2012 AJPA Conference American Jewish Press Association
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2012 Conference Session Descriptions
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Sessions Descriptions

Monday, June 11
          Tuesday, June 12         Wednesday, June 13          Thursday, June 14


Monday, June 11

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
"Taste of Philly" Opening Reception
Michael Solomonov, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zahav; Partner, Percy Street Barbecue; Partner, Federal Donuts
Michael SolomonovMichael Solomonov, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zahav; Partner, Percy Street Barbecue; Partner, Federal Donuts
A 2011 James Beard Award winner for "Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic,” Chef Michael Solomonov is the executive chef at Zahav (237 St. James Place, 215-625-8800), Philadelphia’s renowned modern Israeli restaurant. Known for his extraordinary skill at transforming simple foods into artful culinary masterpieces, he is widely regarded as one of the city’s top young chefs and entrepreneurs. In addition to his duties at Zahav, of which he is co-owner, Chef Solomonov is a partner in Percy Street Barbecue (900 South Street, 215-625-8510), a Texas-style barbecue restaurant and bar on South Street that has quickly become known as the best place in Philadelphia for smoked meats, and Federal Donuts (1219 South Second Street, 267-687-8258) a mostly take-out, donuts-and-fried-chicken shop serving exceptional coffee, cake donuts and fried chicken. Later this summer, Chef Solomonov will open Citron and Rose (368-370 Montgomery Avenue), a glatt kosher European-Jewish restaurant and catering company. 
Before opening Zahav, which means "gold” in Hebrew, in 2008, Chef Solomonov was the executive chef at West Philadelphia’s Marigold Kitchen, which he and restaurateur Steven Cook co-owned until 2009.  There, he was named "Rising Star Chef 2007” by Restaurant Hospitality magazine, as well as "Best Chef 2006” by Philadelphia magazine.

Chef Solomonov was the subject of a New York Times feature in 2011 that explored the genesis and continued success of Zahav, which praised his "simple food with layers of flavor.” Zahav was recently elevated to a coveted "Four Bells: Superior” review from the Philadelphia Inquirer, only four other restaurants hold that rating. Esquire named Zahav one of the "Best New Restaurants 2008,” and both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure named Zahav among the top restaurants in the nation in their May 2009 issues. Zahav has also been featured in Food & Wine and Bon Appetit, which selected the restaurant as one of "The Hot 10 Summer Blockbusters.” Philadelphia Magazine named Zahav "Best New Restaurant 2008” in its annual "Best of Philly” issue.
Prior to joining Cook at Marigold Kitchen, Chef Solomonov worked under such top chefs as Marc Vetri at Vetri and Terence Feury at Striped Bass. He is a graduate of the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, FL. Born in Israel, he grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and now calls Philadelphia home.  He frequently travels back to Israel, including an epic 2008 trip with the entire opening team from Zahav to introduce them to the cuisine they would be preparing and serving.

Tuesday, June 12

9:00 am - 10:30 am
Joint Session:
Change in Community Needs
Allen J. Mailman, Managing Partner, Media Design Works, LLC
Larry Platt, Former Editor, Philadelphia Daily News

This session will address both business and editorial perspectives on how media entities need to be adapting to changing community needs.
Allen J. MailmanAllen J. Mailman, Managing Partner, Media Design Works, LLC
With over thirty-seven years of senior management experience on the corporate staff of two national corporate publishing groups, Allen has been involved with all aspects of the media landscape including newspaper, Internet, magazine and book publishing in areas such as IT infrastructure development, publishing technology, shared services operations supporting publishing, financial and business applications, outsourcing IT and business operations, strategic analysis and M&A due diligence reviews.
In 2008 Allen, along with David Parker, founded Media Design Works, LLC, a consultancy to the media industry engaged in a broad range of activities such as IT restructuring, strategic analysis, web design, revenue enhancement and outsourcing of all non-core functions such as IT, editorial CMS, advertising and distribution. To survive and thrive in todays' economic environment, media companies must explore new methods to reduce cost and develop new revenue streams to offset lost revenue from traditional display and classified markets. Allen has a BA from the University of Oklahoma.
Larry PlattLarry Platt, Former Editor, Philadelphia Daily News
A well-known author, magazine and newspaper editor, media executive and national pundit, Larry Platt is the former editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Philadelphia Daily News. Prior to taking the helm at the Daily News in early 2011, Larry was Editorial Director of Metrocorp Publishing, overseeing all editorial personnel and content for the 100-employee publisher of nine titles, including flagship Philadelphia and Boston magazines, respectively.
Editor of Philadelphia since 2002, Platt rejuvenated the storied title and earned widespread critical acclaim. Under Larry, the magazine received its first back-to-back nominations for the much-coveted National Magazine Award in General Excellence and was named the nation’s third-best newsstand performer (behind Cosmopolitan and Barron’s) by Capell’s Circulation Report.
Larry is a nationally recognized writer, penning multiple features on sports, politics, media and business for publications such as GQ, the New York Times Magazine, New York, Men’s Journal, Playboy, and Salon.com, among other publications.  He is the author of three books. In 1999, Avon Books published Keepin' It Real: A Turbulent Season at the Crossroads with the NBA, a chronicle of a year inside the NBA through the eyes of Charles Barkley, Chris Webber, Jerry Stackhouse, Vernon Maxwell, and Matt Maloney. In May 2002, Temple University Press published New Jack Jocks: Rebels, Race and the American Athlete, an anthology of Platt's national sports pieces over the years.
Most recently, Larry is the author of Only the Strong Survive: The Odyssey of Allen Iverson  (Regan Books, October 2002). ("Iverson’s past has been strip-mined by many,” writes Sports Illustrated’s Gary Smith. "Platt has gone back with a hand shovel and sifter and found what everyone missed.”)  Larry, a native Philadelphian and avid tennis player, has appeared on numerous television shows, including Nightline, ESPN Outside the Lines, and HBO Real Sports. Larry is 47 and lives in Ardmore, PA, with his wife, Bet, a second-grade school teacher.

