Weekly Wire
NewCityNet Keeping Kosher

Visiting the new home of Jewish "supersite" Zipple.com

By Ellen Fox

JUNE 26, 2000:  "We Regret to Announce that, Due to a Caterer Error, the Food is Not Kosher," reads the sign by the hors d'oeuvres table. But not even a little treyf could put a damper on last Monday's dedication celebration for the new West Loop home of Zipple.com -- which founder Jory Rozner bills as the Internet's "biggest Jewish on-line community."

It was certainly time for a move. Zesty, 31-year-old Rozner began the "Jewish Supersite" in the basement of her parents' Glencoe home just a year and a half ago, and now the site boasts 1.7 million hits a month from those in search of online Judaica, travel options, synagogues, stock photos, Jewish singles and kosher recipes (which the caterer clearly neglected to request).

What's one of the most common searches? "Famous Jewish people," smiles Rozner. People want to find out about Adam Sandler and Barbra Streisand, she notes. Rozner may soon find her own name added to that list of notables -- if not for the use of Zipple as a virtual Jewish clearinghouse, then for her popularization of the Website's very name -- Zipple -- which sounds so Yiddish, but which really means nothing at all. But if it did have a meaning, what would it be? "It would mean connection," Rozner smiles. "Fast connection to the community."

And while Rozner's not saying whether a now-standard IPO is in the Website's future, she doesn't hesitate to suggest a possible stock ticker symbol when pressed: "J-E-W-S?" she laughs.

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