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With 16,000 members, “Everything Jewish Toronto” now a Facebook hub for Jewish-focused information, connection, and networking

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A small idea has grown to 16,000 members as the Everything Jewish Toronto group on Facebook has become a hub for community online activity.

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Growing up in a predominantly non-Jewish neighborhood, going to a predominantly non-Jewish school, and doing predominantly non-Jewish activities, I always found it hard to connect (and make friends with) with other Jewish people. I considered myself Jew-ISH, someone proud of where his family came from, but not educated enough on history to engage in any form of educational (or historical) conversation. I always did my best to give back to the community in an era that predates social media; something that was an inconvenience on the best of days. 

Apparently, I wasn’t alone with this thought at all, and as luck would have it, two Toronto-based sisters took this inconvenience and created a Facebook group where Jews can interact.

Having attracted notable Jewish celebrities to the brand (Instagram and Facebook, respectively) including comedian Jeff Ross, Pauly Shore, and Jon Bass, the group currently engages 16,000 members from around the world and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

“At the time that the group started, I was working as a teacher’s assistant in Toronto and found that, with social media in its infancy, promoting anything community-related was a challenge,” said the group co-founder, Brittney Sultan.

In 2014, along with her sister, Jennifer Stallman, the two created a group that they called “Everything Jewish Toronto” with the intention of building a central hub for Jewish-focused information, connection, and networking.

“It started kinda slow, but then just took off; people were joining, posting, and really trying to engage and meet each other,” Stallman recalled. “Everyone was just trying to find Jewish-oriented things to do.” Within a year the group became profitable from ads, brand promotions, community management support, and companies wanting to be listed in the directory. “I had experience doing community management, something that many of these brands just weren’t comfortable doing in house. So, as part of a sponsorship package, I would manage the social feeds of brands interested.”

It turned out to be a winning combination.

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In 2015, as business partners, they decided that Stallman would start focusing on it full-time, and the rest is history. They also decided to create a blog of the same name – as a place to post content that wouldn’t necessarily fit the vibe of the group,

 “I wrote an article about antisemitism in the community and didn’t feel like it fit what we were doing as a brand, but was still relevant to the Jewish community as a whole; so I posted it on the blog, and, organically, grew both out simply by posting regularly,” said Stallman. As the membership grew, so did the engagement on both platforms, and the sisters saw an opportunity to give back in philanthropic ways. “We are all about supporting the community and decided that if charities reached out for help with amplification, we would do it at no charge.”

“Parents were also discovering the group, joining it, and asking for help with ways to keep their children occupied,” continued Stallman. “At that point I launched ‘Entertain Kids on a Dime’, which helps parents find cost-friendly activities to do with their children and currently sits at over 130 thousand members and steadily growing.”

“One of the best things about these groups is that the community kind of moderates itself, everyone is super-caring, helpful and supportive of each other,” said Stallman.

Sisters Brittney Sultan and Jennifer Stallman started a Facebook group focused on Jewish interests in Toronto in 2014

Stallman is also very enthusiastic about the pair’s latest idea. 

“Recently we launched ‘Everything Jewish Toronto Singles’, which will offer paid matchmaking and virtual speed dating. We ultimately want to continue growing it, producing events, and doing more for the community.”

If you’re someone who wants to feel like they’re part of something, Jewish or not, I implore you to join the group here. I have posted numerous times about various events and have found that not only was the community warm, receptive and engaged, but the sisters were also super-attentive and helpful, and wanted nothing more than to help each and every single person that reaches out. 

Corey Herscu is Director of Media Relations at VerbFactory, a marketing agency focused on technology and emerging vertical sectors. He previously ran RNMKR, a Toronto-based communications agency focused on cannabis, technology, and lifestyle.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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