I'm often asked why I wanted to be involved with TheJewishWoman.org. And to be perfectly honest, it was for completely selfish reasons.

I was frustrated with needing to go to endless sites on a daily basis to find what I was looking for. I was frustrated that there was little, if anything, specifically geared for the Jewish woman. There was plenty for women, and plenty about Judaism, but somehow the two had yet to find themselves working together, in a cohesive and holistic way.

There was me the working woman, and me the mother, and me the daughter...And as a Jewish woman, there was such a wide range of things that pertained to me that I wanted to know about. There was me the working woman, and me the mother, and me the daughter, and me the wife, and me the friend, and me the one with a health concern, and me the one trying to help out a friend who had suffered a loss, and me who was teaching a class on the Torah portion and needed some insight, and lots and lots of parts of "me" that were not being addressed anywhere.

Fortunately, Chabad.org was well aware of this void and, in true Chabad.org fashion, was willing and ready to ensure that something be done to help solve the problem. It was an amazing honor and merit when I was offered the position of editor and was able to help create and mold this site from its inception. And I am grateful every day that I get to work on this site with the incredible staff of Chabad.org.

The goal of creating TheJewishWoman.org was to make a space where Jewish women of all backgrounds and levels of learning of Jewish learning could come and feel comfortable and be inspired and uplifted and educated. We wanted to create a place of warmth and support and love, where creativity and individuality would be celebrated and women would connect and feel part of a real community.

We wanted it to be a one-stop-shop where a reader could learn a beautiful understanding of the woman's commandment to separate challah alongside recipes for challah baking from traditional to spelt and everything in between. We wanted a place where a woman suffering from an illness could find practical information and guidance as well as the Torah approach to dealing with such challenge in our lives. We wanted women to have a place where they could write in their personal questions about anything and get a direct response that would address their needs and infuse it with a Jewish angle. We wanted a place where all women, including girls, could express themselves and submit their poetry and creative writing to share with other women throughout the world. And for everything that is already on the site, we know there is so much more that is needed and not yet being addressed, and we want this site to expand exponentially, for there is no end to the potential that exists.

But what has been most mind-blowing and humbling in the process of working on this site, is the life that it has taken on its own and the power that has come through it. When the site was beginning, I asked some of my friends if they would be willing to write some articles or let me reprint things previously published. Fortunately, they did and two years ago we had just enough material to launch. We chose to launch the site in honor of yahrtzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, the Rebbe's wife, who represented the power and beauty of the Jewish woman. Furthermore, the Rebbetzin had worked in a library in NYC and was an avid reader and loved literature. What greater way to honor her and all she gave Jewish women worldwide, then to create a site for Jewish women to connect through their writing!

it is the readers who comprise almost all of our writersThe site began with just a few dozen articles, and now, two years later, we have over 900 articles on the site, with almost 100 authors. The writers live all over the world, and while I have a very close email relationship with most of them, we have never actually met. I am constantly asked where I look for my writers and how I find them. And the truth is that I don't seek our writers. I seek out readers. And it is the readers who comprise almost all of our writers.

We all have a story to tell. We all have something we have experienced that can help another. And we are so fortunate that so many of our readers were gracious and brave enough to share their challenges, losses, difficulties and successes with the rest of the world. It is through their honesty and openness that the site is what it is, and that our articles carry the power that they do. The Rebbe would often teach the famous adage from our Sages that words from the heart, enter the heart. This is the secret of our success.

What I never would have guessed was what I would gain as a writer for the site. Having been a freelance writer for years, writing became a job for me. It was something I did, something I was pretty good at, and I was willing to write whatever was needed for whoever was hiring me. Sure, some pieces were more moving than others, but ultimately, it was a job.

TheJewishWoman.org, however, has given me, and the other writers as well, more than we could ever possibly give back. Writing for the site has provided us a place where we can share of ourselves, where we can open up and discuss our fears and thoughts, and where we know we will be heard, felt, understood and supported.

I still cannot believe the reaction I received when I posted a piece about a health scare I was going through. The emails that poured in, from around the world, were the most moving and beautiful letters I have ever read. Just knowing how many people cared had a profound impact on me. And not just on me, but my family as well.

Unfortunately, I cannot say that my children are the biggest fans of this site. I hope, as they grow and can appreciate what I do, that this will change, but for now, the site is something that takes me away from them. "Mommy, you are always on the computer" is the mantra in our home. And it is true. But I have saved each and every one of the comments I have received and the letters that came in, so that my children will be able to see and know, that this is what their mommy was doing when she was typing on the keyboard.

I had the great merit of recently meeting one of our writers. She is a woman many of you know as well and have followed her story and struggles. Melody Masha Pierson submitted a poem to the site when we first launched. It was a beautiful poem to her daughter, and in her bio, she mentioned that she was awaiting a double-lung transplant.

An email went out to our list, followed by hundreds of repliesI asked if she would be willing to write an article about her situation. She reluctantly agreed and soon thereafter the first draft arrived. That first article grew into many more of her chronicling her wait and the lessons she learned along the way. We became close friends through our email correspondence with weekly, if not daily, emails discussing how things were going. When she was interviewed by a news station about her wait for the transplant, she credited the site as one of the things that kept her going. And she would write and tell me that after every single article she would move up on the transplant list. She had no doubt that the power of the prayer and wishes from all the readers was responsible for each number that she rose.

When Masha received the call that lungs were awaiting her, I also received a call letting me know. And I received a request if I would let the readers know as that was very important to her. An email went out to our list, followed by hundreds and hundreds of replies. Women from around the world were praying for her, asking for her Hebrew name, wanting to know the updates and when she was going to be out of surgery.

There are women who have shared of their loss of their beloved babies during pregnancy and birth, others who have written about the trauma of being abused, women who openly admit their shortcomings and challenges in the most difficult job of childrearing, and others who want to let others know some of the incredible tips and lessons they have learned in organizing or traveling or cooking.

TheJewishWoman.org began as a website. But in the past two years, it has metamorphosed into a family. A big, happy, growing, loving family. And while we are an incredibly diverse group of women with different occupations and lifestyles, we share in our desire to improve ourselves, to grow, to develop and to learn. And our biggest and greatest and most unbreakable bond of all, is that we are Jewish women. Finally, we have a place where we can be open, honest and real. Finally, in cyberspace, we have a place we can call home.