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Q: I heard about the Schmooze-Up and it sounds like a fun event. But I also heard that NOLAISM stands for “New Orleans” Innovation and Social Media! If I’m not an innovator, and I still don’t understand Twitter, should I come to the NOLAISM Schmooze-Up?

A: Of course you should. This is a celebration of innovation, of creative thinking, of the people and projects that reinvigorate our Jewish lives and the culture of our global Jewish community. Innovation and technology is a part of the larger picture – but “innovation” and “technology” are just words without the people who believe in and use them. Even if you don’t classify yourself as an innovator, that you’re interested enough to ask means that this is the right place for you to be.

So if you’re at the GA, come meet some of Jewish life’s most fascinating and creative people from all over at the NOLAISM Schmooze-Up tonight [].

And if you’re not at the GA, follow along with us on Twitter - we’ll be livetweeting under the regular #NOLAGA hashtag, or you can follow my NOLAISM Twitter list-in-progress, which collects tweets from people who have already RSVPd to our event:!/EstherK/nolaism

Thank you to our sponsors and media partners:

The NOLAISM Schmooze-Up is sponsored by The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the ROI Community of Jewish Innovators, and DarimOnline.

Media partners for the Schmooze-Up include the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Jewcy Magazine, and Tablet Magazine.


Posted by: admin (November 08, 2010 at 2:59 PM) | Comments (0) | Permalink

Are You a Social Media Savvy Jewish Professional?

You know about YouTube and Facebook and Twitter. They're pretty much all "the kids" can talk about these days. And "The Social Network" made millions in its opening weekend at the box office. But these tools aren't just for geeks and kids - they are vital tools in today's workplace. How can these social media tools help Jewish organizations communicate more effectively, program better, and extend their organizational reach?

Here are a few more program highlights – in this case, a number of sessions relating to technology and social media in today's Jewish world.

Brandraising Jewishly
11/7/2010, 12:15 PM - 1:45 PM
Mardi Gras Balcony I,J,K, New Orleans Marriott

How can you use communications to take your Jewish organization to the next level? See how several Jewish nonprofits, including The Jewish Federations of North America, Masa Israel Journey, American Jewish World Service and the Foundation for Jewish Camp have been able to reposition themselves in a fresh modern way to engage audiences of all affiliations. Based on Sarah Durham's book "Brandraising: How to Raise Money and Increase Visibility through Smart Communications," this session, facilitated by Durham, will link vision and mission to branding and beyond. This will help you expand the tools you use to communicate online and off, work with partners in the field and ensure you're all speaking with one voice. Designed by: Big Duck

Speakers: Sarah Durham (Principal and Founder, Big Duck) Rina Goldberg (Former Director of Communications, Foundation for Jewish Camp) Adam J. Smolyar (Chief Marketing Officer, Jewish Federations of North America) Avi Rubel (North American Director, Masa Israel Journey)

Social or Anti-Social Networking: Does the Rise of the Virtual Community Endanger the Ability to Act in Concert?
11/7/2010, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

How do we engage donors and activists who never leave the comfort of their laptops or smartphones? Our panel of leading executives and strategists in social media debate whether it's possible for organizations to harness the energy of these "free agents" who are clicking, friending and tweeting on their own, rather than via established paths, and help us figure out ways to build our base of supporters and future funders by converting Millenial slacktivists to dedicated activists.

Speakers: Danielle Brigida (Digital Marketing Manager, National Wildlife Federation) Nancy Lublin (CEO and Chief Old Person, Andres Glusman (VP - Strategy & Communication, Meetup) Allison Fine (Senior Fellow, Demos: A Network for Change and Action)

Ten Commandments of Social Media: New Rules of the Game for Federations
11/9/2010, 8:15 AM - 9:30 AM

Social media is a communications revolution akin to the printing press. But it's not only about Facebook, Twitter and iPhone apps. It's about changing the way people allocate their attention, what messages they trust most, and how organizations need to be more nimble to thrive in this rapidly evolving market. Join us to learn about the impact and opportunities in this new landscape through case studies of Federations that are embracing the tools and new ways of working to evolve their business models and their marketing/communications and engagement strategies. Designed by: Darim Online

Speakers: Leslie Lichter (Managing Director, UJA Federation of New York) Miguel Banet (Manager, Interactive Communications, Federation CJA) Lisa Colton (President, Darim Online) Liz Polay-Wettengel (Community Manager, Jewish, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston)

Posted by: EstherKustanowitz (November 06, 2010 at 10:47 PM) | Comments (0) | Permalink

What is Jewish Innovation?

What exactly is Jewish innovation?

Innovation is one of today’s Jewish buzzwords, and is often accompanied by other phrases like “social entrepreneurs” and “independent.” But does Jewish innovation have to be separate? Can’t innovation co-exist with or thrive within community institutions? What if a project has a very traditional focus, but is delivered by a new form of technology?

