CJDS Bar Mitzvah: Not just a social eventA social media event!

The 20 schools in the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy have been working on social media and social fundraising projects this year.  This post is part of a series of posts by the participating schools as they share their work, design and learnings.

The Charlotte Jewish Day School is now in our 13th year as a community day school and we are going to celebrate in a very 21st century way.

As members of this year’s social media academy given by Darim Online, See3 Communications and Big Duck, we have been given a great opportunity.  The AVI CHAI Foundation has offered us a matching grant for money raised through social media, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000!  So we decided to have a “Virtual Bar Mitzvah”.

We hope that the Bar Mitzvah will prove to re-engage our alumni and their families, and to raise some necessary funds.

Our first CJDS graduates are now young adults in their twenties, settled in other communities across the country.  These early graduates and their families are being recognized as “Leap of Faith” families, as their commitment to Jewish Day School education truly laid the foundation for the community school and for the hundreds of children that followed. The class of 2000 was the first graduating class, and some of the students are now in Business School, working at Fortune 500 companies, and working in the medical field.  Our graduates are reconnecting with CJDS and sharing their journey’s and stories of success.

The first part of the celebration was the introduction of “Flashback Fridays” on Facebook.  Each Friday, we post class pictures from early grades at CJDS on the Charlotte Jewish Day School Facebook page.  Former students and their families flock to the Facebook page each Friday to see if they can identify the students and reminisce about the school days on the hill in the trailers.

The second part of the celebration will be the fundraising component. We will be using the online fundraising platform, Crowdrise, to raise money.  The “front” page of the website will have a bar mitzvah invitation inviting “guests” to check out the rest of the site.  It will show team members, the group they are representing, and their goals.  We will use old pictures and videos to create an attractive and engaging environment and to convey the story and generate an emotional connection.  We will strive to have 16 teams, each representing a graduating class or specific group of CJDS stakeholders who may or may not be past parents or grandparents, such as community members, trustees to the Board of Directors, and teachers and staff.  We have identified team captains for each of the 16 teams.  The team captains will outreach to other parents, grandparents, relatives, graduates and friends through email and social media.  They can recruit others to form teams as well.

We are looking forward to seeing how our stakeholders rise (or should we say Crowdrise) to the challenge.  We would love you to check us out (and if you are so inspired, donate!)—http://www.crowdrise.com/CharlotteJewishDaySchool.  Our campaign will be open from April 4 –May 30, 2013.


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