Kabbalah HaMalkah of Team Red
I am ridiculously excited for the SuperJews Color Wars. As soon as I was invited to join, I had to find out more. Andy Neusner of the United Jewish Communities was great in answering my many questions. Read on to find out what you can expect from the upcoming Color Wars and what they’re all about.
The Color Wars were born out of a desire to involve young Jews (45 and under) more deeply in the Jewish world. The Color Wars are intended to be a siren song of Jewish involvement that will lead us deeper into the Jewish world with the ultimate goal of becoming stakeholders. Andy says:
While plenty of young Jews have already gotten involved, there’s no secret that we need for more and more Jews from this age range to take over some ownership in our organizations, to change them in ways that will help us continue to tackle the needs of the Jewish world. We realize that there are plenty of great new ideas in play to reinvigorate the Jewish world, and rather than having them happen apart from or even in duplication with similar concepts within the organized Jewish community, we want to promote these new ideas and new leaders to take root within our system instead.
The United Jewish Communities (UJC) leveraged the services of William Levin, creator of The Jewish Robot. Levin’s extensive experience in creating humorous, media savvy projects aimed at young Jews to enhance and promote the Jewish brand will be a huge asset to the Color Wars and upcoming SuperJews campaigns.
Primary funding for the project comes from the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence, in their aim to reach Jewish youth through social media networks.
— Keep reading to learn more about the Color Wars —
The Color Wars will start in earnest on the first day of Hanukkah. Each day, participants will receive e-mail missions from their team captains, with players fulfilling them to score team points. While the UJC has been quite secretive in revealing the details of these missions, their ultimate goal is to work toward building Jewish community through teamwork and individual actions. (I, for one, can’t wait to see what they have in mind.)
At Hanukkah’s conclusion, team points will be tallied and winning team members will be able to sport gold, silver, or bronze badges on their Facebook profiles (there are three teams in all). As for what comes next, possible ideas are nominating local “SuperJews” in our your community, and creating programming to recognize people doing good works overall. The UJC will be soliciting Color War veterans with ideas for the future– so put your thinking caps on and get ready to send in your ideas.
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There are three Color War teams with two captains each. Here they are, in all their superhero glory.
Kabbalah HaMalkah (pictured above): a Soviet emigre whose magic is to shoot kabbalistic spells with the power of healing out of her special ring. She is a champion of immigrants around the world
Mega Mensch: a good guy who everyone likes to be around. His chief interest is in social justice and tikkun olam
Blue Team– Quick to act
Captain Israel: a security expert and global media consultant, he founded the SuperJews after watching a documentary about the Munich Olympics. “His eyes moisten when he hears HaTikvah,” Israel’s national anthem
Beth L: the product of a long line of community leaders, she is a modern day Renaissance woman and the creator of the SuperJews website. (Hint: Beth El or Beit El is a popular name for synagogues meaning “House of G-D”)
Green Team– Super strong
Eternal Light: an impassioned supporter of green technologies, she is a bio-tech engineer and environmental activist
Judah the Giant: with the strength and conviction of a lion, he is a star college athlete descended from the esteemed Macabbi line
Assessment: Suggestions for the Future
- Although Facebook is the perfect vehicle for the way the Color Wars are designed, there is no reason there can’t be an accompanying space on the SuperJews website for those who don’t have Facebook
- It is difficult to distinguish among the three teams from the superheroes’ appearances. If the blue and white uniforms (Israel’s colors) are maintained, the characters should at least have clearly identifying team markers, such as Kabbalah HaMalkah’s red hair
- The character descriptions are very US centric. Even when Israel is mentioned, it is as an “other” rather than the intimate. The Color Wars are clearly an American initiative, but their perspective need not be so apparent
- As it stands, there are 290 Red, 245 Blue, and 226 Green participants. This ratio has held steady from the game’s inception. I am interested to see how the personalities of the three will manifest throughout the game play
- I wonder how the teams will be utilized in the future, both by current supporters and organizations working to galvanize Jewish youth (Birthright, Hillel, JESNA, Jewish camps, day school educators, etc)
- And for personal interest, will the Color Wars distract from American Jews’ practice of Hanukkah that so closely mirrors Christmas? In what ways will it bring us new associations of the holiday?
Additional project support comes from: the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (“the Joint”), the Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA), the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), and Hillel.
Which team are you and what made you identify with its characteristics? What makes you want to compete in the Color Wars? What role do you see for the Color Wars and SuperJews in future Jewish communal innovation and social networking efforts? Can’t wait to hear your thoughts. (Psst: Go Red!)
Learn more about Jewish foundations:
Learn more about using Facebook as a social networking tool:
- “Israel Facebook Network Goes Viral: Cultural Reporting from the Front Lines
- “The Power of Technology: Shimon Peres to be the Oldest Person on Facebook?”
- “Facebook in Turkey: What Makes Turkey #1?”
Learn more about innovative Jewish programming:
- “Slingshot Fund Shows Promise for Next Generation of Jewish Philanthropists”
- “Jewish Camping & Technology: eCamp Israel”
- “Three Ways to Improve Birthright’s Impact: Outreach, Trip Customization, Strategic Thinking”
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