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A charter of a newsgroup bounds the content of the newsgroup. The following are the charters of the main Jewish newsgroups. Note that the charter descriptions listed here are abridged (condensed); usually, a pointer is given to the source of the full charter.
soc.culture.jewish. S.C.J does not have a formal charter; it predates the time when charters were required as part of group creation. This FAQ serves as the primary guideline regarding acceptable content for the group.
alt.humor.jewish. This group appears to have no regularly posted charter.
alt.music.jewish. This group appears to have no regularly posted charter.
alt.personals.jewish. This group appears to have no regularly posted charter.
soc.culture.jewish.moderated. This is a moderated newsgroup for the discussion of all aspects of Judaism, including its history, philosophy, culture, practice, and law. In general, any post which contains substantive Jewish content is appropriate. The following posts are unacceptable in SCJM, unless they have substantive Jewish content: (1) inappropriately crossposted discussion (more than 3 groups, or to any group on a list of banned groups, with some exceptions, such as the FAQ); (2) posts whose connection to Judaism consists solely of the Jewish identity of one of its participants or subjects (personal announcements are an exception); (3) political discussion, including Israeli, Middle Eastern, and Arab politics; (4) posts whose connection to Judaism consists solely of a relationship to Israel; (5) offensive or derogatory statements aimed at any individual or group (criticism of ideas or actions, however, is acceptable, provided they meet the other requirements); (6) posts that deny or question the existence or extent of the Holocaust (responses are similarly off-topic, but discussion of how Jews can/ought to respond to such ideas is OK); (7) proselytizing or witnessing for any non-Jewish religion (discussion of how Jews can/ought to respond to such attempts is OK); (8) discussion of the beliefs or doctrines of Jews for Jesus, Hebrew Christianity, Messianic Judaism, or other similar groups (again, discussion of how Jews should respond to such groups is OK); (9) binary posts, with some small exceptions; (10) commercial posts for non-Jewish items. Note that Gnosticism falls under category (8), and is not considered a Jewish movement in the contemporary sense, for there is no contemporary communal organization, no contemporary Jewish religious literature, no contemporary social setting, and no contemporary educational context for gnosticism, even though it may have been a "Jewish movement" in the first few centuries of the Common Era. There is also a prohibition about posting of material that constitutes a probable copyright violation.
Additionally, discussion of the moderation policy of the newsgroup and the moderators' decisions are also unacceptable in SCJM; such discussion belongs on a side mailing list, email@example.com. Specifically, this list is for discussion of potential changes to the charter or moderation policy, changes to the composition of the moderation panel, changes in the way the moderation guidelines, or any other subjects regarding the way in which the group is moderated. [The restriction about Meta-discussion to the scjm-policy list was an interpretation of the original charter's definition of "discussion of all aspects of Judaism..."] To subscribe to the scjm-policy list, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the body text "subscribe".]
For more information: The charter and moderation policy is regularly posted in the newsgroup, and is available on the groups webpage, http://scjm.nj.org/.
soc.culture.jewish.holocaust. This newsgroup focuses upon the events leading up to the Holocaust, the events of the Holocaust itself (such as Kristallnacht and the concentration and death camps), and closely-related events and consequences following the Holocaust (such as the search for and imprisonment/execution of Nazi criminals who fled). Discussion about the historical and social contexts of these events, such as antisemitism within and without Nazi Germany and the response of the outside world is also welcome. Other topics that are encouraged include religious and philosophical reactions and responses to the Holocaust (i.e. how was faith strengthened or weakened by the Shoah), discussions by Holocaust concentration camp liberators, and book reviews of texts that focus on the Holocaust. The following posts are unacceptable in SCJH: (1) discussion of Holocaust denial (euphemistically "revisionism"), or ways to counteract such denial [Such discussion belongs in alt.revisionism]; (2) ad hominem attacks, flames, or foul language; (3) commercial messages unless they are of high informational value to the SCJH community; (4) copyrighted material without permission of the copyright holder. Cross-posted messages will be considered, but not cross-posted.
For more information: www.holocausthistory.org. The charter is regularly posted in the newsgroup.
soc.culture.jewish.parenting. This group provides a forum for discussing issues specific to rearing children within a Jewish context. Topics for discussion range from very specific requests for advice and information to broader questions about Jewish education and practice. In the context of soc.culture.jewish.parenting, the phrase "within a Jewish context" is intended to indicate either an environment in which the child's primary belief system is Judaism (without regard to the belief systems of the child's caretakers), or the Jewish aspects of a multifaith child's environment. The group also uses a broad definition of Judaism is used, ranging from Humanistic Judaism to more traditional forms, but excluding combined faith systems such as "Messianic Judaism" (sic). Unacceptable posts include (1) questions or statements attacking, showing a lack of respect for, or questioning the fundamental Jewish validity of an individual's outlook, affiliation, or practices; (2) posts that criticize a parent for any circumcision decision made for their son; (3) medical arguments for or against circumcision; (4) questions unrelated to Jewish traditions and practices in the context of raising a child (with one exception: introductions of participants); (5) submissions that attack an individual as opposed to an individual's position; (6) commercial announcements (regional announcements and commercial product reviews are permitted on a limited basis); (7) questions regarding general practices of Judaism not pertaining to raising children (redirected to soc.culture.jewish or other appropriate groups); (8) extended discussions about halacha (religious law) when they no longer deal with parenting-related issues; (9) questions pertaining to general parenting practices (redirected to misc.kids or other appropriate groups); (10) questions and discussions regarding how to raise children in an intercultural environment that do not focus on Jewish aspects of the child's upbringing; and (11) questions about non-Jewish religious traditions.
