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2015-11-20 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


November 20, 2015  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

New social media site launched for young Jews

The JConnect homepage. Users must register to use the site The JConnect homepage. Users must register to use the site Finding a hiking companion, landing a job or getting together to share Shabbat just became easier for Jewish young adults in Tampa Bay, thanks to a new social media site.

JConnect is the brainchild of Rabbi Ed Rosenthal, the director of Hillels of the Florida Suncoast in Tampa. The website allows folks the opportunity to network and make new friends, and it encourages them to participate in their religious communities.

“The goal of JConnect Tampa Bay is to help ensure that the 21-35 year-old demographic is not lost to the Jewish community,” said Rabbi Rosenthal. “Suncoast Hillels hopes that a strong JConnect network will enhance participants’ Jewish identity, increase their involvement in the Jewish life they will create, and inspire them to become involved in the greater Jewish community, as they transition to the next demographic of family and community life.”

In order for people to sign up for the Facebook-like website, they must first complete an online application at, confirming that they fall within the age range and are of the Jewish faith.

Once accepted, users will have the opportunity to provide information and photos for a public profile. From there, members will be able to interact with each other and may choose to join some of the interest groups that are available: vegetarians, outdoors, Israel, social action tikkun olam, sports, travel, foodies, and scuba diving, among others.

Members also have the opportunity to learn about Jewish life in the Tampa Bay area, including information about local synagogues, Federations, volunteer opportunities and more. A virtual job board allows for members to peruse employment opportunities available in the community.

As an extra incentive to encourage online relationships to transfer to the real world, JConnect offers a stipend for members willing to hold Shabbat dinner in their homes for other JConnect members. In general, hosts will receive $10 per person to help offset their costs.

An anonymous Tampa Bay area Jewish community donor provided the initial funding for the development and introduction of JConnect Tampa Bay and Alfred Goldberg, a local philanthropist, designed the website, gratis.

Anyone interested in supporting JConnect Tampa Bay should contact Linda Wolf, assistant director for Hillels of the Florida Suncoast at (813) 899-2788 or

All donations will be used to help defray the costs of hosting Shabbat dinners in the JConnect Tampa Bay network.

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