President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, 28 November / 20 Kislev, addressed the Jewish Media Summit at Beit HaNasi. The summit, which brings together 150 Jewish journalists, bloggers, and writers from more than 30 countries, is organized by the Government Press Office. Together, they reach millions of people on social media. Among the participants in the conference are KosherGuru, blogger Gabriel Boxer from New York, whose Instagram account on Jewish food has 40,000 followers and Allison Josephs, whose “Jew in the City” blog on the intersection of Orthodox Judaism and the realities and conundrums of everyday life has attracted millions of YouTube views. The founders of Contrast, a Portuguese-language initiative, whose Facebook page has 100,000 followers and whose Instagram posts and YouTube videos reach 1.5 million viewers a week, also took part in the conference.

Opening his remarks, the president said, “We Jews are the people of the book. We are a people of words. From our earliest days, our words have defined who we are. We carried our words in our hearts, in our books, on the long journey of the Jewish people. You, too, are people of words, and pictures,“ he continued. “Today, you work on different platforms: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, but the task is still the same - to tell stories, to help us understand, to bring light and truth.”

“You know better than anyone that the conversation about Israel today is online. It happens where you are - in the blogs and the social media, in your words and pictures, in emojis and in likes. You are truly on the front line of that conversation,” he continued, “and you do it so little space! How do you tell a story in 280 characters? In a single photo? In a few emojis?”

Concluding, the president thanked the conference participants for coming to see Israel up-close. “There is so much here that we are proud of that we want you to see and want you to share. Not just the advances in science, technology, and innovation; not just a secure state in the face of great enemies. We are also proud of the values that we work hard to protect. Israel is a Jewish, democratic state where the two go together and cannot be separated. Show people what life is like here, picture by picture, tweet by tweet, face by face.”

 

 

President photo credit Silvia Golan

Group photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)