Eventually, this day had to come, the day when I wrote my last blog for The Jewish Week. In the fall I'll be starting a Ph.D. program in U.S. history at Columbia, which means I'll no longer be able to hold this job. But the good news is that I'll be able to freelance, so you can expect to see my by-line somewhere in The Jewish Week in the coming months.
This week I wrote my Culture View column on Maira Kalman's new exhibit at The Jewish Museum. I've got a pet obsession with her work, and figured that it would have been near impossible to leave my utterly self-conscious bias behind for the sake of a more "critical" review. So instead, I used it as an occasion to look at the same illustrations of hers I love--with all their winsomeness, humor, wit, vivacity and even occasional sadness--and simply view them in another light.
The popular ultra-orthodox blog, Vos Iz Neias, was the target of a recent ban issued by 36 prominent rabbis from Brooklyn, Lakewood, Philadelphia and Europe, including such names as Rabbi Aaron Moshe Schechter, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn and Rabbi Yerucham Olshin, of the Lakewood Yeshiva.
The statement issued strong words against the site, saying its anonymous publisher
The more I blog, the thicker my skin gets. Overtime, I've learned to prepare myself before reading the comment section at the bottom of my posts. With great inventions, we have to take the bad with the good. It's been wonderful that newspapers and magazines make their articles available to us on the Web, but it also means that individuals can post outrageous, defaming, and insulting comments underneath each article -- opinions that would never be published in a print edition.
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.
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.
Jewish techie Ari Davidow listened in on JESNA's recent "Technology and Jewish Education" conference and posted some of his observations on the Jewish Women's Archive blog. JESNA's conference is run through its Lippman Kanfer Institute.