Jewish Media/Communications Jobs

It’s amazing that in this economy, and in a time when we here are Darim are continually advocating for increasing staffing and capacity around media use, that these openings pop up! What luck! Might they interest you, or someone you know?

BIRTHRIGHT ISRAEL NEXT: DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

(excerpts from a post on ejewishphilanthropy.com)

With an emphasis on community organizing and grassroots mobilization, Birthright Israel NEXT empowers all Taglit-Birthright Israel trip participants and Jews between the ages of 22-30 to be more connected to Jewish community, ritual, culture, and social action. The organizations goal is to provide the resources and motivation for Jews to discover and develop their own relationship with Judaism, communicate and meet other Jews in the community, and provide an inclusive means for people of all religions to understand and experience Jewish culture.

Creating an inspired, interactive, and compelling online presence is essential to increasing awareness of and participation in our programs, adding to our growing community and encouraging involvement in our events. Therefore, we are seeking a Director of Communications to develop and implement traditional PR and online strategies to provide young people with a rich, interactive experience with our brand. This is an exciting opportunity for a creative and tech-savvy communications specialist with a passion for our mission and a desire to mobilize.

The Director of Communications is charged with crafting a communications strategy for Birthright Israel NEXT and overseeing the full range of internal and external communications, including media outreach, social media marketing, advertising, fundraising, and board communication. The ideal candidate has demonstrated success in leading integrated traditional and digital public relations/marketing campaigns for a cause-related organization with proven results, has outstanding brand-building experience, and superior communications skills.

More info here.

COMBINED JEWISH PHILANTHROPIES – BOSTON FEDERATION – VP of MARKETING

The Vice President of Marketing manages all marketing, branding, communications, public relations, direct marketing, and event management for Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP).

We are looking for a creative and seasoned professional to deepen the CJP brand, grow awareness of CJP’s philanthropic and programming offerings, expand the use of new media and increase the role of online strategies in our marketing mix.

More info on the CJP web site.

THE DAVID PROJECT — WEB DESIGNER/DEVELOPER (Boston)

The David Project Center for Jewish leadership is an international non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring strong voices for Israel through dynamic and comprehensive educational seminars, workshops, and curricula. Our groundbreaking Israel education curricula are currently taught in over 100 Jewish high schools and middle schools, reaching thousands of students around the country. Each year we educate and train hundreds of college students to assume pro-Israel leadership roles on campuses across America and Canada.

This position will involve the updating and improvement of our current website on a regular basis. The individual will be responsible for implementing changes and improvements to our website consistent with the mission of our organization. In addition, the individual will be responsible for working with other staff members to keep the information on our website current.

More info here.

Additional jobs at UJC in New York and other Federations nationwide.

Got a job to post? Add it to the comments with a link to more info!

David Pogue’s Twitter Hiccup Experiment

David Pouge, who writes and blogs and video blogs for the New York Times about techology (and was the keynote at last year’s NTEN conference — it’s Clay Shirky this year — man, they can pick ’em!), wrote the following little ditty about his recent Twitter experiment, which I could not resist but share. [Note: I’ve edited out about 20% of the examples to save space – click on the title for the full original post].

Yesterday I was presenting at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and did my own little Twitter knowledge culling (a real question) and got great response which has fueled my mind the last 36 hours. More on that as I pull the wisdom together for a future coherent blog post! In the meantime, this is great entertainment, and a valuable example of the power of networks:

The Twitter Experiment
By DAVID POGUE

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about my bumpy initiation into the world of Twitter http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/twittering-tips-for-beginners/ It’s sort of a complicated cross between a chat room and private e-mail. And it’s both an interrupty time drain and an incredible source of real-time connection and information.

Some of you blasted me for impugning Twitter’s greatness. Some of you hailed me as a seer of its imminent demise. (A few of you thought my assessment was right on.)

Today, I thought I’d follow up by sharing the sweet, funny, interesting results of a Twitter experiment. It’s too entertaining for me to keep to myself.

Yesterday, I spoke at a conference in Las Vegas. The topic was Web 2.0, with all of its free-speech, global-collaboration ramifications. At one point, I figured that the best way to explain Twitter was to demonstrate it, live, on the big screen at the front of the ballroom.

So I flipped out of PowerPoint and typed this to my Twitter followers: “I need a cure for hiccups… RIGHT NOW! Help?”

I hit Enter. I told the audience that we would start getting replies in 15 seconds, but it didn’t even take that long. Here are some of the replies that began scrolling up the screen:

* florian: Put a cold spoon on your back – that’s what my grandfather would do for hiccups.

