INTERNET TRAVELLER By Hilary Ostrov C.W.*


Note to the reader: This column was originally prepared for the Canada Day issue of the Jewish Western Bulletin. For a variety of reasons, primarily the traditional space constraints of print media, publication was deferred until July 28 with Canada Day references deleted. It is published here, however, in its original form.

When I first began "surfing the net", almost a year ago, the number of Canadian Jewish Home Pages I was able to find could have been counted on the fingers of less than one hand!

I looked at my calendar, and sighed as I saw the note I had made to myself: "Editor wants column featuring Canadian Jewish items for Canada Day"

My mouse and I set out on our journey in search of suitable points of interest. Thank goodness for the Free Trade Agreement, because our starting point was Andrew Tannenbaum's New York based Judaism and Jewish Resources Page .

We scrolled through the extensive list looking for URL's waving Canadian flags - or tags (".ca" is sometimes a clue, but it could lead to a California page; conversely, not all Canadian pages have a ".ca" in their URL's).

Eyes and mouse clicked on, "IN Montreal is a monthly magazine with information and insights for young Jewish adults in Montreal." And some of the articles are (of course) bilingual.

While in Montreal, I visited one of the three Canadian "Jewish Community" links from Tannenbaum's page: The McGill Hillel - Zionet WWW Page. There are some very jazzy graphics here - and a link to their very own Cyber Rabbi's thoughts on the recent CJC Plenary.

And not to be outdone, Rabbi Zalmen Marozov of Montreal offers a daily Torah Fax in CyberSpace. As the logo says, "Torah on the spot for inTORAHnet people on the go!" Or, if you prefer, Rabbi Marazov will send your daily Judaism lesson via e-mail. All you have to do is let him know by sending an e-mail to torahfax@netaxis.qc.ca (no "dot" after the .ca!).

Heading west from Montreal, I was delighted to find a photograph of my long-time, "real-life" friend, Joel Yan, on Ottawa's Congregation Adath Shalom page - which seems to be the only Ottawa Jewish page, btw! This "stop" is actually part of a virtual tour of our nation's capital.

If you ever want to find out what today's Hebrew date is, you can have your mouse click on the Hebrew Calendar page. "Jewish time" can take on a whole new meaning in cyberspace. This page is on a server (this is the name for a computer on which information is stored) in Ottawa, so tomorrow always begins three hours earlier!

The third Canadian Jewish community on the WWW is represented by the Waterloo Jewish Students Association. I won't even mention that Tannenbaum's page has links to WWW Home Pages of 37 organizations in 22 Jewish communities south of the border!

But speaking of borders ... I learned that I was visitor no. 801 to the Zionet WWW page, since they started counting on May 10. The page is on a server in Montreal; but the "counter", which keeps a log of the visitors, is on a server at the University of Alberta! Now that's what I call "Canadian Unity"!

A trans-Atlantic cyber-hop later, in search of more Canadian Jewish tags, I was viewing Matthew Album's A - Z of Jewish & Israel Related Resources. But here I was "shocked" to find a link to "McGill Hillel - Zionet (U.S.)". I quickly sent Matthew an e-mail, letting him know that I didn't think Quebec had separated, yet; and while I was perusing a link from his page back to Alberta, his e-mail in reply arrived on my computer: He had been misled by the lack of a ".ca" in the URL!

Former Calgarians who miss reading Eliezer Segal's column, "From the Sources", in the Jewish Free Press can find them on the Web. In these pages of "mixed media", you will also find an amusing letter to the editor: Front Page Coverage of Israel Showed Bias.

Incidentally, your "Internet Traveller" also mixes her media! So, for your net-surfing convenience - all the URL's are point-and-click ready - this column, too, can be found on the WWW. Not until Canada Day, of course - but you can find previous issues there now.

And since we are closer to home, you won't have to wait to visit the B.B.Y.O. Home Page - or to see the citation Ken McVay received when he was awarded the Order of British Columbia on June 13.

Work has begun on the conversion of McVay's Holocaust Archives. You can view an introduction to the Nizkor Project, and if you missed the JWB article on where donations can be sent, you will find that information as well .

And now I'm off on a cross-border hop to Bird on a Wire - The Leonard Cohen Home Page.

Happy Canada Day and L'hitraot.


*Hilary Ostrov is a Chartered Webaholic, who lives in New Westminster, BC. When not busy "surfing the net", she is a consultant and educator who offers Internet "driving lessons", hypertext authoring and design of World Wide Web "Home Pages", and computer-related training. She can be contacted via e-mail (hostrov@telus.net) or telephone (604) 525-3055

Copyright © 1995 Hilary Ostrov

This article was submitted for publication and appeared in the The Jewish Western Bulletin, Vol. LXII, No. 27

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