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Moses on Facebook? Kids give thumbs up
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Moses on Facebook? Kids give thumbs up

Synagogue students translate bible stories into cyber-speak

Staff Writer, New Jersey Jewish News

Eighth-graders — from left, Charlie Ehrenfried, Leah Barnet, and Yael David — at the Summit Jewish Community Center consider Hagar’s favorite book for her (fictional) Facebook page, below. (They settled on Desert Survival 101.
Eighth-graders — from left, Charlie Ehrenfried, Leah Barnet, and Yael David — at the Summit Jewish Community Center consider Hagar’s favorite book for her (fictional) Facebook page, below. (They settled on Desert Survival 101.

If Moses were on Facebook, would you friend him? It’s a question eighth-graders at the Summit Jewish Community Center asked each other — after they created Moses’ (fictional) Facebook account on March 7.

According to his page, Moses is a “fan” of God, matza, the desert — and duct tape, for some reason. His relationship status is listed as “complicated.” He gives a “thumbs down” for the Israelite who became a fan of “I gave up my jewelry for the Golden Calf.” He was also tagged in a photo, along with God, the Ten Commandments, and the golden calf.

The exercise was the first in a three-part series led by teacher Emmy Atlas for post-b’nei mitzva students in the high school division of Summit JCC’s religious school. They also created Facebook pages for Hagar — Abraham’s other wife — and Eliyahu Hahavi — the prophet Elijah.

Educational director Stacey David created the class to match the interests of the students, who can spend hours on the popular social networking site.

“It’s definitely their language,” said the center’s Rabbi Avi Friedman.

Nearly every student participated at least a little bit in the 45-minute conversation to create the page for Hagar on March 14, the day a visitor joined them.

Thanks to the students, Hagar’s site lists her relationship as “concubine” and political status as “independent.” It has the following “Wall to Wall” conversation:

Hagar to God: Hey God what’s up can you help me? We’re dying of thirst.

God to Hagar: I’m sending the angel

Comments: @angel: You must have sand in your eyes — there’s a well right in front of you!

The students expressed disappointment that the pages could not actually be posted on Facebook, which prohibits fictional entries.

Afterward, Lexi Kobrin of Summit, 13, said, “It’s really fun and it connects what we do at home on Facebook to the past.”

William Bunyaner, 13, of Berkeley Heights thought it was “cool” because “we got to look at it from [the character’s] point of view instead of just reading about them in a book. You had to think about all the details about them and put them into the profile.”

Of the three, Hagar has the most “friends” from the class, including Emily, Yael, Leah, Emily, Merav, and Alef. They joined Hagar’s other friends, Sarah, Abraham, God, Ishmael, Abraham Lincoln, the angel, and Adam Sandler.

The big question is, will Eliyahu Hanavi get tagged in a photo drinking wine at someone’s seder?

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