The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life in Whippany is partnering with Kveller, the national Jewish parenting site, to reach young families with a mix of advice, support, and referrals to local services, events, and Jewish programming.
Kveller.com’s Greater MetroWest portal will include contributions from its regular writers, including actress and mom Mayim Bialik, as well as local content tailored to families in Essex, Morris, Union, Sussex, and Somerset counties.
Kveller’s core mission and target audience overlaps with that of The Partnership, which is the Jewish identity-building organization of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, said Partnership executive director Robert Lichtman.
“For years we’ve been hearing from parents of young children that they want something on line, relevant, and easy to access” that can serve as a central clearinghouse for local events and ideas, said Lichtman. “They want to know how to be Jewish parents, how to be part of the community, and also how to do things themselves.”
Kveller — which Lichtman called “a way to infuse Judaism into their homes and lives” — was an obvious partner.
Kveller, launched in 2010, is part of 70 Faces Media, a not-for-profit consortium that includes JTA, the Jewish news service. Its contributors include Jordana Horn and Amy Alpert, both of Short Hills, along with food writer Shannon Sarna, who recently moved to South Orange. All three will write about local events for the GMW Kveller site, in addition to their regular offerings.
Kveller already has partnerships in Baltimore, New York, and Long Island. Two more partnerships are planned to begin before the end of 2015.
The Greater MetroWest site includes information about the local Jewish community — including resources and family events — as well as a list of synagogues, kosher restaurants, and Jewish preschools. The site is expected to expand over time to include day schools, Jewish camps, MetroWest ABLE — the federation’s inclusion body — and other local projects.
The goal, according to Jennifer Reich Modlinger, director of partnerships for Kveller, is for “local communities to leverage Kveller’s voice to help them reach local readers and connect them with local resources.”
Kveller’s analytical team already knows that 9,000 individual visitors to Kveller from the Greater MetroWest area viewed the site a total of 13,000 times before the local page launched.
Added Lichtman: “The largest-growing group of Jews in any metro area is unaffiliateds. In our case, many families with young children are not necessarily affiliated yet.”
Andrea Bergman is coordinating the Kveller effort at the Partnership, where she is PJ Library and special projects manager. She said Kveller provides expert writing and editing, and has created a voice and style that resonates with young families.
Bergman gathers the local information that will be tweaked by the Kveller staff to match what Modlinger calls its “edgy and irreverent” tone. “We translate from ‘Jewish communal speak’” into common language, said Modlinger. So “early childhood center” becomes “preschool,” because that is how people will search it.
The partnership with Kveller has a two-year price tag of $30,000, a figure that is tailored not only to each community’s budget but also its concentration of programs and resources.
The partnership with Kveller will help people “empower themselves to do Jewish things with the community or at home, whether it has to do with rituals, holidays, or anything else,” said Bergman. “The information they are getting tells them there’s a whole Jewish community here. It encourages people to look at the communal assets.”