This year’s GA presents programming that tries to answer some of these questions by introducing you to the creative minds and unforgettable personalities who are shaping tomorrow’s – and even today’s – American Jewish life. (We've included a handy rundown of a few of those programs below, so read on...)

We might already think we know the answers to our questions about Jewish innovation. But so do you. So whether or not you’ll be with us in person at the GA in New Orleans, please do share with us…what does the word innovation mean to you? What’s the most innovative program, thing or person you’ve come into contact with your local community?

And if you are at the NOLA GA, come to the NOLAISM Schmooze-Up to meet some of today’s most exciting and creative Jewish innovators.


We’ve highlighted several of those programs in the rundown below, but since the GA is full of innovative thinkers and creative projects, we’ve undoubtedly missed a few in this list. Add your own in the comments section, and don’t forget you can check out the whole program here.

Modern Problems, Ancient Solutions
11/7/2010, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Climate Change, economic downturn, environmental degradation, loss of privacy, identity theft - these are just some of the major issues that affect our lives. While all these problems are very contemporary, ancient sources provide insights and solutions. We will study some original sources, and discuss ways that we can apply this wisdom to alleviate modern problems. Designed by: Jewlicious
Speakers: Rabbi Yonah Bookstein (Executive Rabbi, JconnectLA)

New Jerusalem Talmud Project
11/7/2010, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

There will be an introduction to the New Jerusalem Talmud project and process; a partnered 'hevruta' learning session of a page or 'Daf' of the New Jerusalem Talmud, on the topic of Assimilation; a moderated discussion of Assimilation, based on the 'Daf' we learned together; and a demonstration of the online New Jerusalem Talmud, with an invitation to continue participation in the future. Designed by: Jewlicious
Speakers: Matthew Mausner (Editor-in-Chief, New Jerusalem Talmud)

Beyond Maimonides' Eight Levels of Charity: How Should We Give?
11/7/2010, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

What else does the Jewish tradition have to say about the levels of giving charity beyond Maimonides' famous eight levels? How might these other forms of giving challenge how we fundraise and distribute communal funds? Join us as we learn a selection from the Talmud about giving charity, and discuss its important implications for today. Designed by: Hadar
Speakers: Rabbi Elie Kaunfer (Executive Director, Mechon Hadar)

Jewlicious Salon: The Art of L'Chaim
11/7/2010, 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM

A premium whiskey appreciation and public toasting salon sponsored by Johnny Walker Premium Brands, featuring discussion and tastings led by a Johnny Walker Whiskey Brand Ambassador and Noah Flom, executive producer of special events for Maxim Magazine, ESPN, Jaguar, and Major League Baseball. We will create a booklet on "How to give proper L'Chaim's" focused on important Jewish events (i.e., Bar Mitzvahs, Weddings, Shabbat & Simcha meals).

The Kosher Sutras: Yoga for the Body & Soul with Marcus J Freed (Joy Sequence)
11/8/2010, 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Jewlicious presents body-soul yoga workshops with the witty, worldly and wise Bibliyogi, Marcus J Freed. You'll experience soulfood for the body, a practice that offers a physical-spiritual uplift through powerful yoga, Jewish wisdom and Kabbalah. Designed by: Jewlicious

NOLAISM: New Orleans Innovation and Social Media Schmooze-Up
11/8/2010, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

In the spirit of creativity and innovation, JFNA proudly invites you to NOLAISM, the GA's New Orleans Innovation and Social Media Schmooze-Up, a casual, warm gathering for the social media savvy, innovator populations and those who want to be counted among or mingle with them. So whether you're a techie or a curious technophobe, a creative thinker or interested in the Jewish world's flourishing world of innovation, a media mogul or a consumer of all things new and fascinating, you're not just invited: it wouldn't be the same without you. First drink and snacks are complimentary, brought to you by JFNA and our event's sponsors, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the ROI Community of Young Jewish Innovators, and DarimOnline. Let the drinks, conversations and ideas flow! Can't be there in person? Join us virtually, by following the #nolaga hashtag on Twitter.

The Kosher Sutras: Yoga for the Body & Soul with Marcus J Freed (Strength Sequence)
11/9/2010, 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Jewlicious presents body-soul yoga workshops with the witty, worldly and wise Bibliyogi, Marcus J Freed. You'll experience soulfood for the body, a practice that offers a physical-spiritual uplift through powerful yoga, Jewish wisdom and Kabbalah. Designed by: Jewlicious

Successors, Separatists or Stakeholders: Innovators, Federations and the North American Jewish Future
11/9/2010, 8:15 AM - 9:30 AM