10:45 am - 12:15 pm
Joint Session: 
Social Media Advertising - A General Overview of Facebook and Twitter

Andrew Sternberg, President, The Media Grind
This presentation will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction/Overview of the ad network
  • CPC vs. CPM - What is the difference and what is more effective?
  • Targeting Overview - What is possible, who can they target/connection targeting details 
  • Ad Types - Overview of what Facebook offers (ad units, sponsored stories, etc.)
  • Budgeting (how much should they spend/test?)
  • Results - Effective CTR, actual cost per click and social reach
  • Tactics for success (i.e. research, ad unit variations, ad copy, etc.)
  • Introduction/Overview of the networks
  • Promoted Tweets (what are they, what do they do, where do they appear?)
  • Promoted Accounts (what are they, what do they do, where do they appear?)
  • Account Verification and Analytics
  • Budgeting/barrier to entry
  • Tactics for success (i.e. research)
Andrew Sternberg, President, The Media Grind
Andrew Sternberg developed The Media Grind (TMG) to offer innovative solutions and administer cutting-edge social media campaigns for a vast clientele. Current Media Grind clients include: BBC, AdWeek and Bella Housewares. Before formalizing TMG, Andrew was the Managing Director at Enter New Media where he was the architect of social strategy and brand engagement for clients such as Kaplan Test Prep and Vh1. Before this, Andrew was the Strategic Account Director at Special Ops Media leading digital marketing initiatives with clients such as Nickelodeon Networks, Paramount Entertainment and MTV.

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Business Breakout Session:
Increasing Ad Revenue
Amir Cohen, Mediabuy LLC
The National Network of Jewish Publications (NNOJP) is planning to re-energize the space of National Advertising for Jewish publications. What can YOU learn from their efforts and experience? Sit in on this presentation and participate in a collaborative discussion with Amir Cohen about this topic. Discover the tools and the approach he takes when discussing an ad buy. Enjoy this working session and develop the best approach for your market.
Amir CohenAmir Cohen, Mediabuy LLC
Amir is a seasoned publishing executive with a career that started nearly 25 years ago in Israel. Until recently he was Chief Executive Officer of JFL Media a non-profit educational media organization. Since 1991, when he took the position of Business Manager at the Forward, Amir has been practicing his trade in the United States. He led the New Jersey Jewish News from years of deficits into years of growing profitability while expanding its brand to four different communities. Amir joined the JFL Media board in 2004, was recruited to the position of COO in 2005, and CEO in 2006. Prior to joining JFL Media, Amir owned and operated RI based Mediabuy LLC, an advertising agency and consulting firm that he is now rebuilding. Amir has been active in the Rhode Island Jewish community where he served on the board of the Jewish Federation and the Brown University Hillel. Born in Jerusalem he was a Captain in the Israeli Army and has an MBA from Tel Aviv University. He lives in Providence, with his wife Willa, and sons Jonathan (17) and Benjamin (7). Amir tweets @amir27 and has been known to change his Facebook status once or twice a day.

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Editorial Breakout Session:
Rock the Jewish Vote!
Ira M. Sheskin, Ph.D., Director of the Jewish Demography Project of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies, Professor of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Miami
Traditionally, Jews have voted for the Democratic candidate in national and local elections. In 2008, exit polls showed that 78% of Jewish voters voted for Barack Obama. Of all identifiable American voting groups, only African-Americans voted for Obama at a higher percentage. Will they do so again? This presentation explores the manner in which Jewish geography and demographics coincide so that Jews, who only constitute about 2% of all Americans, manage, because of the Electoral College system, to be a force in American politics. This presentation also looks at such questions as: Are Jews becoming more Republican, as the Republican Jewish Coalition claims, or are they likely to remain loyal to the Democratic Party? What are the most important issues to Jews when they vote for president?
Ira M. Sheskin, Ph.D., Director of the Jewish Demography Project of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies, Professor of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Miami
Dr. Sheskin has completed 41 major Jewish community studies for Jewish Federations throughout the country. In the past five years, he has completed studies for West Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, Detroit, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Middlesex County (NJ), San Antonio, Allentown (PA), and Portland, Maine. He is currently working on a study for New Haven, Connecticut. 
He has also been a consultant to numerous synagogues, Jewish day schools, Jewish agencies and Jewish Community Centers throughout the country. In total, he has completed over 110 studies for over 80 Jewish organizations and commercial entities.
Dr. Sheskin was a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee of United Jewish Communities from 1988 to 2003. This committee completed both the 1990 and 2000-01 National Jewish Population Surveys.  He also serves on the board of the North American Jewish Data Bank.
His publications include books entitled Survey Research for Geographers and How Jewish Communities Differ. He is the author of numerous articles on Jewish demography, including the annual article on Jewish demography which appeared in the American Jewish Year Book and is now published on www.jewishdatabank.org.

