Monday, August 15, 2011

Facebook: Promoting Connections One Friend at a Time

Rabbi Michael Melchior
I know this will come as a shock to many of you, but this post isn’t about genetic mutations, surgery, recovery, or, indeed, anything medical.  No, it’s about one of my other favorite topics:  Facebook…and the way it promotes connection and community.  Here’s the latest…

Back in early July, distracted and looking for an easy escape from everything on my plate at the moment, I absently began scrolling through my “People You May Know” list on Facebook.  In fact, through my work I was familiar with many of the names and faces, but because I’m a “ghostwriter,” most of these folks don’t know me from Adam, and so I just kept on scrolling.

Until I got to Michael Melchior.  I clicked on “Add Friend” and quickly added this note:
Although we have never met personally, I've heard you speak on several occasions. Most impressive.  Shavua tov
In fact, here's what I wrote in my travel journal after hearing Rabbi Melchior speak in Jerusalem during my first visit there in January of 2004:
A quick check-in at the David Citadel Hotel, a change of clothes, a bite to eat in the hotel restaurant and we were off again to hear from MK Michael Melchior.  A Reform Jew trapped in the body of an Orthodox man, he is progressive, passionate and quite the visionary.  Politics aside, he champions the cause of organ donation, explaining that if God can resurrect the dead, surely God can replace an eye or a kidney then. 
Almost immediately, Rabbi Melchior accepted my friend request and just yesterday, sent this follow-up message:
Dear Jane,

Thank you for writing to me, and I'm glad that you have enjoyed some of my talks. Please stay in touch, it's best to reach me at the following email address:
melchioroffice@gmail.com

Best regards,
Rabbi Michael Melchior
Thanks, Rabbi Melchior, for your visionary leadership and your accessibility.  And thanks again, Facebook, for making these connections possible.