About the Kol HaLev Website
Simchat Torah 1998
Early in 1998, Kol HaLev--then known as the Reconstructionist Havurah of Cleveland--had about 50 member families. Member Brian Miller registered the domain name reconhav.org and created a website with four pages. Its home page featured the photo on the right.
Eleven years later, Brian and his company continue to provide hosting and technical support for this new website (version 2.0, if you will!) as well as many others, including more than a few Reconstructionist congregations and the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. We also thank member Greg Selker for his work "aligning the planets" to bring it to fruition.
We owe a great debt of gratitude to Arnie Berger, Kol HaLev's first "webkeeper" following Brian's launch of the site in 1998. For the better part of a decade, Arnie imbued this website with the same unique sense of care and love that permeates so many things related to the KHL community. More than a few members first became acquainted with and interested in Kol HaLev via the web site, myself included.
As Kol HaLev has grown to over 120 member families, this website has grown along with the community. While we are one of Northern Ohio's smaller congregations, our website is among the largest!
You may ask "How did such a small shul come to have such a large website?" Apart from having a web-savvy membership, we feel its growth is the result of two unwritten, long-held community-building policies:
Our site should be a resource for participation and governance.
Because we value sharing information, our site makes available important documents such as our Bylaws, policies such as Bar/Bat Mitzvah and the Role of the Non-Jew, lists of officers and committees, "How to Host a Kiddush", the structure of Shabbat services and much more. We endeavor to keep these pages current, especially our calendar. To help prospective members learn about Kol HaLev, more than 90 percent of our pages are public (i.e. open to all visitors).
These pages should be a way to share our history.
Our site does this through a visual record of community events and personal celebrations. As an example, see the section which celebrates the dedication of our Sefer Torah and helps members old and new experience that wonderful time. These image-rich pages are our "electronic refrigerator." If looking at some of them gives you a warm feeling, like seeing a friend's refrigerator covered with family photos, then they have served their purpose.
Does anyone visit these pages? We receive more than 1,000 visitors a week! Many of them are attracted to our Gems pages, some to our Links and What is Reconstructionism pages that are linked to from other Reconstructionist websites.
Thank you for visiting www.kolhalev.net!
on behalf of the entire Kol HaLev community