harnessing the power of the modern world

In the modern age, no business or non-profit can succeed without properly understanding the technological tools available, and how to best use them. NASCK is no different, and utilizes industry best practices in engaging both supporters and the general public.

At the helm of the IT department is Rabbi Naftali Zions, who seamlessly stepped into this role after having served as Executive Assistant last year. “This was a natural step from my previous area of responsibility,” Rabbi Zions said. “I have a background in website development, and I’m familiar with email marketing. I’m happy to be able to focus on those areas, and really show the world the great work that NASCK does.”

Many people are unaware, but NASCK actually runs three independent websites – NASCK.org, TeamShabbos.org, and PeacefulReturn.com.

NASCK.org is the flagship website, with a wide range of resources for Chevros Kadisha, Rabbis, and the community-at-large. These range from articles about the difficulties of end-of-life decisions, to videos about how to best comfort mourners in their time of need. One can sign up to receive an EMES card, download Halachic Living Wills and other forms, ask the rabbi a question, or make an order for their Chevra Kadisha.

“Essentially, NASCK.org is the face we show the world. It’s how people find us, and how we tell our story,” added Rabbi Zions.

NASCK.org was launched years ago, but received a facelift in July of 2016, through the great work of Bottom Line Marketing. Though there was an uptick in site visitors, it wasn’t where NASCK wanted to be. Using Google Analytics, Adwords, and best SEO practices, NASCK was able to raise the visitor rate by a whopping 1500%!

Like the domain name implies, TeamShabbos.org is a site made specifically for TeamShabbos, NASCK’s national initiative that brings Shuls and communities together on Parshas Vayechi to discuss end-of-life issues. TeamShabbos.org is replete with information, articles, Torah sources, and other items of interest, geared towards Shul rabbis, giving them all the tools needed to inform and educate their congregations.

One would think that TeamShabbos.org would be a seasonal website, but analytics show that there are visitors year round. “It’s true that we get the most traffic before and during Parshas Vayechi,” commented Rabbi Elchonon Zohn, director of NASCK, “but people are always looking for information. Sometimes a Rav was unable to participate during Parshas Vayechi, but recognizes the importance of having this conversation with his congregation. Sometimes people are seeking something specific about these important topics and wind up on TeamShabbos.org. There can be many reasons people visit that site.”

Though both NASCK.org and TeamShabbos.org contain information regarding the Jewish stance on cremation, the NASCK leadership felt it was important to have a separate site solely dedicated to that topic. Thus, PeacefulReturn.com was born – a site that lays out why burial is better for the deceased, the family, and for society. The site is designed to be useful to those who have little Judaic background. Besides general education, many people have used the site to ask NASCK to help prevent a cremation. B’Ezras Hashem, NASCK has been successful in a large number of those cases. NASCK is looking to upgrade, modernize and make this site more user-friendly. Sponsorship is possible.

“These sites are an amazing way for us to help people through a difficult and painful time,” said Rabbi Dovid Gewirtz, the current Executive Assistant. “Not just for the people who are facing this challenge, but for the support group around them. As far as we are aware, there is nothing in the Jewish world quite like it.”