How do "innovation people" and Federations relate to each other and the broader Jewish community? Are innovators and new initiatives the successors - the organizational offspring - of Federations and other institutions? Are they separatists, advancing their efforts in increasingly fragmented, individualistic directions? Or are they stakeholders, contributing creative new avenues to community growth in ways that can complement existing organizational efforts? Through presentations and small-group discussions, we will explore these questions using new findings from the 2010 Survey of New Jewish Initiatives and other new research related to local and national priorities in fundraising, planning & programming, community relations and core services. Designed by: Jumpstart, JESNA, and The Jewish Federations of North America, in cooperation with The Natan Fund and The Samuel Bronfman Foundation
Speakers: Steven Scheck (Co-Chair, National Young Leadership, Jewish Federations of North America) Felicia Herman (Executive Director, The Natan Fund) Robin Gofine (Vice President, Strategic Community Planning & Engagement, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto) Shawn Landres (Co-founder and CEO, Jumpstart) 

Visions for the Future of the Jewish Community?
11/7/2010, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Building upon discussions begun at the Jewish Funders Network conference this spring, we host a no-holds-barred discussion on generational differences and our approach to the Jewish community. What are young Jewish leaders in their 20s and 30s telling us about the ways they relate to the organized Jewish community, the Jewish people, Israel and collective Jewish action? What does this mean for funders, existing Jewish organizations and the likely configuration of Jewish communal life in the coming years? Should our orientation to the Jewish community be one of inclusivity or exclusivity?
Speakers: Jack Wertheimer (Professor, Jewish Theological Seminary) Dr. Noam Pianko (Assistant Professor, University of Washington)Joanne Moore (Board of Directors, Washington, DC)

The Innovation Imperative: New Ways to Build Jewish Community to Engage the "Next Generation"
11/9/2010, 9:45 AM - 11:00 AM

What are the fundamental challenges we face when attempting to engage the "Next Generation"? What models of community building are most effective? How can the organized Jewish community embrace innovation and best support new paradigms being developed by the 20-something demographic? Learn from young innovators and leaders in the field about what has worked and what hasn't, understand the benefits of these new paradigms and the ways communities can seamlesssly integrate the delivery of services to this population. Discover not only innovative ideas but also a systems approach and delivery mechanism that will benefit young adults as well as the organized Jewish community. Designed by: The Jewish Federations of North America, UIA Federations Canada
Speakers: Michael Soberman (Director, National Initiatives for the Next Genera, UIA FEDERATIONS OF CANADA) Lisa Lepson (Executive Director, Joshua Venture Group) Bev Shimansky (Director, Jewish Student Life, Hillel Montreal) David Cygielman (CEO, Moishe House)

Posted by: EstherKustanowitz (November 06, 2010 at 10:33 PM) | Comments (0) | Permalink

2010 GA Features Day of Service and Global Day of Jewish Learning

Many of today’s innovative Jewish organizations and projects focus on themes and programs relating to service – whether in their local community or in communities far from home that need assistance. More than 600 young leaders of Jewish Federations gathered in New Orleans in 2009 to help rebuild a community center in one of the hardest-hit areas of the city. This year, marking the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Jewish Federations have redoubled their commitment to Jewish service and volunteerism, featuring the GA Day of Service, on Monday, Nov. 8, in conjunction with Repair the World, during which thousands of GA participants will roll up their sleeves and engage in Jewish service.

The ILOJC (International Lions of Judah Campaign), with the community’s leading women philanthropists, will participate in a literacy and book drive, in New Orleans schools on Tuesday, Nov. 9. This effort, in partnership with The PJ Library and The Harold Grinspoon Foundation, will collect 4,000 books for some 500 children in New Orleans and has raised at least $10,000 to-date to supply even more.

At the GA itself there are countless representatives of the Jewish service movement - notably, American Jewish World Service and Repair the World, and undoubtedly others. For details on the GA Day of Service click here. For details on the Lion of Judah service project, click here.
In addition, this GA falls during the Global Day of Jewish Learning, in which communities across the globe will be gathering to study classical and contemporary texts and aspects of Jewish life, in what their website calls a " celebration of the things that unite us." JFNA is a partner in the endeavor, which marks November 7 as the day on which Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz will complete his translation of and commentary on the Talmud.  In celebration of this milestone, the 2010 GA is hosting an interactive learning experience with top educators from across the world. (See below for complete description.)

Global Day of Jewish Learning Event
11/7/2010, 8:15 PM - 10:00 PM

Be a part of the Global Day of Jewish Learning at the GA! Join us for an interactive learning experience. Bring your commitment and your questions - as well as some room for dessert - as we embark on an interactive session with top educators from across the world. The Global Day is a worldwide initiative to engage communities in Jewish learning and reconnect Jews with our texts and sources of wisdom, celebrating Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz's completion of his epic Talmud translation. Three hundred communities are participating...and by attending this session, you will join tens of thousands of Jews in this important endeavor.

Posted by: EstherKustanowitz (November 05, 2010 at 2:52 PM) | Comments (0) | Permalink

NOLA Shows "Signs" of Next Week's GA

Signs, signs, everywhere the signs...

Or, if not everywhere, then at 25th and Airport Road in New Orleans, where this billboard welcomes new arrivals for next week's JFNA General Assembly.

Posted by: EstherKustanowitz (November 02, 2010 at 1:52 PM) | Comments (0) | Permalink