A Personal Note From PunkTorah Director Patrick Aleph (Parshah Tetzaveh)


Hi, my name is Patrick, and since February 24th, 2009, I have been in some way or another running PunkTorah.

It all started with one YouTube video: a hastily thrown together dvar Torah about Parsha Tetzaveh made in the kitchen of musician Justin Curfman from the post-punk band Feeding Fingers (and where I desperately tried to promote my defunct punk band Can!!Can).

Out of that one video came PunkTorah, the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with over 250,000 visitors every year, an online synagogue with live streaming Shabbat services, classes and holiday events, and our newest projects: an online lay leadership program and conversion to Judaism program at Darshan Yeshiva.

If you had told me in 2009 that I would be running a Jewish non-profit, I would have called you insane. Sometimes, I think it’s all a dream.

But here’s the thing: PunkTorah is not about Patrick Aleph. It never has been. And I hope it never will be. What makes PunkTorah special is you.

You are the reason why PunkTorah, OneShul and Darshan Yeshiva are here. You made it happen, because you volunteered to lead a prayer service or teach a class. You made it happen, because you donated generously. You made it happen, because you wrote a blog post, or got us a speaking engagement, or told your friends about this cool website you like.

PunkTorah is about you. It’s about your Judaism. It’s about how you connect with God. And it’s about creating a world where spirituality is just as important as food and water. I firmly believe that in a world like ours, the most countercultural, rebellious thing a person can do is to be religious, and to do it with honesty and style.

At PunkTorah, you matter.

Do you believe PunkTorah matters?

If you believe that providing an online Jewish community for thousands of people who are completely marginalized from the Jewish world is important, then please show your support by donating to PunkTorah.

If you don’t believe that PunkTorah is important, than send me a personal email, and I will work like HELL to make you realize that it is.

Best to you and yours as continue our journey through 2014,

Patrick Aleph, and the countless volunteers at PunkTorah