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Blog Submission Guidelines

The ReformJudaism.org blog accepts unsolicited submissions for consideration. Pieces that follow the formatting and style listed below are most likely to be published on the site, so please take time to read through these guidelines. Send submissions, along with biographical information (including any affiliation with a congregation or Jewish organization/institution) to rjblog@urj.org.

Audience

Readers of the ReformJudaism.org blog are a diverse mix of people, including synagogue members, synagogue leaders, affiliated or unaffiliated Jews, or those who are simply curious and want to learn more about Judaism.  

When writing for this site, please bear in mind that the readers of ReformJudaism.org blog are as diverse as the Jewish people. ReformJudaism.org welcomes a variety of viewpoints on Jewish life and living, but guest bloggers are encouraged to be cognizant and respectful of the fact that many readers will have differing viewpoints based on their own experiences and worldviews.

Length

Posts are optimally 300-800 words in length. Telling a story in fewer words that pack a compelling and powerful punch is always more successful in the online space than lengthy, wordy efforts.

Post Styles

Several types of posts are generally acceptable for the blog:

  • First-person perspectives or personal essays on matters of Reform Jewish interest
  • How-to pieces (e.g. what to expect the first time you attend a bar mitzvah)
  • Blessings, prayers, or poems
  • Commentary on the Torah or other Jewish texts
  • Sermons or speeches
  • Commentary on articles, videos, or podcasts of Reform Jewish interest
  • Remembrances, whether personal memoirs or memorial tributes to those who have recently passed, or of long-gone figures of interest

A good blog post often includes a call to action, e.g. the end of a post lists ideas, poses a question, or asks users to post their own thoughts.

Style

  • Do not use underlines or all caps for any reason.
  • Rather than using footnotes, please link to appropriate materials or, where links are unavailable, reference them through explanation or in parentheses.
  • Avoid use of the words “click here” or “here” when linking to a referenced item. Instead, link to a relevant part of the sentence.
  • Wherever possible, link to cited sources and any material that is referred to.
  • Italicize transliterated Hebrew or other languages and include a translation of such words and phrases upon first mention.
  • Indent paragraphs of quoted material.

Editing

All posts that appear on ReformJudaism.org and its affiliate blogs (including RJ.org and its sub-blogs) are edited for grammar, punctuation, style, and editorial flow. The blog’s editors occasionally will return a submission to its author to suggest changes, omissions, and/or additions that the editing team deems necessary to strengthen the post such that it may become appropriate for publishing on the blog(s).

Title and Bio

All submissions must include a suggested title, subject to modification by blog editors. A compelling title that is descriptive of the content of the post will garner more readers. Additionally, all posts should be signed using the author’s real name. A one- or two-line bio should be supplied with the author’s title, position, and, if pertinent, Jewish affiliation.

Images

Reproducing copyrighted material is not permitted. Photos may only be used if you have rights to use them or have received written permission from the copyright owner. Photos on Flickr that use the Creative Commons licensing agreement may be used with a credit, as per the Creative Commons rules. Blog editors may add appropriate photos or other graphics at their discretion.

Video

Videos that have been posted on YouTube or Vimeo may be embedded in a blog post without permission from the original poster.

Terms and Conditions

Posts must comply with the Union for Reform Judaism’s Terms and Conditions, which generally state that any material that is defamatory or violates the rights or privacy of others in any way is not permitted, and that blog editors have the right to remove material that is deemed as such.

Advertising

Posts should not read as advertisements, brochures, or marketing pieces for any event, program or offering, as such posts will discredit the integrity of the blog as a place for discussion of Reform Jewish issues. Instead, if you are seeking to promote an event, program or other offering, choose a topic that is related to it, expound upon it, and mention/link to the product you are promoting at the end of the piece.

Promotion

Blog editors will choose posts to display and feature on the blog and will decide which posts receive “top billing” on the homepage’s rotator feature. Additionally, selected posts may be promoted via social media channels affiliated with reformJudaism.org, including but not limited to:

  • Social media (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+)
  • E-newsletters and listservs
  • Posting on affiliates websites or blogs
  • Encouraging staff, board members, affiliates, and others to read, comment and share posts

Blog authors are encouraged to promote their posts using their personal social networks and to share their posts with their congregations for further promotion.

Rights

Writers retain all rights to their pieces published on ReformJudaism.org. If you would like to crosspost or reprint your blog post elsewhere, please include the line "This piece originally appeared at reformJudaism.org," with a link back to the original on this site.

Payment

At this time, ReformJudaism.org does not offer payment to bloggers.