A blog works like a website. You go there and you read it.Lots of people care what you think, especially if you are passionate and authentic.You’d be surprised how much you have to say about things you’re passionate about. You determine how frequently you post.Who has time? You do.Blogging is writing. It’s not always good, or unbiased, or grammatically correct, but can’t say all bloggers aren’t real writers.OK, that’s true. But you can change it.
Literally top-down management. God to Moses, Moses to the Jews. At some point, Yitro came along and said, please elect some barristers to assist you, but there was always a judgment rendered on high.
What are your thoughts on this poem?
OK, so not every idea from the people is a good one. People have big ideas – leaders help them refine and achieve.
No linkbaiting – don’t write Angelina Jolie in a post unless you’re actually writing about AJ.
Rabbinic Management Institute - October 2013 (American Jewish University)
Rabbis’ Virtual Pulpit:
Connecting With & Empowering Today’s
Esther D. Kustanowitz
#RMI2013 - American Jewish University
October 23, 2013
Social Media Literacy
It’s not about:
◦ “becoming more tech-savvy”
◦ “being a tech geek”
It’s about learning the tools that help you:
◦ manage, organize and access information
◦ manage, increase and deepen relationships
◦ reach people where more of
them, increasingly, are (Social Media
Social Media Resistance
“I don’t even understand how Twitter
“Who cares what I think?”
“I can’t come up with that much content
on a regular basis…”
“Who has time for this stuff?”
“Blogging isn’t real writing.”
“The whole internet is just full of
complaining and negativity.”
If You’re Not Listening to
…you’re missing half the story:
◦ Lifecycle (photos, announcements)
◦ Emotional challenges (vaguebooking)
◦ What social and political issues gets your
congregants fired up (positive/negative)
◦ Information about how your congregants use
◦ How congregants feel about your programs
◦ Access to constructive criticism (without F2F)
Should You Blog?
Read blogs and seen what’s out there?
Identified who will be primarily responsible for
creating and posting content?
Identified how your voice strengthens and
Thought about comments and if/how they
should be moderated?
Readied yourself to promote your shul’s
mission, but also retract on self-promotion for
the good of fostering larger conversations?
Social Media Culture
The power of networks and personal
recommendations more important
Crowdsourcing challenges and offering
◦ Al tifrosh min hatzibur
◦ Lo aleikhaha’mlakhahligmor…
From “Top-Down” to
“Up and Out!”
Used to be just top-down:
◦ user impact: low
◦ peer reviews
◦ consumer feedback
◦ invested “prosumer” class
Next phase: Wonkavator
What’s in a name?
Each Person Has a Name
Each person has a name, given her by God and given her by her father and mother
Each person has a name, given him by his stature and his way of smiling, and given him
by his clothes
Each person has a name, given her by the mountains and given her by her walls
Each person has a name, given him by the planets (stars) and given him by his neighbors
Each person has a name, given her by her sins and given her by her longing
Each person has a name, given him by his enemies, and given him by his love
Each person has a name, given her by her feast days and given her by her craft
Each person has a name, given him by the seasons of the year and given him by his
Each person has a name, given her by the sea, and given her by her death.
-Zelda (b. 1914)
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
- Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”
Ideas From the Multitudes
Law & Order: SBU (Special Biblical Unit)
Tzelophehad’s daughters shifting
2.5 tribes stay on the other side of the
Aaron’s sons bringing a strange fire
“The Future Cannot Be
Crowdsourced”: A Crowdsourced
Social Media Overload
Facebook vs. Twitter
Facebook – distribution, sharing & discussion
the water cooler/break room
Jewish geography: school/camp/uni reunion
Twitter - consumption & distribution (wider
a cocktail party in a large room
a sports arena
CNN news ticker
Google + &Pinterest
video meeting center
space to share articles of interest
space for discussion?
better way to organize friends?
◦ An online portfolio
◦ A scrapbook
◦ A design journal or interior decorating plan
Both: Basically a mystery to me
5 Things You Can Do Now
Asehlekharav – both rav and rabim
Learn the language
Think about social media as an outreach
strategy and a conversation to build
Create a content plan
Be open to input & inspiration from
Determining Your Brand
What’s your brand identity?
What do you stand for?
What do people think of
when they think of you?
What Does TBA Stand For?
“The Board divided into four groups, each with a different
exercise. One of them was to rethink TBA. The institution and the
actual letters. Let's say that in addition to TBA standing for
Temple Beth Am, it also stood for what Temple Beth Am was all
about? What would Temple Beth Am's alternate slogan be if it had
to use the same initial letters? As I watched this exercise in real
time, producing both meaningful and hilarious solutions, I […]
instantly saw the wisdom of the exercise. It pushed us beyond the
squat boundaries that can confine us, released some creative and
irreverent energy, and actually produced some good and fetching
new slogans. Torah Be Awesome. The Best Alternative. Ten
Become All (one of my favorite plays on the concept of
minyan). You get the point.” – Rabbi Adam Kligfeld
“Tightwad But Appreciative”
“Thanks, Bespectacled Aba. They Bankrolled Appearance.”
