Top 10 Jewish Social Media Moments of 2012
As 2012 comes to a close, NJOP, and its social media brand, Jewish Treats, recall the social media moments that had us in shock, tears, stiches and pride.
Jewish Justin Bieber
Edon Pinchot, an Orthodox 14-year-old from Chicago, was nicknamed the “Jewish Justin Bieber” while appearing on the NBC reality show, America’s Got Talent. He proudly wore a kippah during each of his performances.
The JCC of Rockland County penned a petition asking for a Minute of Silence at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremonies in memory of the Munich 11. The JCC was joined in their petition by Ankie Spitzer, widow of one of the 11 members of the Israeli team who were killed in the terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Mrs. Spitzer recorded a moving plea to the IOC to grant the request. The petition, which garnered more than 100,000 signatures, may have fallen on deaf ears at the IOC, but viewers worldwide took note and @JewishTweets orchestrated a Social Media Minute of Silence on July 27tth across Facebook and Twitter.
America’s Jewish Sweetheart
Jewish Olympian Aly Raisman, an 18-year-old from Needham, Massachusetts, used the popular Jewish tune Hava Nagila for her gold medal winning floor exercise routine and instantly becomes America’s Jewish Sweetheart. Raisman left London with Olympic medals, two gold and one bronze.
Circumcision in the News
A video of an Israeli baby “driving” into his own brit milah (circumcision ceremony) in a remote controlled car ignited great debate about circumcision celebrations. Another circumcision inspired controversy made social media headlines this past summer when a German court effectively banned the religious practice. Recently however, Germany’s parliament approved a bill to keep circumcision legal.
In November, during Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel and Hamas waged Twitter war. The Israel Defense Force used social media to announce and comment on military operations.
Hurricane Sandy Destroys New York Area Synagogues
Jewish humanitarian groups used social media to reach volunteers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Powerful pictures, like the one above from the Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe synagogue in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, of a Torah which was unraveled in order to dry it out, were circulated on Facebook and Twitter showing the destruction of New York area synagogues. In poured donations of funds, supplies and even a Torah for one Long Island congregation.
All Things Mayim Bialik!
Readers enjoyed Mayim Bialik’s blog on the Jewish parenting website Kveller and visited regularly in 2012 for her firsthand accounts about everything from her hit CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory to her Emmy nomination, her children, a car accident, a divorce announcement and her glamorous red carpet experiences.
Courting the Jewish Vote
(Photo by Uri Fintzy)
Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each used social media to try to sway Jewish voters in 2012. Both party conventions featured prominent rabbis, Rabbi David Wolpe from Los Angeles and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik from New York. While President Obama clearly won the election and a large majority of the Jewish vote, some analysts see the significant decline from 2008 in the Jewish support for President Obama, as a vindication of their efforts.
StandFour Makes Their Debut
Yeshiva University Maccabeats grads created a breakaway acapella group called StandFour and garnered a quarter million views of their debut video during Chanukah.
Support for Sandy Hook
The nation joined together in mourning for the 20 children and 6 adults who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. Outpourings of support for the Newtown community were posted across all the social networks. The youngest victim was 6-year-old Jewish kindergartner Noah Pozner. Rabbi Shaul Praver, the Pozner family’s rabbi, recited El Maleh Rachamim, the Hebrew memorial prayer, at a vigil attended by President Obama and family members of the victims.