KESHERnet, a computer forum for free discussion,
links Jews throughout the world.
he electronics revolution
is changing the world in
unexpected ways, a fact
that was dramatically
demonstrated during the
Chinese student uprising a year ago.
Globe-spanning computer networks
and armies of facsimile machines
played a vital role in linking
dissidents in China with their sup-
porters in this country.
And Jews, who are no slouches
when it comes to communicating,
are proving to be leaders in the use
of this world-shrinking technology.
17, a KESHERnet system operator
in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Nineteen-year-old Matt Weisberg
of Farmington Hills, one of Detroit's
system operators, calls Froikin
every day, chatting via
"About a year ago, Jason was look-
ing for more people to get
KESHERnet and asked me because
he saw my name on a node list and
thought it sounded Jewish,"
A node is a local electronic bulletin
board accessible to anyone with a
The International Josiah Computer Network
Pao Palilboricso Or.
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Weisberg's node offers several message areas.
and STEVE HARTZ
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 1990
"KESHERnet" is leading the way
for Jews eager to link up with co-
religionists around the world.
Kesher is the Hebrew word mean-
ing "connection." And KESHERnet
is a growing international Jewish
Electronic Bulletin Board network
providing a connection between
Jews and Jewish communities the
KESHERnet offers Jews around
the world the chance to do the elec-
tronic-age equivalent of sitting down
in back of the shul to swim through
the depths of the Talmud, or to share
experiences about being Jewish in a
An open forum for free discussion
of issues facing Jews everywhere
and a medium through which to
exchange ideas and computer infor-
mation, KESHERnet is not af-
filiated with any faction of the Jew-
"It's Orthodox, Conservative,
Reform and unaffiliated Jews who
have banded together to create
something unique so that Jews from
all over can, and will, communicate
with each other, better understand
each other and perhaps solve prob-
lems together," said Jason Froikin,
computer, modem and basic com-
munications software. "I've never
met Jason. I don't even know what
his voice sounds like; yet, we com-
municate seven days a week. So I
can pick up the latest messages in
KESHERnet, I link to his computer,
and he links to Chicago . . . It's like a
KESHERnet was created when
Dick Fielder of Chicago wanted to
set up a Jewish bulletin board ser-
vice and have a connection to his
apartment in Jerusalem as well, ac-
cording to Froikin.
"At the same time, Aaron
Schmiedel in Dallas was setting up a
bulletin board service called Chai
Way and ran across Fielder (in a
bulletin board list) and contacted
him," Froikin said.
Since its inception 1 1/2 years ago,
KESHERnet has survived numer-
ous technological and religious glit-
ches — including a well-financed in-
vasion a few years ago by "Jews for
Jesus," which filled it with
evangelistic pitches. After some re-
organization, KESHERnet bounced
back. Currently, "nodes" are found
in some 31 cities in this country, as
well as England, Australia and the