Screenshot of the homepage of as it appeared on July 21, 2021
Type of businessNon-profit
Available in
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
Founder(s)Yosef Yitzchak Kazen
Launched1988; 36 years ago (1988)
Current statusActive is the flagship website of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement.[1] It was one of the first Jewish internet sites.[2]


In 1988, Yosef Yitzchak Kazen, a Chabad rabbi, began creating a Chabad-Lubavitch presence in cyberspace. With the advent of computer communication technology, Kazen recognized its potential for reaching an almost limitless audience, unlimited by geographic and other constraints. Kazen digitized thousands of documents into what became the world's first virtual Jewish library, and enabling thousands of people to learn about Judaism for the first time. served as a model for other Jewish organizations that created their own educational websites.[3]

Jewish knowledge base has a Jewish knowledge base which includes over 100,000 articles of information ranging from basic Judaism to Hasidic philosophy taught from the Chabad point of view. The major categories are the human being, God and man, concepts and ideas, the Torah, the physical world, the Jewish calendar, science and technology, people and events.[4] There are sections on Shabbat, Kosher, Tefillin, Mezuzah, the Jewish way in death and mourning and a synagogue companion.[4]

Ask the Rabbi was the pioneer of “Ask the rabbi” sites. Kazen reached out to thousands of people on Fidonet, an online discussion network, as far back as 1988.[5]

In 1994, Kazen launched the first version of Chabad's “Ask the Rabbi” website. Today's version, in which 40 rabbis and educators field questions via e-mail, answered more than 500,000 questions between 2001 and 2006, averaging about 270 a day.[6] Many people take advantage of the Web's anonymity to impart experiences and ask for advice from[6] also operates's “Dear Rachel”, a similar service which is run by women for women.[6] Questions and answers have been posted online.[citation needed]

Features provides daily, date-specific information relevant to each day from Jewish history, daily Torah study, candle-lighting times, and forthcoming Jewish holidays.[7] maintains a number of sub-sites, including and its affiliated sites claim over 43 million visitors per year, and over 365,000 email subscribers.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Steinfels, Peter (January 22, 2000). "What is the secret, organizational and spiritual, of the Lubavitch movement's success?". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Zaleski, Jeffrey P. (June 1997). The Soul of Cyberspace: How New Technology Is Changing Our Spiritual Lives. Harpercollins. ISBN 0-06-251451-2. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
  3. ^ Harmon, Amy (13 December 1998). "Yosef Kazen, Hasidic Rabbi And Web Pioneer, Dies at 44". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b Harmon, Amy (1998-12-13). "Yosef Kazen, Hasidic Rabbi And Web Pioneer, Dies at 44". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2024-05-12.
  5. ^ Zaleski, Jeffrey P. (1997). The Soul of Cyberspace. HarperEdge. ISBN 9780062514516. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b c "'ask a Rabbi' - on the Web: Online Rabbis Offer Answers". September 11, 2006.
  7. ^ Kamber, Mike (19 January 2000). "Ban the Web? Not Lubavitch Jews". Wired. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  8. ^ Our Impact