Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Entering the Age of Social Media

The October events have convinced us here at Catholics for Israel that we need to be ready to respond in a quicker way to current issues when they arise.  And so in the last weeks we have significantly upgraded our internet presence by joining the age of social media. Here is a little summary of our new services, which we have customized with pictures of Israel so that you may at the same time catch a glimpse of some of the Holy Land's beautiful sites and sceneries:
  • The Catholics for Israel website remains the center and hub of Catholics for Israel's presence on the internet.  This is where you will find general information about us, our mission statements, our unique online course for evangelization and catechesis (with PowerPoint presentations and handouts), Church documents, and articles and essays on biblical and theological topics pertaining to Israel, the Messiah, and the Church.  These resources are available in up to five languages (English, French, Italian, German, Hebrew).  Brief, moderated comments on the articles are also welcome.
  • The other CFI "veteran" on the web is our discussion forum.  This is your place - where you can join in or initiate discussions and debates on the topic of your choosing (hopefully in some way related to our mission).  Animated and even heated discussions are welcome - of course all carried out in a dignified and respectful manner.
  • The first new kid on the block is our blog (which you are reading now), set over the background of the beautiful hills of Judea.  Why do we need a blog in addition to the website, and what will be the difference between them?  The website will now be the home of our more permanent and "timeless" resources and materials (theology, Church documents, biblical exegesis, catechesis, testimonies, history, liturgy and prayer, etc.). The blog, on the other hand, will treat of more current events, such as commentaries and opinions on items in the news, and more personal entries such as journaling and the sharing of daily life and experiences in Israel, etc...  From now on, our newsletters (such as the one you are reading now) will also be posted on the blog.
  • Catholics for Israel has also created its own YouTube channel.  Set over the calm waters of the Sea of Galilee at sunset, watch videos from our collection of favorites on topics ranging from the Bible, Judaism, Israel's history, land, people, and culture, the Middle East conflict, the Messiah, the Catholic faith, the pope and the Jewish people, testimonies, and more.  Most of these videos are now directly available from our homepage, easily accessible under a row of tabs.
  • Of course, no social networking would be complete without Facebook and Twitter, and Catholics for Israel is now present on both of these platforms. They will serve as forums for posting current events and news as well as publishing our responses.  Facebook posts will be open for reader comments and discussion, while our tweets, set  over Mount Scopus, the Mount of Olives and Temple Mount in the Holy City of Jerusalem, will also be reposted on our website and blog. 
Additionally, we also recommend signing up to Holy Land News, the video news broadcast of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, produced from Jerusalem and posted weekly on YouTube.

Please support us in our work of furthering the reconciliation of Israel and the Church!  There are a number of ways by which you can do this.  First, follow us on  Facebook and/or Twitter to stay abreast of current events, and visit our website and blog regularly. Second, please consider making a donation.  A few $50 donations or purchases of our online course can go a long way in supporting our translation work and in helping us to spread the Church's message of reconciliation to Israel.  Third - and perhaps most importantly - please pray for us!

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