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Esther's in Vegas

That's right, Esther's in Vegas. No, not THAT Esther? We'll shift our focus to Queen Esther in less than two weeks. For now, the focus is on another Esther.

The King & Queen of the Jewish Twittersphere: William Daroff & Esther Kustanowitz

Facebook and Anorexia

According to clinical psychologist Esther Altmann, writing on the MyJewishLearning website, "Anorexia and bulimia are most prevalent within upwardly mobile demographic groups, and are amongst the most emotionally and physically devastating disorders affecting young Jewish women. The Jewish community has become increasingly aware that eating disorders are a serious health concern and, in some cases, a life threatening condition."

Is Facebook use contributing to eating disorders in young women?

Battle Hymn of the Asian-Jewish Power Couple

This summer novelist Gary Shteyngart told New York Magazine that he is engaged to a Korean-American woman. (Sadly, when I e-mailed him, playing up our shared alma mater Oberlin  and hoping to feature him in a column, he declined to be interviewed, writing “I'm totally down with intermarriage and would love to talk about it, but my fiancee is very publicity-shy and I swore not to bring her into any media light.”)

Soon after, the New Yorker reported that Facebook Emperor Mark Zuckerberg is expected to marry Priscilla Chan, a Chinese-American medical student.
And then Tiger Mom Amy Chua jumped into the media spotlight, with Jewish hubby Jed Rubenfeld and their bat mitzvahed, sleepover-deprived daughters Sophia and Lulu in tow.

Photos at a Bris?

12/23/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

 Q - My son's bris is in a couple of days and lots of family and friends will be attending. I'm OK with people taking pictures but I really don't want photos of my son all over the Internet. What can I do?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Bubbie and Zaydie in the Social Media Cloud

When I first logged on to Facebook in 2004 none of my real life friends had accounts yet. At that stage in the social networking site's development, a Facebook account was only for university students (or at least anyone with a university email account). I was working at a campus Hillel and my .edu email address gave me access to Facebook so I could interface with the Jewish students on campus.

The fastest growth in social networkworking usage has come from Internet users 74 & older

Ham It Up On Hanukkah (Again!)

Just like the return of the clothing fashion styles of yesteryear, many things on the Web tend to make a comeback too. It seems like every few years the same hoaxes, urban legends, videos, jokes and funny photos get recycled around Cyberspace.

I noticed that this is the case with a photo of ham -- yes, ham! Through Facebook, hundreds of users are recirculating the photo of the boneless spiral ham on sale at a store with the sign "Delicious for Chanukah."

Hey, isn't this the same Hanukkah ham I saw back in '07?

Chabad's Social Media Success

Chabad Lubavitch has always been out in front when it comes to using the Internet for publicity. Back in the 90's, Chabad took full advantage of the virtual communities on America Online (AOL) and then launched some of the most impressive websites once everyone migrated to the Web. For years, Chabad has been a strong force in Cyberspace with "Ask the Rabbi" websites, online distance learning, and viral videos.

The "Recovery Rabbi" Yisrael Pinson uses Twitter to fulfill his mission.

Mixed Feelings About MixedBlessing

 Do people still send Christmas and Chanukah cards?

The last time I was organized enough to sit down with a stack of envelopes, stamps and list of addresses, was in 1998, when I was sending out wedding invitations. I’m sure that were my lapsed Catholic hubby and I to marry now, we’d probably notify the guests via Evite.

Israeli Army Uses Facebook to Catch Female Draft Dodgers

An article in All Facebook, the unofficial Facebook blog, reports that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been using the social networking site to nab female Israelis who claim to be religious enough to be exempted from army service. Apparently, their activity on Facebook tells a different story -- one the army is interested to learn.

Are these women religious enough on Facebook to forgo their army service?

Bar Mitzvah Lessons in Cyberspace

Why shlepp your kid to the synagogue for her bat mitzvah lessons when she can dial in virtually?

A recent article in the New York Times shows how the tech savvy bar mitzvah tutors have taken to the Web to make the process more convenient for them and their students.

What will traditionalists make of Jewish kids getting their bar mitzvah lessons online?
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