Jewish Almanac.com - Calendar & Torah

Frequently Asked Questions

About this website:


Who is behind this website?

This website is edited/compiled by myself, James M. Branum and is a production of JMBranum Enterprises (a small socially-conscious business based in Oklahoma).

I realize that many readers may want to know more about my affiliations and biases, so here is the short answer. I am an adopteee/convert (in 2014) to Judaism by way of the Society for Humanist Judaism.

Today, I am an active member of Temple B'nai Israel (a Reform Jewish temple here in Oklahoma City) but also am an interfaith minister serving with the Oklahoma Objector Community (a religious humanist community.

I did not grow up Jewish, but was brought up in the acapella-only branch of the Churches of Christ, spent time in the charismatic/non-denominational movement of Christianity, and later found a church home and the chance to serve for more than a decade in ministry in a progressive Mennonite church. These experiences (particularly my seminary education) still inform much of my thinking, even as I have moved in a decidely Jewish direction of faith practice for the last few years.

Finally I should say that I have a socialist political orientation, which also informs my theology.

What should Jews know about this website?

I aim to provide a broad range of resources across the Jewish spectrum (even if I personally lean in a progressive direction). Occasionally I may reference materials (particularly for Torah study) from other faith traditions, if the materials are helpful for our conversation, but I try to label them in such a way so that readers will know that the context might be different.

What should Christians know about this website?

To avoid awkward questions from those who know me pre-conversion, I will simply state while I still value the ethical teachings of Jesus, but these days I appreciate him primarily from his Jewish context as an ethical teacher, one of the most significant of his generation. But... I do not worship Jesus as part of a trinitarian conceptulalization of God.

Beyond that, I will simply say that I hope that what is presented here is useful to you, but that I want to be clear that I am trying to bring a distinctly Jewish editorial voice to this project.

Calendar Questions

How is this different than Hebcal.com?

We love Hebcal, and in fact much of our calendar data is based on their website's data. We are not out to replace their project, but we are wanting to put this calendar data into a new and more interesting format.

To say it another way --- there are lots of different kinds and format of calendars: desk, wall, decorative, utilitatrian, even electronic. They all serve different functions and appeal to different people. And we think that is a good thing.

In time, we hope to create a funky website and even funkier series of annual print almanacs, modeled after a blending of the different farmer's almanacs, but also the famous series of Jewish Catalogs (of the 1970's).

Questions about the Torah section of this website

What is this Torah section all about really?

I'm aiming (over time) to create a Jewish-oriented reference website, modeled in its structure on the encyclopedic awesomeness of Textweek.com (a website full of links and resources on the Christian lectionary and calendar), but of course from a Jewish lens on the Jewish scriptures. My hope is these resources will be of use for Jewish educators and rabbis, but also for ordinary students of Judaism, because after all studying Torah is to the Jewish scriptures, with lots of links to quality translations, commentaries and other resources. But we also want to provide our own original materials over time.

Some parts of the Torah section are still labled as Tango with Torah. What is that about?

An earlier version of this website was called "Tango with Torah." The name was taken from a previous series of d'var/commentaries on portions of the Torah (in both written and audio form) with this name. We chose the name because we liked the idea of the The Tango (a dance known for its passion and transgressive nature) to describe the nature of Jewish study and engagement with scripture, since a true student of Torah (in the deepest sense of the word) will bring one's full attention and passion to the endeavor, as well as a healthy dose of irreverence.

But with the broader focus of this website (dealing with calendar issues too), "JewishAlamanc.com" seemed like a better name, so as time permits, I will update the older pages of the website to show the new name.

Why are contradictory positions taken by some of the resources and links included on this website?

That's because Jewish scriptures are complicated, enigmatic and yes, sometimes contradictory. I find it most helpful to study these texts from a variety of perspectives, including some that otherwise might not agree with.

Questions about submitting content for publication by JewishALmanac.com

What kind of content are you looking for?

JewishAlmanac.com will publish a broad range of materials that have some connection to Jewish calendar, Torah (in its broader sense) as well as Jewish culture, religion and history. This includes everything from recipes, poetry, you name it.

Do you pay your writers?

Right now, we do not pay our writers. In time we hope to find a way to pay our authors, possibly through some kind of revenue sharing arrangement.

Do you require submission to be exclusive?

No. We ask that authors who write for us, release their work to us under a non-exclusive license, meaning that they are free to republish the content elsewhere (either by themselves or by other publications). That said, we do encourage our writers to be open and honest with other publishers, letting them know that the content has already been published by us. --- To say it another way, our authors retain the copyright of their works but license us to publish that content.

Questions about Print publications

When will the annual print almanac be available for sale?

We are hoping to have them ready in late November, possibly in time for winter holiday gift giving.

Questions about Advertising

Do you run sponsored links?

Yes, we plan to use affiliate-sponsor programs on this website as a means of generating some ad revenue. We appreciate any shopping that our readers can make via these links.

What about display ads? Can I purchase a display ad on the front page of your website? What about sponsoring some specific content?

Our ad rates (effective through Nov. 30, 2020) are as follows:

Please contact James via email at jmb(at)jmb(dot)bike to discuss further ad policies and to purchase a sponsorship spot.

Legalese/Disclaimers

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is (c) 2014-2020 by James M. Branum and JMBranum Enterprises, released under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike License. This means that you can republish our content for non-commerical purposes as you provide attribution, but you must ask for permission to use our content commercially.

Much of the data found on this website is retrieved from three sources Hebcal, Sefaria and Wikipedia. We do attempt to publish accurate information but we do not guarantee accuracy.

Also nothng on this website should be read as being professional, medical and/or legal advice. Opinions expressed in original content and links are those of the author(s) and may not necessarily represent the views of the editors of this website.