Other notes: This group is mirrored with the SCJ-PARENTING mailing list, managed through the listproc as shamash.org. To subscribe, send a message of the form "subscribe scj-parenting yourfirstname yourlastname" to email@example.com.
For more information: The FAQ for SCJP is regularly posted; it is also available through the SCJFAQ autoretriever. Send the command "send scjp-faq" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
rec.food.cuisine.jewish. Rec.food.cuisine.jewish is for the discussion of various aspects of Jewish food. These include: sharing of recipes from Jewish ethnic streams (Sephardic, Ashkenazic, Yemenite, etc.) and communities around the world; adaptation of classic Jewish recipes to current lifestyle demands, such as the problems often faced by vegans and vegetarians during Passover; adaptation of new recipes to the requirements of keeping a kosher kitchen; Sabbath, holiday and holy day cooking and cuisine; recipes and menus for life-cycle celebrations (births, Bar/Bat Mitzva, weddings); sourcing suppliers, delicatessens and restaurants (locations, specialties, reviews and recipes); Jewish cooking history, traditions, cookbooks and related reference materials. Discussions may also include tips on setting up a kosher kitchen, kosher-food preparation, recipes, ingredient substitutions in non-kosher recipes, techniques, existence of rabbinic approval or labeling of specific food products, keeping kosher when traveling, kosher restaurants, caterers and hotels. Interpretation of the religious laws is beyond the scope of RFCJ. Recipes posted to the newsgroup are expected to respect the basic framework of the Jewish dietary laws: no recipes calling for pork or pork products, shellfish, catfish or crustaceans, and no recipes mixing meat or poultry with dairy products. The group expects that sensitivity will be exhibited both by those who observe the Jewish dietary laws and those who do not; inflammatory postings about one's degree of observance or the philosophical merits of "kashruth" are strictly outside this group's framework. The group is a lightly moderated group; unacceptable postings include antisemitic posts; other inflammatory diatribes; vulgarity; commercial advertisements that do not relate to Jewish food in any way; posts that attempt to coerce anyone to alter their spiritual practices; get-rich-quick schemes and similar spam; messages that have been known to perpetuate such urban myths as the Neiman-Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe; cross-posts to other groups; and posts from anonymous addresses.
For more information: RFCJ Archives at http://www.cyber-kitchen.com/rfcj/ and regular moderation guideline posts to the newsgroup.
rec.humor.jewish. RHJ is for anyone who wants to share and discuss humor, primarily humor as it pertains to Jews, their culture, Israel, and the Jewish religion. Non-Jewish humor will also be accepted. The whole idea is to make people laugh! Unacceptable postings are in the following areas: (1) antisemitic posts; (2) revisionist posts (holocaust deniers); (3) posts from individuals/groups that have openly advocated harm against the Jewish people; (4) website announcements unrelated to Judaism, with some exceptions; (5) excessively crossposted articles; (6) trolls, spam, off-topic or offensive posts; (7) personal messages; (8) off-topic threads; (9) posts that offer or promote conversion to another religion; (10) large binaries and formats incompatible with the moderation software; (11) posts with explicit sexual content; (12) exact duplicates of posts recently submitted; (13) posts not in English; (14) advertisements and/or announcements and/or endorsements for profit or non-profit endeavours; (15) copyrighted works. Posters are expected to maintain a basic tone of civility, not make derogatory remarks about religious practices or the lack of them, and refrain from making derogatory comments about other religious, racial, or ethnic groups.
For more information: http://members.tripod.com/~rechumorjewish. The charter and an RHJ FAQ are regularly posted in that newsgroup.
soc.geneology.jewish. The JewishGen® Discussion Group is a computer-based forum devoted to Jewish genealogy. Users can request help with genealogical problems, post information about new sources for research, and network with other Jewish genealogists globally. The only acceptable content are messages that are related to research in Jewish genealogy such as: offering or requesting information on resources; inquiries about geographical locations or families; information on research techniques; brief reports about research trips; and concise summaries of meetings and seminars.
Additional notes: This newsgroup is a mirror of the JewishGen mailing list. To subscribe to the JewishGen mailing list on Internet, you can use the web subscription form at http://www.jewishgen.org/listserv/jg.htm or by sending an e-mail message to email@example.com containing the message body (NOT the subject field): "SUBSCRIBE JewishGen FirstName LastName".
alt.religion.judaism.orthodox. This newsgroup is for discussions concerning Orthodox Judaism and the surrounding education (Halakha, Talmut Torah etc.), including discussions regarding the various Orthodox recognised movements within Judaism and educational discussion. Educational discussion includes discussion of the Parashat Hashavua; Weekly Haftora discussions; Tehillim examination; Different topics in Halakha; Holidays. Unacceptable topices include: (1) Middle East politics, especially international issues concerning Israel; (2) Material that is available from a listserv; (3) "witnessing" or preaching; (4) discussions of so-called "Messianic Judaism[sic]," and the Christian missionary organization calling itself "Jews for Jesus,"; (5) revisionist teachings (i.e., those teachings that attempt to deny that the holocaust ever happened); (6) personal attacks, Lashon Hara, and Motzei Shem Ra.
For more information: http://stump.algebra.com/~arjo.
The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.
Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at email@example.com.
© (c) 1993-2002
Daniel P. Faigin <firstname.lastname@example.org>