Project Genesis is an Orthodox Jewish outreach organization based in Baltimore, Maryland and created by Rabbi Yaakov Menken in 1993 to further the goals of the Baal teshuva movement.
Project Genesis promotes further Jewish education as represented in Jewish sources. It believes that this is the best way to restore self-respect, self-confidence, and an interest in Jewish continuity, among modern Jewish collegiates and unaffiliated Jews worldwide. It works to establish a strong Jewish identity, expand Jewish knowledge, and encourage its participants to become more involved with Judaism and the Jewish community.
Torah.org is the main web site of Project Genesis. It has a network of online classes and a unique program in Jewish studies.
Teachers include Rabbis Yitzchok Adlerstein, Pinchas Avruch, Yosef Kalatsky, Mordechai Kamenetzky, Label Lam, Yaakov Menken, Naftali Reich, Berel Wein, Rebbetzin Leah Kohn and many others. It claims to have over 70,000 subscribers, with over 20,000 in the largest "class."
TorahMedia.com is claimed to be the world’s most comprehensive online Torah lending library that collects audio recordings from over 100 teachers in MP3 format.
Early Internet-based "Ask the Rabbi" services were victims of their own success. Ohr Somayach ran a very popular service but received too many questions from people outside their intended audience. JewishAnswers.org was designed by Project Genesis to offer many different rabbis the opportunity to receive questions from their local audiences. Currently over 70 Rabbis participate in the program.
In 1998, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein published an online journal of Jewish thought, called Cross-Currents, with articles written by himself and others. The name Cross-Currents reflected, in his words, the aspiration "to expose the intersection between two currents: the timeless flow of authentic Torah thought, and the ebb and tide of current affairs." Though the material was thoughtful and well-articulated, publication lapsed under pressure from other projects.
In recent years, weblogs have provided a forceful alternative to mainstream media outlets, even discrediting stories that appeared on the major news networks. In 2004, having seen the effectiveness of these political weblogs, Rabbi Yaakov Menken of Project Genesis suggested to Rabbi Adlerstein the development of an online Jewish journal using the same technology that created Cross-Currents.com.