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1.

On the Media: Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles adapts to changing media market:

Niche journalism and an $800,000 donation make its future seem secure – NEW!!

2.

Adding More Jewish Voices to the Discussion – NEW!

 

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A Tablet for Today: Journalism for the Curious Jew – NEW!

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How Social Networking Impacts the Jewish Community: Blogging, Facebook and Twitter have increased the chatter – NEW!

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Inside The Jewish Internet Defense Force – NEW!

 

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Haredim declare war on the Internet – NEW!

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Jewish institutions must change to attract today’s ‘New Jew’ – NEW!

 

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cu @ temple: Social media transforming the way synagogues, members connect

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Finding a voice in Facebook: Israeli NGOs are realizing the potential power of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

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The (Sheikh Jarrah) revolution won't be televised

it'll be YouTubed

 

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Keeping the memory of Auschwitz alive in a digital world

 

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Turn the Future Into the Past

 

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The Social Sermon: An Innovative Approach to Community Building, Engagement and Torah Study

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Rabbi Eric Yoffie: Toronto Biennial Sermon, excerpt regarding the Internet

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Meet the fastest tweet in the Jewish organizational world: William Daroff – NEW!

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Young Adults Doing Religion on Their Own? Blame It on Politics

 

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A Synagogue's Unorthodox Revival: Rabbi's Aggressive Outreach Reverses a Traditional Congregation's Decline

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Additional articles (links only)

 

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Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh)

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Nonprofit News: How Start-ups Can Pay Their Way - NEW

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And the most engaging social network is…

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Determining Your Social Network Needs: When it comes to social networking, is more always better?

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10 Reasons Why Every Nonprofit Must Have a Blog

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To Blog or Not to Blog

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The 3 Facebook Settings Every User Should Check Now

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Facebook may 'lock in' its Internet dominance

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How to Bring Facebook Fans to Your Nonprofit Blog

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Using Social Media in Your Nonprofit: Overcoming Objections

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Is the Right Person Doing Your Nonprofit's Social Media?

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The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word

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God joins Twitter, rewrites Bible

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'Twitter Bible' Converts Scripture into Mini Messages

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10 Newbie Twitter Mistakes Made By Businesses – NEW

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The 11 Commandments of Corporate Tweeting – NEW

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1. The Internet in 2009

2. New Statistics on Internet, Social Media Use – NEW!

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in 2009 2. New Statistics on Internet, Social Media Use – NEW! L I N K

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On the Media: Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles adapts to changing media market: Niche journalism and an $800,000 donation make its future seem secure 1

By James Rainey

May 12, 2010

Few newspapers or magazines escaped 2009 without losses and the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles suffered like many others.

Operators of the weekly news outlet trimmed staff. They cut salaries 20%. Still, they worried whether the Journal — chronicler of a variety of topics including Torah portions, sexual mores, Mideast politics and entertainment industry chatter — would make it to its 25th anniversary next year.

But by banking hard on two of the most robust growth trends in 21st century media — niche journalism and philanthropy — the Jewish Journal appears to have extended its life expectancy and expanded its coverage of Jewish life in Southern California.

If the experience holds lessons for other ethnic and religious-oriented publishers, it's that you can do good by being good. But it's just as important to have a business plan, friends in the right places and a target audience with a lot of disposable income.

The Journal, its related website and a nascent monthly magazine recently nailed down a critical $800,000 donation that should rejuvenate the organization and guarantee its viability for the foreseeable future.

The money came from four philanthropists — Westfield mall Chief Executive Peter Lowy, Internet executive and venture capitalist Art Bilger, cooking oil maker and long-time Journal board member Irwin Field and a fourth, anonymous, donor.

On a $4-million annual operating budget, the contributions will "give it a very stable foundation and allow us to grow all these parts of the operation," said Lowy, who said he expects advertising to cover more than 90% of the expenses in future years with ongoing fundraising to cover the rest.

"The future for print media isn't the rosiest, but this is a way we can add philanthropy to a business enterprise," Lowy said. "This is an experiment in what I would call a community media group. The Journal is very important to the Jewish community. But we think this might work for any communal group."

The magazine-style Jewish Journal, with its glossy cover and newsprint innards, has been evolving in the decade since Rob Eshman became editor in chief and, in particular, since it broke away from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles in 2005.

Eshman has overseen a bolder editorial course, with more lifestyle stories (Sample blog item:

"Why is Hollywood hot for circumcision?") and competing political voices than when the Journal relied on the Jewish Federation, with its paying members as subscribers.

"The Federation is an overpowering old institution. It's very traditional and very reluctant to take a stand," said Bill Boyarsky, a Journal columnist and previously city editor of the Los Angeles Times. "Rob brought a fresh and independent voice."

Among the array of columnists Eshman has brought to print: conservative radio host Dennis Prager, who recently hit the left for its readiness to invoke images of the Holocaust, and liberal academic David Myers, a UCLA history professor who wrote last year that Jewish

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and liberal academic David Myers, a UCLA history professor who wrote last year that Jewish h

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citizens were being favored over Arabs in Jerusalem's ceaseless land disputes.

The Journal also has first-rate commentators in other fields, with Martin Kaplan writing about media, Raphael Sonenshein about politics and Jonathan Kirsch about books.

Generally thorough and professional in tone, the Journal covers stories unlikely to pop up in other L.A. media — such as alleged financial fraud committed by a group of Iranian Jewish investment managers and the struggles of a couple who lost two grown children to violent deaths. (The latter story inspired donations from Journal readers, including one who ponied up two years of mortgage payments for the couple.)

But the Journal also, on occasion, does little to rock its audience from its comfort zone.

In a story last month on tensions between Muslim and Jewish students at UC Irvine, for example, the Muslim point of view was so muted as to be nearly inaudible. The first quote from anyone associated with Islam came about midway through the story.

Although the story explained that representatives of the Muslim Student Union had declined to comment, the tone suggested there wasn't much determination for finding and representing that point of view.

"They are informing folks out there what is going on in the community and extolling positive developments in the community on the one hand," said Myers, who specializes in Jewish history at UCLA, "and then on the other hand, aspiring to a level of journalistic excellence and truth telling. That is the core tension for a Jewish newspaper."

Although it unyoked itself from the Federation and its shrinking membership, the Journal did not immediately thrive. Its circulation had declined from 50,000 to roughly 30,000 and it relied almost solely on advertising from Jewish organizations.

Rather than pull back, however, Eshman and company have pushed the paper's circulation back to 50,000, with hopes of going higher, while expanding Internet offerings and launching a monthly magazine, Tribe, that will soon be out with its sixth issue.

Most readers pick up the Jewish Journal, which is free, at businesses on the Westside and in the San Fernando Valley, while the magazine, with initial circulation of 15,000, reaches up the coast to Ventura and Santa Barbara.

The high-end readership for both publications, with an average household income said to reach above $260,000, has allowed Tribe Media Corp. to reach beyond its demographic and appeal to a new group of advertisers.

Ads for Jewish mortuaries, summer camps, charities and schools still dot its pages. But with the hiring a couple of years ago of a new top ad executive, the company has broadened its horizons significantly. Steven Karash, previously of the New York Times, has helped lure buys from Porsche dealers, the Four Seasons hotel, Saint John's Health Center, the House of Blues and, recently, the city of Rancho Mirage, whose resorts are a frequent destination of Jewish visitors. Even Macy's department stores are looking at hopping on board.

"People now are looking at us as a media group," Karash said, "and not just for an ethnic buy but for a niche buy with an affluent audience."

While Jewish news outlets in Las Vegas and other communities had been folding, the Jewish Journal made enough improvements, despite the brutal economic downturn, that it showed promise. Its expanded Web offerings, including a social networking/dating site, everyjew.com. The online audience has grown to 350,000 unique visitors a month.

Like many other news outlets, the Journal's managers want to find ways to make money off those online users.

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news outlets, the Journal's managers want to find ways to make money off those online users.

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If they can solve that one, they'll truly have found a model for the new niche journalism.

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If they can solve that one, they'll truly have found a model for the new niche

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April 23, 2010

Adding More Jewish Voices to the Discussion 2

By MARK OPPENHEIMER/NY Times

Just starting a journal called The Jewish Review of Books invites a joke: “Wait, don’t we already have a Jewish review of books — or several?”

Given the substantial representation of Jews in intellectual life, it’s not surprising that major book-review sections feature plenty of recognizably Jewish names. Many of today’s best young critics, like Elaine Blair, Joshua Cohen and Ruth Franklin, are Jewish. And The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic and other leading journals regularly cover books about Jewish history, culture and politics.

Why, then, did anyone think that a Jewish book review was necessary? A similar question might be asked about Books & Culture, “a Christian review,” according to its masthead. Both are elegantly written and appear on a leisurely schedule — The Jewish Review, first

published this spring, will be a quarterly, while Books & Culture has been a bimonthly since

1995.

But who needs them? If I can read the critic Adam Kirsch on Slate.com, do I need The Jewish Review of Books? And if I can read Alan Wolfe in Washington Monthly, do I need Books & Culture? Put another way: what makes a Jewish book review “Jewish,” and what makes a Christian book review “Christian”? Is this just niche marketing, or are they in some way essentially, religiously, different?

In an interview this week, the editor of The Jewish Review of Books, Abraham Socher, did not identify anything intrinsically Jewish about the prose he hopes to publish. Rather, he said that he wanted to do something like The New York Review of Books, but more Jewish, and intentionally so.

“To quote, unfortunately, Mao, ‘Let a hundred flowers bloom,’ ” Mr. Socher said. “There’s a certain kind of essay that not only reports on some intellectual development but actually advances the field. So, to give a non-Jewish example, John R. Searle’s pieceson the philosophy of mind in The New York Review” — these pieces are scholarly but accessible to the nonexpert. One can find them in The New Republic, too, Mr. Socher said, and “occasionally The New Yorker,” but his magazine’s mission is different: “the exploration and furthering of Jewish thought and Jewish culture, broadly and sort of small-c catholically conceived.”

Mr. Socher also hopes to provide a politically neutral zone for discussion. The Jewish monthly Commentary publishes good long reviews, Mr. Socher said, but he implied that it exists mainly to push its conservative political agenda. “I have great respect for Commentary, and have contributed to it,” he said, but he did not believe that even Commentary considers the exploration of Jewish thought and culture “as its primary editorial purpose.”

He might have added that The New Republic is so identified with Zionism, and The New York Review with skepticism about Israel, that many minds may have closed to those publications. The Jewish Review of Books’ editorial board is free of notable anti-Zionists, but it includes liberals as well as far-right types like the Harvard professor Ruth R. Wisse. And who can resist a back page featuring a cartoon by Harvey Pekar, of “American Splendor” fame?

The nod to pop culture would please John Wilson, a polymath who has read as much Philip K. Dick as he has John Calvin, and who has edited Books & Culture from the start. He thinks of his review “as a conversation,” he said this week, in which “mostly Christians — though not all, we have some wonderful contrarians, and atheists — have nothing in common except they are not scandalized to appear in the same magazine where people talk about Jesus.”

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except they are not scandalized to appear in the same magazine where people talk about Jesus.”

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Despite its small cadre of non-Christian contributors (which includes this writer), Books & Culture does indeed have a very Christian feel. It has a passionate following among evangelical intellectuals, and it is published by the same nonprofit organization as Christianity Today, a glossy magazine for evangelicals. A recent Books & Culture editorial, about the Haiti earthquake, is titled “Faith Makes Us Live.”

The books reviewed have included recent works by Michael Chabon and Chinua Achebe, but they are quite often from Christian presses rarely covered by more mainstream reviews, presses like Eerdmans and Brazos.

And there are many contributors whose openness about faith, or their jobs at evangelical colleges, have probably cost them assignments in secular reviews. Mr. Wilson mentioned Mark A. Noll, a history professor at Notre Dame and an eminent evangelical historian, who writes reviews for Books & Culture that would fit well in the great secular periodicals.

Books & Culture serves, in part, as a salutary source of affirmative action for Christian intellectuals. The March/April issue has reviews by five professors from Wheaton College, the Christian school in Illinois — a bit extreme, perhaps, but an understandable corrective, given many New York editors’ discomfort with openly religious thinkers.

Books & Culture, which has 14,000 subscribers, and The Jewish Review of Books are spaces in which very smart people with academic credentials can show their religious sides. They are like what the best sports magazines would be if all the writers favored your team. Jews can write about whether a new prayer book is user-friendly; Christians can carry on about the popular Anglican bishop N. T. Wright. In this regard, both magazines keep good company with First Things, the conservative monthly about religion and public life; Tablet, the Jewish online magazine; and The Forward, the Jewish newspaper.

None aims to keep you apprised of the latest best-seller, but with their willingness to cover inside baseball, and their open chauvinism, all serve as unique pleasures for the passionate fan.

Alan Abbey Commentary: The more the merrier. This is great.

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pleasures for the passionate fan. Alan Abbey Commentary: The more the merrier. This is great. h

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A Tablet for Today: Journalism for the Curious Jew 3

Matt Russo/Presentense

Mon May 3, 2010

“Covering Jewish life has felt expansive, kaleidoscopic, and unendingly interesting. I don’t need to publish stories that other places can publish. I want to publish stories that really feel like us,” says Alana Newhouse, the 33-year-old editor in chief of Tablet, an online magazine launched by Nextbook in June 2009. Nextbook hired Newhouse to revamp its online literary journal in September 2008. She, in turn, infused Nextbook with additional journalistic elements, which ultimately led to the creation of Tablet’s website.

Tablet publishes articles about Jewish culture, history, politics, and religion. That coverage is supplemented by the Scroll, a blog about the most buzz-worthy news in Jewish life, and summaries of books published by Nextbook. Scattered throughout are podcasts, video clips, and multimedia that play a significant role in Tablet’s journalistic voice.

What makes Tablet different from other magazines is that it’s not retrofitted to a printed publication.

It takes advantage of a diverse array of digital tools to tell its stories. Marjorie Ingall, a columnist who writes about parenting and family issues, utilizes audio slide shows, personal essays, book reviews, and multimedia design for her pieces. Newhouse says Tablet enables readers to follow a columnist through many dimensions, making the stories even more comprehensive. “It’s not so much we’re creating something that’s entirely new in any one tiny specific way,” Newhouse says regarding journalism's past and present, and Tablet's use of multiple media. “But we feel that the sum is greater than all of its parts.”

Those parts are impressive, including the work of writers from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times. Tablet has clearly benefited from launching in the middle of the worst recession and media slump in recent history. “I’ve been able to attract talent that I may not have been able to attract in another era,” Newhouse says about her New York-based co-workers. “I think I have a staff that any editor in this city or any other would give their right arm to have.”

Newhouse brought some her staff from the Forward, where she worked for five years. The legacy of the Forward, published since 1897, has an undeniable impression on Newhouse’s vision for Tablet. “I have a nostalgia for a time when newspapers competed for readers,” Newhouse says. “That enabled a kind of pioneering, exciting, adventurous, risk-taking journalism about Jewish life that I’d love to see re-emerge.” She concedes that it has begun to, but in smaller doses than she would like to see. Gabriel Sanders, Tablet’s deputy editor, says “it is actually freeing being involved with something from day one.” As a writer at the the Forward, Sanders was sometimes “a custodian of legacy that wasn’t necessarily your own. You became someone who was entrusted to defend some of the Yiddishism that it stood for. Here we have a brand that has no baggage.”

Tablet consistently straddles its desire to create a forward-thinking, technology-laden publication that also celebrates Jewish life, past and present, with serious journalism. Its name represents this tension, evoking not only the Ten Commandments and ancient civilizations but also the unofficial name for Apple’s iPad. Which seems fitting, since Newhouse says Tablet strives to be “new, ambitious, and different, but also connected to the past, authoritative and informed.”

Newhouse says that Tablet initially did not have a target audience. But today she says the magazine attracts “curious” Jews. “The point is that Tablet is for a particular kind of reader who has an interest in engaging with Jewish identity and culture, perhaps the way they are not currently living it. So if they are currently living with it by practicing religious ritual, they

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currently living it. So if they are currently living with it by practicing religious ritual, they

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might want to engage with art if they haven’t before. If they are constantly engaged with Jewish culture, they might want to read an article about religion and religious practice.”

Newhouse says that Tablet must keep pace with a Jewish community that is constantly changing. “I wanted to create an enduring publication and one that was malleable, but we should only survive if we can answer the needs and interests of readers.”

Matt Russo is a recent graduate of Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary. A New York City resident, he spends his free time working on Teach For America’s recruitment team, anticipating how Lost is going to end, and figuring out his next musical endeavor.

Alan Abbey Commentary: The question he didn’t ask about Tablet is the question Woodstein ("All The President's Men," etc…) were told to ask: "Follow the money." Where is Tablet's money coming from? What is that organization's agenda? How long can it last? Is Tablet performing a new form of journalism (i.e., foundation-backed)? Is this a viable model for Jewish media (let alone mainstream media)?

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(i.e., foundation-backed)? Is this a viable model for Jewish media (let alone mainstream media)? h a

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How Social Networking Impacts the Jewish Community: Blogging, Facebook and Twitter have increased the chatter 4 August 28, 2009

David Pessah Special to the Jewish Times

Want to talk to a nice Jewish girl who shares your love for Sukkot and skydiving? Looking for someone to point you toward a place for an informal Shabbat dinner? Miles from a synagogue and want to chat with a rabbi in real-time? Need help interpreting that mesmerizing Torah passage — right now? Here’s a suggestion: walk over to your computer, log on to twitter.com , and type “Jewish” in the search field. Chances are you’ll find a conversation going on about everything you’re looking for — and more. Do the same with Facebook, or YouTube, or any of the many other forms of social media that pop up seemingly every other day. Access — often instant access — to a wide range of Jewish life has never been more abundant. What, you thought Twitter is all about Ashton giving daily accounts of eating Krispy Kremes for breakfast? That Facebook is only about posting those rowdy college party pics? Sure, there’s plenty of self-indulgence going on, but don’t let the buzz fool you. Social media like microblogging site Twitter is changing the world — in a hurry — and that can only be good news for Jews. Why? Because social media is making it easier to be Jewish. For a people who have fretted over a loss of identity for generation after generation — especially in America — innovations like Twitter and Facebook are nothing less than, dare we say, a godsend. “Much of the extra-organizational innovation you see in the Jewish world has been made possible by the Internet,” says David Abitbol, founder of the Web’s most popular Jewish blog, Jewlicious.com, where posts by Jewish bloggers quickly become vibrant conversations connecting Jews all around the world. “The Internet has made it easier for Jews to find each other. Jewlicious itself would not have existed before the Internet.” Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg, spiritual leader of Beth Tfiloh Congregation, couldn’t agree more. “There is no question,” Rabbi Wohlberg says, “that with new technology there’s never been an easier time in history to be Jewish.” How is social media making it easier to be Jewish? First and foremost, social media has turned the Web from an information storage locker into a two-way conversation; and it’s a conversation that knows no physical boundaries. Mr. Abitbol himself is based in Jerusalem, while some of his Jewlicious colleagues blog from Los Angeles, New York and Canada. You no longer have to live in a Jewish neighborhood to find a life in an active, thriving Jewish community. There are thousands on the Web, with more being added every day. It’s also a fast and easy way for Jewish organizations to get the word out, whether it’s Beth Tfiloh tweeting about its Shavuot All-Night Challenge, political operatives like Aaron Keyak of the National Jewish Democratic Council lobbying government leaders, or a host of fund- raisers who have discovered they can raise money more effectively — with less overhead — by using the tools of social media. “As Thomas Friedman would say, social media has flattened the world,” says David Weinberg, a social media consultant in the Washington suburb of Silver Spring. “That extends to Judaism. Before, if you wanted to learn more about Judaism, you could talk to the people around you, go to the library and take out books or go to the organizations near you. Now, you can talk to people, libraries and organizations all over the world. You can connect one-on- one and have discussions about everything from the Torah to kosher food in real-time. “It’s a game-changer.” The idea of social networks and social media has been around for decades. Early online communities popped up in 1985, but didn’t hit critical mass until Friendster and MySpace gained traction post-Y2K. These two social sites were the first to enable users to have conversations with each other. They also provided a quick and easy way to pass large amounts of information — stories, music, videos — around the Internet.

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easy way to pass large amounts of information — stories, music, videos — around the Internet.

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Their idea spread rapidly, helped by ever-improving technology. A recent study by Nielsen showed that in February of 2009 social networking sites eclipsed e-mail in global reach. Yes, e-mail might soon be outdated. There’s been a 1,908 percent increase in the use of video sites like YouTube, which allows users to post, view and comment on short videos, in the past six years. The micoblogging service Twitter, where users send “tweets” of 140 characters, is now a daily mention on late night TV and a must for every print, Internet and television reporter hoping to stay current and in touch with their audience. It’s the freshest content on the Internet, with “tweeple” posting by the minute. But despite using just 140 characters, Twitter also gives you access to volumes of material. Just put the link to that New York Times or Jerusalem Post story in the message field with a headline — the more clever the better. That’s what Rabbi Moshe Goldberger does at @GemsofTorah, where he tweets daily and answers questions about the Torah. Beth Tfiloh tweets links to Rabbi Wohlberg’s popular sermons. Israeli comedian Benji Lovitt embeds links to videos, including the one where he’s trying to get a date on Israel’s Valentine’s Day. Facebook emerged in 2004 and now has more than 250 million active users worldwide, including a wide range of Jewish groups. Don’t know where to start? Try one of 1,575 Jewish and Israel Facebook Group and Fan Pages listed at jr.co.il/hotsites/facebook.htm . Or stay at home and check out the Facebook page for IMPACT (new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8452604078), the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore’s volunteer and leadership program for Jewish adults (ages 22-45). You’ll find a message board, where a new medical student from Chicago posts about his difficulties in connecting with Jews in Baltimore. IMPACT’s group page lists upcoming events (Another IMPACT Happy Hour @ Shucker’s of Fells Point), and its discussion board has posts for the “$400,000 in Special Grants for Jewish Education” and the Big Brother program. Want to see the group you’re joining? Check out the 300-plus photos of the 308 young Jews, all tagged with names, posted from IMPACT events like “IMPACT Casino Night” and “IMPACT Summer Happy Hours.” It’s one of the ways the virtual experience leads to one in the real world. “IMPACT is a great way for young Jews in business to network with each other,” says Jason Schuster, a member of the Facebook group and co-founder/president of Baltimore-based Budget & Lifestyle Web site ChangeUpMag.com. “Their events are a fun way to get offline and interact with others in the Jewish community.” Rabbi Wohlberg has long known that his sermons are popular. It’s one of the reasons people join Beth Tfiloh. So he wasn’t surprised when director of communication Joan Feldman suggested they post the sermons on the Beth Tfiloh Web site. But he was surprised by the response. “I was totally blown away,” he says. “Now I write a sermon and I get responses to them from all over the world. Of course, not all of them are good responses, but that’s part of the bargain. To be able to reach so many people is amazing.” Beth Tfiloh was an early adapter to technology, putting up a Web site for the temple and its school in the mid-’90s. Ms. Feldman added a Facebook page last summer and the staff started twittering this past fall. “Like everyone else, we’re still learning what Twitter can really do,” Ms. Feldman says. One thing Twitter will soon do is make it easier to access Rabbi Wohlberg’s reading habits. A voracious reader, Rabbi Wohlberg rises early each day and scours the Web for newspapers, journals, magazines — home and abroad — searching for articles that interest him and are relevant to his congregation. This fall, Rabbi Wohlberg will be tweeting out his reading list. “It’s ‘What the Rabbi is Reading,’” says Ms. Feldman. “We think people will enjoy it.” What could be easier than that? As you’d expect, it is the younger generation leading the way, with much of the new ideas coming from New York City, Washington, D.C, Los Angeles and Israel, long a hotbed for new technology. In the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s recent rankings of the “50 Most Influential Jewish Individuals on Twitter,” 13 are from Israel (Abitbol @jewlicious is ranked second) and another 13 are from New York.

Some of the more interesting include:

Yitz Jordan (aka Y-Love), the black Orthodox Jewish rapper from Brooklyn who has 1,841 followers at @ylove (twitter.com/ylove). Ranked No. 4, his raps on Jewish life are all over YouTube.

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at @ylove ( twitter.com/ylove ). Ranked No. 4, his raps on Jewish life are all over

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Dani Klein (14th) has 1,612 Twitter followers at @YeahThatsKosher (twitter.com/yeahthatskosher) and bills himself as a kosher travel expert and “social media marketing maven.” (Be careful, Orioles fans. Mr. Klein will sprinkle Yankees game updates along with recommendations for the best kosher restaurants the world over.)

William Daroff, the United Jewish Communities’ vice president for public policy, is No. 5 on the JTA list and one of the most active Twitter users on the Internet. Want to ask a world leader a question? Tweet @Daroff, and he will pose the question and tweet back the answer. The JTA also ranked the most influential Jewish organizations on Twitter. First is the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, which has 5,697 followers @HolocaustMuseum. On Aug. 1, this tweet topped its page: “This day in 1936, Berlin Olympics opens & makes history for Nazi propaganda, boycott debate, & Jesse Owens’ victories.” Included is a link to its online exhibition of those Olympics. Second on the list is the Israel Consulate, which has the largest Twitter footprint with more than 7,000 followers. Its twitter page — twitter.com/israelconsulate — has become a live feed from inside the consulate in New York City. It’s a place for users to ask questions and offer their ideas and opinions. “Instead of just listening to government, you are getting information one-on-one,” says Mr. Weinberg. “It changes the whole relationship and dynamic.” For many, social media is the means to an end, with the online experience translating to opportunities to meet, talk and organize in the real world. That’s the goal of Moishe House, which credits its use of social media for its success in seeding mini-Jewish community centers around the world. “By the end of the summer, we’ll have 28 houses in nine countries,” says co-founder and executive director David Cygielman, who three years ago started offering rent subsidies to young Jewish roommates to use their house as neighborhood centers for Jewish programs, from Shabbat dinners to Purim parties. Part of the agreement was for the roommates to post recaps and pictures of their events on the Moishe House blog site, as well as to start one of their own. “We were trying to enhance Jewish life for people in their 20s,” Mr. Cygielman says. “The idea of social media is for it to be organic. For most of our residents, social media is already a part of their lives. Now they incorporate it into the Jewish part of their lives as well.” There’s a Moishe House in major cities like Boston, and Chicago, small towns like Silver Spring, Md., and Great Neck, N.Y., and foreign capitals like Beijing and Buenos Aires. Almost all have Facebook pages, most of them twitter, all of them stay connected with each other and their communities. That’s how young Jews living in New Orleans got the scoop on Scott Perlo, rabbi-in-residence for the Professional Leadership Project. Mr. Perlo’s non-profit organization finds and mentors 20- and 30-somethings to lead the Jewish community in the future. He posted a Facebook Event Page for a learning at Moishe House’s New Orleans Chapter, booked the gig, and by the time he arrived at MoisheNola house, resident Gill Benedek had loaded the page with a bio and articles about Mr. Perlo and PLP. “Setting up Facebook event pages,” says Mr. Perlo, who travels the country giving these talks, “has literally revolutionized my life.” Fund-raisers were early adapters of social media and now have a huge presence on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. A recent study by the University of Massachusetts of the 200 largest charitable organizations in the United States showed non- profits far ahead of academic institutions and corporations in familiarity and uses of social media. The study said 89 percent of charitable organizations used some form of social media, with 45 percent saying it was vital to fund-raising. “It’s the one place you can truly see results and it costs less,” says Mr. Weinberg, who points to sites like CharityBid.com, which holds online auctions for charity without the expense of renting out a building. “Instead of mailing out newsletters asking for money, you can do it in an e-mail. You save all that postage, you can track people, click through, you can put a donate button to make it easier to donate, you can send out an e-card. “There are a lot of interesting and innovative tools for fund-raising.” Says MoisheNola’s Mr. Benedek, who receives most of the money for the house programs through charitable donations, “You can show donors your Facebook page, your blog, and they can easily see how strong your message and following is,” he says. “And that helps a lot.” Putting a link to the donor’s Web site on your page doesn’t hurt, either.

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that helps a lot.” Putting a link to the donor’s Web site on your page doesn’t

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All of which has become important in the post-Madoff world, where foundations have less money and the importance of the small donor has never been greater. “The entire Jewish communal structure has been based on relatively large gifts from wealthy donors,” says Mr. Abitbol. “They are going to have to adopt a model whereby micro gifts from a broader constituent base become more important.” Just how important social media has become was driven home this past June when thousands of Iranians took to the streets to protest the rigged presidential election. Not unexpectedly, the leaders of Iran tried to end the protests by shutting down lines of communication. One line they could not shut down was Twitter, which Iranians were using over mobile phones to organize inside Iran and to get the word out to the rest of the world. As fate would have it, Twitter had scheduled to shut down its system for routine maintenance as the protests were rising. That promoted an e-mail from 27-year-old State Department official Jared Cohen to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey requesting that he delay the maintenance and keep Iranians twittering. “This was a call to say, ‘It appears Twitter is playing an important role at a crucial time in Iran,’” P.J. Crowley, assistant secretary of state for public affairs, told The New York Times. “Could you keep it going?” Social media helping to change the state of affairs in Iran? Now, that’s something that would make it easier to be a Jew.

David Pessah is a freelance writer based in New York and a past contributor to the JEWISH TIMES.

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David Pessah is a freelance writer based in New York and a past contributor to the

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Jewish institutions must change to attract today’s ‘New Jew’ 5

CHARLIE KALECH April 21, 2010

I’ve always been a community oriented person, and the community I primarily identify with has always been the Jewish community. It is no wonder that I decided to build my life in the ultimate Jewish community: Israel.

However, the Jewish community of which I am a part is no longer limited by physical location. With the advent of social media, the Internet bridges geographic boundaries and brings people together based on interests and other commonalities. This changes our relationships, communities and Judaism.

This was the topic I was asked to speak about when invited to be on the panel, “Where are the Modern Orthodox Institutions in the Web 2.0 World?” at a conference on the future of Modern Orthodox

Judaism organized jointly by Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah and The Jewish Institute for Ideas and Ideals. The conference brought together a spectrum of Orthodox organizations and personalities (see for details).

When I spoke to the organizers, the first thing I told them was that I was not Modern Orthodox. The response was welcoming as I was told that they are seeking to be a bridge and welcomed my insights.

I spoke on a panel with two colleagues—David Abitbol, the founder of Jewlicious, an irreverent young, hip Web site which bills itself as “THE Jewish blog” and sponsors Jewish festivals, as well as with Dena Lerner Greenspan, founder of TagTeam marketing and Jewish food blogger. I met both David and Deena originally online through Twitter conversations, then at real-world social media events and, as is common in my profession working with Internet marketing, our paths continue to crisscross both on- and off-line reinforcing our relationships. What most interested me was not the consensus that the panel spoke about, but some of the input from the audience.

David, Deena and I all feel the lack of Jewish institutions in the Web 2.0 world. They are rarely part of the conversation that is taking place online. Some institutions that have made outreach a priority, such as Chabad and Aish HaTorah, are much more present. However, Web 2.0 is all about creating user-generated content. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Myspace and the many blogging sites are platforms that depend on participants to create content. Without this, they are empty vessels. In these environments, the hierarchy and power structure of our community is changing so that people who never had voices in the establishment are becoming community leaders and thinkers simply because they now have a voice and an audience.

David joked, saying “who am I?” but as the audience retorted, he is the future. A young man who started something in a space where no one else did. (For more information about Jewlicious go to ) Other voices in this conversation include women who are raising issues and perspectives previously unheard and others asking tough questions with informed opinions. One such blog I particularly enjoy was described as “posting hyperlinks to stuff that many folks don’t want to talk about… trying to show that there are other facets to Orthodox Judaism. That we don’t all think one way and vote one way.” Like Jewlicious, Dov Bear is a blog written by a team of authors, not one person.

In this new media, many institutions do not know how to act or to lead. When one member of the audience asked our panel for advice, some pointed to David saying they should hand it over to the younger generation, others pointed to Deena and myself as consultants to help institutions make the transition into the next generation.

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Deena and myself as consultants to help institutions make the transition into the next generation. h

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Since its inception, Judaism has constantly been changing. The trend for several decades indicates that Jewish institutions are becoming less relevant to Jews, and in the last decade the conversation is moving to where people are talking—and living— online. As one Jewish Web Site, JewSchool.com, claims, there is a “New Jew.”

“Disenfranchised Jews alienated—and bored to death—by the Jewish mainstream…. We are traditional and radically opposed to our traditions. We are queer hasidim and tzenuah feminists, Orthodox maskilim and secular hareidim, anti-Zionist Zionists and diaspora enthusiasts longing for geulah, talmud chochams who don’t believe in God and atheists who want to throw rocks at cars on Shabbos. We embrace the contradictions. And we relish in our freedom to be true to who we are without having to fill whatever mold you may wish to cast for us without ever really getting to know us.”

These are the increasing voices being heard online and it is no wonder that Jewish mainstream institutions do not know how to relate to them. They think in a different way and are more inclusive. Let Jewish communal and religious leaders learn from this new media and begin relinquishing control. While they should selflessly contribute value to the community, they should also be engaging in inclusive transparent communal conversations. These are the secrets of success in the world of Web 2.0—be it for the future of Judaism, for business or for the greater

Alan Abbey Commentary: One important takeaway from Charlie's column: " Let Jewish communal and religious leaders learn from this new media and begin relinquishing control." The question is: Can they?

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learn from this new media and begin relinquishing control." The question is: Can they? h a

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cu @ temple: Social media transforming the way synagogues, members connect 6

Congregation Ner Shalom in Cotati puts its prayers and blessings on YouTube so members can learn the melodies before a High Holy Day or Shabbat service.

By using Google documents, Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley has made it simple for members to sign up online at their convenience to read Torah, teach a Shabbat class or host other members at their home for Shabbat.

Congregation Adath Israel in San Francisco updates its members about the status of its eruv — an enclosure that enables Jews to carry items on Shabbat — in a most contemporary way:

via Twitter.

Within the past year, Bay Area synagogues, religious schools and other Jewish groups have been signing on to Facebook, blogs, Twitter and other social media, eager to learn how new technology can strengthen their organizations and improve their outreach.

Faith-based organizations have been “the last to the social media party,” said experts at the Nonprofit Technology Network, a membership organization of nonprofit tech professionals. But lately, faith-based organizations have been jumping in with enthusiasm — even the pope has a Facebook page that boasts nearly 80,000 fans.

“Technology allows us to connect more deeply to each other,” said Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Berkeley’s Congregation Netivot Shalom, which uses Facebook, Twitter, Google Calendar and Ning to better connect its members.

Ning is a Palo Alto–based Web site that allows people to join and create their own social networks — a personal Facebook of sorts.

Sixty-five Netivot Shalom members have signed up for the synagogue’s Ning site, where they can view other members’ profiles, watch videos posted by the rabbi and read blog posts about world and community news.

The synagogue also uses Google Calendar to embed a monthly calendar into the site. It lists minyan times, b’nai mitzvah, fundraisers, funerals, classes, special events and even dates the rabbi is out of town.

“So many people lose themselves in the virtual world … but we forget that the reason it exists in the first place is to get us to connect in the real world,” Creditor said. “Technology can be a very appealing invitation for a real experience.”

That’s been the case for Margee Churchon, a program associate at the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council. She first participated in a young adult service at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco after hearing about it through a tweet on Twitter. She follows several Jewish Bay Area organizations on the site to find out about community events and Shabbat candlelighting times.

Churchon has often “gone to events as a result of what I’ve seen on Twitter,” she said.

For Gabby Volodarsky, program director at Temple Sinai in Oakland, Internet technology has helped her rally support quickly for someone in need.

For instance, someone posted a note on the temple’s year-old Facebook page saying that she was “praying for the speedy recovery” of two new members. Volodarsky wrote back immediately and found out that the couple, who didn’t know many people in the congregation yet, had been in a car accident.

“Within an hour they got calls from all our clergy and me,” Volodarsky said. “I asked what our Caring Community could bring them. Because I saw that posting, I was able to reach out and make them feel cared about. Now they’re among our most active members.”

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able to reach out and make them feel cared about. Now they’re among our most active

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Sometimes these new media changes happen behind the scenes. Berkeley’s Congregation Beth Israel created a wiki page on PBWorks.com, a San Mateo–based online workspace for businesses and nonprofits. The site allows any member of any of the synagogue’s committees to post notes from meetings and phone conversations.

It’s a “systemic change” from the countless phone calls, e-mails and meetings it once required to plan a synagogue program, said Beth Israel’s Rabbi Yonatan Cohen.

“We drastically expanded our Shabbat programming in 2007, but after a year, we were all burnt out,” Cohen said. “The question was: We have something great, now how do we make it sustainable?”

The answer: the Web. The online organizational tools provided by PBWorks are complemented by the synagogue’s use of Google Docs and Google Calendar, which help the entire community get involved and network with one another.

“The Internet is enabling the congregation to function,” Cohen said.

That sentiment is echoed by Irwin Keller, spiritual leader at Ner Shalom in Cotati. The YouTube videos he began making last year for the High Holy Days have since expanded to include daily blessings, Shabbat prayers and niguns [melodies] composed by congregants.

“We created it for our local use, but because of the boundarylessness of the Internet, people have watched our videos all over world and posted comments in all languages,” Keller said. “That’s not our mission, but it is lovely to have it out in the world where people can use it.”

Yet the changes can be intimidating to leaders who are used to the old organizational models. Cohen, for instance, was scared by the idea of implementing Internet tools that he didn’t know how to use. But he quickly became comfortable with them, and once he saw how much they helped his congregation, he was fully on board.

“Social media changes the way people look at their faith-based institutions,” said Lisa Colton, founder and president of Darim Online, a Virginia-based nonprofit that helps Jewish organizations get over their trepidation and understand new media’s potential. “Organizations don’t have a monopoly on organizing anymore. People can talk to each other directly.”

When synagogues and religious schools first turn to new media, Colton said, they tend to use them to perform typical tasks more efficiently. They send event invitations by e-mail instead of snail mail, saving time and the expense of postage stamps, or create a Web site that clergy and staff use as an online bulletin board. But it’s still one-way, top-down communication, Colton noted.

By delving deeper, she said, Jewish clergy, educators and others discover that these media tools demand a different way of talking and listening, encouraging active participation and grassroots involvement.

In February, Temple Beth Torah in Fremont will launch its first “snapcast,” a new platform developed by G-Snap, a Web company led by a synagogue member.

The snapcast will allow the synagogue to broadcast a live video feed of its annual Purim Spiel, one of the synagogue’s most beloved events, while viewers in their family rooms and offices — or even on a BART train, watching on their cell phones — can chat with one another, as well as the audience.

“We’ll be creating a virtual community between those who are there and those who are not there,” said Richard Garcia, a synagogue member and technology consultant. “The snapcast will allow those who can’t make it a chance to participate. But at the end of the day, like any other event, it’s best when you’re there live.”

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But at the end of the day, like any other event, it’s best when you’re there

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Social media enables congregants to talk to each other as well as to clergy or staff. Rabbi Yossi Marcus of North Peninsula Chabad posts philosophical notes about Jewish values, ritual and holidays on his Facebook wall, and has had people emboldened by a Facebook connection approach him on Shabbat.

“I feel like I’m coming up with new ideas all the time with how to use it,” Marcus said. “Of course, Facebook itself is evolving and coming up with new things all the time.”

While the Internet hasn’t changed how Marcus plans events or programs, it has changed the way he markets events, and also how he teaches.

“It used to be that I could only sermonize to people once a year on Yom Kippur, but now I can do it daily or even hourly,” he said.

But Marcus isn’t the first Chabad rabbi to embrace new media. He recalls a story about the Lubavitcher rebbe from the 1940s: Chabad had just come to North America, and one of the first things the organization did was publish a monthly magazine for children.

The rebbe was the editor in chief. He instructed all of the writers and illustrators that he wanted the magazine to look as appealing as a Dick Tracy comic strip.

“Here, you have a Chassidic rabbi steeped in mysticism and piety, but when it came to teaching Judaism, he knew that it had to be as engaging and as enticing as Dick Tracy,” Marcus said. “Even then the rebbe was a proponent of using the newest media. He saw that they could be used for a holy purpose. And that’s absolutely still true today.”

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that they could be used for a holy purpose. And that’s absolutely still true today.” /u/40966

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Finding a voice in Facebook: Israeli NGOs are realizing the potential power of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. 7

By RUTH EGLASH Jerusalem Post

19/01/2010

'We will demonstrate against the government decision to deport the children of migrant workers after all. The demonstration will take place today, Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m. at the corner of Ben-Zion and King George St. We must show the ministers that their voters are against deportation of children!" - October 13, 2009 at 7:33 a.m.

Pay close attention to this announcement. Made by the nonprofit organization, Hot Line for Migrant Workers (HLMW), to protest the government's threatened deportation of foreign workers' children, this rallying call brought together hundreds of migrants and human rights supporters in exactly 12 hours.

The call was not made on the radio, nor was it published in the newspapers and it certainly did not form the basis of hundreds of e-mails or phone calls to supporters, rather it is three simple sentences placed by HLMW on the wildly popular social media Web site Facebook. It was a cry for help that reached thousands of people within minutes and it highlights the resonance that new Internet media have for hundreds of local NGOs.

Of course, this particular demonstration was just one of many that happened over the past six months to protest Interior Minister Eli Yishai's plans to deport some 1,200 children of migrant workers, but as the gatherings grew in size toward the end of last year, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was finally forced to weigh in on the debate. He agreed to allow the children to stay at least until the end of August to finish up the school year.

"We joined Facebook this past summer when the government launched its campaign to expel the children of migrant workers," says Shevy Korzen, executive director of HLMW, a nonpartisan, not for profit organization dedicated to promoting the rights of undocumented migrant workers and refugees, as well as eliminating human trafficking.

"Events were moving at such a fast pace and even though we have a Web site it could not be updated quickly enough," she says. "We wanted to organize demonstrations and gather up our supporters in only a few hours to speak out against the government's policies. Many of our supporters were already on Facebook, so it made sense to create a page, because then we did not have to waste time sending out a mass e-mails and worrying that people might not get the message in time."

She says that the NGO also tried utilizing micro-blogging tool Twitter to keep its supporters updated but "that did not really catch on."

Instead, the organization focused on building up its following on Facebook and, in less than six months, HLMW has accumulated some 1,127 "friends," keeping them updated almost hourly with links to news items from around the world, sparking discussions on the controversial topics important to the NGO and rallying its followers to take up the causes at ongoing demonstrations.

"We are definitely seeing a much bigger turnout than in the past," notes Korzen, who says HLMW staff takes it in turn to update the page throughout the day. "I have also begun to notice that it is not just the same people showing up at our demonstrations like in the past. Because of Facebook our messages are also reaching those who had not previously been involved in our battles.

"This past summer we did not spend a shekel on advertising for our protests. Newspaper advertising has become so expensive and the truth is that this is just much more effective."

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advertising has become so expensive and the truth is that this is just much more effective."

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HLMW is just one of a growing number of nonprofit organizations that are taking advantage of the new wave of on-line media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other far-reaching social networks can reach hundreds, if not thousands, of people with one click, and nonprofits big and small are realizing they can send their messages out much more quickly and cheaply then via traditional media outlets.

But while the benefits of touching thousands at a time are clear, experts warn that there is a downside too. With the centrality of the Internet in our daily lives, they say, the new social media could give voice to organizations that are dangerous or have questionable ethics.

In addition, say those in the know, if organizations do not mobilize such sites correctly, the transparency and the need for constant monitoring could cause serious damage to their reputations.

"THERE HAS been a huge trend in nonprofits using social media," comments Ruth Avidar, who is in the process of completing her doctorate in the field at the University of Haifa's Center for the Study of the Information Society.

"Since I started my dissertation four years ago, there has been a huge change, with organizations starting to realize how powerful social media can be," she says, adding that these on-line tools allow nonprofits to better interact with their public.

Avidar's research, which quizzed hundreds of businesses and nonprofit organizations, found that while Internet use in the country's third sector is still fairly underdeveloped, NGOs that are plugged in have been highly successful at reaching their target audiences and interacting with supporters and potential supporters.

This on-line medium, she says, "gives a platform to all organizations, even those without money, so that they can reach out to people or funders who they might not have been able to get to in the past."

While that is certainly a bonus of on-line social media, Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center's Prof. Tal Samuel Azran, an expert in new media, warns that giving a voice to smaller groups that in the past might have been considered inconsequential or fringe is exactly one of the dangers.

"The Internet is much less predictable than the mainstream media," points out Azran, who also teaches at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Organizations or movements that found it difficult in the past to get their message into the mainstream have no problem reaching thousands of people on-line."

Azran highlights the recent controversy over B'Tselem's Video Camera Distribution Project, which handed out cameras to Palestinians to record perceived illegal acts perpetrated by IDF soldiers. As the short clips were pasted on YouTube and other social media Web sites, the images stirred the Western media's imagination and suddenly B'Tselem's message was projected much further than the confines of a small supportive community here. The group's message had reached a new audience.

"This not even post-modernism," says Azran. "This is an example of ultra-post-modernism; it is a totally new concept that is far outside the mainstream media that we are used to.

"Some organizations today only have a voice or presence on the Internet. While in the past the mainstream media might have labeled them as peripheral, today these organizations can reach everyone. Even a deviant has the chance to speak out on through the Internet."

"Social media allow all groups the chance to start up a real dialogue with people and share with them their goals," contends Avidar, highlighting that it is all part of free speech and a trend that should be embraced.

"It is up to the public to decide which groups speak to them and which do not. People are not stupid and now they can see these groups for themselves."

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and which do not. People are not stupid and now they can see these groups for

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IN ADDITION to the debate over free speech that comes with new Internet media, Royi Biller, CEO of the newly established Nonprofit Tech, a public benefit corporation that aims to assist NGOs in finding their place among the new technological order, says that Facebook, Twitter and other social media are not beneficial for all organizations; for some it can actually be damaging.

"Take this example," points out Biller. "If a friend of mine joins Facebook but is not active and never actually responds to me in that forum, it could hurt our relationship. The same is true for an organization. If an NGO joins [a social media site], then it needs to be prepared to create an ongoing dialogue with supporters. The Internet is dynamic and fast-moving; if an organization cannot keep up with that, then a potential supporter or funder could feel very let down."

Biller breaks the NGO world into two distinct groups - social rights organizations that have been very successful in harnessing social media and working them for the purpose of support and spreading ideology, and charities that work in a more service-oriented capacity, such as soup kitchens or food aid distributors, who have a small staff and cannot commit to updating their Facebook page or other such social media in a timely fashion.

"If I join the Facebook group of a certain organization and see that its last activity was six months ago, I would be suspicious about what this organization was up to," he says. "It does not look good at all.

"I have had calls from some NGOs who are bitterly disappointed with Facebook. They were told it would produce great results and they open a Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn account expecting to find funding, but they do not see any quick results. Soon they realize updating it is a full-time job and they just do not have the resources for that."

According to Biller, one of the solutions to this is via GuideStar Israel (www.guidestar.org.il), an on-line portal not yet active that will eventually list the activities of all nonprofit organizations here and provide organizations a free forum to periodically update their activities and post messages. A joint initiative by the Justice Ministry, Yad Hanadiv (the Rothschild Foundation) and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee-Israel, GuideStar is the central project of Nonprofit Tech and is based on similar sites in the US and UK.

In the meantime, local social rights organizations are waking up to the power of on-line media as a way of getting their agendas across.

"We often had a problem getting our messages in the mainstream media," comments Dana Zimmerman, acting director of communications and publications for Amnesty International- Israel Section, explaining that Amnesty often focuses on global human rights issues not necessarily affecting Israel or the region. "Now, with social media, there is suddenly a big change and it is much simpler and easier for us to reach a wide audience."

One example of this is last week's Flash Mob protest that the NGO organized to highlight the plight of Eritrean asylum seekers. Based on similar demonstrations worldwide, the organizers invited protesters to lie on the ground in Tel Aviv's Kikar Dizengoff and remain frozen for several minutes, drawing the attention of passersby to their cause.

The event was posted on Amnesty's Facebook page for three weeks beforehand and the application also allowed organizers the freedom to embed a video clip of a similar protest at Grand Central Station in New York, which enhanced the explanation of exactly what was being planned. Some 200 people showed up for the protest, which was covered by Web portal Walla! and is now featured on Amnesty's Facebook page.

"It is still difficult for us to assess if [social media] have had an impact on our work," admits Zimmerman. "However, they are a very useful tool allowing us to post relevant news items and information from other organizations who are working in the same field."

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news items and information from other organizations who are working in the same field." h a

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Yael Edelist, spokeswoman for the Israel Women's Network, says the same is true for her organization. "When we started on Facebook a year ago, the goal was to reach out to younger women who had not usually been our supporters. Now we use Facebook and Twitter to post news stories from the mainstream media, provide updates about changes in legislation for women and to highlight our own events or those being organized by other groups important to us.

"It was becoming very expensive to advertise in newspapers," she added, saying that the organization does not feel it has lost out by choosing to advertise its events only on-line. "We believe in the power of this new media and plan to use them not only to reach the 400 Facebook followers we already have but hopefully to reach many more thousands of people."

While Edelist's goals are admirable, University of Haifa professor Sheizaf Rafaeli, director of Center for the Study of the Information Society and head of the Graduate School of Management, believes that organizations must not become complacent or rely too heavily on the social media. They need to keep thinking one step ahead, he urges.

"This year it's Facebook, last year it was Twitter, before that it was YouTube and MySpace. Organizations need to make sure they are using the most appropriate tool to reach the most people," he says. "NGOs need to keep ahead of the game if they really want to take advantage of this new reality."

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need to keep ahead of the game if they really want to take advantage of this

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The (Sheikh Jarrah) revolution won't be televised

it'll be YouTubed 8

By Abe Selig JERUSALEM POST Jan. 25, 2010

Social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, along with a slew of blogs, are playing an increasing role in the growing participation of young Israelis in protest rallies in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, activists and journalists familiar with the situation there told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

Activists and journalists both described a situation in which protesters were relying on the Internet to try and affect change on the ground and raise awareness of the arrests made during demonstrations in the neighborhood.

"It's all Facebook, e-mails and Twitter," said Didi Remez, a human rights activist, who has become noticeably involved in the Sheikh Jarrah protests as of late. Remez was arrested during a protest there last Friday.

Remez also said that distant audiences, like American Jews, who might be deprived of Sheikh Jarrah coverage due to the mainstream media's lack of interest, were instead staying abreast of the situation via social networking sites.

"The American media is for some reason refusing to cover this," he said. "Even though it's becoming a major issue in Israel. And still, despite that, there's a lot of awareness [of this issue] among Jewish Americans, the reason being that they are increasingly connected through Facebook, Twitter, blogs and so on."

"They're getting information on this without The New York Times," Remez continued. "So, something that hasn't been covered at all by the [American] mainstream media, is still getting coverage through new media, and I think that's a statement about the decline of the mainstream media and maybe a larger comment on the shift away from it."

Others echoed Remez's comments, but added that another advantage of social media was its ability to counter police statements about Sheikh Jarrah they said the mainstream media often parroted.

"This is an issue that the media hasn't really been covering, and when they have, they've mostly relied on police statements that portrayed the protesters as a handful of extreme leftists or anarchists, which is simply not true," said Lisa Goldman, a Tel-Aviv based freelance journalist who has used Facebook, Twitter and blogs to follow the Sheikh Jarrah protests.

"What the social media outlets have been able to provide is a direct source of information that isn't filtered through the mainstream media," she said, adding that in this vein, the use of new media had been "absolutely crucial."

Additionally, Goldman added, social media outlets had also served as a tool to awaken the mainstream Left to the goings-on in Sheikh Jarrah, including, but not limited to, the emerging issue of police behavior towards protesters there, which the Jerusalem Magistrate Court has even censured - ruling last week that the arrests of 17 protesters during a rally two weeks ago was illegal.

"The silent Israeli Left is finally waking up," she said. "And it's a result of the way some young people are using social media. It's been very effective in raising awareness among the moderate Left, who are seeing that the police are suppressing free speech."

Goldman also pointed to the participation in last Friday's rally of Prof. Moshe Halbertal, who helped draft the IDF code of ethics and who has been active in disputing the United Nation's Goldstone Report, as an example of figures who would certainly not be considered extreme, but who have joined the Sheikh Jarrah fray.

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figures who would certainly not be considered extreme, but who have joined the Sheikh Jarrah fray.

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Hagai El-Ad, the director of the Association for Human Rights in Israel and one of the 17 protesters arrested two weeks ago, added that the use of new media to circumvent the mainstream media, which, he said, was often "reluctant to cover hard issues, or blatantly hostile," was spreading rapidly.

"However, it's not just new media [at play in Sheikh Jarrah]," he said. "I think there's a need to [step back] from the tactics being used there, and zoom in on the core issue, which is the moral outrage of Jerusalemite families being thrown out of their homes and living in tents in the street. That's the essential injustice here, and I think it's a fuel of its own."

Yet El-Ad did concede that the use of new media was a driving force behind the success of the Sheikh Jarrah protest organizers.

"They are a courageous group of young people, who are functioning without any real budget or resources," he said. "But they are cleverly online, and they've been able to translate that into real movement on the ground - it's not just a Facebook group that people add their names too."

"Yes, the mobilization happens online," El-Ad added, "but the end result is the most classic form of civil protest."

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online," El-Ad added, "but the end result is the most classic form of civil protest." h

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Keeping the memory of Auschwitz alive in a digital world 9

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are playing a part in reaching out to young people on Holocaust Memorial Day – but do they really have an impact?

By Mercedes Bunz Guardian January 27, 2010

have an impact? By Mercedes Bunz Guardian January 27, 2010 On the Holocaust Memorial Day web

On the Holocaust Memorial Day web page, you can light a virtual candle "On 27 January 1945, on Saturday, at around 9am the first Russian soldier from a reconnaissance unit of the 100th Infantry Division appeared on the grounds of the prisoners' infirmary in Monowitz. The entire division arrived half an hour later," reads the status update on Facebook of the Auschwitz memorial page. More than 50 people so far have clicked to say they "like" this.

Holocaust Memorial Day marks the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and to keep the memory alive, more and more organisations are turning to social media.

In the UK, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is taking a new approach. While a memorial ceremony will take place in London's Guildhall alongside hundreds of community events across the UK, the trust has also adapted the act of rememberance for the digital world.

This year, the trust completely changed its website to make it easier for readers to bookmark and share content via social media websites. It now runs a Twitter feed, a Facebook fan page and a YouTube page which features a video narrated by Daniel Radcliffe.

The use of digital engagement to keep such memories alive is becoming more and more common, but it is also controversial: it is claimed that it might just be a simple way for users to ease their conscience. As digital critic Evgeny Morozov puts it, there is a danger that this form of activism makes you feel you are engaged when, for example, you join a "Feed Africa" group on Facebook, while you actually don't make a difference at all.

On the other hand, digital involvement is becoming increasingly important as the media landscape changes. So this form of activism could be a way to raise interest and pull in users, especially young people.

"The act signifies a commitment to helping build a safer, inclusive society where the differences between us are respected," says the trust. Within a week, more than 20,000 people have lit a candle on the website and thus gained more information about history and ongoing events.

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lit a candle on the website and thus gained more information about history and ongoing events.

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"The majority of visitors to the Auschwitz memorial are students and other young people," said Auschwitz museum official Pawel Sawicki when the Facebook page was launched. "Our mission is not only to teach them about the history, but to be responsible in the world of today. We should find every possible way to reach out, so why shouldn't we use the same tool in that young people use to communicate?"

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reach out, so why shouldn't we use the same tool in that young people use to

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Turn the Future Into the Past 10

JT Waldman JT | 12/21/2009

The Tagged Tanakh (TT) turns the future into the past by making Torah study front and center in the Jewish educational experience. The Tagged Tanakh takes the Old Testament and places it in a contemporary format and context to suit the needs of current generations.

Using the TT, educators can build new curricula, conduct faster research, prepare D’vrei Torah, and help foster communities of practice around Jewish text.

For everyone else, the TT offers an easy and engaging way to learn Torah L’shma, learning just for the sake of it.

Previously on this blog, we noted that the Talmud dominated the intellectual discourse of Jewish thought for more than a millennium. However, both halakhah(Jewish Law) and haggadah (Midrash) use biblical prooftexts to validate and ground their arguments. The foundations of Jewish scholarship, ethics, and imagination are found in the Tanakh.

Scholar Geoffrey Hartman says that, “There is much to learn from a religious culture in which the creative energies went almost totally into commentary and the same basic method of reading was used for law (Halakah) and lore (Hagadah).” Hartman goes on to say that, “there is an associative way of going from topic to topic that characterizes Jewish writing.” With the Tagged Tanakh, Hartman’s theories can at last be put into practice by the entire Jewish community, not just erudite scholars or learned rabbis.

The Tagged Tanakh was imagined as a vehicle to reconnect Jews and other interested people to the multi-faceted richness of the Jewish Bible. It was conceived as a response to the changing demographics and needs of the Jewish community. But it’s goals are quite simple…get people back to the origin of Judaism, the place where it began–the Torah.

Anyone familiar with my writing on the JPS Interactive blog knows that design thinking has been at the forefront of my process from the beginning of this project. Roger Martin, the Dean of the Rotman School of Management has recently coined the phrase, “Turn the future into the past,” for his new book, The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage. In a recent lecture given by Martin in NYC, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKrC1nhwC5U&feature=player_embedded) he explains the relationship between business and design and how the idea of turning the future into the past is the core of this concept.

Jump to the 35 minute mark to get to the meatiest parts of the lecture. However, I encourage serious consideration of the points he raises at the 24 minute mark as well.

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However, I encourage serious consideration of the points he raises at the 24 minute mark as

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The Social Sermon: An Innovative Approach to Community Building, Engagement and Torah Study 11

Social media, like other major communication revolutions before it (think: printing press) have radically changed the way we learn, connect and organize. The impact on culture and behavior is significant – we have new ways to connect with our communities, find meaning, express ourselves and engage. The new ease of organizing is fundamentally changing the role that organizations play for their constituents. This is great news for the Jewish community, if we are able to take advantage of it.

We invite you to try a new approach to Torah study, community building, and perhaps even sermon writing in your congregation, The Social Sermon, an idea comes from acknowledging three things:

1. That many people can’t get to the synagogue for a lunch or evening Torah study class, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested;

2. That people want the social experience of learning, not just passive reading or listening to a lecture, and that connection through learning enriches a local community; and

3. Social technologies can be a wonderful tool to enrich and augment Torah learning in local communities.

Imagine a Saturday morning sermon that’s the work of not only your rabbi, but you as well. Let’s take it a step further: what if it weren’t just you and your rabbi, but also your fellow congregants, young and old, those new to the community and the stalwarts of your city? By the time your rabbi delivers his Shabbat remarks, he or she could be drawing inspiration from, or even representing the discussion of, hundreds of his congregants!

What does The Social Sermon look like? At the beginning of the week a Rabbi posts a question on his or her blog, or on Twitter with a particular hashtag (e.g. #CBSSS for Congregation Beth Shalom Social Sermon), or as a Facebook post on the congregation’s Page. The first post would describe a theme of the parasha, or link to some text, and at the end, pose a question.

As comments and responses start to be posted, the Rabbi then facilitates an ongoing conversation through the week — responding regularly with insight, text, links, answers to questions, and more questions to guide the discussion.

By the end of the week, several things will have happened:

New people are engaged in Torah study. Likely a portion of the online participants are a demographic that doesn’t often come to mid-day or evening adult education classes. (On- site classes – adult and youth – can also participate);

Participants will have formed new relationships through the online discussion, perhaps following each other on Twitter, friending each other on Facebook, etc. which leads to ambient awareness, thus strengthening your community;

The Rabbi will have a better understand of what aspects of the parasha resonate with the community, and be able to design a Shabbat sermon that is the most relevant for the congregation, and will have ideas, quotes, context to make the sermon even more rich; and

More people may show up for Shabbat services, feeling more educated, connected and like they have some ownership over the sermon that week.

And for those that missed the service, they could read it the next day when the rabbi posts the sermon back on the blog or web site, with a link on Twitter and/or Facebook. Interested? Use the SocialSermon tag on this blog to find posts about the Social Sermon, and for case studies and guest posts from Rabbis and educators who are doing it. Follow #socialsermon on Twitter for updates, links to these blog posts, and to connect with others who are doing it. Join us on Facebook to be connected others who are doing Social Sermons and get important news.

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Join us on Facebook to be connected others who are doing Social Sermons and get important

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Feel free to adapt the concept — a confirmation class could do this throughout the week between class meetings, a youth group could do it with their adviser or a parent facilitator. Please report back and let us know how it’s going, and what you’re doing. Please let us know if we can help you at any stage – leave a comment here, or any other space mentioned above.

Want more “hand holding”? Darim offers hourly consulting, and we are working with interested Social Sermoners to find funding from a donor or Federation small grants program to work with a group of Rabbis in your local community. Holler if you’d like more information. Ready, Set…. Social Sermon!

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in your local community. Holler if you’d like more information. Ready, Set…. Social Sermon! h a

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Toronto Biennial Sermon 12

by Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie November 7, 2009

Excerpt:

That being so, what about the Internet? Will it undermine the synagogue? Some fear yes— that it will lure Jews away from the old ways of connecting that require us to be in the same physical place. They fear that it will become a substitute for in-the-flesh contact, and that if people start getting their needs met in the virtual world, they will have no need for the real world.

But this is not my view. True, you can’t have a minyan or pay a shiva call online; online experience is not the same as being there. Still, it can be a powerful adjunct. And studies show that heavy Internet use actually encourages users to meet more with other people.

Remember: from the time of Ezra, who rewrote the Bible in a new script, we Jews have always adapted to our environment and taken advantage of the latest technologies. To encode our conversations and sacred texts, we moved with ease from stone tablets to parchment to paper, and we will move with equal ease to the electronic word.

In fact, we should see the Web as one of the most wondrous developments of all time.

In the first place, our members do not have the time they once had. We are working more and sleeping less, and we can’t get to the synagogue as much as we once did. Carving out an hour or two for a class or committee meeting is harder than ever. In this world, we need the benefits that online community brings. In any case, let’s not kid ourselves; our members are spending more and more of their time online, and we need to be there with them.

In the second place, the web does what Judaism has always aspired to do: it opens up the vast treasury of Jewish knowledge to everyone. Judaism is not a religion of elites; we are all expected to learn and to know. The web provides access to Jewish learning on a scale that was unthinkable a decade ago.

And in the third place, the web – potentially at least – empowers our members and democratizes our synagogues. The synagogue is the grassroots address of the Jewish world, and the web gives us an instrument to involve and include Jews as never before. This is enormously exciting, and more than a little scary.

Are our synagogues doing great things in this area? Absolutely. Are we making the most of this potential? Not even close. Almost all our synagogues have email lists and websites; but these are usually a way to present information rather than a means to engage their members. Even those congregations that have a blog rarely use it to generate conversation and foster connection.

But I believe that we are missing a critical opportunity. The Internet and cyberspace are changing all the rules of Jewish interaction, and we need to be at the forefront of these changes. We need to create an online, Oral Torah of ongoing Jewish discourse, and invite in the opinions of our members. We need to ask our members to share their personal stories and Jewish memories – which they love to do when given the chance. We need to encourage hotly debated, multi-voiced, civil discussions on synagogue and local issues, and on Israel and national issues.

The idea is not just to serve our members but to engage them. The idea is not only to inform but also to inspire and create community. The idea is to see the Web not as a bulletin board for announcements but as an act of communal collaboration.

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to see the Web not as a bulletin board for announcements but as an act of

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Please note: None of this makes temple leaders less important. Information is not knowledge. Our members will still want their rabbis and cantors, their educators and administrators to listen and to lead.

Nonetheless, we need to be aware of what is happening in our world. We have talked endlessly about how to attract young adults into our congregations. No one is certain how to do it. But if we are ever to succeed with these young Jews, we need to know who they are, where they are, and what they want. Having grown up in the digital world, theirs is a culture of interaction and enablement. They want to inquire, discuss, and argue. They are natural collaborators and community-builders. And they will not be attracted by authoritarian Judaism; they want a synagogue that is more bottom-up than top-down.

That being so, I believe with all my heart that the Judaism best able to reach them is Reform Judaism, and the synagogue best able to meet their needs is the Reform synagogue. We must become the address for technological experimentation – for web streaming, “virtual board meetings,” and a whole range of creative approaches that the innovators in our midst are already working on. To help our congregations begin this process, the Union has collected some of the best ideas for your review and consideration.

But there is one particular idea that I hope every synagogue will think about immediately, and

that is a congregational blog – not just an electronic temple bulletin, but a truly interactive, online forum. We need blogs because the era of one-way, passive information consumption is over. Our members, young and old, expect to talk back and have a conversation; they think in terms of networks rather than hierarchies. And creating a blog is easy and free, and the technology is so simple that even I can understand it. The Union has produced a guide with sample posts, technical advice, and ideas on how to draw people in. The key is to assemble a team of temple members who will agree not only to write for the blog but to read other posts and to comment. At the beginning, participants may be few, but if we address the real issues

in people’s lives, the numbers will grow.

If this is to work, it cannot be the job of the rabbi or the administrator. They may choose to join in, but they have enough to do. Only if lay leaders take this on will a community come into being. As I said, if we ask our members to share their Jewish journeys, most will be flattered and eager to respond. Let’s exchange Jewish memories. Let’s talk about why we come to services or why we don’t. Let’s discuss the big issues of the Jewish world. And Presidents and board members can test ideas and ask for feedback, on anything from dues and membership to personal theology.

It is a rare business nowadays that doesn’t have an online forum for customers to share

insights, make observations, and post questions. Given the importance of our sacred work,

shouldn’t we be doing the same?

A word about the risks. A blog means you don’t control everything. You must welcome honest

and open conversation and give people the freedom to disagree, criticize, and complain. Once, as we see from the Talmud, Jews could be counted on to do this with civility. But today, blogging can be a shoot-from-the-hip medium. And if our blogs are taken over by the kvetchers and the whiners, by the grievance collectors and the supersensitive souls, we are lost. I suggest, therefore, a simple solution: every temple needs a volunteer moderator who will review comments before they are posted. The Union will offer online training to prepare the volunteers for their work. And I recommend three rules to govern what will be posted and what will not: you need to sign your name; your comments will only be posted if they could be read from the bima on Erev Shabbat; and no one blogger will be permitted to dominate the

conversation.

Our NFTYites do not agree with me here. They favor a wide open approach and feel that those who are petulant or nasty can quickly be brought around. But I believe that if online conversation is to serve our sacred cause, tact and reflective judgment are essential.

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if online conversation is to serve our sacred cause, tact and reflective judgment are essential. h

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So yes, there are risks, but they are manageable; we will lose some control, but we will gain the ability to hear and to learn, and to reach out in new directions. The greater risk by far is that we will do nothing, and the digital generation will pass us by.

So let’s take up the challenge of the online age. Let this Movement do what it has always done: welcome diversity, encourage community, and join ancient tradition with cutting-edge culture. Let us create Torah, embrace Torah, and search out the unfolding word of God, wherever it may be found.

And by the way, this sermon will appear next week on the Union’s blog, and I look forward to entering into discussion with you….

Alan Abbey Commentary

In a word or two, Rabbi Yoffie hits the mark here. He mentioned many of the things I mentioned in my presentation, including the need to engage in a conversation and to be willing to give up some control. Well said.

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the need to engage in a conversation and to be willing to give up some control.

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Meet the fastest tweet in the Jewish organizational world: William Daroff 13

By Ron Kampeas · March 1, 2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Rain pouring in Jerusalem, tears streaming down the faces of fans of Team USA, tremors shaking Chile -- and always, always lunch at Eli's.

You have entered the @Daroff tweet zone.

William Daroff, the Washington director of Jewish Federations of North America, has taken the organization that couldn't get its initials straight and boiled it down to an engaging, entertaining and at times abrasive representation of the Jewish establishment in 140 characters or less.

Daroff's career, always on an upswing, is now careening skyward.

Recent cuts at Jewish Federations mean that he is not only responsible for its redoubtable Washington lobby shop representing the combined needs of 157 federations, but also will be helping to direct its seminal rabbinical cabinet and its relief arm, and coordinate the alliance of 40 federations that come together to fund seven national groups (including JTA).

But Daroff is best known for boiling down that alphabet soup into tweets followed literally by thousands. He has 2,205 followers on Twitter and 2,314 Facebook friends.

A sample just from Sunday and Monday:

* On a conference call with leaders of the #Jewish Federations of North America Rabbinic Cabinet

* Palestinian Cabinet meets in Hebron, as means of protesting #Israel's list of heritage sites http://bit.ly/a7FVj6 (@JPost)

* RT @jbelmont: NBC says 25% of the men who've watched the Olympics have cried. As an American who's lived in Canada, I just joined them.

* Latest from Santiago #Chile: No damage to synagogues, damage to #Jewish cemetery

walls, & broken windows at a community bldg.

* RT @KevinFlowerCNN: tensions in Jerusalem over al-Aqsa simmering down -- pouring rain

has helped

The question some Daroff watchers, in the corridors of Jewish power and in other settings, are asking: Does the tweeting enhance or detract from the federations' message?

"I see social networking and Facebook and Twitter as a new and novel way to communicate

with the world generally and with the Jewish community more specifically," Daroff, 41, told JTA. "When it comes to communications, not everyone we want to communicate with reads the JTA, Jewish newspapers or listens to rabbis and their sermons. It's incumbent upon us to

push forward the relevance of what we do as professionals and as a Jewish community, to meet people where they stand."

Some welcome the tweeting as necessary in an age of instantaneous information.

"I'd rather he tweeted too much than not enough because he often has vital information in his tweets," said Rabbi Levi Shemtov, who directs American Friends of Lubavitch. "For instance, yesterday with Chile -- I oftentimes learn about events and initiatives for the first time from William's tweets."

Others say the tweets reduce the complex back and forth of a conversation to an unrepresentative sound bite.

This tweet came out of Daroff's attendance at the annual plenum of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs in Dallas last week: "At #JCPA, @ADL_National's Abe Foxman calls @dailydish's Andrew Sullivan 'an example of someone who is educated & an anti-Semite.' "

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Andrew Sullivan 'an example of someone who is educated & an anti-Semite.' " h a r

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It

infuriated Foxman.

"I

give a speech of 22 minutes, there's a series of questions, and this is what makes the

news?" Foxman asked, referring to his talk on global anti-Semitism. "This is how he wants to get attention for the JCPA?"

Off the record, some government officials say Daroff's real-time tweeting makes them nervous.

"I know this is going to be tweeted, so it's on the record and I can't say anything useful," said one official, who asked not to be identified. "The ability to have a candid conversation is minimal."

Daroff dismisses the concerns, saying he confines his tweets to what is already known. He has tweeted about attending White House meetings, which is a matter of record, but not about the contents of the meeting, which is not.

"I wouldn't tweet anything I wouldn't tell a reporter," he said.

Other Jewish officials, off the record, say Daroff's tweets have veered into dangerous territory. They note a passionate back and forth with J Street last year over its reluctance at the time to endorse Iran sanctions. Daroff said J Street "stands with the mullahs."

J Street has since endorsed sanctions, and officials on both sides say they enjoy good relations.

Still, the exchange raised eyebrows.

"You can't self-promote to that degree and not become a target," said one official who otherwise thought Daroff was doing a good job.

Some friends say Daroff is addicted to his Blackberry. Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster, tore Daroff's Blackberry from his hand and threw it into the audience during a panel at the Jewish Federations' most recent general assembly, in November in Washington.

Friends say if they see him in a restaurant, they will tweet to get his attention. After his Blackberry delivers the message, Daroff has been known to stand up to greet someone who's been facing him across the room for half an hour.

Making himself heard has never been hard for Daroff. He was a longtime operative for the Republican Party, starting with the late Jack Kemp's 1988 presidential bid and including a long stint as the deputy director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Some people fretted in 2005 when Daroff was named to his current post. The Washington office of what was then known as the United Jewish Communities had just come through a fractious period; Daroff's predecessor was forced out, partly because of inter-office tensions; and relations with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs office had degenerated into a perpetual turf war.

Did a nonpartisan lobbying body really need a partisan -- albeit one who was well liked, but who also was not above the well-aimed partisan gibe, and was known for a spot-on impression of Ira Forman, the executive director of the National Jewish Demorcatic Council? Daroff quickly reached out to Democrats, including Forman, and did his best to assure them that he would not be a partisan.

"If he's overrerached at all, it's in reaching out to the left," said a Democrat appreciative of Daroff's effots, singling out health care, where Daroff has sided more with the Democrats. His readiness to take hits from either side soon made his case. Daroff received angry calls from buddies in the Bush White House about UJC plaints about budget cuts affecting

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entitlement programs and from Democrats on the Hill for defending tax exemptions. He was responsive when Democrats complained that a UJC e-mail newsletter featured profiles of Republicans in an election year; he stopped the profiles.

"In a situation that could have been very challenging because there were historical institutional issues to be overcome and where he was coming from politically, he made some people nervous," said Hadar Susskind, currently the policy director for J Street, a liberal pro- Israel group, and then Daroff's counterpart at the JCPA. "He did an extraordinary job as someone who had a professional partisan job, he did a very good job of putting aside and representing federations and putting those interests first and foremost."

Daroff, dining last Friday at Eli's, the kosher Washington eatery he incessantly promotes on his social networks (yes, he tweeted lunch with this reporter), is more modest.

"Look, when I was hired, there was a Republican in the White House and both houses" of Congress "were Republican." He had a year and a half, he says, to build up relations with relatively powerless Democrats before they retook Congress in November 2006. By that time he was known as the UJC guy, not the GOP guy.

Not that his former Republican credentials have hurt. At the RJC, he formed a friendship with Haley Barbour, then the chairman of the Republican National Committee. When the UJC's relief arm was seeking partners in areas hit by Hurricane Katrina, Barbour, now governor of Mississippi, was able to help facilitate a successful venture in assisting mental health facilities.

His next big challenge is grappling with a Washington that is slashing earmarks. In the 1990s, earmarks -- the expenditures for home-state projects lawmakers inject into spending bills -- were ballooning, and one of his predecessors, Diana Aviv, saw an opportunity. Through the earmarks, she helped create the Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, the system that allows seniors to spend their twilight years near their communities.

The Washington office replicated that feat under subsequent directors with millions of dollars set aside for enhancing security at nonprofits. Since its inception in 2005, the bulk has gone to Jewish organizations.

But budget cuts and a presidential campaign in which candidates competed to make "earmarks" synonymous with corruption have led to a crackdown. The domestic issues that Jews care about -- particularly government medical care for the elderly and poor -- may mean siding more forcefully with the Democrats.

Lobbying for earmarks was "lobbying lite," one congressional insider said, and the community needed to "go AIPAC" and get tough on the health care issue.

Daroff said he would not be dragged into partisan battles, and added that he was confident earmarks were here to stay.

"The Jewish Federations have continued to be remarkably successful in garnering Member- Directed-Funding (we don't call them 'earmarks' anymore), even in this current budgetary environment," he e-mailed in reply. "This is the case because our innovative initiatives are ones that Members of Congress are proud to promote. They flourish with increased transparency and with bright lights cast upon them. We are not promoting weapons systems that the Pentagon doesn't want, but rather cutting-edge social service programs that help make life better for millions of Americans."

As for Daroff, it appears he's here to stay, too: He is rumored to be on the short list for the soon-to-be-available post of CEO at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

His response to the rumors was short, even by tweeting standards.

No comment.

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Greater Washington. His response to the rumors was short, even by tweeting standards. No comment. h

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Young Adults Doing Religion on Their Own? Blame It on Politics 14 By Jeffrey Weiss

02/25/10

Last week, the number-crunching folks at the Pew Center released a report titled "Religion Among the Millennials." It's part of an ongoing analysis of the generation of young adults between 18 and 29 years old.

This report was a meta-analysis of lots of surveys done over the past several years, some by Pew and some not. Many of the results seemed pretty "duh" to me: Young people tend to lean left politically, be more open to change, more tolerant of differences than their elders. It has ever been thus, ain't it? As Plato kvetched more than 2,400 years ago:

"What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?"

But two paragraphs in the report jumped out at me:

"Fewer young adults belong to any particular faith than older people do today. They also are less likely to be affiliated than their parents' and grandparents' generations were when they were young. Fully one-in-four members of the Millennial generation -- so called because they were born after 1980 and began to come of age around the year 2000 -- are unaffiliated with any particular faith. Indeed, Millennials are significantly more unaffiliated than Generation Xers were at a comparable point in their life cycle (20 percent in the late 1990s) and twice as unaffiliated as Baby Boomers were as young adults (13 percent in the late 1970s)."

So that seems different, evidence of secularization on the march. But then we have:

"Young adults' beliefs about life after death and the existence of heaven, hell and miracles closely resemble the beliefs of older people today. Though young adults pray less often than their elders do today, the number of young adults who say they pray every day rivals the portion of young people who said the same in prior decades. And though belief in God is lower among young adults than among older adults, Millennials say they believe in God with absolute certainty at rates similar to those seen among Gen Xers a decade ago."

Which says to me that young adults are not losing faith, just unplugging from religious institutions at a rate unprecedented in U.S. history.

(And I know that "mileage may vary" for individuals. There are lots of politically and religiously conservative and engaged Millennials -- they're just in smaller proportions than among their elders.)

That data got me thinking about Robert Putnam, the Harvard professor whose book "Bowling Alone" made a powerful case a decade ago that Americans were disengaging from all manner of institutions -- from churches to social clubs to bowling leagues.

Putnam later reported that the trend had plateaued a bit after the Sept. 11 attacks, as many Americans sought social cohesion as a way to cope with the trauma. Maybe the survey results about Millennials were evidence the trends had resumed and even accelerated? I wondered what Putnam was doing these days.

Imagine my surprise: He and Notre Dame professor David Campbell have co-authored a book scheduled for publication this fall titled "American Grace: How Religion Is Reshaping Our Civic and Political Lives."

So I pinged them, asking what they thought of the Pew report. The bad news: Campbell replied that the book's publishers have asked that they not do media until closer to when the book comes out. The good news: They've been talking about their analysis for a while.

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when the book comes out. The good news: They've been talking about their analysis for a

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Putnam is the head of Harvard's Saguaro Seminar on civic engagement. The Social Capital blog reported on a presentation that Putnam and Campbell made last year for the Pew Forum.

No surprise, then, that their data tracked what Pew reported last week:

"Young Americans are dropping out of religion at an alarming rate of 5-6 times the historic rate (30-40 percent have no religion today versus 5-10 percent a generation ago)."

And now their explanation:

"But youth's religious disaffection is largely due to discomfort with religiosity having been tied to conservative politics."

They are hardly the first social scientists to link conservative politics and disengagement with organized religion. Back in 2002, Berkeley professors Michael Hout and Claude Fischer took the same line in the American Sociological Review:

"We seek to explain why American adults became increasingly likely to express no religious preference as the 1990s unfolded. Briefly summarized, we find that the increase was not connected to a loss of religious piety, and that it was connected to politics. In the 1990s many people who had weak attachments to religion and either moderate or liberal political views found themselves at odds with the conservative political agenda of the Christian Right and reacted by renouncing their weak attachment to organized religion."

But the entanglement of religion and politics is hardly a new American phenomenon. From the abolitionists to the temperance movement to the civil rights movement to the Vietnam era protests, people of powerful and visible faith were central to the battles -- on the right and on the left.

So has the Religious Right of the past couple of decades been more offensive, somehow, than previous faith-and-politics combinations? Are the Millennials more susceptible than prior generations? And if so, why?

Putnam and Campbell have said they thought the trend was reversible, that religious institutions with fewer political ties could engage in all-American entrepreneurship to swoop in and give the disaffected Millennials a religious home. But even high-profile religious leaders such as Saddleback's Rick Warren who have tried to stay out of the political swamp have found themselves pulled in from time to time. And it's hard to believe that people of powerful faith will be able to resist applying the standards of that faith to the thorniest political issues of our time.

Maybe Putnam and Campbell will have all the answers in that book. We'll ping them again in a few months to find out.

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will have all the answers in that book. We'll ping them again in a few months

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A Synagogue's Unorthodox Revival: Rabbi's Aggressive Outreach Reverses a Traditional Congregation's Decline 15

By LIANA B. BAKER

SAN FRANCISCO—When Rabbi Josh Strulowitz set out to rebuild a rapidly shrinking Jewish congregation, it seemed like a long shot.

Mr. Strulowitz leads Adath Israel, one of the few Modern Orthodox synagogues in the Bay Area. In 2005, when the newly ordained rabbi arrived at Adath Israel, the 68 members of the synagogue founded by Holocaust survivors had an average age of 70. Many of the congregants' descendants had moved away or gravitated toward more liberal forms of Judaism, and the congregation was debating selling its building and moving to a storefront location.

Today, thanks to an aggressive effort by Mr. Strulowitz, a 31-year-old rabbi, the synagogue has more than tripled in size, and the congregation's average age is closer to 40. Many of the new members came to Adath Israel through Mr. Strulowitz's unusual outreach efforts that included Super Bowl parties, a Chanukah gathering with a keg for adults and luncheon seminars at the offices of area businesses.

His approach was on display recently at his synagogue in the Central Sunset neighborhood. As the prayer service wound down, the rabbi took the stage to plug a Super Bowl party the next day. "The new high-def screen is off the hook," he said. "And there is going to be kosher fried chicken."

That struck a chord with Julie Higashi, a physician who switched to Adath Israel in 2007 from a Conservative Jewish synagogue. With Mr. Strulowitz's events, she says, "there is room for having fun." The next day, she joined about 50 people who watched the Super Bowl on the synagogue's 110-inch screen.

Rabbi Josh Strulowitz launched a preschool across the street from his Modern Orthodox synagogue in San Francisco to attract more families to the dwindling congregation.

The Bay Area's roughly 450,000 Jews make up the third-biggest Jewish population in the U.S., behind New York and Los Angeles, according to a 2004 study sponsored by the nonprofit Jewish Community Federation. But only 3% describe themselves as Modern Orthodox, the strain of Judaism that combines traditional observance with modern life— compared with 10% nationally, according to a 2001 study led by the nonprofit Jewish Federations of North America.

Mr. Strulowitz and some other Jewish leaders felt that allowing the synagogue to fade away would leave a hole in the city's Jewish life. The Modern Orthodox community helps to preserve a visible Jewish presence, they say, and lends strong support to Jewish institutions and the practice of certain traditions.

"When you see men wearing kippot and Jewish shops, it makes an impression on people who are not Orthodox and puts them in touch with the rhythms of Jewish life," says Jewish historian Fred Rosenbaum

But many Jews in the liberal Bay Area perceive Modern Orthodoxy as too rigid or devout. That is the case for Greg Lawrence, a 28-year-old member of a Jewish Renewal synagogue in Berkeley, which observes a less strict form of Judaism.

"When I think of Orthodox Judaism, it means all these laws that just don't really have applicable meaning for me," he said. "I certainly don't need [Orthodox Jews] to support me in any way."

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me," he said. "I certainly don't need [Orthodox Jews] to support me in any way." h

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Rabbi Strulowitz recognizes the challenge he is up against. "It's an ambitious mission trying to bridge the gaps between the outside world and making the religion—the way it was practiced 3,000 years ago—more relevant," he says.

Indeed, some of Mr. Strulowitz's unusual methods haven't resonated with his congregation— especially with its older members. Birdie Klein, 79, an Adath Israel member for 40 years, says some of the rabbi's programming doesn't appeal to her, including a recent conference on Jewish ethics and the Internet that was held at Twitter Inc.'s San Francisco headquarters, where one of the congregation's members is employed.

"Twitter. Shmitter. I didn't even ask what Twitter means," Ms. Klein says.

When Mr. Strulowitz began his outreach efforts, he sought advice from Modern Orthodox rabbis in other cities who had had success attracting new members. By late 2005, he had put together a beginners' service for the High Holidays. Last fall, he opened a preschool across the street from the synagogue to help bring in families.

Mr. Strulowitz also reached out to the area's business elite. In 2006, he started holding Jewish study lunches at companies including venture-capital firm Blumberg Capital and Friedkin Realty Group.

Bruce Taragin, a partner at Blumberg Capital who invited Mr. Strulowitz to host lunches at his office, says he has attended about half a dozen events. Mr. Taragin belongs to a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Oakland, but he says the rabbi has made him feel a "deeper and meaningful connection" to San Francisco's Jewish community.

Still, says Mr. Taragin, the rabbi has his work cut out for him. "It's like he's an entrepreneur and the Jewish community is a start-up in the nascent stages," he says.

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an entrepreneur and the Jewish community is a start-up in the nascent stages," he says. h

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Inside The Jewish Internet Defense Force 16

On July 27th someone hacked hacked into a Facebook group called, “Israel” Is Not A Country!. Delist It From Facebook As A Country!” Responsibility was claimed by the Jewish Internet Defense Force.(JIDF) The JIDF posted the following statement on the group page:

This group was one of the most vile, antisemitic, pro-terrorist sites on the internet. Moreover, it was the most active hate group of all, heartily promoting hatred, murder, and genocide while proliferating abominable propaganda paralleled only by the fables of Goebbels. While such content clearly violates Facebook’s own Terms of Use and Code of Conduct, provisions that users agree to abide when they register on the site, Facebook refused to take action. Despite thousands of user complaints over the course of eighteen months, Facebook allowed this group and its ubiquitous antisemitic lies to flourish. Facebook’s own negligence and abdication of responsibility gave us no option but to take matters in our own hands.

We wish to be clear – we have no issues with legitimate political discourse so long as it is contextual, comparative and truthful. However, when it comes to encouraging the murder of Jews and purposefully disseminating misinformation to demonize Jews and to delegitimize Israel, there is a moral obligation to remove the platform of such repugnant hate-mongers. Unfortunately, we do not need to search too far back into history to realize that such evils have a real cost in terms of human lives.”

In addition to posting the above statement, the JIDF began deleting the names of all Forty Eight Thousand members of the group. As of last check, there were just over Twenty Thousand names still left on the list. The JIDF would not elaborate on how they have been able to accomplish this on an on-going basis. There apparently has been no response from Facebook to date.

In order to get some insight into the activities and motives of the JIDF with regards to Anti- Semitic and other types of hate speech in the social networking arena, I contacted the group responsible for the hack. A representative of the group agreed to be interviewed on the condition of anonymity. He related that he has received multiple death threats arising out of his activities in the JIDF.

What is the origin of of the JIDF?

The JIDF started as a grassroots effort at the beginning in 2000. Many of us were in NYC during 9/11, so that had a major impact as well. It began as a mass email campaign. It eventually morphed onto Myspace during the war with Hezbollah in 2006 and protesting the disengagement from Gush Katif/Gaza. Shortly thereafter, we evolved with the technology onto Facebook. Originally it started as just to share news and information about Israel and Jewish issues with a bit of commentary here and there. As we used Facebook, we noticed many of the issues began literally to stare us in the face. Anti-semitic and pro-Jihadist groups were springing up everywhere.

Why JIDF?

The name “JIDF” is a recent development. We liked how it morphed “Jewish” with IDF – especially in light of the contrast between the religious and secular world in Israel and the Jewish world in general.

What are the short and long term goals of the JIDF?

One of our short term objectives is to expose Barack Obama and prevent him from winning the Presidential election. In the long term we hope to expose and fight antisemitism and pro- Jihadist trends on the web, including, but not limited to, the vast array of issues on Facebook, Google/Youtube, Google- Earth, and Wikipedia.

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limited to, the vast array of issues on Facebook, Google/Youtube, Google- Earth, and Wikipedia. h a

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What do you hope to expose about Barack Obama?

We hope to continue to highlight the issues surrounding his terrorist connections as well as his racist and antisemitic church which has supported Hamas and The Reverend Louis Farrakhan.

What is the position of the JIDF on the “Palestinian Question” regarding disputes over occupied lands?

Palestinians should be transferred out of Israeli territories. They can live in any of the other many Arab states. We are against all land concessions to our enemies. We are against the release of terrorist prisoners from Israeli prisons. We are against the arming and funding of our enemies and the negotiation with them. We are for morals, ethics and common sense and feel Israel must truly act as a “light unto the nations” in order for the world to be safe as we feel Israel is truly on the front lines in the war in which Islam has declared upon us

What has the reaction been from the Jewish community here and abroad?

Since the Jewish people are so diverse, the reaction has been diverse from full support to full condemnation.

What about the Muslim Community?

99.9% of Muslims hate us. There have been 4 viable death threats. These threats are not just from non-Jewish Middle Eastern community, but Neo Nazis, etc.

Do you feel social networking groups have the right to question Israel’s right to exist as legitimate social discourse?

Absolutely! Where they cross the line is when they spew hatred and promote violence, murder and genocide. This is happening on Facebook despite 10’s of thousands of complaints and reports.

Do you feel Facebook and other social networking sites are doing enough to monitor groups promoting hate speech?

Facebook has been negligent in this regard. As an organization it has completely abdicated its responsibility to its users. Youtube also needs to do more. They all have rules in place. They should draw the line when people are blatantly promoting hatred, violence, murder, and genocide. (as most of their own rules state) They need to be more efficient with their systems to monitor and remove this type of user-generated content.

How do you respond to those who claim your group is engaging in the exact some rhetoric and conduct that it criticizes?

We disagree. We do not promote hatred, violence, murder or genocide. We do not promote known terrorist entities. We do not misinform. We do not lie nor make up lies. We do not call people “apes and pigs” – like many of the Muslims do. We do not advocate the destruction of countries or of people. The list goes on and on.

Did you break the law when you hacked the Facebook group?

We absolutely broke no laws doing what we did. In fact, we operate with the advice of legal counsel and within the confines of the law.

There seems little doubt that Social Media is the new battle ground for social activism. Social Media is not only the new face of social activism, it is a the new face of ethnic and religious

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Media is not only the new face of social activism, it is a the new face

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hatred and intolerance on all sides. As social networking groups such a Facebook have sprung up and attracted substantial membership more and more groups taking extreme positions on one subject or another have become popular. Proving this point is the fact that the “Israel Is Not a Country” Facebook group had over forty thousand members at the time it was hacked. Are social networking groups such as Facebook and Youtube doing enough to monitor groups and content advocating extreme political and religous positions that attempt to encourage or incite violence and hatred towards other groups? Are they simply encouraging legitimate social discourse? Contrary to popular belief there is no right of free speech on social netowrking sites. They are for the most part private entities not covered by the First Amendment. The sites have to the right to censor and remove material they deem objectionable. Where do we draw the line between incitement of hate and legitimate debate on religious, ethnic and political issues? Should ther even be a line? Many would argue that the JIDF encourages the same hateful rhetoric that it claims it fights against. Are they attempting to squash legitimate debate? Are they also promoting hate and intolerance? No one is safe. Let the discourse begin.

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debate? Are they also promoting hate and intolerance? No one is safe. Let the discourse begin.

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Haredim declare war on the Internet 17

By JONATHAN ROSENBLUM

05/03/2010

After the evening minyan on a recent trip to the United States, a 40-something man beseeched me to write about a Web site called GuardYourEyes, which provides tools for those who have become pornography addicts through the Internet. He did not explicitly tell me he was one such addict, but the fervor with which he prayed suggested his personal torment.

Every Orthodox rabbi in North America with whom I have spoken in recent years has his own stories of homes destroyed by the Internet – whether it be through chat rooms, or erotica Web sites, or instant communications devices that make it easy to establish illicit relationships. Sins that once required the expenditure of energy and time, as well as the potential for humiliation if revealed, can now be done instantaneously in private, with little danger of detection. The Internet not only facilitates the ease with which one can act upon existing temptations, it has the capacity to create previously undreamed of desires.

AWARE OF the devastation caused by the Internet, and determined to prevent it from becoming completely entrenched, the leading haredi rabbis in Israel have declared war on it. A conference for haredi educators in Bnei Brak two weeks ago, attended by a rare cross- section of the most revered senior rabbinical figures in the haredi world, promulgated several decrees against home Internet use.

The baseline position was that no haredi family should have Internet in the house. If one or both of the parents need Internet in the house for business purposes, they must first install appropriate filters, preferably in combination with a server like Internet Rimon, which both excludes the most problematic Web sites – e.g., pornography and gambling – and has the capacity to preview and censor material even within acceptable sites. The password for entry to Internet must be known only to the parent who needs it for business purposes. In addition, a rabbi must certify that there is a need for Internet. These provisions will be enforced by requiring each child in haredi educational institutions to provide a form signed by the parents that they are in conformity with the above requirements.

Above all, these requirements are designed to convey an unambiguous message that Internet constitutes a moral hazard that should be avoided and, even in cases of necessity, approached with the utmost caution and protections. So great is the danger that it outweighs such considerations as convenience or even educational value. Only economic necessity, coupled with layers of protection, can justify its possession.

The haredi leadership seeks to repeat with respect to Internet what was done to television in America in the 1960s and ’70s: to make its possession a defining social marker of who is within the haredi community and who is not. Certainly Internet has already exacted a toll in victims far beyond that of television in that vastly more innocent period when it required prescience to forecast the degree to which it would degenerate.

Television, however, was nothing more than an entertainment medium – not a necessity for modern life.

INTERNET IS something quite different. At the Bnei Brak gathering, Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman, the most respected of the senior roshei yeshiva, admitted, “If we would be able to totally ban the Internet, that would be fine. But we can’t do that, since there are those who need the Internet”.

Increasingly, Internet is the principal means of conducting many of the basic transactions of modern life, whether it be banking, checking bus schedules, finding a site that calculates the proper times for prayers on transatlantic flights, or just for shopping. In some cases it is only a convenience – one can live without the information or obtain it less efficiently. In others, the

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convenience – one can live without the information or obtain it less efficiently. In others, the

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difference is primarily a matter of time, though the hours saved are no small matter for stressed haredi parents, who often must perform chores with several young children in tow.

At one major hi-tech company that operates separate facilities employing haredi women, visits to sites other than those needed for one’s work are cause for dismissal. But the facility retains two work stations where women can do some basic banking and other such functions while on break or after work.

More important, Internet is essential for much modern employment. And at one level, it even offers unique potential benefits to the haredi world. An ever-increasing percentage of haredi women – and haredi men – are being educated in computer-based fields. With the move of haredi women from teaching jobs within the haredi educational system (in which the job market is saturated) to hi-tech come a host of new concerns about working in mixed work places. A number of companies have discovered that they can employ haredi women at relatively low pay by providing sexually segregated work places and mother-flexible work schedules in or near haredi population centers.

Ideally, working by computer from home offers a possible solution to haredi concerns about mixed workplaces and the need for flexible hours, but that depends, of course, on having Internet in the house. That is just one example of how the tension between competing haredi ideals may play out around Internet.

Given the centrality of Internet to modern life, the attempt to impose a ban (with exemptions) in the home might strike many as a futile attempt to turn back the clock. And that might well be true in the United States, for instance, where home Internet is nearly ubiquitous, even in haredi homes and where every handheld device has Internet connectivity. There the emphasis will likely be on damage control through Internet education, filters, increased parental supervision.

But in Israel the haredi public has the market power to secure “kosher” cellphones, without Internet connectivity. And the haredi leadership, it turns out, might be more on target than most secular parents with respect to what is at stake.

Every study of parents’ perceptions of their children’s Internet use shows that parents are totally clueless about both the quality and quantity of their children’s Internet use.

They have no idea how many of their children have shared personal information or agreed to meet strangers over the Internet. And they are unaware of the degree to which their teenagers are living in a largely isolated, alternative reality – about 55 hours a week for the average American teenager. Education officials in the United Kingdom are exploring ways to limit time teens spend on game sites. While parents would like to think that their children are locked in their rooms exploring the reaches of human knowledge on their personal computer, the greater likelihood is that they are at porn sites – the use of which spikes in the afternoon hours when teens are home alone.

One of Judaism’s six constant mitzvot is “do not stray after your hearts and after your eyes While haredi efforts to preserve the “purity of the eyes” may seem hopelessly quaint in our erotically charged society, haredi concerns about the dangers of Internet would be shared by most parents if they had not thrown in the towel on guiding their children.

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would be shared by most parents if they had not thrown in the towel on guiding

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Additional articles with a Jewish "angle":

1. Facebook Profile For Holocaust Victim Brings History to Life

http://mashable.com/2010/02/04/facebook-profile-holocaust-

victim/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+

%28Mashable%29

2. Small boy killed in Holocaust gets Facebook page _ attracting thousands of friends

http://www.cltv.com/business/sns-ap-eu-holocaust-victim-facebook,0,7470453.story?page=1

3. A “McKinsey Study” on the Jewish Web

http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/the-future-of-jewish-media/ from The New York Jewish Week:

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Web http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/the-future-of-jewish-media/ from The New York Jewish Week: h a r t m a n o

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Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh) 18

May 5, 2010 · 50 Comments

By Erik Qualman

It’s amazing how fast the world of social media moves! As many of the statistics from the original Social Media video have changed, I took a moment to refresh the video with a few new statistics and graphics. Thanks to all of you for your support in making the first Social Media Revolution and Social Media ROI videos such a huge success and I hope that you enjoy this refresh!

Stats from Video (sources listed below by corresponding #)

1. Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30-years-old

2. 96% of them have joined a social network

3. Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.

4. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web

5. 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media

6. Years to Reach 50 millions Users: Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)…

7. Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year

8. iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.

9. We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.”

10. If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest ahead of the United States and only behind China and India

11. Yet, QQ and Renren dominate China

12. 2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction

13. 80% of companies use social media for recruitment; % of these using LinkedIn 95%

14. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females

15. Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres (combined) have more Twitter followers than the populations of Ireland, Norway, or Panama. Note I have adjusted the language here after someone pointed out the way it is phrased in the video was difficult to determine if it was combined.

16. 50% of the mobile Internet traffic in the UK is for Facebook…people update anywhere, anytime…imagine what that means for bad customer experiences?

17. Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé – some universities have stopped distributing e-mail accounts

18. Instead they are distributing: eReaders + iPads + Tablets

19. What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook…

20. The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube

21. While you watch this 100+ hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube

22. Wikipedia has over 15 million articles…studies show it’s more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica…78% of these articles are non-English

23. There are over 200,000,000 Blogs

24. Because of the speed in which social media enables communication, word of mouth now becomes world of mouth

25. If you were paid a $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia you would earn $156.23 per hour

26. 25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user- generated content

27. 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands

28. Do you like what they are saying about your brand? You better.

29. People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them

30. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations

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products and services than how Google ranks them 30. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations h

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31.

Only 14% trust advertisements

32. Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI

33. 90% of people that can TiVo ads do

34. Kindle eBooks Outsold Paper Books on Christmas

35. 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation

36. 60 millions status updates happen on Facebook daily

37. We no longer search for the news, the news finds us.

38. We will non longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media

39. Social Media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate

40. Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like Mad Men Listening first, selling second

41. The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years

42. Bonus: comScore indicates that Russia has the most engage social media audience with visitors spending 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month – Vkontakte.ru is the #1 social network

Social Media Statistics:

Below are the sources I used to compile this video. Keep your feedback/questions/challenges coming as it will collectively make the next video better – be social.

A huge thanks to all below:

1. Source: http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/broker http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/worldpopinfo.php [roughly 52% based on table data] | 2010 U.S. 310,232,863 | 2010 World 6,814,609,654 | 30 and under:

3,548,760,268 / 6,814,609,654 = 52% http://sasweb.ssd.census.gov/idb/worldpopinfo.html

2. Source: Grunwald Associates National Study – Trendsspotting Blog | Millenials Conference

3. Source: Hitwise Intelligence Heather Dougherty http://weblogs.hitwise.com/heather-

dougherty/2010/03/facebook_reaches_top_ranking_i.html

4. Source: Huffington Post

5. Source: McKinsey Study also posted by David Dalka

6. Source: First Stats: United Nations Cyberschoolbus Document

7. Source for Facebook Stat: Facebook Timeline http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?timeline Feb 2009 175 million users – Feb 2010 400 users:

8. iPhone Stat: Apple

9. Personal Quote

10. Source: Facebook and world population data

11. Source: TechCrunch

12. Source: U.S. Department of Education Study

13. Source: Jobvite Social Recruitment Survey

14. Source: Inside Facebook Blog

15. Source: Twitter & World Population Data [Pulled 4/11: Kutcher & Spears 4,743,902

and 4,689,808 = 9,433,710] – note it’s not the combined populations of the countries listed

16. Source: The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/feb/08/facebook- rise-mobile-web-use

17. Source: Metro Commuter Newspaper

18. Source: USA Today: Should Colleges Start Giving iPads to Students?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-04-05-IHE-colleges-give-iPads-to-

students05_N.htm

19. Opinion, not a statistic

20. Source: TGDaily

21. Source: Mashable by Ben Parr

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19. Opinion, not a statistic 20. Source: TGDaily 21. Source: Mashable by Ben Parr h a

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22.

Source: www.wikipedia.org - calculated based on # articles per language category; Colorado State University Wikipedia Accuracy Study; open debate and of course very biased information is also found on this Wikipedia Accuracy page.

23. Source: China Internet Information Center, Technorati, Wikipedia

24. Opinion, not a statistic

25. Source: ClickZ Stats SES Magazine June 8 page 24-25 Chris Aarons, Andru Edwards, Xavier Lanier Turning Blogs and user-Generated Content Into Search Engine Results

26. Calculated based of Wikipedia article data found at www.wikipedia.org

27. Source: TechCrunchThis says 4 weeks so I may have been a little off here as my source at Facebook had said 2 weeks adjusted above

28. Source: Marketing Vox and Nielsen BuzzMetrics SES Magazine June 8 page 24-25 Chris Aarons, Andru Edwards, Xavier Lanier Turning Blogs and user-Generated Content Into Search Engine Results

29. Opinion, not a statistic

30. Source: July 2009 Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey (actually 90% now – updated above but video still shows 78%)

31. Source: “Marketing to the Social Web,” Larry Weber, Wiley Publishing 2007

32. Source: “Marketing to the Social Web,” Larry Weber, Wiley Publishing 2007

33. Source: Starcom USA-TiVo

34. Source: Mashable

35. Source: Solutions Research Group

36. Source: Facebook Stats

37. Opinion, not a statistic

38. Opinion, not a statistic

39. Opinion, not a statistic

40. Opinion, not a statistic

41. Opinion, not a statistic

42. comScore

43. Music in video provided by Fatboy Slim “Right Here, Right Now” (1999) – if you like it buy the single

To watch videos with millions of YouTube views and deservedly so, please check out Karl Fisch and Scott McCleod’s Did You Know? And Shift Happens videos on YouTube. If you are like me you will love them!

Also, if you haven’t seen Marta Kagan’s “What The F**K is Social Media” presentation, it’s amazing! Many of the same eye-popping facts are contained in it – as well as many more. Plus, it does a much better job of providing insight than my video which is designed to grab attention. Kagan’s presentation informs, check it out!

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than my video which is designed to grab attention. Kagan’s presentation informs, check it out! h

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Nonprofit News: How Start-ups Can Pay Their Way 19

By Peter Osnos

At the University of Texas in Austin last week, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation convened a dozen of the country's new, mainly nonprofit news-gathering organizations to discuss the Holy Grail of start-up theology: seeking ways to be sustainable beyond philanthropic largesse. Knight's president, Alberto Ibarguen, and their vice-president for journalism programs, Eric Newton, have played a crucial guiding role in the emergence of these journalism enterprises, countering the broader narrative of severe cutbacks in newspaper and broadcast resources. Nothing like this has happened on a national scale in the American media since the origins of public radio and television in the 1960s and 1970s, when a combination of government-backed initiatives such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and foundations, led by the Ford Foundation, provided the framework and funding for nonprofit news over the airwaves.

For the most part, in our society, news delivered in newspapers, in magazines, by broadcasters, and in the initial decade on the Internet, has been market-driven. Our media industry is overwhelmingly a commercially based competition for survival of the fittest, in which the quality of output is subsidized by the revenues it can attract. This is an anomaly, considering that the role of a vibrant press is considered indispensable in a democracy, and should be a civic asset on a par with other great nonprofit information institutions such as universities, libraries, and museums.In particular, the precipitous decline in newspaper revenues leading to closures, bankruptcies, and the loss of many thousands of jobs has diminished ambitions for metro, investigative, and international reporting and cast a fin de siècle pall over journalism, even as the best of what is being produced across multiple platforms is outstanding. I'm certain that this year's Pulitzer Prize, National Magazine Award, and Peabody medalists could hold their own for breadth and impact with winners of the past. So as Ibarguen observed in his wrap-up remarks, the Austin session was notable for an absence of hand-wringing and pessimism, an apparent determination to pool initial experiences in nonprofit newsgathering with a goal of providing models for sustainable operation in a digital age. As undeniable as the downside in journalism has been in recent years, the potential for reinvention and innovation is now established.

I attended the Austin meeting as a co-founder and advisory board member of the Chicago News Cooperative (CNC), which is being led by James O'Shea, a former top editor at the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. Since last fall, CNC's staff has been providing two pages twice a week to the edition of the New York Times distributed in Chicago and environs as the first phase of an ambitious plan for state and local coverage on a robust website, plus the development of community based "news interest networks" in subjects such as education and culture. Here are the other organizations represented at the session: Bay Citizen/California Watch/Center for Investigative Reporting, Connecticut News Project, Gotham Gazette, Crosscut.com, New American Media, New Haven Independent, Oakland Local, Texas Tribune, St. Louis Beacon, and Voices of San Diego.

As all such gatherings are now, the conference was Twittered at #nonprofitJ while in progress, and a website with summary information was launched before the meeting ended. My takeaway from the session included a renewed emphasis on the importance of creative engagement with readers, the development of ways to give them a vested interest in the news being gathered. Traditional media had their great brand identities cultivated over decades. By contrast, start-ups have to become distinctive and valuable fast enough to attract the revenue needed to keep going, usually in a matter of months. Even the best-funded outfits with million-dollar donations from prominent backers, such as Texas Tribune and Bay Citizen (the new name for the Bay Area News Project), recognize that these are merely contributions and will run out unless replaced.

At the inevitable risk of simplifying, here are the keys to sustainable revenue, reinforced by the Austin discussions (those who follow public radio, by far the most successful model nonprofit media, will find them familiar):

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follow public radio, by far the most successful model nonprofit media, will find them familiar): h

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Membership. An active solicitation of contributions from the community being served, using loyalty programs, events, and news interest groups. Even a relatively small group of members can make a major difference, and the management of this process has to be a top priority.

Sponsorship. This is commercial underwriting intended to bring businesses and services to the community. The value and price of this support will grow as the organization does, but it is never too early to bring in advertising, however it may be euphemistically described.

Philanthropy. Foundations neither can nor should provide the long-term core support for news organizations. But specific initiatives in subject areas such as health care, digital development, and capacity building (creating an effective board of directors, for example) are essential.

Government Support. The Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and advocacy groups such as FreePress are actively looking at ways to provide elements of subsidy through tax policy or Internet regulation under the rubric of protecting journalism's future. This is an important policy area, but unlikely to be meaningful in the short term, given the complexities of Washington.

There is no doubt that the 20th-century models for journalism were upended by the digital revolution and what I have called elsewhere the business equivalent of reckless driving by some proprietors. But meetings like the Austin conference show that journalists, civic and business leaders, and foundations are beginning to create enterprises and protocols that will give us a 21st-century version of news gathering with the potential to match and perhaps exceed what has come before.

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version of news gathering with the potential to match and perhaps exceed what has come before.

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And the most engaging social network is… 20

Pingdom

Some sites are utterly addictive. You return to them often, and when you do, you tend to stay

there for a good while, visiting different pages, viewing interesting content. In a word, the site

is engaging.

But how do you measure it? How do you put a number on how engaging a site is?

That is exactly what we are going to do in this post, and we will be looking at social network sites, arguably the most engaging sites out there. Specifically, we will try to find out which social network sites are the most engaging in terms of user activity.

The most engaging social network site is…

Figuring out how engaging a site is can be tricky. We could look at the number of page views per visit, but that number alone doesn’t really tell us much. We also need to take into consideration how often visitors come back to a site. After all, if we return frequently to a site and also view many pages when we do, it’s likely that find the site engaging.

For the sake of argument, this article will measure how engaging a site is as the number of

monthly page views per visitor (monthly visits per visitor * page views per visit). You could call

it visitor activity level, but we prefer “engagement level”.

So, with the help of site data from Google and some number crunching, here is how engaging the various social network sites are:

here is how engaging the various social network sites are: A few observations: • These numbers

A few observations:

These numbers are bound to be a bit unfair to Twitter. Many of its users rely heavily on applications to access the site and don’t necessarily spend much time on the site itself.

It’s interesting that Facebook not only has a ton of users (350+ million), but the site manages to wring out so many page views from each one. This is bound to be extremely

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but the site manages to wring out so many page views from each one. This is

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good news for Facebook’s income from advertising (see further down for a brief discussion of this).

Those of you who like to dig a bit deeper may wonder how we arrived at these numbers in the first place, which is a perfectly relevant question. The following section is for you.

A closer look at visitor behavior

The data in the first chart in this post comes from two interesting pieces of information:

The average number of page views per visit.

The average number of monthly visits per visitor.

To get the most out of its visitors, social network sites will usually want to maximize both of these. Facebook doesn’t have the highest number of page views per visit, but its visitors come back to the site very often and still generate a good amount of page views each time.

This is why Facebook got such a high site engagement level in the first chart.

If we look at these values individually for each site, this is what you get:

If we look at these values individually for each site, this is what you get: A

A few observations:

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If we look at these values individually for each site, this is what you get: A

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Social network sites have a tendency to make us click around quite a lot more than we do on most other types of sites. This is underlined by this mini study, which shows that all of the top five sites in site engagement are what you could call “traditional” social network sites, loosely following the template set by Friendster in 2003.

If we just look at the number of page views per visit, the most engaging social network would be… drum roll… Friendster.

Facebook’s 28 monthly visits per visitor is more than twice that of any other site in this study. Facebook seems to successfully encourage its users to come back to the site very often. Of course, it has a little extra help from being the number one social network, but on the other hand, perhaps this is one of the reasons it got there in the first place?

The advertising perspective

Many of these sites make their money from showing ads. More page views will lead to more ads being displayed, i.e. more dollars, which will be an incentive for these sites to maximize the page views they get from each visitor. (Twitter famously doesn’t show ads, so it isn’t affected by this.) In this respect, Facebook has really hit a homerun. It wrings a lot more page views out of its visitors compared to the other sites. With such a huge user base, even small differences in the number of page views per visitor are bound to have a big effect on Facebook’s income, so you can assume that they are working very hard on making sure that the site is as engaging as possible.

Final words

Ultimately what sites we like and use comes down to a matter of taste, but it’s always interesting to see what you can find out about the general behavior of site visitors. Perhaps it becomes even more relevant for social network sites, which are built around group behavior.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that last week we published a post about the total number of monthly page views for social network sites. For example, we revealed that Facebook has a whopping 260 billion monthly page views.

This was in many ways intended as a follow-up to that post. We hope that we managed to give you some additional insight into where those massive amounts of page views come from.

Note: As always when working with estimates (which Google and all other external data collection services do), there will be a margin of error in the numbers. All data in this post is from, or derived from, Google Ad Planner.

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margin of error in the numbers. All data in this post is from, or derived from,

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Determining Your Social Network Needs: When it comes to social networking, is more always better? 21

By: Beth Kanter

February 5, 2008

More and more people are making decisions and getting information from conversations taking place on social networking sites, online tools that help people connect with others who share similar interests, or with those who are interested in exploring new interests and activities.

Social networking sites promise to offer an array of benefits to nonprofits as well, from allowing them to keep abreast of trends and generate awareness to helping them raise money and connect with new supporters. As these tools continue to grow in popularity and expand beyond their traditional under-20 demographic, your nonprofit may be tempted to create a presence on one or more of the ever-growing roster of social networking sites.

Yet when it comes to social networking, is more always better? As Should Your Organization Use Social Networking Sites? points out, these tools aren't for every organization. Yet if you've determined that your nonprofit would benefit from having a presence on one social networking site, would you find even more success on two or more sites? If so, how should you go about choosing these sites?

Below, we'll discuss what it means to maintain a presence on one or more online social networks, and help you evaluate what sort of presence makes sense for your organization. We'll also show you a few tips for selecting the tools that can give you the most return on your investment and ensure a successful online presence for years to come.

Potential Benefits

Social networking sites can help your organization increase awareness about an issue, find signatures for a petition, and encourage supporters to take action. Moreover, by building up a network of contacts on a social networking site, nonprofits can leverage the tools' viral abilities to quickly spread messages and alerts to a wide audience beyond their immediate community of supporters.

This can be especially valuable in times of crisis. A college student backpacking in Southeast Asia started a Facebook group called Support the Monks' Protest in Burma to draw attention to the pro-democracy protests led by the country's revered Buddhist monks. The group found more than 400,000 supporters from around the world and helped attract attention to the monks' cause.

Not only can social networking sites help your nonprofit widen its general support base, they may help you find and connect with people who can promote your organization's work or even fundraise on your behalf. If you put time into them, social networking sites give you an opportunity to communicate directly and more meaningfully with constituents or potential constituents in a way that is nearly impossible using other mediums such as direct mail, email, or Web sites.

Many nonprofits are drawn to social networking sites with the hope that they will help them raise money. While it is true that fundraising on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace shows promise, this is still in the early stages and for the most part, the payoffs are minimal, barring a few notable exceptions. On the upside, fundraising efforts in these spaces may be considered a strategy for cultivating future potential donors for your organization. What Maintaining a Presence Entails

Maintaining your social networking profile is like maintaining a mini Web site. Like a Web site, you need to keep your content fresh, while taking on the additional task of cultivating your contact lists.

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to keep your content fresh, while taking on the additional task of cultivating your contact lists.

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One way to keep your community strong is by keeping in frequent contact with your friend network, either profile-to-profile, via private messaging, or in groups. Remember, people join social networking sites to network; they want to interact with an actual person from your organization — not form letters. It is this personal, one-on-one communication that can make or break an organization's success on a social network — and also what can make maintaining a presence on one so time-consuming.

Successful social networking requires that you not only maintain existing relationships, but also seek out new contacts. You will need to budget time to scour the social networking site and your friends' friends' contact lists for new potential supporters, a task that requires consistent effort.

How much time are you looking at, then? While some administrative tasks can be delegated to an appropriate volunteer or intern, you should plan to invest about an hour a day per social networking site, especially in the early stages. If you can't invest this time or your time is better spent elsewhere, you may want to hold off on social networking for now.

Options for Nonprofits

While social networking sites have the potential to be a powerful tool in a nonprofit's communications arsenal, they may not be appropriate for every organization. To reap the benefits, your organization should create a strategy for how you will proceed and how you will measure your efforts over time (Number of contacts gained? Signatures on a petition? Funds raised?). You may want to begin with small, careful forays into social networking as an individual user before investing in the medium as an organization. Below, we'll take a look at some types of participation you may wish to consider.

1. No presence.

It can be difficult to benefit from the networking aspects of a social networking site unless you have a presence on it. Yet if you determine that social networking sites are not for you and that your time would be better spent in other areas, this does not mean that you are shut out of social networking sites entirely. While some sites, such as Facebook, deny you to access to their content without a membership, others, such as YouTube and Flickr, are open for anyone to peruse, meaning while non-members can't take advantage of the networking features outlined above, these sites can still be a source of information, content, or even inspiration should you later decide to create a presence on one.

2.

Maintain an individual presence.

If

you are interested in testing the social networking waters, but aren't ready to commit to full-

blown organizational participation, you may wish to set up an individual account and profile on

a social networking site. (You may have no choice but to do this: on Facebook, for example,

only individuals using their real names can set up accounts, meaning you technically cannot set up a profile for, say, Save the Giraffes). The initial setup process, in most cases, won't require anything more technical than filing a Web-based form but for some sites, like MySpace for example, more customized profiles may require CSS expertise.

Once you set up your profile, many sites will ask for permission to scan your email address

book. If this search finds people in your address book who are already on the networking site,

it automatically adds them to your contacts list or sends out a friend request. This can save you a lot of time searching for colleagues.

Fill out your profile as completely as possible, within your comfort level (most sites ask you to provide your first and last name, organizational affiliation, gender, birthday, hometown, and interests, while some ask more personal questions, such as sexual orientation), including links to your Web site and a photo. Because you are setting up an individual account to represent your organization, keep your profile as professional as possible (meaning no swimsuit shots or other overly personal information.) Treat your social networking profile like a public Web site — or it may come back to haunt you.

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your social networking profile like a public Web site — or it may come back to

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Be sure, too, to review the site's privacy policy. You will be sharing personal data, so make sure you understand the platform's policies when it comes to privacy and data ownership.

Some sites reserve the right to share your data with other users, advertisers, or even the government, and to re-use or even modify it as they wish. Facebook, for example, can track and share your activities, giving others access to information including groups you've joined or the comments you've left on other profiles — a potential source of embarrassment if you're not careful.

Keep in mind that even individual profiles require a significant amount of time to maintain. Once your profile is up, plan on spending 30 to 60 minutes a day to explore the site, check out groups, find friends, and learn how its features work. Katya Andresen's Five-Minute Guide to Social Networking can help you get started. Read your social networking site's and other blogs to stay up-to-date on new features and policy changes. Mashable is a good source for learning about a variety of different social networking sites; check out my Social Networking Resources for additional social-networking-focused blogs.

3. Maintain an organizational presence on one site.

After you have become comfortable with your individual profile, you may decide you wish to set up an organizational presence. Bear in mind that this will add to your workflow, as in addition to this new presence, you may need to continue to cultivate and maintain your individual profile as well. On Facebook, for example, you must have an individual profile before you can set up a group or a "fan page" to represent a fictional character, an organization, or a campaign.

Keep in mind, too, that an organizational presence can demand far more time and resources than an individual profile. Think of your organizational presence as an online community. As with a community, you'll need to get know the people who join and participate, keep discussions going, and nurture and support your profile. (See Change.org's Best Practices for a more detailed description of what this might entail.)

4. Maintain an organizational presence on two or more sites.

Having so much fun on one social networking site that you're tempted to join another? Your decision to set up profiles on more than one social networking site will depend on your available resources. To be effective, you'll need to invest time in exploring the site and maintaining your presence on it. Take the time to analyze the demographic data of the social networking sites and determine which site is the best match for your organization. James O'Malley of the Frogloops Blog suggests taking a close look at user overlap before deciding whether or not it makes sense to maintain multiple presences. After all, if a third of the people on your current social networking site are also on a site you're considering joining, it may not be worthwhile to invest in a second presence, especially if you've been diligent in finding good contacts on your current site.

Selecting the Right Tool The first generation of social networks, many of which are still alive and kicking, were about putting your email contact list online and connecting to the contacts of your contacts. LinkedIn and Friendster are examples of this kind of "friend of a friend" network. The generation that followed these were designed around the idea of sharing — people connect to one other through a shared interests in video (YouTube), or photos (Flickr), or other content (Delicious.com, StumbledUpon, Digg, Twitter).

Recently, a new generation of social networking sites has emerged that combines the friend- of-a-friend networking with social sharing, along with mini-applications created by outside developers that extend the functionality of these sites. These include Facebook and Google's Open Social, which will allow you to access applications and friend lists across existing social networks such as MySpace, Ning, LinkedIn, and others. In the long term, this will make maintaining a presence on more than one social networking site more efficient for users, and give your organization access to a combined list of friends.

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site more efficient for users, and give your organization access to a combined list of friends.

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So, where to start? How to choose? Where can you get information to compare the demographics and size for different social networking sites? Wikipedia's list of social networking Web sites is an excellent free resource, providing up-to-date data on over 100 services that anyone can join.

In general, however, you are most likely to join one of three broad categories of networking sites:

1. Generalist Social Networking Sites These larger social networking sites — which include Facebook, Myspace — attract a wide, more general audience. Each of these communities targets a slightly different demographic, but also includes many sub-groups where people can network around particular interests. Facebook and MySpace are currently the two most active social networking sites on the Web and are where many nonprofits are setting up profiles, launching causes, or networking. Given their popularity, fast growth, and current size, many of your existing or potential supporters may already be actively using these services, making them a good place to start.

2. Niche Audience Social Networking Sites These social networking sites are designed to attract a niche audience, be it a particular demographic or topic of interest. More and more niche-audience social networks are cropping up, from Sobercircle (for people recovering from addictions) to MyArtInfo (a social network for artists). Niche networks for social activists include services like Care2 and Gather, among others. Niche targeting equals more accuracy in your marketing efforts and possibly a better return on investment. Keep in mind, however, that there are some downsides to pursuing this niche audience. There are many social networking platforms out there right now, and not all will remain viable over the long term. Also, with fewer people in general on these more focused networks, you may not be casting as wide of a net as you would on other sites.

3. White-Label Social Networking Applications White-label social networking applications allow you to build your own social networking site with your organization's branding. One popular example of such an application is Ning; for others, see this list of white-label tools compiled by Web strategist Jeremiah Owyang. Change.org, a social network for nonprofits and causes, also recently announced its version of a white-label network on its site, which, for a monthly hosting fee, offers nonprofits the ability to brand their own social network, integrate it with their Web site and capture data about users. While a white-label system offers more control, it requires you to invest significant time in creating and building an online community.

The bottom line? Choose wisely. If you don't have the time to invest in a social network, move on. Do your homework. Study and compare your target audience to the target audience of the social networking site you are considering, do some initial exploratory research as an individual user, and then decide whether to invest in an organizational presence from there.

Start slow, keeping in mind that it's better to have a deep presence on a single social networking site than to spread your organization too thin across many.

About the Author: Beth Kanter is a trainer, blogger, and consultant who writes about social- media tools in the nonprofit sector. She additionally develops curricula, researches, and evaluates technology for nonprofits. You can learn more about her at bethkanter.org.

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and evaluates technology for nonprofits. You can learn more about her at bethkanter.org . h a

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10 Reasons Why Every Nonprofit Must Have a Blog 22

By Lance Trebesch and Taylor Robinson TicketPrinting.com

Think your nonprofit organization has no need for a blog? You may want to think again. According to Technorati, more than 10,500 blogs were tagged charity, 4,000 blogs nonprofit and 2,300 blogs philanthropy in January of 2007 and these numbers are predicted to rapidly increase in the future. Below are ten reasons your nonprofit should participate in this movement and harness the power of the blog today.

1. Search engine optimization — Keywords and website design are important to search

engines when calculating a search result list. A focused, well-written blog on your website will contain several keywords which improve the site's search ranking. Additionally, if the blog has useful content, other sites will want to link to it, improving your website's level of importance. To keep search engines current with your blog, remember to ping them regularly using one of the many free tools such as pingomatic. For more information on search engine optimization, read my article “Make Your Nonprofit Website a 'Hit': A 30 Day Step-By-Step Guide to Better SEO,” or one of the many articles within Search Engine Land or Search Engine News.

2. Expert in the Field — Nonprofit organizations have a wealth of information on their specific

area of focus. This information is highly desired in online blogging communities. By posting regularly in blogs focused on similar issues, your organization will gain a reputation for being

an expert. Bloggers want to read more postings by experts and will follow links to your organization's website. According to the March 2007 Blog Readership Report, 67.3% of bloggers found information by following links from other blogs. Technorati and