“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).
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.
Once upon a time – about seven months ago – in a land far, far away (Sweden), where there aren’t many Jews, the government decided for PR purposes to give a different citizen control over its Twitter account every week, the only real requirement being that the Twitterer tweet in English.
The idea was that the tweets would naturally broadcast the essence of Sweden as it conceives of itself: open, creative, progressive, eclectic.
Some people get ready for Shavuot by making blintzes. Some draft notes on the text to be taught or learned in the wee hours of the morning at one of the all-night sessions during which the giving of the Torah at Sinai is celebrated through study.
And some congregate on Twitter, the micro-blogging website on which posts can be no longer than 140 characters, composing their own tweets of Torah, reading others’ efforts and furiously re-tweeting.
A number of Jewish groups praised President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage, and an Orthodox group said it was "disappointed."
"History will regard his affirmation of this core right for the LGBT community as a key moment in the advance of civil rights in America," the Reform movement's Religious Action Center said in a statement Wednesday. "While the President has long publicly supported civil unions, these are distinct from full marriage rights."
United States Representative Dave Camp is a proud Roman Catholic. The Republican congressman represents Michigan's 4th District in Congress which includes places in Michigan's "Up North" region that Jews only visit for a few days each year. Aside from the handful of families who live in Traverse City year round, Dave Camp likely doesn't give much thought to Jewish people.
As a rabbi who is a social mediaologist, I find myself consulting a lot of synagogues and Jewish nonprofits on their social media strategy. The leaders of these institutions all recognize that they require a social media strategy, but the plan for how it will be implemented varies greatly.