My name is Shmuel Gonzales (a.k.a. “Shmu the Jew”). I am a teacher, writer, commentator, liturgist and translator from east Los Angeles, California.

As a blog writer, I enjoy talking about the challenging topics of Torah and Jewish life. I also tackle topics of personal struggle as learned through my current battle with HIV/AIDS.

I have been utilizing the Internet for the promotion of online Jewish expression since 1994. Pioneering with a Do-It-Yourself use of electronic media for producing Hebrew texts and providing electronic Jewish learning opportunities.

Among my various projects, I also produce classical liturgical and halachic texts for free and open-source redistribution. I am also proud to be a member of the Open Siddur Project to promote the digitization of Jewish liturgy as an open source library. Learn who we are and how you can contribute to this wonderful resource.

I am also a proud member of Congregation Beth Shalom of Whitter – a progressive Jewish congregation – where I also teach “Introduction to Judaism” and coordinate Spanish language programming for our growing Latino Jewish community here in the Los Angeles eastside and the San Gabriel Valley.

You also want to check out, “Barrio Boychik.” This newest blog of mine is an open slate for various topics of interest I encounter as a community organizer, activist historian and spiritual leader in the Los Angeles eastside. To share the unique cultural experiences I encounter daily.

On both these sites, my intention is in exploring everyday Jewish experiences in action; in order to encourage people to venture out to experience Judaism in their real world and reclaim their spirituality from the isolation of the Internet.

Networking Communities:

Hardcore Mesorah Funpage on Facebook!

Email me in the form below:

You may also leave a comment below:

6 responses to “About

  • Jonathan

    Hi, what interesting texts you got here. I have been studying now and then for some time. Keep on your great work.
    Greetings from Jonathan from Sweden (not “Inga from Sweden”)

    • "Shmu the Jew"

      hey there! i’m glad that you have been enjoying. i know that a lot of my writing is quite long, but i want to make sure to clearly explain things to people as one would if being taught with a person at their side. i have tried to provide material that many people have never seen before but have always had interest in, while still touching on the basics. one of the things that makes the basics more meaningful is if we show sources and explain the line of logic. i wish you much lucky in your holy life. do stay in touch. And if you see Inga tell her “hi” for me too! 🙂 Shmu




    • "Shmu the Jew"

      thank you! B”H that nothing is accident, right? this is a week of bashert, im tellin’ you. its wonderful to hear from you, i hope the family is doing well send them all my regards. its nice to know someone remembers the old simpler me 😉 as you see except for getting a bit edgier im still up to the same no-good; the siddur is in the 3rd generation, ready to hit the 4th to make it completely mobile and with machzor so that it makes the Nusach Ari the first complete Nusach to hit the Internet for free. Whats funny is this idea of digitizing was something I thought up at your shabbos table and has since kept me occupied. I’m out in North Carolina for a few months doing kiruv work, lot of college communities and young adults. I’m taking some balai teshuvah to the Ohel later this week. i need to say thank you, for helping me find some vision when i really needed it. i think i have your email here somewhere so will try to shoot you one, if there is anyone in need of a prayer to be delivered ill be heading up probably midweek.

  • Ari silber

    Hello Shmueli,
    I found your Siddur online as well and have been enjoying it, what a zechus to help out so many to daven on the run, I save the PDF on my phone! I wanted to point out that I believe there is a word missing in Shmoneh Esray in vLirushalayim, you are missing the word “BSocha”. Have a look and thanks again, truly wonderful work you are doing.

    )I was going to email you directly, but couldn’t find your email address, sorry for posting so publicly)

    • "Shmu the Jew"

      I hope you received my email. Again, thank you for your support and for the corrections. It’s everyone’s input that is helping make this text something workable for real people. I’m so thrilled to hear its useful for you and your davening! B”H

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