Traveling You can locate shul or a minyan on the Net

If you're Orthodox and travel, you know the problem: It's not always easy to find a minyan in a strange city.

Proving that there's a solution to almost every problem on the Internet,, the worldwide directory of minyanim, comes to the rescue.

This spare but efficient site lists over 1,010 minyanim around the world, from Kihei, Hawaii to New Haven, Conn., from Minsk to Perth.

The site is arranged for convenience. You can search by zip code, by city or by the name of the minyan.

For each, there's all the basic information you need: times, addresses, phone numbers and even maps for U.S. groups.

There's also a davening discussion forum and a modest collection of links to sites that offer information for neophyte daveners as well as veterans. And the site offers a small "davening bookstore"; click on a book and you can buy it directly from

That's it: nothing fancy, no frills, just basic information, effectively presented. One gripe: the site pays its bills by selling space for advertising. This week, the discussion forum featured a particularly noxious "pop under" ad for a gambling site.

Check it out at

On a related note, there are a number of Web sites that claim to offer worldwide directories of synagogues, but beware: some of them are tainted by denominational bias.

One that is not, is, a glitzy all-purpose Jewish travel site. It does a fairly good job of inclusion.

From the "quicksearch" box in the middle of the home page, select your country and select "synagogues." If it's a U.S. city you're looking for, type in the name of the city or the state in the "location" box. And presto: zillions of synagogue listings. It's at

If you're looking for a Reform synagogue, the best place to get complete listings is the terminally messy but useful home page of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Buried in the densely packed information is a complete directory of Reform temples.

The Conservative movement is no slouch, either. The pretty, efficient home page of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism — — features a synagogue finder with a map. Click on a state to get listings of Conservative congregations, many with their own Web links.

And let's not forget the Reconstructionists, who are too often left out of even "inclusive" Jewish Web sites. The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation — — offers a decent, state-by-state synagogue listing.

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Israeli officials say it's a bald-faced attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state, and Jewish groups around the world are mobilizing their troops for an all-out fight.

And now there's a Web site for activists interested in weighing in on an upcoming United Nations conference on racism in Durban, South Africa that's shaping up as the biggest Israel bash-fest ever.

The Anti-Defamation League has devoted a portion of its big, well-done home page to the issue.

The site includes the draft resolution that has Israel's friends up in arms, a concise history of anti-Zionism in the international body and talking points for activists interested in doing their part.

There are also news updates and ADL press releases on the subject, and a link to the U.N. Web site on the conference — whose bland tone may make your blood boil.

The ADL has been a leader in using the Web to promote activism; this timely, well-done site is another example of the right way to do it.

Check this site out at

The writer is a Washington-based correspondent who has been writing about Jewish Web sites since the early 1990s. His columns alternate with those of Mark Mietkiewicz. Besser can be reached at [email protected]