National Jewish Outreach Program Reveals Winners of the First Jewish Influencer Awards

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@JewishTweets – Jewish Lifestyle Twitter Feed – Recognizes 10 Jewish Influencers in Social Media during Social Media Week 2012

The National Jewish Outreach Program (http://www.njop.org) tonight announced the recipients of the first "Jewish Treats: Jewish Influencer Awards” during the organization’s 18th annual dinner. The announcement was listed as part of Social Media Week (SMW12) which kicked off earlier in the day.

Finalists were selected by an expert panel of judges and evaluated based on creative and strategic use of social media to positively impact the Jewish community. Winners will be listed on the NJOP website, featured on @JewishTweets and invited to participate in 2012 NJOP social media programming.

“We launched @JewishTweets in March 2008 and from the outset, embraced it for the way it allows us to connect with people everywhere. It has allowed us not only to be heard, but to listen and be inspired by others every day,” said Ephraim Z. Buchwald, founder and director of the National Jewish Outreach Program. “In particular, we wanted to take time to recognize some of those who are leveraging the power of social media to raise Jewish social consciousness and shine a positive light on Jewish life."

In addition to selecting and recognizing these exemplary Jewish influencers, NJOP also published an e-book entitled: Jewish Treats: 99 Fascinating Jewish Personalities that features notable Jewish figures from before the social media age. The book is available for download on Amazon.com.

2012 Jewish Treats: Jewish Influencer Awards

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein @RabbiYonah

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein is the executive rabbi for JConnectLA, which hosts events to help young Jews “connect to something bigger”. A popular blogger, Bookstein’s writings regularly appear in The Huffington Post, Jewlicious and LA’s JewishJournal.com. He also maintains the Facebook presence for both JConnectLA and the Jewlicious Festival, a popular youth event.

Lisa Colton: @LisaColton
Lisa Colton is the founder of Darim Online, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Jewish organizations and leaders effectively leverage social media to achieve their goals, including community building, education, communication and fundraising. In the past year, Colton has presented at conferences throughout the United States, and has hosted social media webinars online.

William Daroff: @Daroff
William Daroff is the vice president for public policy and director of the Washington Office for the Jewish Federations of North America. To the Jewish online community he is @Daroff, a prolific Tweeter who offers great insights into happenings in the American Jewish community. In 2011, Daroff co-chaired the social media committee for Prime Minister Netanyahu's Global Coalition for Israel.

Chaviva Galatz: @TheChaviva
Galatz is a popular blogger, Tweeter and social media personality. She created and co-chaired the only Jewish-themed panel at the 2011 SxSW Interactive Festival in Austin, TX, entitled Jewish Synergy: Social Media and the New Community. She was named to The New York Jewish Week’s prestigious “36 Under 36” list where she was credited for “Connecting with Jews, one Tweet at a time”.

Allison Josephs: @JewInTheCity
Josephs is the woman behind “Jew in the City,” a popular website and video blog that helps promote a positive perception of Orthodox Judaism to non-observant Jews and non-Jews alike. In the past year, she has been invited to speak at numerous events and was interviewed by NPR for her work.

Esther Kustanowitz: @EstherK
Known to the online community as EstherK, Kustanowitz is a respected blogger, Tweeter and nonprofit consultant. Esther has traveled the globe presenting at various conferences on topics like Jewish communal engagement, social media and innovation. She was recently named a "Jewish Engagement Superstar" by Jewcy.

The Maccabeats: @Maccabeats
The Maccabeats, the male acapella group from Yeshiva University, has captivated American Jews with its hugely viral music videos promoting Jewish holidays. Their video for the song “Candlelight” has more than 7 million views alone. In 2011, the group was invited to perform for President Barack Obama at the official White House Chanukah party. The Maccabeats recently helped raise more than $88,000 for Gift of Life through their Miracle Match campaign

Rabbi Jason Miller: @RabbiJason
Miller is a popular blogger on a wide variety of Jewish topics including technology, pop culture, politics and Jewish law. He is published regularly in the New York Jewish Week, The Huffington Post and the Detroit Jewish News. Rabbi Miller’s video response to former presidential candidate Governor Rick Perry’s “Strong” commercial has nearly 220,000 views on YouTube and was written about in dozens of national and international publications.

Dave Weinberg: @Weinberg81
A Jewish innovator who uses social media to rally people for causes he supports, Weinberg runs Causil, which offers nonprofit consulting, conferences such as the Future of Jewish Nonprofit Summit, aimed at educating the Jewish community on social media. Dave also was invited to lead the Social Media Boot Camp at the AJOP Convention earlier this year.

Rabbi Josh Yuter: @JYuter
Rabbi Josh Yuter is not only a pulpit rabbi. He’s a popular blogger, tweeter, and podcaster (his Jewish-themed podcasts were downloaded more than 20,000 times last year.) After he launched an impressive Facebook page and Twitterfeed for his synagogue, he was chosen by the Rabbinical Council of America to teach other rabbis about social media and “Using the Web to Teach Torah” at its 2011 Annual Convention.

ABOUT NJOP

The National Jewish Outreach Program was established by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald in 1987, in response to the spiraling losses of Jews from Jewish life due to assimilation and lack of Jewish knowledge. Since its founding, NJOP has become one of the largest and most successful Jewish outreach organizations in the world. Through attractive and exciting free programs, NJOP reaches out to unaffiliated Jews, offering positive, joyous Jewish experiences and meaningful educational opportunities. NJOP’s programs have been offered at more than 4,759 locations across North America and in 39 countries worldwide. NJOP has reached more than 1,323,000 North American Jews and engaged them in Jewish life.

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Ilya Welfeld
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