessible and directly applicable to your audience's lives?

Our booklets and how-to guides rely on a combination of traditional Jewish learning and expand to include the more cultural, including Jewish values, contemporary insights and even Jewish humor, with the objective of making Judaism joyous, relevant and meaningful to today's Jews.

What impact has your program had on your participants?

JewBelong initially targeted Jewish people that somehow identified as Jewish. We reached them through social media, speaking engagements and email lists that we created starting with our own contacts. We then did a small digital campaign targeting including those who might have a regular Jewish practice, but focusing our advertising on those who are lukewarm, disengaged or totally new to Judaism to get them to dip a toe in the water.

We quickly saw that JewBelong met a need. Email signups went from zero to over 4,000 during our first year. Our speaking engagements are often standing-room only. Our Haggadah was downloaded by over 5,000 people. Archie has been asked to speak regularly by Jewish leaders who want her to personally share her message and passion with their congregations, JCC members and other audiences. But just as importantly, we regularly receive emails like these (unedited): "Awesome haggadah. I cant thank you enough. We went back and forth between what you sent and the good book. Was terrific. My family especially loved “There’s no Seder like our Seder.” Except of course for my mother. Who almost platzed. Youre a rock star."

We are now working on our first major outreach campaign using a comprehensive digital campaign and will measure results against three primary objectives:

Reach: Our goal is to reach 200,000 people within the next year with engaging, thought-provoking content. We will measure new and unique site visitors, email subscribers, social followers and more.

Engagement: Our goal is to ensure that at least half of the people we reach directly engage with us by sharing or "liking" our content, engaging with other Jewish resources. (We are planning to launch a new section dedicated to collaboration and partnerships.)

Impact: The bedrock of our mission is creating quality content that truly enhances the lives of our community. We will measure our impact continuously through audience feedback and surveys of our target audiences.

It is this outreach critical campaign that has led us to apply for funding through your prize!

What have you learned about applied Jewish wisdom that contributes to your success?

A wise rabbi once said: “Judaism is a great product, but the marketing sucks." The co-founders of JewBelong.com literally quit their day jobs in marketing to focus on sharing their passion for Judaism with others. We know in our kishkes that warm, meaningful Jewish rituals and content will connect people to their Jewish roots. We used to stay up at night worrying about the future of the people. Now we are using our expertise to create Jewish content that people will want to use to enhance their lives and create a strong and lasting connection to their Jewish roots.