[By Phyllis Shaikun]
Do you “twitter?” In case you don’t know, Twitter is a social networking tool that lets people keep in touch with one another through a series of short messages sent via the Internet.
Thanks to people like Louisvillian Judy Wallace, vice president of communications and co-owner of NowSourcing, Inc., a Louisville social media company founded by her husband, Brian, Twitter has also become a resource for Orthodox Jews – a place where they can share thoughts, ideas and even controversies with their peers across the country without ever having to leave their homes!
On a typical Sunday evening from 7:30-8:30, more than 100 contributors tweet in excess of 1,000 updates to Wallace’s “#Frumchat Twitter Party & Prize Give-Away.” (In Yiddish, the word “frum” connotes living an Orthodox lifestyle committed to the observance of the 613 Mitzvot, or Jewish.)
Wallace (@socialmediamom) is happy with the diversity of #Frumchat participants who join the group each week. She comments, “not everyone is frum, not everyone is Jewish, and there are some hecklers who really charge up the conversation! In addition to promoting Jewish concepts in a Q&A format, participants can vie for promotional gifts sponsored by companies that want to market to #Frumchat participants.
According to Wallace, the group had fun last Sunday talking about shabbos: there was a consensus among them that you can add to the peace of the world by adding to your observance of shabbos kodesh (laws and practices that distinguish shabbos from the rest of the week).
#Frumchat does three things: it creates a specific (yet internally diverse) constituency; creates knowledge with thoughtful discussion questions and creates a town hall type format for knowledge to be received. This week they will be discussing the significance of Jewish education at home (chinuch) and there’s a chance to win gift certificates to a popular online how-to-blog training site.
To attend #Frumchat, go to http://tweetchat.com/room/frumchat on Sunday evenings from 7:30-8:30. The site only shows #Frumchat tweets, which helps participants follow along and filters out potentially “immodest” tweets for Orthodox Jews who rely on this function to participate. Core sponsor of #Frumchat is @h2opinklabel, an online modest clothing manufacturer.
Wallace, who came to Louisville with her family in 2006, has a 17-year-old daughter and four sons ages four to seven. In addition to her business and #Frumchat activities, she runs a Tuesday evening Tehillim (Book of Psalms) open prayer group for all local women at her home where they daven (pray) all 150 Psalms (in Hebrew and English) in just 18 minutes. She also founded a Bible study class on Sunday mornings for the “Jewish-curious” facilitated by a gentile who is a Noahide “observer of Judaism.”
Close to her heart is Yadmoshe.org, the “Council for Benevolence,” a charitable organization begun by the Wallaces that sends 10 percent of their business’ gross receipts to benefit Israel. Should you want more information about #Frumchat or Jewish lifestyle activities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.