What are these slogans/jingles for?
What happens here, stays here.
What’s in your wallet?
Nobody belongs here more than you.
Helping you take one step further on
your Jewish journey.
Come stay with friends.
Someone made a store just for me.
Know the code.
Who is the Competition?
1. As You Like It
3. No Membership
4. No Judgment
Our “Collateral” Damage:
what message are we sending?
Are you reaching everyone?
Shiva Task Force
Bnai Mitzvah Visioning
And Esther would add:
TBA Daily Minyan
SOCIAL MEDIA – for
many, the first and most
groups, Twitter, Pinterest,
Examples from Temple Beth Am
Recruitment: Things to Consider
What’s your “engagement story”?
How can you better foster members’ creativity, empowerment and
investment in programming and synagogue offerings, and engage
membership as organizational advocates?
Identify your assets (institutional strengths, and members’ skills and
interests), and leverage them toward creating deeper emotional
How can you learn from and collaborate with other synagogues
What conversations can you convene that affect the wider
community, and how can you engage other community members
and institutions in this conversation?
Engagement & Brand Perception
You’ve been working on a mission statement. What would your elevator
pitch be (describe what makes your synagogue or minyan special in under
one minute)? If you hired an ad agency to create a campaign for you, what
would your messaging/slogan be?
If you were training shul members as ambassadors, what would you teach
them about the institution, its members and offerings that they don’t
already know? What personal skills, background or institutional
information would you insist that they have?
Who are the people in your neighborhood? (Map your current assets: who
can promote and advance the shul’s brand and offerings). Who are your
current stars? Which stars outside are you looking to recruit? Identify
appropriate asks, some of them not financial.
Which shul events are the best-attended? How do you follow up with
attendees after events? Can you identify additional calendar points that
might be “hot spots” for engagement?
How do you structure partnerships? Can you think of recent partnerships
that have been successful? What made them successful? What about
challenged partnerships? How would you have fixed them?
Who are you? Authentic self
Which of your attributes are the ones
you want to promote?
What value do you wish to add?
Approach toward interaction
Rabbi works on sermon for
Presents to congregation
Congregation grumbles at
Esther’s Saba says: “If you
dig for 20 minutes and
don’t hit oil, stop boring.”
Blog about sermon topic
Open to community suggestion
Solicit engagement from
Listen to feedback
Inform stakeholders of their
People listen to the sermon
because it reflects them
Feedback continues in-person
7 Pre-Social Media Strategy Actions
for Your Shul
Determine your institutional voice/s
Consider starting a blog, so you can host
Consider the role of the rabbi in creating
content and engaging conversation (in any
Identify person/people to update Twitter and
Facebook (daily) and blog (regularly)
Identify newsy angles for programs, use as hook
to promote org in online conversations
Find “mavens”/hubs in your community, invite
their feedback & partnership
Invite personal assessment by a social media
“But I Don’t Have Time!”
Personal Training for Busy Rabbis
Social media regimen/cultural immersion
◦ Find time (coffee breaks, lunchtime, etc)
◦ Check Twitter/Facebook page at least once a day
Read the Tweetstream or Status Feed of people and orgs
you’re following – begin to participate in conversations
Share a FB group or event with friends who are “hubs”
◦ Visit blogs at TheJewishWeek.com, Forward.com or
click on a few headlines
monitor/join a conversation
Ask questions (professionals/civilians)
“What Do I Post About?”
Trends in the Jewish world
◦ News & politics
◦ Peoplehood & global issues
Trends in the secular world
◦ Pop culture & celebrities
◦ News & politics
“But How Do I Find Things to Post
Google Alerts / Google News Search
Stay tuned to
Twitter, CNN, BBC, Facebook – what are
people talking about, and how does it
relate to your work?
Authentic lenses on passionate subjects
If your organization had a blog, what
would its purpose/mission statement be?
How often would you post?
What would your first five posts be
Who would write them?
How would you promote them/get new
“Dues and Don’ts: Shuls Try Different
Membership Models” – J Weekly, August 23, 2012
“Many Claim Membership But Few Pay Shul
Dues” – Jewish Daily Forward, August 10, 2012
“Where Good Ideas Come From” (book trailer)
“Getting Engaged, Part 1” &“Getting Engaged, Part
2: Courting Engagement” –
MyUrbanKvetch.com, August 2012
“Looking for the Perfect…Shul” – The Jewish
Week, 2007 (includes link to Emergent Jewish
Communities study from 2007)
How to Find Me