Tzfatline and Tzfatgroup

Passing Information in Tzfat

Once upon a time, not many years ago, the English-speaking community of Tzfat communicated by posting notices on the bulletin board of the English library. Since almost everyone visited the library several times monthly, it was a good bet that any announcements posted there would be seen by all.

The Tzfat newsletter was also a medium for communication among the Anglos of Tzfat. Twice yearly, before Passover and Rosh Hashana, the 8-page Western Settlers Newsletter would be printed, with articles about various people and organizations in Tzfat, happenings, events, and updates. The newsletter was written up and typed by volunteers and printed at a local printer.  Distribution was effected through the library; as people came in to choose their books, the librarian, Edyth, would ask them to take a stack of newsletters and deliver them to their neighbors. Very few newsletters needed to be mailed.

The last few years, however, have seen the Tzfat English-speaking community move towards modernity. These days, the Western Settler's Newsletter has been consigned to the archives of Tzfat's history, and two new digital listserves have taken on the job of distributing information to the community.

Technology Arrives for Tzfat's Anglos

The Tzfat yahoogroup is less of an information tool and more of an opportunity for people to discuss, argue, and debate. The subject matter is not limited to Tzfat, but carries over to national politics, religion and philosophy. Members of the group use the forum to voice their opinions on whatever is going on in the city, the country, and the Jewish world, and although the discussions become quite heated at times, the general outlook is one of give and take and respectful disagreements.

The second information network for the Tzfat Anglos is the Tzfatline. It is a listing of announcements which comes out several times weekly. Each newsletter has roughly a dozen items, ranging from offers of things for sale to requests for information about upcoming classes and much more. Moshe, the editor, carefully edits the posts, and the assistance is immeasurable for the subscribers (subscriptions are free).

Appliances have been bought and sold (and sometimes given away), classes publicized, information about city announcements (which are made in Hebrew in the local Tzfat papers) translated into English, homes found for stray animals, jobs offered, clothing passed from family to family, requests for prayers disseminated, and so on. There is almost no English-speaker in the city who has not benefited from this service.

Quite a number of potential newcomers to Tzfat have cemented their decisions to make Tzfat their new home because of the assistance that they received through these information listserves, or just because their very presence speaks to the friendly and easy-going atmosphere that Tzfat residents enjoy.

To subscribe to the Tzfatline newsletter, one may write to tzfatline@aol.com and request a subscription.

To join the Tzfat yahoogroup, one may write to tzfat@yahoogroups.com and request membership.