JewishPhoenix.com, an initiative of the Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix, celebrated its one-year anniversary on Tuesday, July 25.
The website, which was created in hopes of connecting the community, began with fewer than 100 “microsites,” or pages belonging to local Jewish organizations, that list events, blog posts and provide details for anyone interested in learning more about them, as well as hosting an interactive calendar.
Since the launch, more than 50 organizations have joined JewishPhoenix, for a total of 157 currently. As community leaders have increased their use of the site, many say they have seen its advantages.
Temple Solel’s Purim Carnival garnered “quite the buzz” this spring, thanks in part to people discovering it through JewishPhoenix, according to Mason Marks, Temple Solel’s engagement communications specialist.
“I typically check the site once a month to plan out what events I want to attend,” Rubin said. “Any time one of my friends mentions they are looking to meet new people or get more involved in the community, my first reaction is to send them to the JewishPhoenix website.” She credits the site with helping her meet some “amazing friends” at events she found there.
“JewishPhoenix helps a lot as we try to get a few new faces to each event to keep it fresh, and it helps new members of the community make friends,” Marks agreed before adding that he has also used it to find out what’s going on in the community.
But it’s not only for a younger crowd of Jews.
“Seniors are using technology more and more to stay connected and engaged with others,” said Jennifer Brauner, director of Jewish Family & Children’s Service Center for Senior Enrichment and Creative Aging. She’s found JewishPhoenix useful for showcasing her programs, which are intended for an older audience.
“This has been a beneficial tool for seniors to learn about what is happening around the community and to register for learning opportunities on Zoom and in person,” she said.
Kimberly Hough, creator of Shayna Maidels, also has found JewishPhoenix “incredibly helpful for those unable to access our events by other means.” She values the fact that the “much-needed and adored website” is available to everyone in the Jewish community.
Carol Kadet, communications coordinator for the Phoenix chapter of Brandeis National Committee, has “received excellent feedback from our members and others who see our events on JewishPhoenix,” she said. That has encouraged people to investigate Brandeis more fully as well.
“Our marketing objective is to reach the greater Jewish community with our message and JewishPhoenix.com provides that audience,” she said.
Alix Cramer, Valley Beit Midrash’s (VBM) operations director, recently spoke to a woman who attended a VBM event she found using JewishPhoenix. The woman and her family had relocated to Scottsdale during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and found it difficult to meet people.
That’s music to the ears of Richard Kasper, CEO of the Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix (CJP), since part of the website’s raison d’etre is to assist newcomers and help them feel welcome in the local Jewish community. JewishPhoenix is an initiative of CJP.
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