* megs_pvd: Put your head between your knees and swallow hard.

* bethbellor: Packets of sugar.

* jfraga: BOOOOOOOOOOO! (How many of those did you get?)
[Answer: about 20.]

* michaeljoel: drop a lit match in a glass of water to extinguish it. take out match. drink water.

* jbelmont: Simple. Just hold your breath until Windows 7 is released.

* rgalloway: Have someone slowly & softly count backwards from 10-1 in Russian for you. Works every time!

* warcand: check your 401K. That should scare the hiccups right out of ya!

* drct: The cure for hiccups is simply to get the air out of your stomach. How is up to you.

* kashaziz: Take a glass of water, hold your breath and gulp it down. Distraction helps against hiccups.

* hornsolo: Stand on your head, drink water backwards, and gurgle, “Microsoft sucks!”

* aaaaiiiieeee: There’s gotta be something in the App Store for it by now.

* garmstrong65: Sounds crazy, but it works. Take 9 sips of water then say, “January.” Laugh now, but you’ll thank me when the hiccups are gone.

* ransomtech: On Twitter, they are Twiccups.

* erlingmork: Peanut butter on a spoon.

* squealingrat: With a popsicle stick or something clean, touch the little thing at the back of your throat. This causes the muscles to change.

* bschlenker: hello from the back of the room 😉

* amysprite: plug your ears and nose and drink seven gulps of water. Difficult, but do-able. Works like a charm EVERY time.

* SullivanHome: With right hand, reach around to behind left shoulder tightly and grab some back flesh, hold for up to a minute and no hiccups.

* DavidWms: Drink out of far side of water glass (best done over sink). Works every time.

* enrevanche: Dry-swallow a spoon of granulated sugar. The trick is to overwhelm the overstimulated vagus nerve (causing hiccups) with new input.

* Chiron1: I take large sips of bourbon. It doesn’t stop the hiccups, but I stop caring!

* chadrem: hold your breath until you pass out. Whenever you wake up, no more hiccups!

* tiffanyanderson: Rub both of your ear lobes at the same time. Hiccups will go away. :^D

* tommertron: The best way I’ve found is to just relax and try to forget about them. I find stressing out about them makes it worse.

Has there ever been a wittier, smarter bunch (or a better collection of hiccup cures)? The audience and I were marveling and laughing at the same time. This was it: harnessing the power of the Web, the collective wisdom of strangers, in real time! The Twitterers of the world did
not let us down. (And yes, I realize that this demo might not be as effective if you have, say, 20 followers instead of hundreds.)

Next, I typed into my Twitter box: “Thank you all. I don’t really have hiccups, but was demo’ing Twitter in front 1000 people. You did great!”

This time, only some of the responses were upbeat. Some people said, either with good humor or with irritation, that they felt used:

* jhatton1980: Keep it up, and you’ll be the Pogue that twittered wolf!

* sjaustin: What are we, puppets for your amusement? 🙂

* kitson: Not sure I appreciate being your guinea pig.

* coachkiki: Ok – you got me. Smiling at the computer. I think. Hey crowd – how’d we all do? And who are all of you? Feel free to say hi!

* MichaelS: Seems like abuse of Twitter influence.

* thevideodog: That’s like the boy who hiccuped wolf…pretty soon when you really need a cure for something, like diarrhea, no one’s gonna answer!

* AMassofHumanity: I thought that was an odd post for you…thx for explaining.

* awillett: Did the demo mention that you’ll continue getting hiccup cures for the next four days?

* douglasa: Speaking in front of 1,000 people would cure my hiccups right quick.

* briand: might want to add “(demo)” to tweets like that. I was suspicious of the original. Don’t play the community; they’ll turn on you.

* ELROSS: Wow. People will freak out about any little thing, right? I LIKE it when people show twitter off. You gained one follower today.

(To those who really did feel used, I’m sorry. I didn’t know about the convention of saying “demo,” and I’ll certainly use that next time.)

Finally, as the day wore down, a number of people posted tweets like this:

* tomburka: I think it’s wrong that I can’t see the replies to your hiccup-cure tweet. You should blog about your twitter demo for everyone.

* DyingSun: That is an amazing example of the power of Twitter! I wonder what was the crowd’s reaction to that.

Good questions, dear Twitterers. And now you have the answers.

I loved that in the feedback after he revealed it was a demo, the community taught him the social norms of this community. Understanding these norms (like it’s not cool for a Hillel Director to friend a college student, but it is OK for that Director to make it known he/she is on Facebook and open to being friended by students — it’s a power dynamic thing) is key to feeling comfortable using these tools and having success as you use them.

