The Jewish Week

"Generation J Finds a Cyber Home"

New Internet Sites are providing a place for largely unaffliated 20- and 30-something Jewish seekers.

Ophira Edut grew up in a working-class suburb of Detroit, and something, she sensed, just wasn't right. Not fitting in with either her non-Jewish neighbors or her Hebrew school classmates, Edut says she "always felt either 'too Jewish' or 'not Jewish enough.'"

Her solution to her identity crisis? A Web site -- Jewgirl: Tales of a Babe in Goyland -- which contains fables like "The Princess and the Pee," a pop culture section called "Follow My Nose," and "Minnesota Jewgirl," a chronicle of her six-month "exile" in Duluth, Minn.

"The Web site is where I can explore that experience with humor, and redefine Judaism on my own terms," says Edut, 26, an associate editor at Ms. magazine who now lives in Brooklyn. "It helps me realize that there are many ways to be a Jew."

Edut, editor of the body-image anthology "Adios, Barbie" (Seal Press), is a member of Generation J, a diverse and fragmented group of Jews--many of them unaffiliated with the mainstream Jewish community--seeking spiritual meaning and a way into Judaism. (Daniel Belasco)