If you like receiving mail, I can assure you that being on the net is guaranteed to generate more mail than you could ever imagine! And you will probably write more letters (no postage required!) than you could ever imagine.

Most people on the net are very courteous and do not send unsolicited advertising or junk mail. But, there is the occasional exception.

Some of my mail comes from readers of this column - both the "print" edition and the "point and click ready" version . And if my e-mail is any indication, those who've tried it do seem to like it!

Letters I've received have come from Australia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and various US cities. The subjects range from requests for information on Kosher hotels and restaurants in the US and Hong Kong to enquiries regarding Jewish life in Vancouver and Toronto.

Harold Gordon, a Holocaust Survivor who now lives in California, sent me a note to let me know about his book "The Last Sunrise". After visiting his home page, and reading a very moving excerpt, I ordered a copy - but I did send my Visa number by old-fashioned fax, rather than by e-mail!

In addition to receiving "personal" mail, I also subscribe to a few "listserv" mailing lists - so I never have to worry about an empty mailbox.

Although we have never met "in real life", I have had a few letters from Alan Marchant, the President of Beth Tikvah Congregation in Richmond. Most recently, Alan wrote to tell me about Beth Tikvah's listserv, a moderated group whose discussion includes topics of interest to the local community as well as Torah and other religious topics "with a Conservative flavour". To subscribe, send a message to In the body of your message type: subscribe beth_tikvah_talk First Name Second Name (no "." after edu or Name!).

And Tina Koenig invited me to visit MazelNet , "a Jewish Interactive Entertainment site where one can post news of a Simcha along with an e-mail address and then receive megs of e-mail Mazel Tovs from all over the world".

What will they think of next?!

*Hilary Ostrov is a Chartered Webaholic, who lives in New Westminster, BC. When not busy "surfing the net", she is a consultant and educator who offers Internet "driving lessons", hypertext authoring and design of World Wide Web "Home Pages", and computer-related training. She can be contacted via e-mail ( or telephone (604) 525-3055

Copyright © 1995 Hilary Ostrov

This article was submitted for publication and appeared in the The Jewish Western Bulletin, Vol. LXII, No. 41


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