This site is created, written and maintained by Tracey Rich. I do not claim to be a rabbi or an expert on Judaism; I'm just a traditional, observant Jew who has put in a lot of research. I must be doing something right, because one of the rabbis at an "Ask a Rabbi" website routinely copied material from this website! All of the material on this site was created by me, just one individual. There is no corporation or organization behind this site.
Contrary to popular belief, I am not "blinded by my Orthodox Jewish upbringing." I was raised nominally Reform Jewish, though I have leaned much more toward the traditional since I was exposed to it in college. I write the site from an Orthodox perspective because I think that's the best place to start if you want to understand Jewish traditions. You're never going to appreciate kashrut if you say it's just a primitive health regulation that was rendered obsolete by the refrigerator, as they teach in Reform synagogues where almost no one keeps kosher. Instead, you should try to understand Jewish traditions as they were understood for hundreds of years by people who lived them day-to-day. It's similar to the way we teach our children that Ben Franklin discovered electricity with a kite, George Washington chopped down a cherry tree, and Betsy Ross sewed the first flag, even though most scholars agree that none of that really happened.
This site grew out of a series of posts I wrote on the ILink bulletin board network in the early 1990s. That's why it has such a conversational style. When I learned how to make web pages in 1995, I converted about 20 of my posts into HTML and created this site. It has grown from there.
I took the name "Jew FAQ" because when I started this site on AOL, their account names were limited to 8 characters. "Judaism" was already taken and "Judaism 101" was too long. The idea of a FAQ, a list of answers to frequently asked questions, was a common thing back in the days of computer bulletin boards like ILink where this started, and it seemed to fit the idea of what I was doing, so I created the account JewFAQ and the name stuck.
I work as the database adminstrator for a Jewish charitable organization. I am also the co-author of several legal reference texts.
I don't accept advertising; please don't try to contact me to advertise on this site. The only "ads" I have are links to Amazon.com, mostly books that I was recommending even before the Amazon Associate program began and products that illustrate the thing I am talking about. Yes, I receive a small commission for those links: enough to pay for the out-of-pocket costs of running this site, with a little left over. Any excess income is donated to Jewish charities, primarily college Hillel organizations, because that's where I got my first Jewish education.
Unfortunately, I am no longer able to respond to emails. I work a very long day, and have obligations when I get home. However, I can assure you that the overwhelming majority of genuine questions I received (as opposed to people trying to convince me to believe what they believe) can be answered by simply searching the site.