For Jewish women between 12 and 20 with cyber time on their hands, the following websites are worth checking out. Reviews are based on content quality and site design. LILITH is now planning a special page for Jewish teenage girls at www.lilith.org.
J-Vibe, one of many Jewish-content webzines published by Jewish Family & Life!, offers chat rooms and message boards with postings on topics that range from the Israeli political scene to Jews and tattoos. The “Real Life” section in January featured an interview with a religious lesbian teen activist in Massachusetts. An advice column by — hee, hee — Tel Aviv doles out information about such serious subjects as eating disorders. “J-Vibrations,” features rabbinic responses to questions about sexuality, relationships, and love. By the way, JVibrations reports, six out of seven rabbis say it’s okay to masturbate. Two of these wise souls are women, Susan Gulack and Alexis Roberts.
A project of the non-profit Sites for Education and Culture, TTT is based in Israel. Despite such basic flaws as barely-edited and sometimes out-of-date content, TTT is definitely worth a hit. TTT publishes teens’ creative writing and visual arts, and the geographical diversity of the site’s contributors will appeal to young girls who want to see what Jewish life is like beyond the local Jewish Community Center. On the “Teen to Teen Bulletin Board,” topics range from dealing with divorce to adjusting to life in Israel.
This supersite, which is hosted by AOL, purports to serve Jews “from the most observant to the most secular.” It offers news, chat rooms, message boards, and online stores. Teenagers will mostly find it useful for its list of 80-plus links to other sites related to Jewish youth, although when we last checked, some of the links were outdated.
This irreverent site, created and operated by the Israeli-born Ophira Edut, self-proclaimed “chunky, funky, quarter-finding, bagel-eating JEW,” blends Jewish wit with feminist repartee. Check out Jew girl: Tales of a Babe in Goyland, (see what Ophira’s grandmother and Madonna have in common) or find your Horahscopes (So, nu, vat’s your sign?). Minnesota Jew girl is a hilarious account of this ‘desert diva’s’ five-month ‘exile’ to Minnesota.
It’s Girls Only at this J-Vibe sfster site. With book reviews, stories on everything from social action to JAP mythology, original artwork, Ophira Edut’s rockin’ advice column and lots of words from the maydeles themselves, it’s definitely a mustsurf. Don’t let the too-cute-to-understand navigation throw you (MzHeard = music reviews, MzStory = fiction from contributing girl writers).
Jewish Women’s Archive http;//www.jwa.org/
The Jewish Women’s Archive aims to “uncover, chronicle, and transmit the rich legacy of Jewish women and their contributions.” The site also addresses contemporary issues for Jewish girls and young women. Its “virtual archive” provides rich information on over 200 Jewish women through biographies, oral histories, diaries, personal papers, and photographs. This site also contains information about Bat Mitzvah traditions, along with practical suggestions for the ceremony and party.