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And don’t give me that crap about “non skid” or “comfortable” or even
“feet could breathe”. You’re not 4. You’re allowed to have laces and
buckles and things that are confusing to other species on your feet.
You’re allowed to buy grown-up person shoes. I don’t care if they’re
comfortable. They make you look like a low-functioning elf.
This will have far-reaching effects on the State of Israel, where many kibbutznik and non-kibbutznik children routinely have multiple pairs of the shoe in eye-blinding fluorescent colors. They even wear them to weddings.
With everything else Israel has to deal with, it almost doesn't seem fair to imagine a future without Crocs in as many colors as a Benetton ad. I guess that's good news for the Naot factory, but that's a bit pricier (if possessing the additional bonus of not looking like the aforementiond fashion nightmare). Plus, a woman in the Naot store on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem told me that the factory had suffered because of recent rocket attacks in the north of Israel (the factory is near Kiryat Shmona). Perhaps it's time to go back to biblical roots, and encourage residents of and visitors to Israel to "take the shoes from off of thy feet, for the ground on which thou standest is holy."
In the Birthright Israel NEXT show, Monologues,
Taglit-Birthright Israel alumni bring their experiences to the stage in
a collection of monologues, spoken word and hip-hop performances that
explore personal Jewish identity inspired by their 10-day trip in
Produced by 2008 ROIer Lauren Eisenberg of Birthright Israel NEXT
and directed by superstar of spoken word Vanessa Hidary, a.k.a. The
Hebrew Mamita (HBO's Def Poetry Jam), Monologues
is an evening of solo performances exploring Jewish identity through
the stories of 15 Taglit-Birthright Israel alumni in spoken word,
monologues and rap. Watch the video for a glimpse of the show and scroll down for your chance to win tickets:
And as Kvetch readers, you've got two ways to see the show,
which is in its fourth run in New York, at the Triad Theatre at 158 W
72nd St. between Broadway and Columbus on the 2nd floor.
1) We are giving away one pair of tickets for Tuesday,
March 31, and another pair for Wednesday, April 1: to enter, please submit your full name, e-mail, preferred date, and why you
want the tickets to myurbankvetch at gmail.com. Winner will be chosen at random from qualifying entries and notified via email on Sunday, March 29.
2) MyUrbanKvetch is proud to provide a special discount for our
readers - only $5
- so bring a group! For special $5 tickets for Kvetch readers here.
If you've been putting off your application to the ROI Summit, or thought you'd missed the deadline, I've got great news: the deadline has been extended to March 31st at 11:59pm EST. That's right. EST, not Central, Mountain or Pacific. Not midnight on April 1st - no joke.
Eligible candidates are Jewish Innovators who are:
• between the ages of 22 and 34 at the time of the Summit
• developing or seeking to launch a Jewish initiative, or who are
demonstrating excellence in pursuit of a global or civic program
• Taglit-Birthright Israel alumni and staff (recommended, but not required)
• new to ROI and have never attended a previous ROI Summit
• eager to take an active role in ongoing ROI activities – including
full participation in the 5-day ROI Summit in Israel, and continued
engagement with ROI community members throughout the year
• dedicated to one of the 8 ROI Summit tracks (for in-depth info about tracks, click here)
There will be a highly subsidized fee for participation, which will include RT airfare from outside of Israel and accommodations for the summit, which will be held near Tel Aviv in celebration of the city's 100th anniversary.
We knew this day would come eventually: the day when I attend a conference whose name doesn't begin with "Jewish." That day was last Thursday, when I found myself in NYC for another meeting, and found out (via Twitter, of course) that some of my friends were attending (and some speaking) at Jeff Pulver's conference on social media, aptly called "Social Media Jungle." When one of the speakers offered me a guest ticket to the invite-only assemblage, I couldn't refuse. The hardest part was learning that the Twitter hashtag for the conference was going to be "SMJNYC," only one letter reversal from a million JDate handles. (By the way, those of you who are going to be in NYC June 16-17 will want to check
out - and maybe even pitch talks for - Jeff's new conference about
Twitter, The 140 Characters conference, which will explore the effects of Twitter on Celebrity, the Media and Advertising.)
There's lots online about the experience of SMJNYC, and as a relative newcomer to the tech field, I just sat back and let myself be surrounded by the experience of tech people talking about how to harness social media on behalf of your project, personal brand, network, professional life, media sources, etc. Notably and mercifully absent (at least for me) were comments about "the shidduch crisis/singles catastrophe," "next generation engagement," and "Jewish continuity." What a relief!
