Reaching the world
What is the best way to play an active role in helping to educate people on Israel's rich history, society and culture? Beyond the headlines, beyond the photographs of Israel's gorgeous landscape, Israel Forever is bringing people closer to Israel from wherever they may be in the world using the fabulous tools of social media that have changed the way we live our lives today.
We remember the early days of our social media involvement (check out our first social media blog post!). How much we have grown in 9 months!
In our efforts to reach those in the world who are already identified as pro-Israel, Zionist, Israel lovers, or anything and everything in between, we find we are reaching people who know little about Israel but who are looking to learn more in a dynamic and engaging way.
Every day, we continue to explore innovative options for increased interaction. Whether the conversation is with old friends or to foster a relationship borne of Israel Love, it is incredibly meaningful to converse with people from countless countries & time zones.
Often I come across a tweet or Facebook post with a very caring statement about Israel. The opportunity to share that person's feelings with our followers (and essentially the world) is a profoundly powerful exercise of celebrating the personal connection.
For most of history the average person could share their feelings with their inner circle, but the opportunity to have real impact was reserved for a select minority. Now, with a few keystrokes, anybody can be a voice for their interests and concerns.
While many of us take this for granted as we spend time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg and elsewhere on the net, we should take a moment and realize what a truly remarkable opportunity has developed just in time when Israel and the Jewish People need it most. When an Israeli scientist wins a Nobel Prize, we can share in the "Mazal Tovs!". When a resident in the south of Israel tweets about missiles being launched into their neighborhood, we can respond with messages of concern for their safety. We are now able to translate the long history of Israel into a social interaction that thousands upon thousands of people can share in real time.
Everyone and their mother is now on the social media? What makes IFF different?
We actively encourage our friends and followers to share their personality, thoughts, questions, experiences, images, and even to take a leadership role in the organization. Anybody can serve as an IFF Ambassador, write blog posts, share Israel-related information on our Facebook pages, and expand their network of friends to include others they meet through the Virtual Citizen of Israel community.
For us as a young organization, the increased visibility and interest in Israel Forever through the social media is evidence that we are fulfilling our mission, providing something unique and meaningful for people looking to engage with Israel in a dynamic and virtual way. We dream of opening someone's eyes to the real Israel, the Israel of many languages, colors, sounds, tastes and eras of history. The social media relationships we are establishing demonstrate that we are indeed filling a gap.
Our hope is that more people will feel engaged, even inspired, to offer their contributions and be a part of the ongoing project that is Israel. Newly registered Virtual Citizens of Israel are tweeting about it, people are posting personal expressions of support for Lone Soldiers, and we are beginning to receive unique contributions of photographs and stories of visits to Israel throughout the years for our Israel Memory Project, stories of Israel-encounters for Individually Israel, requests to host online interactions, and more. This is clearly just the start of a beautiful social and virtual friendship...
If you already have connected with us through social media, we thank you for your continued involvement, for we know our LIKES are only as good as the interpersonal interactions that emerge from them. If you haven't yet found us through your social medium of choice, please do! This energy is contagious!