Have you used Twitter (or any other social network) to ask questions or solicit information or knowledge from your network? If so, do tell! Post your story in the comments. I’ll tell mine in an upcoming post.

Tweet on! We’re @DarimOnline . Come follow us. We’ll follow you. You can add your two cents to our knowledge culling when the next question arises!

IDF Using Social Media for Gaza Public Relations

The New York Times reports that the Israel Defense Forces are using video on their YouTube channel and a Twitter based news conference to bring their message to audiences far and wide. The Times reports:

“Since the definition of war has changed, the definition of public diplomacy has to change as well,” said David Saranga, the head of media relations for the Israeli consulate in New York, which conducted the Twitter news conference on Tuesday… Tuesday’s online dialogue, which was open for questions from anyone with a Twitter account, was “the first governmental press conference ever held on Twitter.” And he made no apologies for using common text-messaging abbreviations 2 for to, 4 for for, and r for are, and other shorthand like civ for civilian in his answers. “I speak to every demographic in a language he understands,” he said. “If someone only speaks Spanish, I speak in Spanish; if someone is using a platform like Twitter, I want to tweet.”

While the 140 characters allowed in a “tweet” (a posting on Twitter – see CommonCraft for a brief explanation of Twitter) may not be able to dive into the nuance and details of the conflict, the Twitter-based PR efforts seem to be more intended to build relationships. Those who participated felt they had a direct ear to someone with authority, and being able to engage in dialog, even 140 characters at a time, is in fact a small step towards greater understanding and use of words (or at least partl 1s) instead of weapons. Experts from the Twitter Q&A follow, as reported by The New York Times. See the full article for more.

——

explore4corners: How many attacks have there been against IS in the last 6 months? How many casualties? The MSM doesn’t report that here.

israelconsulate: ovr 500 rockts Hit IL in the 6 mts of CF. per the last 72 hrs mre thn 300 hit IL. kiling 4 ppl & injuring hndrds

—-

carrotderek: On what conditions would Israel consider a ceasefire?

israelconsulate: CF must ensure no more rockets on IL no arms smuggling. btw crossings for Human Aid r open and trucks are entering

—-

backlotops: 1 side has to stop. Why continue what hasn’t worked (mass arial/grnd retaliation)? Arab Peace Initiative?

israelconsulate: we R pro nego. crntly tlks r held w the PA tlks on the 2 state soln. we talk only w/ ppl who accept R rt 2 live.

If you’d like a challenge, “translate” the above tweets and post your translations in the comments of this blog post so others who don’t “speak tweet” can understand it!

Your Turn To Brag. Come On, Really.

Reform Judaism magazine is planning an upcoming article on how Reform congregations are integrating cutting-edge technology in the service of community. We know if you’re reading this blog, and you’re a staff member, lay leader or active member of a congregation you’ve likely got something good going on. Tell us about it! NOW! Leave a comment (see “comments” link above) or email us at [email protected] and tell us your story, including links. We’ll pass along stories to the folks at the URJ, and/or you can copy them on your email at [email protected]

We have found that many congregations think what they’re doing isn’t so special — until they start to tell others about it, and eyes light up. It doesn’t even have to be fancy techie stuff. When Temple Israel Center really started sharing their web stats (a report to the board to show value, a report to staff to show their writing is really being read, and a report to members to illustrate how many people find the web site content valuable), it changed the conversation about the use of the web site in their congregation. And once they shared the practice with others via the Darim Online Learning Network, many other congregations adopted the valuable practice.

Are you doing anything with social networking? Online video or podcasting? Distance learning for adult education? Blogging? Have you restructured your e-newsletter recently? What products or services have you found most helpful? What’s been key to moving your work forward (adding staff, recruting volunteers, getting a budget, etc.)?

Consider it my Hanukkah present. Take 3 minutes and tell me your story.

Alban Institute Focuses on Internet in Congregations

The Alban Institute is an organization dedicated to helping congregations be more effective and successful. They work with lay and professional leadership on a variety of short and long term planning projects, and are very highly regarded.

The latest issue of Alban’s Magazine is titled “The New Connectivity: How Internet Innovations Are Changing the Way We Do Church”. The issue is full of highly relevant articles, from blogging and listservs and Facebook, to navigating this changing landscape in general.

Andrea Useem, a contributing writer to Religion Writer, Slate Magazine, The Washington Post and USA Today, serves up the main dish of the magazine, examining how technology is changing the landscape and business of congregational life, including an example of how a Darim congregation used a discussion board to bring together members who were wrestling with similar life issues.

