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General: Virus alerts/hoaxes | Typography | XML

Education & Online Community: Gen. Online Community | General Online Education | Online Universities/Training Programs | Papers/Resources on Jewish Online Education | Online Jewish Education | Non-profits & Technology

Other resource pages

Mailing lists with which I am involved

Links of interest
currently, virus alerts, typography, online/Jewish community and education

Recommended books
currently: ideas, typography, computers/web, Judaism/Israel

Alternative Jewish Holiday Toolkits

Andy Tannenbaum's Jewish Resource Page

Other sites of interest that I host:


Europe '96 tour

The Klezmer Shack

This is a page where I stick links to which I regularly refer people in various e-mails, or links that come up often enough that they may as well be findable. Rather than empty my bookmarks list here, I thought I would just add the occasional URL as I find myself looking it up more than once. This page is also providing a place to store online-education-related links, and, more recently, links that deal with questions of non-profits and technology, or non-profits and online community. I hope that what is here is sufficiently together to be useful. Do e-mail me if it isn't, or with any comments.

Virus Alerts/Hoaxes

Do you periodically get e-mail warning you about the latest virus, with the admonition to pass the warning along to all of your friends? Do you wonder if it's true or a hoax? Believe it or not, there are a plethora of places on the web with good, timely, accurate information. Before you pass that piece of e-mail on to 150 of your most intimate friends, check it out:

US Department of Energy Computer Incident Advisory Committee
Recommended by David Rosenthal, of Shamash.

Computer Virus Myths
Recommended by David Rosenthal, of Shamash.

Data Fellows Anti-Virus Hoax Warning page
Focuses more on online hoaxes. A good starting point.

Symantec virus hoaxes page
Another great first visit when someone passes an e-mail to you claiming that a new virus has been discovered.

You can also consult the comp.risks newsgroup, or if you are asking about a specific virus (or trying to determine if you have caught a virus--usually from a floppy from a friend, or from software passed on by a friend--consult the comp.virus newsgroup. Their current FAQ (frequently asked questions) is at:


Typography, Printing, Lettering

Type, handwriting, and lettering"
My good friend, Gunnlaugur SE Briem has released a set of pages covering type, typography, handwriting, and his own considerable contributions to these fields. This is wonderful place to begin exploring any of these areas.

Type Books: For the Well-Read Typographer
This is a nice place to get alternative reviews (as opposed to my own typographic favorites, and comments therein and to find out about more books on the subject. I believe that they also have a bookstore.


Online Community and Conferencing

I do a lot of my research on online community on the WELL. For this subject, and for general good conversation, the WELL is still tops, even though I believe that the most exciting projects are now taking place elsewhere (but most often, and best discussed on the WELL). Visited daily.

David R. Wooley's page on online conferencing
Wooley has been doing this longer than just about anyone else. He maintains a good set of articles, reviews, and links which describe what online conferencing is all about. This is a basic "first stop" when you are trying to get a sense of what this is all about. Last visited 5/6/00.

UCLA Center for the Study of Online Community
Originally suggested by Caleb John Clark, also on the WELL (you may sense a pattern), but moved to a Microsoft site now. It looks like there's some very interesting papers and discussion here. Added 4/17/98, last visited 5/6/00.

Community Building on the Web
This is a site hosted by Amy Jo Kim, author of "Community Building on the Web," to support her book, currently the best reference on online community building available. And mighty good, too! I will be interviewing Amy Jo Kim in the WELL's publicly accessible "inkwell.vue" conference in July 2000. The site itself is worth a visit, but currently, I am not sure it needs to be bookmarked--the book yes. The site? Remember that line about how the cobbler's kids were shod?

Judith Donath's home page
Also suggested by Caleb John Clark, I believe Ms. Donath was the person who invented the web-based "postcard." She has made several very interesting articles on online community. Added 4/17/98. Last visited 5/6/00.

Virtual Communities, Virtual Settlements, and Cyber-Archaelology, a paper by Quentin Jones
Suggested by Andreas Oscarsson on the WELL, this is a fascinating discourse on how we define a virtual community. The author is somewhat limited in that his virtual community experience has been exclusively confined to the free Internet services (IRC, Usenet, listserv/mailing lists), but this is the sort of cogent paper that is worth reading just to get a better understanding of how virtual community might best be defined and studied. Quite readable, as well. Last visited 5/6/00.

