During my years in rabbinical school,… Oh, wait, I have to check something on Facebook for a second… Do you mind waiting?... Okay, I’m back. So, where was I? Right – during rabbinical school, a frequent topic in our Professional Development classes was how to keep a healthy boundary between the personal and the professional (and, clearly I’m on the edge).
There has been much talk about the increased depression among teens who use Facebook. However, Larry Magid, who is the co-director of the Internet safety organization ConnectSafely.org, says otherwise. The following is Magid's explanation in the Huffington Post:
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."
The primary advice I came away with from a fascinating panel discussion on new media, and its impact on the Jewish community, was to follow rather than lead.
“What we call technology, young people call life,” noted one of the speakers at the recent event, sponsored by Natan, a New York-based charity that seeks to inspire young philanthropists to become engaged in Jewish giving by funding innovative Jewish projects.
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.
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.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel purchased the Twitter user name @israel from the owner of a pornographic website.
Israel reportedly purchased the user name earlier this month from Israel Melendez, who chose it in 2007, when the Twitter micro blogging Internet service was first getting started, the New York Times reported.
Melendez told the Times he does not use the name because every time he posted using it he got a flood of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments from Twitter users who thought the account belonged to the state of Israel.
Last Yom Kippur, I delivered a sermon explaining how Jewish people have begun "doing teshuvah" -- seeking repentance from others -- through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. A week before Yom Kippur the religion editor of The Detroit Free Press, Niraj Warikoo, called to find out what I'd be speaking about on the Day of Atonement.
Every synagogue minyan (daily prayer group) has the one person who always seems to be there. In some congregations, this might be the gabbai (a ritual director of sorts). In other shuls it might be the rabbi. And in others it might be a lay person who is very dedicated and wants to ensure there is always a minyan (quorum of 10) so others can say the Mourner's Kaddish. Some minyans have a group of dedicated individuals who make it a point to always attend -- regardless of rain, sleet or snow.
Time Magazine released its list of the top ten satirical Twitter feeds. By "satirical," Time is referring to an intentionally faux feeds that seeks to poke fun at its subject. Topping the list is British Petroleum's fake public relations feed, which notably has five times as many followers as BP's official, verified Twitter account. [I'm sure it will only gain in popularity with this publicity.]