A guest post from Ronen Rahaman of Temple Sinai, Las Vegas
It happened quite by accident. One day, as I was adjusting my eyes to the new timeline layout, thinking of how Facebook had changed almost everything, I suddenly realized that I have a large amount of real estate at the top of my page that I need to fill. We had no cover photo and the page looks so sad without one that I knew something needed to go there. So what did I do? Put a picture (actually a rendering) of our campus up and called it a day.
Initially it seem as if the problem was solved, however as I continued to return to the page to check “Likes”, I quickly became bored and sad to see the same cover photo day in and day out. The thought of seeing the same photo at the top of our page for the rest of Facebook’s existence (which I assume is eternity) seemed unbearable to me and if I felt that way, what were others thinking?
That is when divine inspiration stepped in and it occurred to me that I don’t need to keep the same cover photo and that if I looked at it as a blank canvas where I could change the photo to coincide with something that was current and Jewy, I would be giving users a reason to come back to see, what may be considered, and new page.
This all occurred just prior to Passover so I put up a picture of some Matzah, four cups of wine, and a Haggadah. It was a simple and clean photo, but very timely none the less. Feeling very self-satisfied with my effort I enjoyed Passover and looked forward to checking the page daily.
So now Passover has passed over. I check our page and in an instant the thought flashes. Ok, now what? I had better come up with something quick. Knowing that Yom HaShoah was coming and that Temple Sinai was hosting the memorial that year, I changed the photo to one that I find tells a powerful story. That’s when the second moment of divine inspiration occurred: this blank canvas can tell a story.
Since then I’ve viewed that space and precious real estate on the page. It’s where I can make a statement, inspire thought, inform, or tell a story. How powerful is that? Since then, it’s been my personal challenge to find photos that keep people engaged and the page relevant.
Our guidelines for the photo are simple. They have to be the right size for Facebook, Jewish related, and be about something that is bigger than just Temple Sinai of Las Vegas. Holidays, major events in Jewish history, and other Jewish milestones are usually what we look for.
Future efforts will include a submission contest to further engage the congregation to submit photos that they would like to share.