Motet conferencing software
This is the software used by many of the most successful (in terms of percentage of users who actively use the system) online communities. It's made by people I like, seems to be simple to install, and very reliable. You can find out more on their site. Added 4/17/98. Last visited 5/6/00.

Web Crossing
This is the software, less light-weight than Motet, but with some interesting flexibility of its own, that is used by a growing number of companies with whom I work, starting with my current employers ( I'm having a lot of fun working with its ability to mirror via e-mail and NNTP, and the ability to modify the look and feel. Last visited 5/6/00.


Some General Online Education Resources

These are projects suggested, or recommendations offered, by folks on the WELL. I have not necessarily visited any of these.

The 'Electric Learning' forum on Communityware
I haven't checked this resource out, primarily because CommunityWare's software has driven me crazy with its slowness. The quick look I took implied that this is focused more on K-12. Resource suggested by Bryan Venable (

Distance Education Clearinghouse
This looks like a nice collection of resources. It is important to note that "distance learning" overlaps with, but is neither a superset, subset, nor entirely contiguous with "online education." (Efforts to teach people who cannot be in the same place at the same time don't necessarily involve the Internet; use of the Internet in education doesn't always imply that the student body never gathers in the same place and/or at the same time.) Resource suggested by Bryan Venable (, from a discussion by Denham Grey on 'Electric Learning' (see above).

Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtables
Started by The Virginia Community College System to provide a "systemwide organizational mechanism at the campus level to provide for planning, coordinating, and evaluating information technology as it applies to teaching and learning processes." Suggested by Bruce Umbaugh (

Teaching, and Learning on the World Wide Web
Sponsored by Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI), in Arizona. Frames. Ick. Not necessarily people who notice where information is useful or usefully presented. Lots of references and resources, though. Suggested by Bruce Umbaugh (

The University of Texas World Lecture Hall
This appears to be a set of websites set up by instructors providing access to course materials via the web. Notable for tools to help instructors upload such materials. This is the sort of site that is useful both for traditional and for online education. Suggested by Bruce Umbaugh (

Southern Arkansas University/Social Sciences
Ed Kardas has used the web as a supplement to teaching, moving on to the point where in a recent class students constructed web pages to present the information in their final papers (which had nothing to do with computers; the web was a medium for presenting information, for class interaction, class assignments, and for relevant links only). Towards this end, he has created a page on building your home page and a very welcome page detailing his experiences using the web, so far, to teach: Hints on how to use the Web to teach. Suggested by Steve McGarity (


Some Online Universities/Training programs

VOU Services International
This is an online university using the web to deliver courses for an MBA. It is unique to this list of resources in that a MOO*, a realtime online environment an order of magnitude more complex and flexible than mere "chat") is used for real-time discussion, with web and e-mail for multimedia and lengthy exchanges. To explore the MOO, log in to the MOO connect page for support, download the appropriate MOO software for your computer, and point it to: " 8888" (, port 8888) as a guest. Suggested by Bryan Venable (, The school's Technical Coordinator.

Golden Gate University CyberCampus
This is an online campus serving all levels of courses taught by San Francisco's Golden Gate University, apparently based on WELL Engaged, the web-based software developed by the folks at the WELL. Suggested by Americ Azevedo ( who set up the original campus.

Ziff-Davis University
Bryan Venable ( mentions this as an example of a place that offers online training. This is not the same as "education," but rather, provides access to courseware via the Internet to teach you specific computer skills. I think that good "courseware" can be an important part of any college or university education, and understanding how to use the web for this purpose, well, is important. For courses that teach more than buttons to push, additional educational tools become important.

IMG University Online
This is similar to ZDU, above. Different brand name. This technology is also apparently licensed to universities, including Washington State and the University of Washington. Suggested by Mark Saltveit (


Papers/Resources about Jewish Education Online

Although most Jewish bodies and institutions are doing some form of education online, there has, as yet, been very little formal study or proposal. Peter's is the first I have seen. There was apparently a forum on the subject at the recent World Zionist Congress, but the forums appear to be no longer available.

Jewish Studies on the Internet: A Global Framework for Teaching Jewish Civilization
A paper by Peter Margolies, 22 September 1997. The technologies it describes are somewhat outdated, but it is a very good survey of issues and principles.

Jewish Distance Learning -- the next challenge, by Eli Birnbaum
Birnbaum apparently runs JUICE, the listserv-driven online education project of the World Zionist Organization. He presents a lot of issues quite well, and also presents some criteria that make good starting points for considering how to measure the effectiveness of programs using this medium. Added 4/17/98.

