Website offers a cheeky approach to ritual
For Archie Gottesman, a project to promote lively celebrations
Archie Gottesman of Summit has been producing her guides for conducting creative and easy-to-access Jewish holiday services at home for several years. But until now, it’s been an underground effort, shared via Facebook and other social media.
In time for the High Holy Day season, Gottesman launched The Marketing Jewru website. The “guide to better Jewish living,” as she calls it, offers materials, available for free download, to celebrate Jewish holidays, including Rosh Hashana, Passover, and Shabbat.
The Marketing Jewru is a coordinated effort to reach a wider audience — something she happens to have some experience with.
Gottesman, a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program for Jewish learning and leadership, is chief branding officer for Edison Properties, which includes Manhattan Mini Storage. Marketing Jewru draws on the same sassy approach as the self-storage company’s subway and billboard ads. A landing page for the website asks, “Is Your Jewish Kickass?”
“Over the years, I started designing and curating user-friendly Jewish content for the big holidays,” Gottesman said in a prepared statement. “I’d have friends over to celebrate, and they were people who came from varying degrees of Jewish background; some of them identified culturally as Jewish but had barely set foot in a synagogue. So my goal was to connect people with elements of the stories and the service that were both meaningful and accessible — the stuff people really ‘get.’”
Gottesman said the services were, for many of her guests, the start of a renewed embrace of their religious, spiritual, and cultural selves. “I got great joy out of mining Judaism for its great riches and marketing it for other people to experience,” Gottesman said, “so I wanted to do it for people beyond my dining room table.”
The website includes both original and reprinted content. A 12-page Shabbat guide includes instructions on the traditional blessings as well as poems, jokes, and wisdom from sources as varied as Rabbi David Wolpe, Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai, and Mother Theresa.
Gottesman promises new materials and resources in the coming weeks and months for everything from baby naming to b’nei mitzva planning to mourning rituals.
Gottesman, daughter of Morris County philanthropists Paula and Jerry Gottesman, said she hopes her guides will inspire people to add their own traditions “so that we can really start a dialogue about what it means to live Jewishly.”
The Marketing Jewru can be found at marketingjewru.com.