A Site for Sore Eyes

Posted on September 17, 2009

About 14 months ago, Areyvut took on an ambitious endeavor. While our mission is typically to infuse the lives of Jewish youth with the core Jewish values of chesed (kindness), tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (social justice), we realized that was small potatoes compared to what was then our newest mission. Yes, Daniel and I, two people that bring the term “computer illiterate” to new heights were knee-deep in overhauling the Areyvut website to make it not only more user-friendly, but also to actually be able to update items in a timely manner, something at the time we only dreamed of.

But, I am getting way ahead of myself. Though we were in the throws of all things website related a little over a year ago, we had been introduced to our website guru and creator several months earlier…enter, Seth Kane. Seth is the creator of hurriKane Solutions, a successful website design company based in Chicago, IL. In the beginning, things were not so bad, mainly because I was out of the picture. In terms of layout and website design, well to be honest, I wouldn’t have known a good one from a bad one and deferred to Seth on all of these decisions. Personally, I would have been happy to leave things this way, but Seth had other ideas in store for me and Daniel.

I can remember the first time I spoke with Seth. He was literally speaking to me in a language that I didn’t understand. He would use terms like html and pdf and I would sit, listening on the other end of the phone, waiting to buy a vowel. Fortunately for all of us, Seth quickly learned that I was not nearly as well-versed as he was in “website speak”. Unfortunately, it was going to be my responsibility to take what Seth had created and input all of the information, pictures, videos and highlights into the website.

Seth’s patience for Daniel and I was something I had never experienced before. He would log in to my computer remotely while simultaneously on the phone to explain everything. When I had questions, problems or even the occasional meltdown he was always able to solve the problem. Daniel and I finally met Seth just days before the new and improved site went live. I was adamant that I needed Seth here for one day to teach me everything and help with any little bugs (check out that term). Seth sat with us in the office for 8 hours. That day I realized that he wasn’t just building a website for us, but he was teaching us to become self-sufficient, the highest level of Rambam’s levels of giving.

Seth announced that day that he had been sought out by Razorfish to work for them. We were extremely happy as well as tremendously nervous…we thought website life as we knew it was over. At no point since that time has Seth forgotten “the little people”, i.e. Areyvut. I still email him about once every six weeks, usually because I have forgotten how to do something or I messed something up in formatting. Within minutes I always receive an email in my inbox either with the answer for my question or telling me to log on to AIM so I can explain what happened and Seth can rectify it.

Daniel and I continue to talk about Seth and sing his praises (sometimes literally) almost on a daily basis. He has enabled us to bring to the world updates on our programs, photo galleries from special events, information about worthy organizations, highlights of teenagers doing inspiring work, news about “Make a Difference” Day and so much more. We thank him (though we often feel that it’s not enough) and hope that if you are in need of an amazing web designer and dare I say friend, you will choose Seth Kane.
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