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The Death Of The Synagogue Newsletter; Long Live The Synagogue Newsletter

As anyone who has ever donated to a nonprofit organization or synagogue knows, every donated dollar counts and some count more than others. While every organization needs support for overhead costs, donors want to know the organizations they support are as efficient as possible and put as much money as possible toward the direct pursuit of their mission. So we wonder how much of that $18 donation to your favorite local organization or congregation goes into a card thanking you, or whoever you have honored with your gift.

A screenshot of the weekly newsletter from Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Courtesy of Rabbi Jason Miller

Congress Considers Gold Medal Honoring Shimon Peres On 90th Birthday

08/01/2013

To honor the 90th birthday of Israel’s president Friday, members of the House and Senate are to vote on whether to honor long-serving politician and diplomat Shimon Peres with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Peres, who presided over a celebrity studded conference in Jerusalem in June to mark his upcoming nonacentennial, was already awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama this year.

Shimon Peres: Helped U.S. Israel relations.

Facebook Driving Deal to Buy Israeli Navigation App Waze

Let the jokes begin. From the people who wandered in the desert for 40 years comes the best navigational app so far. Waze, an Israeli crowdsourced navigation mobile application, has been growing in popularity over the past couple years. And in the past half a year there have been more than a few rumors that Waze was on the verge of being bought by Apple and Facebook. Those deals never materialized and some say it was because Uri Levine and his investment partners at Waze were holding out for more.

Will Facebook pay $1 billion for Israeli startup Waze?

L.I. Teen Arrested For Bomb Threat Against His Yeshiva; Released On $50G Bail

04/17/2013

A high school student was arrested Tuesday for making a bomb threat on Facebook against his Five Towns Orthodox yeshiva.

Newsday identified the teen as Joel Levy, 16, a student at the Mesivta Ateres Yaakov School in Lawrence and cited police reports that Levy acted because he was angry about being suspended from school for text-messaging during class.

Leaning In, and Out, As A Rabbi

03/29/2013

I’m not completely sure why I remember this particular episode of my childhood quite so clearly, but I do…

One day, when I was in third grade, I went to the supermarket with my mother. While there, we happened upon my English teacher from the Yeshiva where I studied.  I remember staring at her, completely uncomprehending of how she could possibly be in the supermarket.  After all, I never, ever saw her outside of our classroom, and insofar as my third grade brain was concerned, that was where she always was.  She was completely out of place in the supermarket, and again- I’m not sure I even realized that she got hungry, or ate, because I never saw her do that.  David Copperfield could not have accomplished a greater illusion for me.  I was thoroughly amazed.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Jewish Organizations Pay On Average $66,044, Crowdsourced Survey Finds

03/11/2013

The average salary of a young employee working at a Jewish communal agency is $66,044, according to a survey released by a group of professionals in that field. The group also found that among factors affecting salary, being a woman lowered average pay, while foundation work is big bucks.

The survey showed a stark gap in the salaries of women and men.

The Politics of Israel in Social Media

Spending a week in Israel earlier this month I kept my eyes open to the way Israelis use technology. Even on my first visit over 18 years ago I noticed that Israelis thirsted for the latest tech gadgets. Being a country that struggled with telecommunications early on in its existence made Israel primed for a telecom revolution. In the first decades of statehood, stories permeated about families who waited years just to get a telephone in their home. So when mobile communications took off in the middle of the 1990s, Israelis were eager to adopt the new technology.

Laura Ben David was shocked to look at her Facebook profile and see her location changed from Israel to Palestine.

The First War Played Out On Social Networks

Social media changes the zeitgeist in ways we couldn't have imagined. As we saw with the recent presidential election, opinions and attacks now travel at the speed of light. And so it should be no surprise that the ongoing Middle East conflict in Gaza between the Palestinians and Israelis has escalated into a Cyber war.

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