Faith has come to the Metaverse!
The world’s first virtual synagogue and Kosher NFTs have been introduced!
The CryptoJewish Project has presented a use-case scenario for web3 technologies like no other. With 10,000 Kosher certified NFTs and two Rabbis that will conduct services in the virtual Synagogue ( in Decentraland), the project has given insight into how web3 technologies are evolving and what values they hold based on the specific use-case in question.
We were definitely interested in this project as it gives rise to what we are sure will become a highly sought-after sub-niche within the web3 industry and legacy preservation projects for religions and cultures all over the world. We reached out to Gergő Csiszar, who spoke to us on behalf of Post For Rent and The Hello Group, the project’s founders.
Gergő Csiszar Founder And CEO at Post For Rent
- What role will faith-based NFTs play in the adoption of web3 technologies?
It is a new and exciting way for religion, culture and millennia-old physical communities to reach out to different audiences and leverage new technologies to connect people from every corner of the world.
I strongly believe that technology and popular metaverse spaces will change the way we interact in our physical life, meaning that for me (as an individual who embraces different communities), it is necessary to continuously evolve and build on the ways in which we can strengthen our bond and global reach.
- Please can you tell us more about the CryptoJewish Project?
The launch of CryptoJewish is the first step of a long and exciting mission of creating and integrating digital assets that brings our communities closer together.
CryptoJewish is a love brand that we created to broaden our audience and build our digital world in the metaverse.
With the aim to make art and culture a big part of the physical-to-digital hype, we are leading the conversation in broadening the scope of the content available in the metaverse.
As various blockchain projects enter our pop-culture, and NFT collections around the world begin to rise, the trends have remained distant from tangible cultural heritage, which CryptoJewish is looking to change.
- What impact do you expect the CryptoJewish project to have within the web3 industry?
Being the first official faith / culture driven collectible, I expect the industry to take the CryptoJewish project as the best example of how an NFT project can be introduced into the Metaverse to transform cultural elements from physical to digital.
There isn’t a central religious authority in Judaism, such as the pope or bishops. Instead there are local communities organized into synagogues (sometimes called “temples”), which are often—but not always—affiliated with a centralized denominational organization.
CryptoJewish will digitize these decentralized communities, and the dialogue between them, using all of the benefits of web 3.0.
Owning a CrpytoJewish NFT means a lot more to the holders than a pixelated picture. Being an owner means being part of the first-ever fully Kosher digital community of the World, which is open for Jewish and non-Jewish people too.
- Why was Decentraland chosen as the Metaverse ecosystem for deploying the world’s first virtual Synagogue?
The audience of Decentraland seemed to be older than that of Sandbox.
We were looking for a populated environment that is safe and somewhat ‘conservative’ among all. Decentraland stood out to us as the most fitting choice.
- How can Kosher NFTs be used to preserve the tenets of the Jewish heritage?
Ancient and classic Judaicas as we know them are very hard to come by.
The most common pieces are already centerpieces of Jewish families’ dining tables. With CryptoJewsih we introduce a new era of official Judaicas, our next release will be a Seder Plate Collectible for Pesach (Passover) and we strongly believe that these and similar NFTs can become the next judaice presents for the coming generations. Judaicas by definition are historical materials related to Judaism.
NFTs by its nature are digitized materials (which can be more valuable with time).
The CryptoJewish Team will release the most relevant Judaica Items to the blockchain as part of its strategy, letting our users collect or gift them. Furthermore, we assume the value of these items will increase as time passes, just like real life relics.
- What are the requirements for the purchase of the CryptoJewish NFTs?
There aren’t any limitations or restrictions.
You need a wallet, sufficient amount of crypto currency and you can own a piece of it.
- What’s the significance of placing 25 of the rarest CryptoJewish pieces in the world’s fourth-largest Synagogue?
These are pieces which are the nearest in terms of the attributes of the collection.
We used our generator to issue all 10.000 pieces in line with our algorithm, therefore in the end of the day, the rarity comes down to pure math.
There are 2 exceptions, one is the official Kosher Certificate which we also minted + a surprise piece dedicated to a well know media personnel modeled on him.
- Please, can you tell us about the Kosher certification process?
The kosher certification is rather a way of respectful process of:
Taking care of sacral, religious and community norms (One quick example our synagogue remain close on the day of Yom Kippur
Rabbi Peter Deutsch and Rabbi Daniel Channen are acknowledged religious leaders and oversee our whole business model.
