“I had to make sure that she was converting for herself, and not for me,” says John Newmark. Jen says: “I fell in love with both the man and his faith.”
John, a St. Louis grant writer by day, spends much of his free time on penning science fiction and poetry. He performs at poetry slams under the stage name Gavroche. For the constructive criticism and the friendship, he has belonged for more than a decade to WUTA (Writers Under the Arch).
Hurricane Sandy was the first major U.S. storm of the Twitter era. Like so many others, I was following the storm using social media, including Facebook and Twitter updates. Worried about friends in the East Coast, I tried to gauge just how devastating this act of nature was going to be.
One thing I noticed was that synagogues and temples along the Eastern corridor were using new media communication efforts to keep their membership informed about the storm, the cancellation of schools and programs, and to offer help to those in need (both during and after the storm).
He’s a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, but still takes orders from his mother. “Mark,” she said, “You must ask out Becky – she’s Jewish and cute; she’s a physical therapist; and she has dimples.” How did his mom know about Becky Rosenberg? “She noticed her on my Facebook page,” replied Mark.
If we’re not already Facebook friends, please come find me. You’ll get updated on what my son Jacob is baking for Shabbat, what sports victory my daughter Sophie is celebrating this week, and how patient my husband Michael is in managing all of our personalities and schedules without losing his sanity.
Back in December 2004, I wrote about my technology experience at the Mamshit Camel Ranch, a Bedouin village in Israel. I explained how funny it was to be at a Bedouin village that appeared to be authentically rustic to the Birthright Israel participants I was chaperoning, but behind-the-scenes the place was equipped with the latest technology.
Like many rabbis, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner receives many requests for religious advice. A hundred years ago, Jewish people would put pencil to paper and send off their question to the rabbi and then await a response. At the end of the last century, email inquires became popular. Today, it’s not uncommon for rabbis to receive text messages from their congregants asking them to render a decision.
Every now and then we hear stories about young people drinking at synagogue celebrations. Many synagogues now bar youngsters from drinking even wine – and with good cause. An 11-year-old boy was hospitalized recently in serious condition after drinking alcohol at his synagogue in Bnei Brak, according to The Times of Israel.
Making a substantial donation to your favorite nonprofit organization is great, but not everyone is in a position to write a big check to the local food pantry, JCC, synagogue or homeless shelter. There are other ways to support the important mission of these organizations. In the 21st century, individuals who use social media to help promote the services provided by nonprofits are helping these institutions in big ways. When a layperson shares the good works of local nonprofits, it is as if that individual works for the nonprofit.
The recent international Gay Pride celebrations have not skipped over the the Israel Defense Forces. On Monday, the IDF Spokesperson’s Office posted an illustrative photograph on its Facebook page of two male soldiers, ostensibly from combat units, holding hands under the headline: “It’s Pride Month. Did you know that the IDF treats all of its soldiers equally?”