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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Recapping the first annual Nefesh b'Nefesh International Bloggers Conference

I wanted to speak a bit about last night's first annual (and I hope it will be annual) Nefesh b'Nefesh International Jewish Bloggers Conference. I have to start by thanking Nefesh b'Nefesh for putting the whole thing on, and indeed for changing the way in which Jews from overseas make aliya. As someone who made aliya in the 'dark ages' and then spent several years online trying to help other people do it, I know how much of an impact you guys have had.

In my not-so-humble opinion, your next plan of action ought to be to help organize the power of Anglo olim (immigrants). I really believe we bring something special to the table of Israeli society and that it has not been harnessed properly. I believe that you guys can help out. I know that we don't all have the same agenda (in fact, I believe that what we bring to Israeli society is a pride in individuality in a society that tends to be very group-oriented), but I also know there are many items about which we overwhelmingly agree.

To my fellow "International Jewish" bloggers: I never knew there were so many of you! When I stood at that lectern last night (after Bibi Netanyahu and Danny Ayalon and their entourage had left) and looked out at that room, I was amazed at how many people were there. Hundreds. And I only saw one person the entire night (other than NbN staff) who didn't have a blog name on his badge ("Lurker" - you got to get with it!). I'd be happy to exchange blogroll links with any and all of you - if you're not on my blogroll already and you're interested, please send me an email.

To Stephen Leavitt and WebAds: It may be a business, but it's not. It's a labor of love. I don't know who decided whom to invite to be on the panels, but my invitation came from you and I have to thank you for putting me on the panel. This morning, I got an email from a fellow blogger (who shall remain nameless) who apologized to me. He said he was live blogging the conference (something I should have thought of trying) and wrote that the panel consisted of "Esther K, Gil, Jewlicious, Trep and some other guy I never heard of." He told me he got a bunch of comments telling him who I am and that I have more traffic than he does.... Heh.... (But all is forgiven fellow blogger!).

I'm going to try to be back later with more about the conference, because I want to address Yehuda's post, particularly the 'branding Israel' presentation he discusses, which is much more in tune with my blog's normal fare.

P.S. Thanks to Yehuda for the picture.


At 12:09 PM, Blogger Aussie Dave said...

It was great finally meeting you, albeit briefly. And props for patiently waiting during Bibi's speech.

FYI, I took to task the blogger you mentioned in your post, and made the comment to him about your traffic vis-a-vis his. I also took him to task for misrepresenting my question to Bibi and calling me a "moron" (!), but that's neither here nor there.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger haivri said...


Real honor to meet you at the jbloggers event at NBN yesterday. I might be getting together a handfull of bloggers for a visit to the towns and hilltop communities in the Shomron one day next week. If so I'll have a van (or bus) leave Jerusalem at about 8-9 and back around 17:00.

Would you like to come?

I formed a new blog today for the Shomron called "Green Beyond the Line" http://yeshuv.blogspot.com/ where I plan to post stories about the jewish communities in the Shomron, less on the conflict that people can pick up in the regular news and more of a focus on real day to day life.

My first post there is about a wedding in a town that was "disengaged" three years ago. http://yeshuv.blogspot.com/2008/08/joy-of-bride-and-groom-heard-again-in.html

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Aussie Dave,

He called you a 'moron'? Not cool at all....


I would love to, but next week is total insanity. I'm marrying off my eldest son (second child) next Thursday night BE"H.

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Benji Lovitt said...

Carl, we didn't get to meet but you definitely deserve points for waiting so long before speaking. Hope you had a fun night!

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Thanks Benji. Sorry I didn't get to talk to you at the end. But your blog is very entertaining.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Batya said...

Good to see you and mazaltov!


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