How does the digital age change Jewish & pro-Israel advocacy?

Jan 5, 2018 | Uncategorized

Consider this:

The biggest taxi company in the world – Uber – does not own any taxis.

The biggest hotel company in the world – AirBnB – does not own any real estate.

And one of the biggest retailers in the world – Amazon – does not have a single brick and mortar store.

The world is rapidly changing and businesses are being forced to rethink the most basic assumptions about their business. MBA professors call this process ‘digital transformation.’

CIJA is the advocacy agent of the Jewish federations of Canada. Our job is to advance the public policy interests of the organized Jewish and pro-Israel community.

Now maybe you’re wondering what that has to do with the ‘digital transformation’ process. Well, it’s simple really:

If the entire business world is being forced to adapt to the digital revolution, why would we think our business – advocacy – is going to be any different?

It’s not. In fact, we’ve already adapted to stay on the cutting edge. Here are three examples:

1. Action Alerts

We now use ‘Action Alerts’ that make it easy for members of our community to write their elected officials on important legislation, ranging from genetic discrimination, to palliative care, to bias against Israel at the United Nations.

Writing to politicians used to take hours – you had to research the topic, understand the proposed legislation, find your MP’s address, and walk to the Post Office (not the mention write the actual letter!).

Our software has enabled over 20,000 Jewish and pro-Israel advocates to send over a hundred thousand letters in less than two minutes.

2. Videos 

We create videos to help politicians and members of our community understand complex public policy issues.

For example, when Statistics Canada released numbers showing the the Jewish community was the most frequently targeted community for hate crimes, there were understandably a lot of questions. We created a short video so that our community understood both the facts and the context about this troubling news. 

Creating videos used to be expensive and time consuming, but now it’s part of our everyday work! (Did you know Facebook generates over 8 billion video views every day?)

3. Online Engagement

We also use online surveys to ensure we’re accurately representing the interests of our community. You can’t beat in-person conversations (which is why we hosted 9 Grassroots Community Consultations across the country last January, with the latest round scheduled for this month), but sometimes people aren’t able (or just don’t have the time) to make it out in person. Thanks to the digital era, we’re able to get feedback from the community directly, frequently, and in real-time.

Those are just three ways CIJA is undergoing a digital transformation. And since our aim is to continue making a real impact in Canadian Jewish advocacy, our digital transformation has only just begun.

Perhaps you’re wondering how your role as an advocate has changed in this new digital era. Head over to cija.ca/digital-advocate to get a free e-book that’ll help you become a better Jewish and pro-Israel advocate online. Digital Advocates receive occasional emails from our digital team alerting them of opportunities to take action for the Jewish and pro-Israel community online.

How do you think the digital era will change advocacy? Send me a Tweet (@richardclark) to tell me what you think.

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