Dr. Deby Babis
Dr. Michele Martini
|Ehud Cohen - Discussing Administrative Challenges in Bat Galim's Community Center|
|Erez Sarig and Haifa University Students discussing Bat Galim's Communal Garden|
|Informal Education Students Workshop Activities|
|Rony Keynan explaining the foundations of Community Theater and dramatic practice|
|Hanna Meller Discussing Elderly Women empowerment in the Community Center|
Late modernity and its new media forms place the religious world at an ongoing tension to accept the Internet for advancing their community building efforts or actively avoid its adverse effects. By examining the case of Chabad Jews the study aims to show how religious communities use the Internet to invite new members and expand their influence while catering to their own communities and consolidating existent membership. A comparative examination of three key websites: chabad.org, crownheights.info and col.org.il that include net observations and interviews with 15 website operators in Israel and the US between 2009-2010 unveil a ‘division of labor’ between websites that either emphasize outward exposure towards a transnational community through Jewish education or are oriented inward and focus on communal rites (e.g. weddings, bar-mitzvahs), safety and inner doings. The community building that occurred in Chabad illuminates the ways these websites act as institutional builders that fortify solidarity and reinforce its values and religious zeal.