JFNA wants to share its Jew-#ish-ness

Notes from the Mediascape: A hash tag-centric social media campaign from the Jewish Federations of North America asks a younger generation to share what their religion and culture means to them.

For most Americans, the Elliot Spitzer sex scandal was another unfortunate case of a philandering husband, but for the Jewish community, it was a catastrophic blunder that was ‘bad for Jews everywhere,’ joke Randy and Jason Sklar, sibling comedians and actors, in a video posted on What’sYourIsh.com.

Targeting 18- to 35-year-old Jewish youth, the website is the centre of a new campaign from the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). The organization wants to raise awareness and interest in the Federations by allowing visitors to upload a video explaining what being Jewish means to them. For every submission, which will be tagged with #ish for optimum sharing in the social media space, JFNA will credit 25 cents to a ‘#ish Fund,’ created by the Jewish Federation with the goal of raising $50,000 for ‘core thematic needs’ supported by the Federation. Once the funds are raised, participants can vote on how they want the Fund allocated.

‘Feeling responsible-ish for everybody else-ish – that’s our ish,’ says Randy Sklar in the video, one of the first entries on the site that launched last week.

Developed by Taxi New York (with media arranged by New York-based Blue State and social media messaging developed by Socialbomb, also of New York), online media supporting the microsite will run for two months. Promotion for the launch includes ad placements on Jdate.com and Facebook, and the Jewlicious.com blog, says Rich Muhlstock, client services director, Taxi New York. Youth groups that are registered with JFNA, for instance Hillel, will also promote the site through their own connections in universities and colleges across the US and Canada, he adds. But, mainly, What’sYourIsh.com will aggregate the tweets, status updates and videos that are shared in the social media space and don the #ish tag.

‘By trying to get young Jews to promote this and get involved, it makes them think not just about who they are but how they feel about their religion, how they want to get involved,’ Muhlstock tells MiC.