By Eli Ajzenman
There is a saying “be careful what you wish for, you may get it “
Speaking with Gary mid last week I was complaining about the slow growth of membership of Panim. Maybe I was doing something wrong, perhaps the format was not right. I spent many nights tweaking and searching other sites to see how I could improve the look.
I have spent countless hours on posting on other blog sites, doing something i always disliked. That is self promotion, in this case, Panim promotion. However i am so passionate, and believe strongly in the concept of what Panim is and can be that I forwent my natural aversion to it and continued.
I even went to the extent of sending out a survey to members (more on that later) to try and glean some insight into the minds of our membership.
Of course I didn’t know about the impending Tsunami that was about to hit.
The weekend passes and come the wee small hours of Monday morning and what seemed to be a trickle of new members, from Brazil, turns into a Flood. After greeting 3 or 4 new members another 3 appear to have signed on, and then more at ever an increasing rate. I am struggling t o keep up and realise that something unique was happening.
As it stands Panim went from 96 members on Sunday Morning to as at writing 142.
Not all from Brazil, but now increasing from Israel, U.S, Canada, and even Sweden. (Yes I know Bruno is Brazilian). So if I wasn’t panicked before about improving the site, I am now. Now so many more people to keep interested. The pleasing part is that many of the new members are already contributing, not just in discussions but with photos, videos and music uploads.
I have a vision of Panim being the premier site for Jews all of the world to join, interact and discover all our wonderful brothers and sisters who make up Kol Israel. Whereas before I believed I now know its possible.
So to all the new members, Welcome and enjoy the ride.
Of course my deepest thanks have to go Mara who was the instigator of this surprising outcome. Her article published in Alef, a Brazilian on line magazine, prompted so many people to join. Kol Hakavod to you Mara. Your passion for Panim is amazing. Also a big thank you to the other admin staff, Gary and Esther, whom without I would have drowned in the rush. They as well have a passion for what Panim can be.
I must add that a number of our regular members, also without prompting joined in and help welcome and make the first experience of Panim a warm and fuzzy one. Thank you to them as well.
With the world in turmoil in the face of the financial crisis, some countries even declaring bankruptcy, Stock markets on a roller coaster ride, Israel without an effective government and unwilling or unable to even stop a “peace boat” entering Gaza it seems that once again the weeks Parshah, this week’s being Noah seems to bring some insight to our world. At least from a Jewish perspective.
The Flood is interpreted in many ways. It is seen as Din (judgement) on a world Hashem has decided needs to be punished for all its excesses, and some interpret it as spiritual cleansing. An immersion into a Mikvah. As the waters subside, the world breathes a breath of fresh air and Noah’s task is to rebuild it physically and spiritually.
Last week I sent out a link for a quick survey asking members to answer nine quick questions about their thoughts of Panim. Disappointingly we received a meagre 17 responses. I am including the link and extending the time for the survey for another week. Please if you care what appears on Panim, please take five minutes to answer this anonymous survey. Click here to start.
I want to congratulate one of our members who had two reasons to celebrate this week. Nadia’s (nads) daughter won the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Award in Perth this week. Nads also had one of her poems published in the Women’s Day. It is a national weekly magazine here in Australia. The Poem “Captivity” appeared in Panim, before that. Thank you Nads, for sharing it with us.
It has been a big week here at Panim, and I am barely over the excitement. Thank goodness it’s Shabbat and I can switch off for a day.
To everyone, enjoy your Shabbat in which ever manner you do, with family, friends and loved ones.