Netherlands. And there are some 17
nodes in Israel.
Sysops, the hackers' shorthand for
"system operators," link up on a
regular basis to exchange messages.
So, the message you leave on your
local bulletin board will quickly be
distributed to dozens of other
KESHERnet nodes around the
world. In a day or two, there could be
replies from places as diverse as
Ginot Shomron in Israel to
Each KESHERnet bulletin board
features about a dozen message
areas, little corners of the bulletin
board devoted to specific issues.
Weisberg's node offers the follow-
ing message areas: Schmooze (gen-
eral discussion), Torah (torah and re-
ligious issues), Arab (Middle East
politics), Fido (technical discus-
sions), Shiddach (pen pal/marriage
broker), News (international Jewish
news), Halachah (religious law and
customs), Yichus (Jewish
genealogy), Hassidus (philosophy)
and Hebrew (Hebrew language).
KESHERnet has a strongly Or-
thodox flavor — in part the result of
Lubavitchers active in the network.
Popular topics in recent months
have included how to kasher a
microwave oven, the minutiae of
Shabbat candle lighting and the
question of matrilineal descent.
Weisberg said the Detroit
subscribers are a diversified group of
"I have about 70 subscribers, all
adults, who are professionals. Some
are engineers and teachers. I once
had a man who was a lieutenant
colonel from Great Britain, tem-
porarily living in Detroit."
Stan Protigal is a KESHERnet
subscriber in Boise, Idaho. He re-
cently sent the following message to
subscribers all over the world:
"Hello from the smallest Jewish set-
tlement in the contiguous (48)
states! Of course we have an active,
though small congregation. Just
wanted to let people know that we
are here. If anyone knows of any
northwest singles events, let me
Several KESHERnet subscribers
responded to Protigal's message, in-
cluding Ron Kritzman from
Chicago: "I dunno, Stan. Seems
there's Jews everywhere. I was very
surprised last month when I stopped
at a red light in Florence, S.C., look-
ed over and saw a shul. I talked to a
few people and found out that it has
about 200 families, though they
come from as far as 60 miles away. I
guess when you're the only game in
town .. .
"I discovered on another business
trip, this one to Corpus Christi,
Texas, that the person I came to
town to see was at one time presi-
dent of the local (quite busy) JCC.
"I'm also the shammas."
Even the Salt Lake City phone book
lists a shul. Note the 'a shul,' eh? In
any case, welcome to the network."
Although not all KESHERnet
Sysops charge money to those who
want to subscribe to their node,
"It is not a profit-oriented busi-
ness. I charge $25 a year which goes
to maintaining the bulletin board,"
Weisberg keeps the viruses out
and polices the board 20-plus hours a
week by reading messages, respon-
ding to customers' messages, keep-
ing the files in order and up to date,
adding new features and paying for
the daily long-distance phone calls
he makes to Froikin's computer.
"Like any business, you have to
keep up with the competition,"
Weisberg attends Bradley Univer-
sity in Peoria, Ill., where he will be a
junior next fall. No, he's not major-
ing in computer science. Instead,
Weisberg wants to earn his degree
in business management. A member
of the Association of Collegiate En-
trepreneurs and vice president of
Bradley University's Investment
Club, Weisberg runs his Detroit
KESHERnet node even while he is
away at school — via a lap-top corn-
"Every other day I connect with
my system at home," Weisberg said.
"I can still service my subscribers
while I'm at Bradley.
Weisberg's father, Cliff, helps him
police the network during the school
year. "I'm also the shammas," Cliff
And now on to the obvious ques-
tion: how does a novice log on to
KESHERnet? Simplicity itself.
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS