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Video Haggadahs

There are thousands of Passover Haggadahs that have been published throughout the world. And with the increasing popularity of the Internet, new forms of haggadot are being created each year.

This year's Passover, which concluded a few short days ago, saw the return of the Facebook Haggadah as well as some attempts at using Twitter to create a Passover Tweder.

Facebook in Israel

Something unusual happened last month. For the week ending March 13, 2010, Google wasn't the most visited website in the U.S. That week, Facebook reached the coveted #1 ranking. The market share of visits to Facebook.com increased 185% that week as compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to Google.com increased 9% during the same time frame. Together Facebook.com and Google.com accounted for 14% of all U.S. Internet visits during that week.

The Facebook Haggadah 2.0

After the success of his 2009 Facebook Haggadah, I predicted that Carl Elkin would say "Next Year on Twitter." Apparently, that prediction didn't come to be.

Our Tweeter in Washington

Much has already been made of the social media posting habits of William Daroff. Whether on Twitter or Facebook, the well-connected director of the Washington Office of The Jewish Federations of North America (and its VP for Public Policy) isn't afraid to go public with his whereabouts, upcoming speaking engagements, or even his drinking buddies.

William Daroff
PHOTO BY ADAM KREDO

Let My People ... Tweet

Welcome to the Tweder. Can Twitter and the Passover seder coexist?

03/24/2010
Staff Writer

 Last Passover, Dan Berkal spent the first seder dining with family and friends at the James Hotel in Chicago — chanting the prayers and songs of the Haggadah, sipping the four requisite glasses of wine ... and updating his Twitter status.

“Suddenly four children enter the room,” he tweeted at 4:53 p.m. “Nobody seems to like the wise child,” he added a minute later, followed by the 4:55 p.m. announcement: “We tell the wise son, ‘No dessert for you!’”

Screenshot from last year’s Tweder, featuring a matzah background on Dan Berkal’s Twitter page.

The Shabbat Scooter

The other day I received a call from a reporter at the Detroit News. She was just about to submit a story about a motorized scooter that can be used by observant Jews on Shabbat, but she wanted a local rabbi's comments first. It was fortuitous that she contacted me since I am already familiar with the Israeli-based Zomet Institute, which partnered with the scooter company, but I have also seen this Sabbath-acceptable scooter in action since I know Michael Balkin, who owns one of these scooters and was interviewed for the article.

Embracing The Maybe: The Case For Risk-Taking

03/23/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

A recent article in the Business section of the Sunday New York Times, entitled “6 Months, $90,000, and (Maybe) a Great Idea,” described the phenomenon of the “Entrepreneur in Residence”(EIR). In Silicon Valley, there is a growing trend amongst venture capital firms to give business entrepreneurs, many of whom have successfully started and sold companies in the past, the opportunity to use their office space, benefit from a generous stipend, and put on their thinking hats. The hope is that they will come up with the next Google or Facebook.

Shabbat Unplugged

-This morning at the JCC, I was hurriedly checking my email on my phone when an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked what I do with that "thing" on Shabbos.

Is Facebook Chametz?

Crossposted to Blog.RabbiJason

Is Facebook kosher? If so, is it kosher for Passover? I'm not posing the question of whether it is acceptable to log on to Facebook on the first and last days of Passover, when observant Jews refrain from using computers or the Web.  Rather, is Facebook activity allowed at all during the Jewish Spring festival?

 Rabbi Shir Yaakov Feinstein-Feit

Moishe House Bringing Community To Budapest Jews

Apartments for 20-somethings seen as ‘new, grass-roots model’ of Jewish engagement.

03/11/2010
JTA

Budapest — When 29-year-old Eszter Susan announced on Facebook last September that she had moved into a Moishe House, few of her friends knew what she was talking about.

Six months later the rambling, high-ceilinged apartment she shares with two other young women has become a focal point of Jewish involvement for dozens of Budapest Jews in their 20s.

There are parties at Jewish holidays, movie nights, lectures on Jewish topics, social action meetings and a Kabbalat Shabbat service followed by a potluck dinner that attracts dozens of people each Friday night.

Eszter Susan, left, Anna Balint and Zsofia Simon skype with Kevin Sherman, the director of international programming at Moishe's
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