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Newest Jewish Resident of Israel: Barack Obama

Hopefully, the world is big enough for two Barack Obamas.

One, of course, is the President of the United States. The other, however, is an African-American Jewish convert who recently changed his in an effort to spread awareness about his religion.

According to the Times of Israel, Obama (hereafter referring to the convert, not the Commander-in-Chief), converted to Judaism initially in 1995, eventually converting to Orthodox Judausm in 1997. Three years after becoming an Orthodox Jew, he moved to Israel and started working on getting his name changed.

According to The Washington Free Beacon, Obama’s goal in changing his name to mirror such a well-known public figure is to allow him to be “an advocate for Israel” and to provide him an avenue “to speak out in support of Israel.” Read more

Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

12 Housing Trends to Watch, from Megatel Homes

For decades, Megatel Homes, a second-generation, family-owned custom home building company, has seen home trends come and go. The days of homeowners looking for stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are gone. Today’s home building trends, the company says, focus more on durability and environmental sustainability, rather than looks and flash.

Modern housing trends are what Samuel Rashkin, the chief architect for the US Department of Energy, refers to as “hard trends,” according to Plastic News. While soft trends, such as granite, hardwood flooring or shag carpeting in the 1970s were of the moment, hard trends look to the future, not just of a single house, but of housing across the country.

“There are 12 trends that will make homes more energy efficient, more secure, and more reliable,” a representative from Megatel says. The company believes that, in 2014, there will be a number of hard trends that will impact the housing market. Read more

World Open Education Week With Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson

World Open Education Week begins on March 10th and Dr. Gary Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson, say that it’s an excellent direction for the country’s education system. As co-founders of a foundation that is intended to increase the availability of open digital textbooks in order to make higher education more widely available, you could say that World Open Education Week is right up their alley.

That’s because World Open Education Week is all about making educational materials, and some instruction, available to everyone at no cost.

A free education, available to every child, is one of the core values of America, but World Open Education Week is about something more than that. It’s about making higher education freely available too. Read more

How To Turn Email Subscribers Into Engaged Social Customers

Email marketing has long been an important channel for brands to reach subscribers for their latest deals, promotions, and content. In fact, marketers sent over 838 billion emails in 2013.

But the trouble with inbox marketing is that it happens in vacuum…nobody hears it when a consumer “clicks”.

When you keep a consumer in a private platform to make purchase decisions- you are missing the opportunity to establish a direct dialogue with a potential customer – and their audiences. Thanks to the proliferation of social & mobile platforms, there are now best practices for turning your subscriber list into engaged social customers.

By giving your email subscribers an opportunity to respond publicly via social channels – you can take your silent subscribers and turn them into engaged social participants who then spread your branded message to their audiences. When you give subscribers the ability to respond to a private email offer directly on social media- you dramatically increase your reach and amplification. Emerging technology now allows brands to then directly reach out to those interested consumers with the resources to complete a conversion. Read more

‘Home Spas Provide Exercise Without Exhaustion’ Says ThermoSpas

Many New Year’s resolutions include adopting a fitness program, a trend for 2014 noted by the home spa providers at ThermoSpas. Health and fitness professionals agree that regular use of a hot tub or swim spa is beneficial to long term health. Home spa systems are an easy way to keep your New Year’s resolution to stay fit from the comfort of our own home. Read more

Howard Nutt Reveals Tips for International Travel

Working as executive director and chairman of the board of directors for the Business Development Institute International, Howard Nutt is no stranger to travel.  In fact, throughout his career he has worked with companies in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia Pacific.  Facilitating business deals, providing business development training and consultations, and building professional relationships have required him to refine his travel skills to maximize each trip.  Traveling internationally does not have to become an overwhelming task.  There are numerous ways that people can make sure they are ready for their trip, prevent avoidable hang-ups, and ensure smoother transitions.

1. Maintain a Valid Passport

Nowadays a passport is necessary to travel virtually anywhere, notes Howard Nutt.  Check each country’s entrance and exit requirements before the trip.  Find out if a visa is required, or if there are certain specifications the passport must meet.  Make sure that it will not expire during the trip.  If applying for a passport, do this several weeks before the trip to leave enough time for processing and shipping.

Howard Nutt recommends that people keep their passport on them at all times.  Leaving it in a bag or piece of luggage increases the risk that it will become lost or stolen.  Having it on their body means that they always have proof of identification on hand. Read more Reviews Realtor ORM Basics reviews the online reputation management needs of professionals from all fields, and what the company has found is that no professional community is exempt from the needs of positive online branding—including, and perhaps especially, real estate professionals. According to president Michael Zammuto, this stems largely from the realities of how most consumers find realtors, in this online age. “When somebody wants to find an agent to assist him or her with buying or selling a home, it’s likely that the consumer will turn to the Internet—perhaps to a Facebook search, but more likely to a Google or Bing search,” Zammuto opines. “As such, what individuals find out about a particular realtor can really prove make or break.” Read more

Miami Ad School Opens in New York

The inaugural class of Miami Ad School- New York started their two-year journey this past October and what better place to do so in New York than in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood. In the tradition of finding cool spaces (the Miami location used to be a Masonic lodge; Hamburg was a hospital next to a WWII bunker; San Francisco is in the old Ghirardelli factory) Miami Ad School- New York has found a creative hub in a building right on the East River overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Created as a sugar refinery then used as a warehouse, 10 Jay Street is now home to creative offices and studios which is a great fit for Miami Ad School’s new digital school.

At all Miami Ad Schools, the teachers are working professionals. In New York, Art Direction and Copywriting students learn from teachers from such agencies as Devito Verdi, McGarryBowen, Obscura Digital, Publicis Modem, LBi, R/GA, AKQA, HUGE, Droga5, Y&R and include independent filmmakers/photographers. Mehera O’Brien, director of the New York school says, ”We are ecstatic to finally open our doors in New York. Brooklyn is considered by many to be the heart of New York’s cultural renaissance. It’s the perfect location to be inspired and study creativity.” We look forward to meeting the next class in January and launching the first Account Planning Boot Camp at the New York location in July.