Jewish Education Service of North America Resource Page
JESNA is behind, or is connected to, many of the most interesting Jewish Online Education projects.

Makam98's, Observatory of Jewish Education Projects and Resources on the Internet
"The purpose of the OJEP and Resources in the Internet is: (1) To map Jewish educational resources, projects and initiatives in the global network; (2) To make these resources available to Jewish educators worldwide; (3)To keep those involved in developing Jewish telematised educational projects aware of relevant models, of each others work, and to develop a community of practice." In practice, this site appears to have been abandoned, or not yet fully functional, or both. The Hebrew side of the project may be more fully realized. I have not explored it yet. Maqom is one of the few Jewish online education resources to provide evidence of having tried web-based conferencing, albeit, a particularly unseemly set of scripts that seem to have been (appropriately) abandoned.

Academic Jewish Studies on the Internet
This is a searchable listserv (mailing list) originally founded by Avrum Goodblatt in 1989, now run out of the University of Michigan and providing copious online references and resources.

Inter-JEd (Internet & Jewish Education)
Although used primarily for announcements, lot of good people involved in Jewish education are on the list, so with proper pump priming, this could be a very good discussion forum (within the limits of e-mail):

INTER-JED [is] the electronic list for discussion of the impact of the Internet on Jewish Education. This list will hopefully serve as a forum for: announcements: (Net and Web resources for Jewish educators, conferences, new publications, articles, reviews of the above); reporting on the planning and execution of Jewish ed projects using the that use the Net: constructively critiquing such projects in the planning stage, progress reports, evaluating results, including the design of evaluation instruments; discussing the impact of such projects on: the teaching professions, the process of education, Jewish identity formation. In addition, this list can serve as a place topost information requests by Jewish educators (and responses).

To subscribe to "Inter-JEd"

Your e-mail address:

Your full name:

To unsubscribe from "Inter-JEd"

Your e-mail address:

To fine-tune your membership in this mailing list, visit the Shamash Swiss Army Knife List Maintenance page. Note that the Shamash page will not work for you if you have not set up your browser with your proper e-mail address.

To search the "Inter-JEd" list

If you delete "inter-jed@ +" from this form, you will search the entire Shamash database, not just the Inter-JEd archives.


Online Jewish Education

My focus is directed towards the Jewish community, so here are some specifically Jewish sources of online education.

Clal Online
CLAL is a center for Jewish outreach and education. Although Orthodox, CLAL is far more open and egalitarian than such a label might imply. The goal of CLAL, as I perceive it, is not necessarily to educate people to be Orthodox Jews, but to educate Jews to actually understand and to live as Jews. Their online site reflects their range and eclecticism. It is not a polished, or incredibly functional site, but many of the right pieces are there. It is a friendly place, and one that is likely to leave one interested in pursuing CLAL discussions, publications, and classes. (I will confess that it is rare, these days, to encounter discussion software this bad, but what other Jewish institutions are fostering online discussion at all?) The model hinted at by this site, or a whole spectrum of engagement, from class syllabi, to publications, to online discussions, is the sort of environment that, imho (in my humble opinion) represents a lot of what it takes to create a good online school environment. This is a newly redesigned site. It will be interesting to see whether bad tools keep the discussion areas from working, or whether good energy and pump-priming make things work, regardless. Suggested by Rabbi Kerry Olitzky. Added 4/27/98.

Jewish Interactive Studies
This is a new (in 1999) organization that offers in-depth courses via the Internet free of charge. The school claims that classes utilize traditional Jewish sources and are given in a user friendly and interactive manner with personal responses to every question or comment on a lecture. From an examination of their website, it looks like course materials are posted weekly to the website. Student e-mail assignments and questions. Some materials from the students are posted to the website by the instructor, who also answers questions via e-mail. Added 7/5/99, e-mail from Michael Zauderer, Dir. Public Relations, JIS.

Hebrew College 'Campus in Cyberspace'
Although current offerings use e-mail, a tool I find of limited use, Hebrew College is getting ready to offer courses using web-based discussion tools, as well, and is developing tools for converting author's resources to html. The college feels that it has gotten excellent response and results using e-mail.

Jewish Theological Seminary
This is one of the only sites offering Jewish education online using tools and ideas that are current with general online education at this time. Their "Distance Learning Project" site demos a program that appears to rely equally on online conferencing (Web Crossing--not the best of that type of tool, but popular and 'good enough') and a wide variety web-based resources. The JTS website also offers a wide variety of changing online materials, from weekly "parashas" to a calendar and other materials.

