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Virtual Community

Yesterday, I received an email notification from Twitter: “Schmaltz Deli is now following you.”

Why is a deli following me?

I reread the email, and then I read it a third time, finally able to reconstruct the virtual events that led Schmaltz Deli from Naperville to Atlanta, by way of Bernardsville, NJ.

Because Tiferet published my piece that began with the sentence: “Sometimes, in my dreams, I am in a New York deli eating a hot pastrami on rye.”

Earlier this year, I joined an online community of writers called Tiferet. At first I was uncertain about belonging to a virtual community, but quickly discovered the tangible benefits: corresponding with other writers who share my interest in interfaith relations, receiving advice and drawing inspiration from the publisher of Tiferet Journal are just a few. Tiferet also offer writers an opportunity to share ideas through a Member Blogs page that is unlike most blogs, which function without gatekeepers. Their editors read through submissions and choose which posts to feature.

I have learned from my involvement in this community is that I am my most important reader: I write, first and foremost, for myself. Every day my brain generates ideas and words and my heart urges me to commit them to paper. At the same time, Tiferet has given me a sense of validation as a writer by publishing my work and sharing it with a wider audience.

When I left the classroom to launch into my second career, I relished the quiet time I spent alone with my thoughts. Four years later, I am finding a healthy balance between sustaining myself and contributing to society. I am grateful to Tiferet for featuring my blog posts, and, moreover, for welcoming me into their community of writers.

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