If your congregation is a member of the Alban Institute, you’ve probably recently received your copy in the mail. If not, you can buy an issue on their web site for $7.00. Read it yourself, then pass it on to other decision makers in your organization. You’ll get your money’s worth, and I’ll bet it will catalyze conversations and development of a shared vision that will benefit everyone.

New Pew Study Shows Importance of Internet/Cell Phone Use in Families

The Pew Internet and American Life Project has released a new study titled “Networked Families”. The report paints a picture of how “parents and spouses are using the internet and cell phones to create a new connectedness that builds on remote connections and shared internet experiences”. The majority of American families now are empowered with multiple tools, including desktop and laptop computers, cell phones, and broadband internet, which make possible a new type of connectedness. These patterns of connection within the family shed light on how families prioritize time, seek out and experience meaningful activities, and relate to both people and institutions.

Pew Internet & American Life Project, "Networked Families"
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, "Networked Families"

One interesting finding is that the majority of adults say that technology has enabled their family life today to be as close or closer than they remember their families being when they were growing up. While the technologies have perhaps increased time that adults spend at the office and/or working from home, the study reports that they have not had a negative impact on family closeness.

In fact, people say these new communication tools help them stay more connected to family and friends throughout the day, not just during “leisure” time. And approximately 25% of online adults report watching less TV as a result of their internet use. This is an important statistic, as internet use is more likely to be characterized by interaction (email, blogging or microblogging, recommending resources to others, signing up for events or purchasing goods, etc.) rather than passive observation (TV).

“There had been some fears that the Internet had been taking people away from each other,” said Barry Wellman, a sociology professor at the University of Toronto and one of the authors of the report, published by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. “We found just the opposite.” Wellman said families appreciated the innovations because “they know what each other is doing during the day.” This, he said, comports with his other research, which shows that technology “doesn’t cut back on their physical presence with each other. It has not cut down on their face time.

The report finds that “some 52% of internet users who live with a spouse and one or more children go online with another person at least a few times a week. Another 34% of such families have shared screen moments at least occasionally,” and “more than half of the parents (54%) who use the internet go online with another person a few times a week or more.”

These findings are important for our understanding of technology in Jewish life as well. Our missions are not just about getting people into the building or attending programs, they are also about impacting individuals and families, bringing (and strengthening) Jewish knowledge and practice in the home and the family. Thus, it’s critical that we understand how families are using technology, and that we are “there” when they are sharing information with one another, planning activities, and discussing important family matters.

How do you take advantage of this level of connectivity to bring your message and offering into the homes of your constituents? How have you observed the impact of such “connectivity” on your work?

I’ll leave you with two examples from my own life:

Story #1: Our 4 yr old son attends the synagogue’s preschool. The preschool has a blog (private, for parents only) and posts photos, stories and curricular info there. I read it in my Google Reader, and when there is something important (photo of our kid, a great story, request for volunteers for a field trip), I forward the link to my husband, and we often end up discussing it with our kids at the dinner table. This level of insight into our son’s experience would not be possible without the blog, and without both parents having connected on XYZ topic mid-afternoon, our dinner table conversation may not have been about the preschool, synagogue or Judaic content

Story #2: I’m on the AJWS email list. Prior to Passover, I received an email about a publication drawing connections between the conflict in Darfur and the Exodus story. I downloaded the PDF, emailed it to my husband and friends with whom we were having seder. We exchanged emails about how we would include it our seder. I then uploaded the PDF to the Kinkos website, ordered color print outs, picked them up on my way home, and included this valuable resource in our seder.

What are examples from your personal and/or professional life?

IT Staffing — How Do You Measure Up?

NTEN (The Nonprofit Technology Network) is an incredible organization that brings together staff of nonprofit organizations to use technology better. They offer a conference (this year, April 26-28, 2009 in San Francisco — come join us!), webinars, knowledge sharing, affinity groups, online discussions, discounts on software, and much more.

One of the most valuable services they provide is data of how organizations across the nonprofit sector are using technology. They conduct regular surveys and research, and publish regular reports which are available for free download on their web site. Samples of reports available include:

At Darim, we find that the Jewish community, in general, lags behind both similar for profit and non profit organizations in their use of Internet technologies, social media strategies and data management. There are wonderful notable exceptions, but Darim’s work focuses largely on helping Jewish orgs get a leg up on how they use these powerful tools.

While we often compare our work to other similar organizations in our community, it is important to step outside the Jewish community from time to time to see how our work and investments compare with other nonprofit organizations. Salaries and education of IT staff, how centralized or distributed the tasks are among staff, what ongoing training or professional development is offered, etc. The NTEN reports offer a window into the broader nonprofit community, showing the trends of both small and large organizations.

