Right now, I’m in day #2 of three days of the Pre-Hillel Institute, being put on by Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life for new professionals, which directly precedes its Hillel Institute, for a wider scope of Hillel professionals. Yesterday, my group was addressed by Wayne Firestone, the president of Hillel and he spoke nicely. Included in his talk, he happened to mention that college students these days are tweeting. I got to thinking: Hm, I wonder how much Hillel tweets – especially now that these two institutes are occurring: this would be an excellent opportunity for Hillel to be Tweeting about all of the excellent training going on right now, not to mention later on in the week. After all, we’re not talking about an organization whose primary constituency are in their 60s or 70s and wouldn’t know how to Twitter; this is a group that is rather savvy with social media (especially on Facebook). One would expect that there could be a few tweets a day, some with [inter]national updates, some with RTs from local Hillels, showing off their work, and overall painting a social media (Twitter) picture of who Hillel is and what they do, perhaps even posting available positions (although that’s covered in another Twitter account, that one’s poorly run (even worse than their primary account)). Essentially, Hillel should be able to hire a young social media-savvy recent college graduate to operate, amongst other things, a Twitter account for Hillel to be tweeting multiple times a day, as well as responding (granted, I have no idea if or even how much Hillel’s Twitter account responds to people asking questions or engages in a conversation with those who mention its name (or even just mention Hillel (or even anything Jewish on college campuses))).
With all of this build-up, you can guess where I’m headed with this: Hillel’s Twitter account falls far short of my expectations. Now, you can ask yourself if my expectations are rather lofty for Hillel, but it should be readily apparent that they are fair. Hillel’s Twitter account (as you can see from the screen-capture picture above) is somewhat sparsely updated, forget about mentioning what’s going on this week. The worst part of the Twittering is merely throwing up links with no descriptions – that’s worse than lazy (at least come up with something). I have no idea who, at Hillel, runs the Twitter account – maybe it’s the PR department, communications, or simply interns – but I will, in the next couple of days try to find out who does and what the thought process is. However, this is the week, when there is such a huge gathering of Hillel professionals – people who are clearly invested in Hillel’s success and image – should be in a discourse about Hillel on social media. That is, if Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life values social media for Jewish young adults.
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