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It's a Big Jewish Tent

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Despite being the president of a Jewish group in the D.C. area for two years, I didn't know a lot about the online Jewish community. When I became ModernTribe's Director of Affiliate Programs, I started exploring Jewish sites I'd never looked at before. There were groups of all different stripes: educational, cultural, LGBT, musical, pro-Palestinian, literary, Hillels, social justice, and more.

With such a diversity of interests and views, some Jews are bound to disagree with others and traditional stances. For example, the engrossing documentary Trembling Before G-d reveals the difficult position of Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish homosexuals trying "to reconcile their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the drastic Biblical prohibitions that forbid homosexuality." Watching the movie, I was struck by how much easier it would have been for them to change their denomination to one that accepted them, but I have to think that losing that connection to the Jewish community they were a part of was too great a price to pay.

So one of the questions we asked ourselves is how to respond to questions such as "Why do you affiliate with groups that conflict with traditional Jewish beliefs?" Our response so far is that ModernTribe is open to an affiliation with any group that builds Jewish community, regardless of what stripe of Judaism, political beliefs, or other philosophy they adhere to. Our Jewish gifts are designed for younger, progressive Jews, so we felt our visitors would generally be open-minded. And isn't questioning and arguing about what it means to be Jewish the essence of Judaism?

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