A new report on IT staffing is due in January and you’ll find a link to it here on JewPoint0!

Check out some other interesting articles and resources on IT staffing:

How “Ambient Awareness” Can Strengthen Your Community

“Why should we do things online when we all live in the same place, and meet up at the synagogue (or JCC or havurah or Hillel, etc.) in person? Online can never replace the face-to-face experience!”

I hear this often, and spend a lot of my time explaining that an online experience is a complement, not a replacement, to face-to-face experiences. In our rapidly evolving world, two things are happening simultaneously which I believe are critical for the Jewish communal world to understand.

  1. The reality is, Jews are using these online tools to shape an increasing amount of their day-to-day experiences. If the Jewish community does not offer the same convenience for initial and ongoing engagement that our members take for granted in other aspects of their lives, they may never walk through our doors to experience the power, importance, and value of the face-to-face experience our community can offer. We simply cannot afford to not be in the game. Furthermore, we need to learn how to use these tools as effective gateways – one of many points of access – for engaging and connecting people in a community.
  2. Culturally, our use of new technologies is evolving into more social experiences. Human needs, emotions, patterns of socializing, innate cues, etc. are essential to the universal human experience. Recent trends in technology the “web 2.0” phenomenon (aka social media) can be summarized as making the web more social and people-centered: friendly, casual, accessible, democratic. And not only are the technologies evolving, but the ways in which we use them are changing as well.

    Clive Thompson recently wrote an article in the New York Times, “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy,” about the evolution and success of Facebook and other social tools like Twitter. Thompson discusses the birth of the Facebook newsfeed,

    a single page that like a social gazette from the 18th century delivered a long list of up-to-the-minute gossip about their friends, around the clock, all in one place. ‘A stream of everything thats going on in their lives,’ as [Facebook founder, Mark] Zuckerberg put it.

    While users were initially uncomfortable with details of their private lives being broadcast, they quickly learned the value of it, and adapted accordingly. Thompson provides a larger context for these types of short-hand communications:

    Social scientists have a name for this sort of incessant online contact. They call it ambient awareness. It is, they say, very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does body language, sighs, stray comments out of the corner of your eye.

    Though each Facebook status update or Twitter post (“tweet”) may seem insignificant, Thompson suggests that “taken together, over time, the little snippets coalesce into a surprisingly sophisticated portrait of your friends and family members lives, like thousands of dots making a pointillist painting.

    In an age where people are very busy, with both parents in a family working, it is hard to squeeze in time for engagement with the Jewish community. Often it is not that we don’t want to, it’s just that it is not always convenient enough to rise to the top of the priority list. This is critical for the Jewish community to understand. Developing online relationships is not about watering down or distilling. It’s about widening the doorways and strengthening ties.

    “[T]he ultimate effect of the new awareness,” Thompson writes, is that “[i]t brings back the dynamics of small-town life.” What more do we want in our local Jewish communities? It is not enough to see a person in the single context of a study group or a synagogue service. Rather, we need to recognize the whole person, and be seen as a whole person, in order to form the tight bonds of community we crave. Facebook, Twitter and other technologies are tools that can be used in support of this.

    Through these tools I keep up with friends from Pardes and Livnot U’lehibanot who are all over the world, youth group and camp friends from the congregation where I grew up, Rabbis I admire, and friends who I will see at next week’s tot Shabbat. And when I see them, we’ll pick up the conversation as though it had been hours since we last spoke, not weeks.

    Curious? Sign up for Facebook and search for 10 friends from various areas of your past and present lives. Get a taste of Twitter – if you need someone to follow, I’m lisacolton (be warned: this is my personal life, not strictly professional, but I invite you nonetheless – you’ll be more ambiently aware of me!). And be sure to read Clive Thompson’s article in the New York Times article for more.

    Postcript – Social Media in Action
    This blog post was written on a Friday afternoon based on an article in the New York Times that was already available online but which was not accessible in print until delivery of the Sunday magazine section. The sequence of events that led to this blog post were as follows: the New York Times publishes the article online, budtheteacher “tweets” about it on Twitter, Caren Levine, Director of Darim’s Learning Networks, sees the tweet, reads the online article , and updates her Facebook status referencing the article, with a nod to bud’s tweet. I notice Caren’s status update, and as I know her recommendations are always home runs, I read the article, gears turn, and I compose this blog post, which you’re now reading. The information is valuable, but it’s made possible through the connection of the people.

    Welcome to Web 2.0.