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NLE Resources invites rabbis and educators from around the world to contribute guest posts.  Here’s a blog post by Rabbi Benzion Klatzko, Founder of Shabbat.com.

 

On January 1st, 2010, Shabbat.com opened for business with its first member. Now, nearly 300,000 Shabbat invitations later, it is growing exponentially, reaching more Jews than ever!

Shabbat.com appears on a Google search for “Shabbat” among the top 4 results out of a total of six and a half million, ensuring that nearly anyone searching for Shabbat information will be presented with this resource.

Shabbat.com version 3.0 was released February 1st, 2013 with more than 250 upgrades and a brand new user friendly interface. It has matured from a fledgling start-up to a legitimate force and wonderful tool.

We live in the age of social networking. The positives and potential are enormous. Perhaps for the first time in history, we can have access and connection to every Jewish person in the world. This was the dream of Shabbat.com. To create a true Jewish social network with universal buy-in.

By using Shabbat as our rallying point, (since nearly every Jew, no matter the denomination, has been to or practices some form of Shabbat), Shabbat.com has true universal appeal. Shabbat is denomination neutral in the same way Israel is. Through this network, not only do we have the ability to choose any city and find Jewish people actively seeking to connect with their heritage, but we also have the ability to connect them with other Jewish opportunities, such as trips, shiurim and much more.

There is even an activity feed on the home page letting you know each and every time a new member signs up in each community, urging you to reach out to them, lest they slip through the cracks!

Shabbat.com has also added a free and effective dating component, which also makes the site attractive to people from all walks of life. More members means more connection and more access.

The truth is, people are signing up much quicker than our mekarvim can handle, at a rate of nearly 50 a day. An outreach professional could sit in his or her office every day and do a proximity search from their current location. They would find hundreds of unaffiliated people within a ten mile radius. Thus, the onus is on us to reach out (or simply click on the profile of any member) and create a connection with a motivated person in your community.

For mekarvim who really want to use this site, there are some hidden admin goodies that can be added to your account to make reaching out even more effective and easy. Simply write to RabbiKlatzko@gmail.com and request this using the code “Goodies” along with your name and phone number. Alternatively, I can be reached at 212-Shabbat (212-742-2228).

There are hundreds of people out there who have taken major steps in their yiddishkiet and integration into the frum community through Shabbat.com. Each week nearly 6,000 people get invited through the site.

(On my last trip, both my madrich and madricha became frum through Shabbat.com)

It is time to take outreach to the next level. Social networking effected revolution in Egypt and Tunisia. It is viewed as the most effective tool for advertisers. Why not take advantage of this gift Hashem has given us and dream even bigger?

Below are testimonials from people who have enjoyed Shabbat.com. Are you next?

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