Amazing how many speakers you can pack into a day if you limit each of them to a tight twenty minutes. (Hear that, Jewish conferences???) Jeff Pulver, whose ability to bring people together in real life around online social media subjects always amazes me, spoke about the fact that he has reached his Facebook friend limit of 5,000 and maintains a waitlist of over 2,050 people. How does he decide to drop a friend? The person's birthday is also, unbeknownst to them, a day of reckoning: Jeff sees your name on his birthdays list on FB, and considers your fate. Have you spammed him? Or are you the kind of friend who doesn't comment on his posts or the things that he does in his life? Then you may find yourself out of Jeff's 5,000 - back to the waitlist with you, friend. (Or, rather, "non-friend.") "Facebook changed the way I live," said Jeff. "You have to give and share if you want to get something back." (Hopefully, thanks to this post and intermittent comments on Jeff's FB notes, I'm safe from the execution block for another year.)
Friends Jeremy Epstein and Melanie Notkin presented fabulously in the 20-minutes-per-person presentation format, keeping their presentations brief, interesting and discussion-provoking. Jeremy, who's been a friend for over a decade, spoke about community-driven marketing - a delight to hear him in a professional capacity after all these years, and to know that many of my intuitions about social media are exactly what the experts are advocating. "Give them a reason to talk abotu you in trusted social networks," he advises his clients,' telling them to "find the raving fans." He also notes that, to an extent, such marketing - done consumer-to-consumer - is not something that the brands can control. "Find people who are passionate [about your product], cultivate relationships and activate them."
For video of the very funny and insightful Christine Cavalier speaking about "How 2 Talk 2 Aliens," click on the video below (courtesy of Bill Cammack), and to view the conference program, scroll below the video.
Leave it to the old Woodman to provide the premiere (and possibly only) tale of crustacean comedy revenge against Bernie Madoff in the recent Shouts & Murmurs column in the New Yorker: the tale centers on Abe Moscowitz, who "dropped dead of a heart attack and was reincarnated as a
lobster. Trapped off the coast of Maine, he was shipped to Manhattan
and dumped into a tank at a posh Upper East Side seafood restaurant." Read on for an excerpt from this glorious excursion into reincarnation, betrayal, and shellfish...
At that moment, who walked into the restaurant and sits down at a
nearby table but Bernie Madoff. If Moscowitz had been bitter and
agitated before, now he gasped as his tail started churning the water
like an Evinrude.
“I don’t believe this,” he said, pressing his little black peepers
to the glass walls. “That goniff who should be doing time, chopping
rocks, making license plates, somehow slipped out of his apartment
confinement and he’s treating himself to a shore dinner.”
“Clock the ice on his immortal beloved,” Moe observed, scanning Mrs. M.’s rings and bracelets.
fought back his acid reflux, a condition that had followed him from his
former life. “He’s the reason I’m here,” he said, riled to a fever
Lots of social media sites battle for our attention. It can get overwhelming. In fact, as you read this, I'm at Social Media Jungle, a NY conference featuring some of social media's success stories and some cautionary tales as well.
But SuperNews makes the whole experience of social media overstimulation just plain funny. I saw it three times on the Virgin flight from LAX to JFK. And it was funny every time.
One of the blessings in the morning prayer has two separate versions depending on the reader's gender: supplicants thank God either for "not making me a woman" or "for making me according to God's will." Yeah, sometimes the liturgy's a bit of a challenge, especially for we women.
A friend sent me this poster, and the sentiment seems SO over the top that I can't help but think it's satire, based on something real, but ultimately not itself meant to be taken seriously. I did a Google search for the company, Frumposters, and got nothing. Which could mean either that the company doesn't exist, or that it exists and doesn't have a website because the internet is evil and has no place in a Torah household.
What do you think? Is this poster an invention made to get the blogosphere buzzing in righteous indignation, or is it really a poster that someone would feel good about hanging in a home?
Over at the JTA, every day is a new announcement of a Federation that's cutting spending, programs, staff...but today, there was a glimmer of sunshine: the Jewish Funders Network announced that it will give $750,000 in matching grants to first-time gifts for environmental projects in Israel. Investing in preserving the environment helps to ensure that there is an Israel to live in tomorrow. The grants are "open only to JFN members and will be given to match either first-time
gifts or gifts that are at least double a donor’s previous gift to an
Israeli environmental nonprofit."
Good news, right? I think most people would celebrate this news. Except for the first commenter on the post at JTA, who offered this commentary:
These Goldmans [Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund Matching Grant Initiative for the Environment in Israel] seem like trouble makers to me. Why worry about water in Israel we have a 50% intermarriage rate in
america and on any given friday night some 94% of reform and
conservative Jews are not in shul.
Is the commenter serious? If not, she's done a pretty good job of offering up comments with a consistent message. Responding to the proposal that Reform and Conservative movements merge, she had this to say: "If the reform want to continue perhaps they should ask their members to
start marrying each other and having children." In response to the news that Hadassah had lost $90 million in the Madoff debacle, she countered with: "hadassa used its money to encourage Jewish women to have abortions and
use birth control. Now that hadassa is out of money who will be left to
encourage Jews to destroy themselves."
The online Jewish community is sure interesting. Just when you think you've found some good news, someone else will show you how that philanthropic move will destroy the Jewish people. Never a dull moment here, I tell you...