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Shabbat Online: Made Judaism grow more and more

We are experiencing a huge wave of antisemitism across the world. The increase in antisemitism is more than documented throughout the media, however through the media, digital social networks, university campuses, journalism, and international bodies doing little or even putting the victims of antisemitism, the Jews, and one of the countries who suffer most from international terrorism against the State of Israel, are condemned as the perpetrators of the world’s ills.
Antisemitism and terrorism are phenomena that we Jews face daily. There is always an antisemite or a group of antisemites who roam Jewish homes, educational environments and university campuses where we study, as well as in the workplace.
With the advancement of digital technologies, we have distance education, online commercial and financial services, Jewish studies and Jewish synagogues that operate at full capacity through pages on digital social networks such as Facebook, YouTube channels and meeting applications. virtual.
The Jewish community was in the right place and at the right time and a degree of modernization, secularization and humanization of Judaism in Silicon Valley in the State of California brought great technological and communication innovation, Artificial Intelligence is at its peak. It was up to the Jewish community to incorporate this entire technological arsenal in a process of transposing Judaism from the physical environment to virtual reality.
A few years ago, several Jewish religious and cultural rituals underwent a process of mutation, including the processes of online Jewish studies, conversion to Judaism online, online bar and bat mitzvah, Jewish religious services such as Shabbat are broadcast live on Facebook, YouTube and in various applications and virtual devices, the growth of rabbinic training programs via the internet has become an irreversible virtual reality.
Today large Jewish synagogues such as Central Synagogue in New York, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York, Ohr Hatorah Synagogue in Los Angeles in California, Congregation Beth Knesset Bamidbar in California, Secular Synagogue in Canada, the Spinoza Havurah synagogue, Six & I Synagogue in Washington, among countless other Reform, pluralist, non-denominational, trans-denominational, humanist and secular Jewish synagogues are strengthening the Jewish faith, Jewish unity, the inclusion of geographically, economically and/or geopolitically isolated people, the expansion of current synagogues beyond physical and geographical limitations, and with the emergence of new synagogues and the expansion of their Jewish religious actions and the new members joining the Jewish community like never before.
Studies have shown that in the 2010s the North American Jewish community grew by around 10%, and that only in the city of Los Angeles, California, there was a 25% increase in the number of Jewish families, we realize how much a modern Jewish community and a society with democratic values ​​and technologically advanced, with a vibrant economy, provide a favorable and attractive environment for Jews to be fruitful on this soil.
During the 2010s, the rabbinates of the Darshan Yeshiva emerged, almost simultaneously, several other rabbis began to convert to Judaism in physical reality, in addition to converting to Judaism via the internet, following the same processes in virtual reality as in physical reality, as an example we can cite Jewish website called Make Me Jewish (Convert to Judaism online) by North American rabbi Marc Rubenstein, among countless other rabbis, already offer these methods for conversion to Judaism online and new Jews are already joining physical or virtual Jewish communities.
Like these examples, another Jewish website for Jewish studies for conversion to Judaism called Converting to Judaism by the North American Orthodox rabbi Gedalia Walls offers a good part of the program for Jewish studies for conversion to official Judaism in online mode. It is important to reveal that the Jewish website called Darshan Yeshiva is a rabbinate made up of dozens of rabbis, around 30 rabbis from various non-Orthodox Jewish denominations of which around 24 rabbis are active in conversion to Judaism and 6 rabbis are temporarily unavailable for conversions to Judaism. Judaism, this rabbinate is dynamic, comprising official rabbis from Reform, Pluralist, Humanist, Reconstructionist, Renewal, Conservative Jewish denominations and those without specific affiliation (post-denominational or trans denominational). Rabbinates and rabbinical seminaries have expanded considerably in digital environments.
The Jewish community is already aware that there are several rabbinical schools that offer rabbinical education and training programs for rabbinic ordination (semicha) online, such as rabbinical schools Pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary, Academy for Jewish Religion AJR, Jewish Spiritual Leadership Institute JSLI as well as several other rabbinates in the United States of America, it is public knowledge that there is a reformist rabbinical school from Argentina in Latin America, Instituto Iberoamericano de Formación Rabínica Reformista, which offers a rabbinic training program and rabbinic ordination online.
Therefore, we conclude that almost all aspects of Jewish studies and rituals for conversion to Judaism and rabbinical training are already operating in an increasing and progressive way in the form of virtual or digital reality in the United States of America, Argentina, among other countries. We are at a time when the Jewish presence in all spheres such as Jewish media, online Jewish education and studies, online rabbinical training, virtual Jewish libraries, digital Jewish journalism and online Jewish religious services are fundamental to the survival of Judaism within the rise of growth in the digital economy.
 This context is fundamental even for combating anti-Semitism that has taken over the internet, and Jews in this context can combat any hate speech against Jews and Israel, as well as deepen their relationships with various synagogues and Jewish and communication entities, breaking the limits of physical reality with the new paradigms of virtual reality in which a very important aspect is Jewish religious inclusion through the internet, from conversion to official Judaism such as the availability of virtual synagogues, online synagogues present on Facebook, YouTube, and in meeting apps.
Jewish spirituality tends to expand within this new virtual reality, as we said above, the North American Jewish community has grown significantly, according to studies pointed out by Pew Research and Brandeis University’s, the number of Jews has increased to more than 7.5 million Jews, bordering to 8 million Jews in the United States of America alone, becoming effectively the largest Jewish community in the world and its most significant growth occurred precisely in the Jewish communities located in the Silicon Valley region in California.
About the Author
Dr. Alan Freire de Lima, Sephardic Jew, scientist, anthropologist, clinical psychoanalist, writer, librarian, clown, artist, journalist and marketer. Ph.D in Anthropology and Religion and Ph.D in Psyschology (PsyD in Psyschology). Member of the Synagogue OHR HATORAH SYNAGOGUE (Los Angeles California, USA) Son of Jewish mother Arlete Freire de Lima, an anthropologist, writer, scientist and clinical psychoanalyst.
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