Several numbers structure Susanne Goldstone Rosenhouse’s life. There’s 613, the number of mitzvot that Orthodox Jews like herself observe. And then there’s 140, the character limit on Twitter, where Rosenhouse spends much of her workday.
As founding social media coordinator for the Manhattan-based National Jewish Outreach Project, Rosenhouse, whose handle is JewishTweets, tweets about 12 times per day on myriad Jewish topics. For many of her 8,000-plus followers, Jewish Tweets provides a “sense of community” and is their main link to the Jewish world, she says.
Rosenhouse’s tweets range from trivia and news to questions intended to spark discussions about Judaism (“What was your seder like growing up?”), links to articles and blogs from all over the Web and suggestions of daily Jewish “actions” to take.
Some recent tweets: “It was today, Rosh Chodesh Sivan in Hebrew Year 2448, that the Jews arrived at Mt. Sinai & prepared to receive the Torah!” (May 14, 9:22 a.m.); “Action: If you have a friend or family member in need, find a discreet way to help, such as giving food you ‘over-bought.’” (May 13, 5:32 p.m.)
She answers questions about Judaism (many of which she refers to rabbis), helps connect Shabbat hosts and guests, and reads the posts of the almost 5,000 people she follows. “I don’t want to be followed and not follow back,” she says. “You can’t engage people on Twitter if you just spout, spout, spout.”
She also serves as a program officer at NJOP and was one of the volunteers who helped launch ParnasaFest, a Jewish job-networking event.
Rosenhouse grew up in a Reform but “Chabad-friendly” home in Orange County, Calif. She chose to go to Yeshiva University’s Stern College, where she was one of only a handful of public school grads, because she “loved the idea of a dual curriculum.”
Recently married (she met her husband, also a baal teshuvah and YU alum, through the online site SawYouAtSinai), Rosenhouse lives in Washington Heights and, believe it or not, also has a personal Twitter handle: Susqhb. “It tends to be very Jewy, but I also tweet about things like movies.”
Bet you didn’t know that… Until six months ago, when she got a Droid (“I have Verizon, so the iPhone isn’t in my clutches”), Rosenhouse did not own a smartphone, doing all her Tweeting from computers.
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