When it comes to the world of mommy blogs, there are the big national ones and the little hyper-local ones. There are those that are personal and those that are professional, some Jewish, most not.
But few, if any, local parenting blogs serve the New Jersey Jewish community specifically. NJJN aims to fill that void with a new blog on its website. The blog is called “Our Tribe & Joy.” The author, a former NJJN writer and editor, will focus on Jewish family life in New Jersey.
“I’m doing what I’ve wanted to since high school: writing,” said Alia Ramer. “I’ve been a student of Judaism my whole life and have enjoyed living an actively Jewish life. This is an opportunity to combine that and to add to other people’s lives at the same time.”
Giving the community a place to go for local Jewish parenting advice, resources, and conversation is a part of NJJN’s continued focus on the community it has served for over six decades.
“The web enhances our ability to serve readers and build community,” said Andrew Silow-Carroll, NJJN’s editor-in-chief and CEO. “The new blog is a tool that will help Jewish families find each other, learn from each other, and tell us directly how we can help them make their Jewish lives richer.”
Ramer sees Our Tribe & Joy as a forum for the entire community.
“My family is pretty representative of the Jewish community,” she said. “I have siblings who are more observant than me, my husband who loves me but doesn’t love keeping a kosher home, and relatives who consider themselves cultural Jews and haven’t been inside a synagogue for years. I hope I’m able to meet Jews wherever they are on their journey.”
New posts will appear regularly, along with links to videos and thought-provoking articles or videos as well.
“It’s the 21st-century equivalent of Grandma cutting out an article and mailing it to you, then wanting to talk about it,” Ramer said.
There will also be a “refrigerator door,” where readers can post photos of their kids or their kids’ artwork. After the winners of the NJJN Super Sunday Art Contest are announced, some contestants’ artwork will appear on the site too.
“We’ll talk about the things you’ve tried that have or haven’t worked to spark an interest in Judaism with your kids, or I’ll suggest a great concert to take your kids to, or someplace to go for a date night; just about anything is fair game,” Ramer says.
Ramer was asked to moderate the blog “because I’m a social networking addict.”
She’s worked at NJJN for most of the past 14 years, both in-house and freelance, winning two journalism awards in that time: the 1996 Robert P. Kelly Award from the New Jersey Press Association for best writing in one’s first year of journalism, and a 2003 award, also from NJPA, for editing.
She grew up in Columbus, Ohio, graduated from The Ohio State University, and has lived in Maplewood for almost 15 years. She and her husband, Dan, are the parents of three children — Talia, 11; Avi, nine; and Oren, five.
“I call myself a transplanted Buckeye. I still have a Midwestern ethic about me, but I love the pace of the East Coast and all that New Jersey has to offer. I love the vast and varied Jewish world here.”
And she hopes to write about it, one post at a time.