In December, 1993, we mailed a newsletter called the Kosher Crusader to 50 people around the United States. It was mailed anonymously from Southern New Jersey. A few weeks later, we mailed 105 copies, again anonymously from Southern New Jersey.
Even after the first issue, there were a few people who recognized the style of writing and knew who had sent it. After the second issue, many others also figured out the source of the newsletter.
People loved the newsletter, but hated the name. Ms. Andrea Herrera, who later became the UTJ Southern Test Kitchen contributing editor, came up with the name The Kosher Nexus. At the same time, the Union for Traditional Judaism offered to sponsor the publication. Thus, the Kosher Nexus Newsletter was born. It was a quarterly publication with an additional, special Pesach edition.
Our position was simple: we wanted people to see that it was not so hard to keep kosher, that there was a plethora of kosher goods on the market. Additionally, we wanted to offer up to date kosher information. Our newsletter was geared to a group we called the “kosherly curious.”
Rabbi Ronald Price, then Executive Director of the UTJ, once commented that the Kosher Nexus was the only kosher magazine not to “shrei gevald” all the time. We did not see conspiracies or tragedies lurking in every corner.
From the beginning, we were light hearted in our approach, but, at the same time, very serious in what we wrote. We felt that humor would be a good tool to get people to read us. As a matter of fact, several other journals devoted to kosher issues tried to imitate our breezy and familiar style. In truth, the Kosher Nexus revolutionized the way kosher issues were covered in the media.
Several years later, at the urging of Mr. Sanford Hausler, UTJ board member, the Kosher Nexus Newsletter became the Kosher Nexus Daily Blog. The blog continues to this very day with a worldwide audience.
The UTJ offered the first 1-800 number hotline for Pesach questions. Ultimately, the Kosher Nexus became involved in the hot line as well. Today, the Kosher Nexus receives literally hundreds of emails every year with questions about Pesach foods, observances, and requests for recipes.
It is our honor to write the daily blog, and it is a responsibility we take very seriously, albeit with a smile and some laughter.