`Jewish Yahoo!’ counts 15,000 visitors a day

`Jewish Yahoo!’ counts 15,000 visitors a day


Funny. Zipple sounds like a Yiddish word. It looks like a Yiddish word. But it isn’t. Not yet.

But Jory Rozner, chief executive of Wheeling-based Jenesis Communications, which runs the Jewish-oriented Web site Zipple.com, hopes her popular Web site will help turn Zipple – coined by her ad agency – into a real Yiddish word.

Zipple.com, which has been called the “Jewish Yahoo!,” connects Jews from throughout the world to information on the culture and religion.

Rozner, 31, of downtown Chicago, said, “I am trying to create a Jewish brand, like Manischewitz, on the Internet.”

The “supersite” features more than 4,000 links to sites on synagogues, Jewish food, Jewish jokes, genealogy, the Holocaust, Jewish newspapers, Jewish travel and Jewish celebrities. The site counts 15,000 visitors per day.

Zipple.com lists chat rooms where Jewish singles can meet. “No weddings that I know of so far. If there were, I’d be worried,” said Rozner, who launched her site in February.

Rozner earns revenue through banner advertising and sharing commissions with online merchants, such as books of interest to Jews sold through her site via Amazon.com and CDnow.

Rozner got the idea for Zipple while in a chat room with several other Jews on Passover, the Jewish holiday commemorating the Hebrews’ flight from Egypt, in the spring of 1998.

“We were from all over the world: Australia, South Africa, Uruguay, Canada and the United States. We were all talking about going to a seder (the Passover meal featuring unleavened bread), and how much we craved bread,” she said. “We all knew what a Jewish mother was. We all knew the food. I was blown away with how much we could share online, and wanted to do more with it.”

But they don’t know what a Zipple is. “I like to think it’s the secret ingredient in chicken soup,” Rozner said.

Copyright 1999

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