Leverages Community Ties

Share this content:, a global portal for Jewish-oriented education and e-commerce, is relying heavily on participation at local events and partnerships with Jewish organizations to reach the American Jewish community.

Promoting the site at events is the core of the site's marketing strategy. Among other events, it will have a presence at "A Walk with Israel" in Chicago, May 7; "Israel Fest" in Los Angles, May 14; and "A Salute to Israel" in New York, June 4.

Putting a face on the Web site is essential.

"It's one of the most critical things we do. It makes it real for people; it lets them know we're more than just a URL you click on," said Harry Nelson, co-founder of, Southfield, MI.

At trade shows, the site has opted to use a Sukkah instead of the traditional booth to draw attention while also showcasing one of the products the site offers. "This allows people to see what they can come to the site to buy," said Nelson.

To help drive traffic to the site, Nelson uses logos on promotional items, such as T-shirts and magnets featuring the Jewish holidays. has been building its consumer database by having people provide their e-mail addresses and demographic information at trade shows as well as on the site. To date, it has compiled a list of more than 8,000 people.

The site sends out e-mail messages announcing special products, seasonal offers and new features on the site. "We provide a service that lets people know what's going on in the Jewish community offline, and at the same time, we can promote services we are launching online," said Nelson.

To reach consumers through the traditional mail, the site has partnered with a number of local organizations. It encloses a branded message and special offer with mailings that the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, D.C., and local schools and synagogues across the country send out. It has sent out 10,000 direct mail pieces and will send out an additional 10,000 pieces next month.

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