Shefa Weinstein made aliyah almost 10 years ago, but the Upper West Side native still spends much of her time in New York. Or at least communicating with New York.
As the founder of Web Design Insight, which she runs together with her husband, Aharon, Weinstein designs customized websites for American Jewish organizations.
Advances in Internet phone technology have enabled her to answer calls on a “646” number (for callers from New York, it’s the price of a local call) while at her house in Modiin. (The family will be moving to the Negev soon.) Plus, with Skype, Go2Meeting and screen-sharing software, conducting business from the other side of the world is not only doable, but even preferable in some ways, especially for a mother of four.
Because Weinstein works in the morning while her kids are in school and then in the evenings, after tucking everyone into bed, her clients, which include The Frisch School and Hatzolah, “know that when they wake up in the morning there will be something in their inbox that we did during our morning, and that if they call in the afternoon, we’re still there,” she says.
In addition to designing websites from scratch, WDI also recently developed Synagogue Launcher and School Solutions, customizable templates and software that help institutions expand and improve their websites so they can better organize their volunteers, market their missions and raise funds.
A Ramaz graduate, former adviser at the Orthodox Union’s National Council of Synagogue Youth and onetime photographer for The Jewish Week’s teen-created Fresh Ink publication, Weinstein gets the Jewish nonprofit gene from her parents, the founding owners of consulting firm Perry Davis Associates.
A few years ago, Weinstein launched another startup, IsraelHomeowner.com, for English-speaking immigrants interested in buying a home in the Jewish state.
As if that weren’t enough websites, she also co-created a pluralistic Jewish portal with craft ideas, recipes, children’s activities related to holidays and the Torah portion, and other resources. ChallahCrumbs.com (Weinstein’s brother came up with the name) grew out of her desire to create more of “an atmosphere of Torah” in her home. “I love doing crafts with my kids (three boys and “token” girl, ranging from 2 to 8) and asking them questions at the Friday night table,” she says.
Still Goes To Summer Camp: The Weinstein family spends three months each year at Camp Moshava in the Poconos, where Aharon is the sports director.