The emergence of new Jewish subcultures seems to be growing at a rapid pace due to a greater utilization of online resources. “Outliers” in the Jewish community—that is, individuals who do not fit in the “norm”—are becoming more accepted. Judaism is a perceived personal identity; however, there are other subcultures that can also shape an individual’s identity simultaneously. This chapter offers an exploration of how two or more identities can interact. These identities (gendered, sexual, or political) as well as religious identity help mold an individual’s behavior and beliefs. When faced with labels, one does not exclude the other. There are multiple factors that contribute to the growing acceptance of subcultures that are not based on traditional religious behavior. It is unclear if this is because of a widespread cultural acceptance of new kinds of behaviors or if it is because communities have created safe spaces where such differences are accepted. What is apparent is that not all practitioners of Judaism subscribe to traditional religious or cultural norms. The Internet allows those who deviate from traditional Judaism and who have multiple subcultural identities or labels to have a voice. This voice allows the individual to discuss thoughts and describe personal behaviors without scrutiny. Online sites have become a place of acceptance and confession for individuals that deviate from the norm without local judgment from those who may perceive these identities to be transgressive or deviant.
Rachel Schiff, “Jewish Subcultures Online: Outreach, Dating, and Marginalized Communities” (Master’s thesis, California State University, Fullerton, 2016), 71-72.