- What is the “HelloVerse”?
HelloVerse is the brand new Web3 division of The Hello Group, and will become the first Commercial Entertainment Studio in the Metaverse space.
It was co-founded by THG and the Founder & CEO of Post For Rent.
THG is a global entertainment company with 14+ divisions across talent management, film/tv production, music publishing & label services, digital, live touring and events, sports, and consumer products.
Post For Rent is a globally recognized influencer marketing platform, marketing agency and talent company.
The team is comprised of high-caliber, recognized executives with decades of experience coming from the most prolific entertainment and tech related industries of our days.
HelloVerse is set to be the center of Metaverse entertainment.
We convert ideas into digital goods and experiences for clients wanting to take part in the next chapter of the internet.
- What are the components of the digitization of Jewish culture and heritage?
For now we have integrated the 4th largest physical Synagogue, the Synagogue of Szeged.
As Pesach was mentioned above we have a strong roadmap introducing all Jewish Holidays and culturally relevant events through unique signature collectibles.
- Why was the virtual Synagogue built as a replica of the Synagogue of Szeged?
This is a very famous Synagogue among the Rabbis and well known of its unique design and shape. We wanted something which is architecturally unique and caries a story.
The Synagouge itself was designed by the world famous architect, Lipót Baumhorn in the early 20th century (Who has designed 19 synagogues).
The temple means a lot for the community, world famous Rabbis held prayers here (Sándor Scheiber).
The interior of the great dome, and all of the building’s stained glass, are the work of the artist Miksa Róth.
The design of the Torah Ark alludes to the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon by using sittimwood from the banks of Nile, the wood called for in the building of the Temple of Solomon in 1 Kings.
The hinges are in the shape of the Hyssop plant, a plant used in the ancient Temple service.
It is a truly sacral temple worth visiting both in real life and in the Metaverse too.
- What role does Post For rent play in the design of the virtual Synagogue?
The tech and design department at PFR provides the core creative team at HelloVerse.
On top of that, Post For Rent is a strategic partner on major influencer collaborations and is able to source partnerships and collaborations in this space with ease.
- How will the Rabbi within the virtual Synagogue conduct services?
We have already integrated interactive screens in the Synagogue for live streaming purposes. A few of our recent Metaverse events also involved live streaming (a physical Fashion Week and Fashion Tech Summit).
The next official event is the first Jewish Pray live streamed from a physical Synagogue which is scheduled for mid-March, after that there will be scheduled prays weekly.
- How did the digitization of the various aspects of Synagogue services play out during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns?
It has been a challenging few years without the ability to connect with the community in person, but as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, online prayers have highlighted the value of connecting with religion and culture using the digital world.
- How does each Kosher certificate attached to each NFT help preserve the cultural identity of the Jewish people?
It is a declaration with a strong message that there are Rabbies behind the project.
These Rabbies play an important function as ‘guardians’, ensuring the mission and content of these projects meet the general guidelines to live by for the community.
The certificate itself is an NFT too.
Which, we think, is the strongest way to prove the origin and authenticity of it (a key function of Web3).
- Are there any other projects planned down the line within this context that will foster Jewish cultural preservation?
There are many signature NFT drops built around the Jewish holidays, events and culturally relevant activations. Everybody should stay tuned.
- What’s the future for digitization of cultural practices?
That is a tough question, though what we can be sure of is that there is a transition happening and more and more people are seeking digital alternatives for physical events.
This means that the local communities which may be bound by physical limitations in location now have the ability to interconnect larger communities in the digital space.
We no longer need to be a part of a small, local community, as this transition grants us the possibility to unite in one large network from anywhere in the world.
- How can physical standards and practices be preserved through the digitization process?
The practices will be the same, there will be a digital space we do the same thing but potentially to a larger audience. Education will be a major factor for us in this new dimension.
- What impact will the digitization of Jewish cultural practices have on Generation Z?
Gen Z in general is already living in the digital world.
We can call it social media, multiplayer games, or anything other on the web but their free time is spent online, interacting with or through one the most popular platforms.
They gather in Fortnite to chat and do things together with their avatar, they care more about the outfit of their avatar than their actual physical outfit.
We need to adapt and start speaking their language, which is the step we are taking with CryptoJewish.