JUICE (Jewish University In CyberspacE)
This organization offers several free classes each semester, apparently via mailing list. JUICE is sponsored by the WZO (World Zionist Organization).

The Mishpocha Project
This is a very-nicely thought out blend of web-based resources and conferencing. The conferencing part is based on COW, which is more of a toolkit than a useful piece of software, but designer/educator Larry Yudelson (YudelCom Communications) has taken advantage of the toolkit to make an extremely student-friendly site.

Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies
Spertus offers both local and online education, but by "distance learning" they are referring to audio-visual tapes, a few days on campus, regardless, and lots of e-mail. Although a popular model in many systems, it lacks the interactivity and class/community building that characterize local learning, and which, ideally, are part of any degree program (as opposed, say, to skills training videos).

Virtual Yeshiva
This is a somewhat new-agey looking source that offers some interesting online tools, but seems to be presenting study resources, rather than actually conducting classes online. I am told that classes are "somewhere on JCN--just look."

*MOO stands for MUD, Object Oriented (and MUD stands for Multi User Domain)[back]


Non-Profits & Technology

The question of how non-profits deal with technology, what are their special issues, how do you best work with an organization trying to make something happen in a resource desert when taking advantage of "free" gifts or a board members' latest ideas may cost more, and hurt the organization more than purchasing products or services retail? I dunno. I use the WELL's non-profit conference for some ongoing discussion. Daniel ben Horin's SF-based "CompuMentor" is another inspiration.

Computer Literacy: Not by volunteers alone
This article, on using volunteers to bring technology to public school systems, highlights many of the issues that concern me in this regard, well. But then, Daniel has been doing this for 15 years and he was already wise when he started.

CompuMentor home page
As I said, these folks seem to have the right idea. Who else is doing similar, or related work, that should be listed here? E-mail me, if you have an idea, or someone I should list.

Stan Hutton's page on Non-Profits
The WELL's Stan Hutton has assembled some good non-profit resources in this page for the Mining Company.

The Technology Project
Yeah, this is an important part of the equation--free, useful templates for non-profits, focusing on their needs, and tools that many have.

The New Interactivism: A Manifesto for the Information Age, by Howard Rheingold
Howard has been a major influence and mentor. His early online work on the WELL was an inspiration and very much influenced my perception of what could be done with the medium. It hasn't stopped since. His most recent article is an excellent introduction to a subject I have just begun to explore, complete with very useful links and examples. Added 11 Nov 99.

National Strategy for Nonprofit Technology
It looks like these folks have taken my idea about helping non-profits make good technology choices, and make innovative, useful technology choices and beaten me to the punch. Definitely seems worth exploring further. Added 11 Nov 99.

Nonprofit Networks, by Susan Breidenbach
NW Fusion logoThis is a nice article on IT and network (the computer kind) issues faced by non-profits.



I've been working with ways of coding text for about 20 years. XML is the most exciting, so far, for a number of reasons--it has the document structure stuff that is present in SGML with orders and orders of magnitude less pain. It may turn out to be relatively useful and accessible! There are a few resources that I check regularly, mostly in the question of a usable XML editor. If you have any ideas on this subject, once you've checked out the page, do send me e-mail!. I am not referencing (beyond mention right here), home of much ado about XML, and the moribund online magazine, I don't think one need waste much time with either.

Café con Leche
This is the site maintained by the author of the XML Bible, so far, the closest-to-useful book I've found on the subject.

The Developer Works: XML Zone
This IBM-maintained site has a lot of interesting information and links. I learned more browsing here than I expected.

Web Developers' XML Software Guide
In truth, this is way out of date (originally authored in 1998), but it's the best of the roundups, so far.

XML-L List Archives
The best general-purpose XML list I've found. The archives are vaguely searchable, emphasizing that there is nothing about XML that addresses useful presentation of data. Hah!

XMLhack: Developer News of the XML Community
A new site that looks like there is a lot of information. Good luck finding it in useful form!

ZDNet Devhead XML resources
Another excellent article on XML Editors, albeit over a year out of date. Read and weep.

XML Software Site
The site for information about XML software. Useful? Not sure yet.

Searchtools: Search and XML
One obvious use of XML is to power better search engines. This is the place to find out what is available and how it works.


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This page is maintained by Ari Davidow, Last modified Sat, May 6, 2000.