Jonathan Ginsburg - Founder and Administrator @ ESynagogue
Jonathan Ginsburg is a dedicated steward of the Jewish faith and the head administrator of ESynagogue, an online community dedicated to educating and raising awareness of issues pertaining to the Jewish faith. Taking advantage of the Internet and borrowing from his past experience as an educator and a pulpit rabbi, Jonathan Ginsburg uses his online center to help keep fellow believers connected. For just a single yearly fee of $500, ESynagogue members receive bulletins and newsletters to keep them updated on current events and ongoing cultural issues related to Judaism, Israel, and the online community. In the future, ESynagogue may expand to allow paid members special access to its Holiday and Shabbat video sermons.
In addition to building an online community, Jonathan Ginsburg has found the Web to be an ideal medium to educate others on topics of the Jewish faith and perform online seminars focusing on cultural phenomena and current events. Drawing from his teaching experience at a number of colleges in Minnesota, Jonathan Ginsburg currently boasts over 600 videos online that cover a variety of topics. Jonathan Ginsburg serves as the administrator for multiple online blogs that provide information and enlightenment on such pressing topics as “Anti-Semitism Today,” “Muslim Terror and lies about Israel,” “Obama and Israel,” and “Conservative Judaism.” Additionally, Jonathan Ginsburg delves into issues regarding religious law in the “Ask a Rabbi” section on his blog and offers online exams for users to test their knowledge on Jewish history.
Before founding ESynagogue, Jonathan Ginsburg presided as Senior Rabbi in Skokie, Illinois, at Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation. Having amassed over 30 years of service as a rabbi, Jonathan Ginsburg also served as a Senior Rabbi at the Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the Kane Street Synagogue in Brooklyn, New York. An active member of his community, Rabbi Ginsburg has acted as President of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association and as a member of the Niles Township Clergy Association while in Illinois.
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An Interview with Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg, President of Esynagogue.org
Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg studied religion at the University of Chicago prior to attending the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he received ordination. He has taught Judaism for more than 30 years, assisting numerous converts to the religion. In 2008, he leveraged his experience to create Esynagogue.org, providing an online source for Jewish instruction and discussion. He continues to serve as President. In the following, Rabbi Ginsburg sheds light on his mission and the services that he offers:
Question: What do you see as the primary work of Esynagogue.org?
Rabbi Ginsburg: Essentially, we intend it to be an online synagogue, connecting Jews throughout the world and providing spiritual guidance and instruction. However, we also offer educational courses for those interested in Judaism or conversion.
Question: What is the greatest benefit of the online medium?
Rabbi Ginsburg: The fact that we can reach people from all over the world, especially those who may not live close enough to a rabbi to receive instruction. This enables anyone to find out more about Judaism, then participate in the conversion process without traveling a great distance to seek out a rabbi.
Question: How would an interested individual convert online?
Rabbi Ginsburg: The process involves a 16-session study program to develop comprehensive knowledge of Judaism. After completing the course, individuals wishing to convert submit an essay to the Bet Din, the rabbinical council, addressing their understanding of the Jewish religion and intention to live according to its tenets.
Question: How does Esynagogue.org serve those who already belong to Judaism?
Rabbi Ginsburg: We provide educational programs for Jews and non-Jews. We host an online Hebrew school that allows children ages 8-13 the opportunity to learn over the Internet with others of the same age and religion. We also offer Para-rabbinic training to teach lay leaders how to assist their rabbis in serving the spiritual needs of their communities.
Question: Do you find this work fulfilling?
Rabbi Ginsburg: Yes. From the feedback I have received, I can see these efforts bearing fruit in the lives of others.
Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg Offers an Overview of Hebrew School
Possessing more than 30 years of teaching experience, Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
serves as President of Esynagogue.org. He aims to maintain educational resources and programs. Rabbi Ginsburg also creates numerous instructional videos available through YouTube.com.
If you seek a good Jewish education for your children, you may wish to consider the Hebrew school that Esynagogue.org offers online, the first such institution to exist. Whether you lack a good school in your area or prefer a more independent style of learning for your children, the online Hebrew school provides a good alternative to classroom education. Accepting children ages 8-13, the online program encourages parental involvement in the teaching process, promoting relationships among family members. The educational program adapts to individual situations and allows children to progress at their own rate.
The program’s structure fosters the children’s own pursuit of knowledge, allowing them to learn through an appealing online format. When necessary, a tutor provides assistance to the family and answers any questions. Another benefit of Internet schooling is the plentiful resources available online, providing a comprehensive education. In particular, the program facilitates the Hebrew school, presenting full instruction from a Judaic background and focusing on living as a Jew.
For more details about the school, visit Esynagogue.org. The website also includes supplemental information, such as a link to online Hebrew lessons and a Bar Mitzvah training course.
For more information on Jonathan Ginsburg, visit www.rabbijonathanginsburg.net, www.rabbijonathanginsburg.org, www.rabbijonathanginsburg.blogspot.com,, www.rabbijonathanginsburg.info, www.rabbijonathanginsburg.com,, www.rabbireflects.blogspot.com, and www.israelgreatest.blogspot.com.
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