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January 27, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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PAGE 20A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 27, 2012 By Steve Lipman New York Jewish Week NEWYORK--Rabbi Shlo- mo Einhorn a Los Angeles- born spiritual leader of an Upper West Side synagogue who is returning to his hometown later this year, says his decision to have the Rabbi crowd-sources the sermon major components of one of his farewell sermons con- tributed via Facebook and other web-based technolo- gies isn't an enigma. But his reason is an Enigma. That's the Germany-based band that invited fans to con- tribute to its "Social Song," a single that marked its 20th anniversary in 2010. Einhorn read about the innovative musical project--fans voted on vocals, instrumentation and cover art--last year, and decided to try something similar at the West Side Insti- tutional Synagogue, where he has served for six years. For his "Social Sermon," which he will deliver on a Shabbat shortly after he leaves the congregation in June to start a job at a Los Angeles day school, the rabbi is asking members of WSIS, and of his wider on- line congregation, to send in stories, jokes and themes (socialsermon.com) that he will meld into his parting remarks from the pulpit. An online vote in the com- ing months will choose the contents; he'll determine the sermon's final "trajectory." As far as he knows, "this has never been done before," Einhorn says--at least not in New York City. Darim Online (darimon- line.org), a Covenant Foun- dation grantee organization that promotes the use of new technology in the Jewish com- munity, has independently promoted a similar "social sermon" idea (JewPointO. org/tag/socialsermon), and the New Jersey Jewish News recently reported on such a sermon delivered by Rabbi David Levy at Temple Shalom in Succasunna, N.J. Levy used community comments "like a primary text," he told the Jewish News. Einhorn, 32, a Yeshiva Uni- versity ordainee who serves as director of the Orthodox Union's WINGS consulting program for synagogues, says his social sermon grew out of his congregation's "social element." Members of the shul, mostly young, Modern Orthodox couples, frequently offer him sermon critiques and suggestions during classes or kiddush discussions; his "composite sermon" formally incorpo- rates social media, which his synagogue already uses in a traditional sense, as a community bulletin board. So far, he says, hundreds of suggestions have come in. "I haven't read them all yet." After he gives his social sermon, the rabbi will tape it before a live OU audience, to be posted on the OUwebsite. "It's more than a gim- mick," Einhorn says, adding that the online give-and-take has already "created a dia- logue, a sophisticated Torah discussion." He'll be happy, he says, if his finished product matches Enigma's "Social Song," which was released in late 2010. Einhorn has listened to it on YouTube. "It's amaz- ing," he says. Steve Lipman is a staff writer for The New York Jewish Week, from which this article was reprinted by permission. Voted # 1 . Cuisine 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd Orlando. FL 32819 407 352 6766 www.AnatoliaOrlando.com [ Present this od to get %50 OFF ony entree] ltiPltl b with the purchase of a second entree of equal I or lesser value. | Not valid with any other promotion s _ _ I ummmmmmmMchanan C___u;n,