Scholars, wonks, and rebbeles; mameles and makhers-in-their-own-minds; such are the denizens of jBlog (as the Jewish blogosphere is called). We’ve started with these blogs because they’re smart, or funny, or maybe even both. Some are neither, but they take us into parts of the Jewish world we’d never see otherwise.

Our initial selection isn’t representative — if anything, the Jewish blogosphere is more politically conservative than those we’ve chosen — but it does cover some of the main interests and most interesting corners of Jewish Blogland: Israel, pop culture, hasidism. There’s more to come, so we’ll refrain from summarizing any further — but we welcome comments on the Jewish blogosphere and recommendations of where to go within it.

Allah is in the House – Is it anti-Semitic? Anti-Islamic? A satire? An abomination. Yes. And — it hurts to say this — it’s sometimes funny, and often observant.

An Unsealed Room is veteran Jerusalem Post reporter Allison Kaplan Sommer’s “window on life in Israel.” During her time at the Post she worked almost every beat; now she gives the wisdom away for free in her blog.

Back Row of the ‘Beis – smart history and brief comments on the news.

Baraita‘s name merits full explanation: “a legal opinion which was not incorporated into the Mishnah (a compilation of Jewish law traditionally dated to 200 C.E. and credited to Rabbi Judah the Prince) but dates from this era and was considered authoritative. Many baraitot were incorporated into the Gemara, the authoritative commentary on the Mishnah (produced c. 200-650 C.E.), and are identified in the Gemara text as such. The Mishnah plus the Gemara form the Talmud, which I’m hoping all my readers have heard of.” All that, plus pop culture. One of our favorites.

Belle de Jew may work in porn, but on the financial side of things, she’ll have you and her bubbe know. An entertaining “Diary of a London professional Jewish girl.” Bridget Jones if Zellwegger was a Jewish name.

Doing it Maai Vey – “Chassidic life from one on the edge of the gefilte-fish cradle.” Insider gossip. Fascinating.

Hasidic Rebbele – just the fact of this blog’s existence makes us grateful for the internet. Information like this used to be M.O.T.-only.

The Head Heeb presents well-thought commentaries on politics, Israel, history, religion, Africa, etc. More than just blog entries, these are often short essays laced with excellent links.

Jewschool is “kicking it.” We’re skeptical of the Jewish graffitti movement, but we like Jewschool’s short, sharp, and occasionally shocking quips on the world and all the Jews in it.

Kesher Talk – a lotta hawks (10 bloggers), a lotta politics, a lotta links.

Out of Step Jew bills itself as “Confronting Judaism, Confronting Modernity, Confronting Ourselves.” We’re not sure what that means, but we like to watch Out of Step do it. More focus than most on religion in the media.

Peanut Butter, Foreskins, Icewater offers liberal politics and Jew news from the man who used to bring us Politics, Religion, and Drew Barrymore. He also operates a Jewish blog ring.

Protocols brings together five young elders for an ongoing attempt to dominate the blogosphere. They’ll never achieve their goal, but it’s fun to watch them try.

Velveteen Rabbi is one of the most thoughtful jBlogs around, with posts that qualify as essays. Topics include author Rachel Barenblat’s interest in Jewish “ritualcraft” and other “decidedly unOrthodox” concerns.

Yada, Yada, Yada – Jewsweek’s brilliantly named and well-executed popcult blog.

YudelLine: Smart news run-down and commentary from Reb Yudel and Andrew Silow-Carroll.

The Zionist Conspiracy is Joe Schick’s politically conservative running rant on Israel, the media, and the Jets. Schick’s also a columnist for The Jewish Press, and he writes with a broad range of knowledge about the media.

MORE TO COME…

Blogroll The Revealer