I’ve always seen modern Jewish videos as something more than just entertainment.
Because for many people in our generation, the quintessential Chanukah song is not Maoz Tzur, but the Maccabeats’ Candlelight. And for my kids and their friends, the song of Jewish unity is not the classic prayer Acheinu, but “Shevet Achim V’Achayot.”
I’m not quite bold enough to suggest that our ancient liturgical classics should be replaced in synagogue by today’s viral hits, but I definitely see that today’s universal languages of video and music possess a certain level of holiness and purpose that that rises beyond mindless fun.
THAT ALL being said, I didn’t create Bagels because of idealism, but because of a practical need. I looked around everywhere, but I couldn’t find the kind of environment where I want my kids watching videos. Like many parents, I have accepted that my kids’ favorite thing in the world is vegging out with YouTube, but I don’t like the yucky stuff they keep finding there.
In creating Bagels, I started with a few goals:
1) To create a full ecosystem where kids can roam freely and find all sorts of fun and inspiring Jewish and Jewish-related videos.
2) to curate an amazing collection of all sorts of Jewish videos, updated constantly, as a place where Jews from all along the religious and political spectrums can find inspiration through the same sources.
I CHOSE the name Bagels because I was looking for a metaphor that is Jewish, but without too much religious baggage. (I was about to go for Cholent.tv, but that name felt too heavy.) Bagels transcend religious labels, and are seen throughout the world as the most Jewish food of all (even though historians note that Bagels are not necessarily Jewish at all). Like many people, I mainly eat bagels at a Simcha, a happy occasion like a Brit Mila or a Bar Mitzva, and I want you to feel some that happiness while you watch these videos.
IT IS IMPORTANT to me that the videos on this site are clean and family-friendly, and that Haredim should feel comfortable using this site. Modesty is a very important Jewish trait, and one of our guiding values on this site. It is true that my standards of what is or isn’t appropriate is less strict than what is expected in some ultra-Orthodox circles, but I hope that I’ll be able to earn your trust to allow your family to watch Bagels videos. In any case, one of our menu options, Frum, includes only videos that I think are completely appropriate for the Haredi community. Anyone who has any concerns about any video for any reason should feel free to contact me.
AS OUR slogan proclaims, these video selections are “Kosher-style”. That does not mean that every video is halachically approved, or even necessarily Jewish. It just means that I think they are good for Jews to watch. Take a look around the site and let me know if you agree.
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