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm
Business Breakout Session:
Making Money Through Creating Events
Warren Hoffman, Senior Director of Programming, Gershman Y
With so much competition in the field of programming, how does one create compelling events that will grab the public’s attention and turn a profit? Whether you’re looking to improve or turn around your current programs, or are just starting out and are not sure where to begin, The Gershman Y’s Senior Director of Programming, Warren Hoffman will serve as a guide on how to reach new audiences, contain costs, and maximize income.
Warren HoffmanWarren Hoffman, Senior Director of Programming, The Gershman Y
Warren Hoffman is Senior Director of Programming for The Gershman Y, Philadelphia’s premier home for Jewish arts and culture. Since his tenure with the organization in 2008, Warren has turned around the organization’s programming with a variety of innovative programs including Barbrapalooza! (A Barbra Streisand Festival), The Philadelphia Seder, cabaret and theater offerings, and new classes and book programs. Warren holds a Ph.D. in Jewish American literature from UC-Santa Cruz and has taught at multiple universities. He is the author of The Passing Game: Queering Jewish American Culture (Syrcause Univ. Press). Previous to his time at The Gershman Y, Warren was the literary manager/dramaturg for Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Associate Artistic Director of Jewish Repertory Theatre in New York.

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm
Editorial Breakout Session:
Lessons Learned from the Tough Stories
Gary Rosenblatt, Editor and Publisher, The Jewish Week
Sexual abuse, financial scandal, religious leaders in trouble with the law - when Jewish newspapers publish important stories like these, they often face criticism from those who feel they shouldn’t have been reported in the first place. In this session we’ll discuss the kind of things to consider when researching and writing the tough articles, and share tips on sourcing, writing, consulting with management, and dealing with the aftershocks.
Gary RosenblattGary Rosenblatt, Editor and Publisher, The Jewish Week of New York
Gary Rosenblatt has been editor and publisher of The Jewish Week of New York, the largest Jewish newspaper in America, since the summer of 1993. Previously, he was editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times for 19 years.
Gary has won numerous journalism awards from both the Jewish and secular press for his writing, and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 1985 -- the first time an article in the Jewish media was cited in the competition. His series of articles in 2000 on a rabbi accused of abusing teenagers for three decades won several national awards and has been cited as a landmark in Jewish investigative reporting. The rabbi was arrested, convicted and served a prison term.
Gary is founder and chairman of The Conversation, an annual retreat for American Jewish leaders and emerging leaders; founder and chairman of The Jewish Investigative Journalism Fund; and founder and chairman of Write On For Israel, an advocacy program for Israel -- through journalism -- for high school students.

Wednesday, June 13

9:00 am - 10:30 am
Joint Session:
Israel Session
Chemi Shalev, U.S. Editor, Haaretz
Chemi ShalevChemi Shalev, U.S. Editor, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev is the New York-based U.S. Editor for the Haaretz daily newspaper. He also pens an online blog for Haaretz.com on relations between Israel, the U.S. and the American Jewish community, entitled West of Eden.
Chemi has been covering the Arab-Israeli diplomatic process, US-Israeli relations and Israel’s internal politics for close to thirty years. Previously he was deputy editor of the Israel Hayom daily and has served as diplomatic correspondent and commentator for the Israeli dailies Maariv, Davar and Jerusalem Post.
Chemi's columns on Israeli affairs have been quoted in major newspapers throughout the world. He has been a guest-commentator on CNN, BBC, Sky, CBS and other television networks during times of Middle East crisis and has served as CNN’s guest expert during several Israeli election campaigns. For many years, Chemi was the Jerusalem correspondent for the New York-based Jewish weekly The Forward and has also served as associate editor of the Australian Jewish News.

10:45 am - 11:45 am
Business Breakout Session:
Advertising Acceptability: Protecting Your ASSets
David Cohen, Senior Executive for Israel and Middle East Affairs, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
In the current climate of increasingly polarizing opinions around Israel, the US/Israel Relationship, and Global Religious Extremism, newspapers have been brought into the middle of some very contentious political debates. The editorial pages are of course one thing, but quite another are the paid advertisements routinely submitted by issue driven organizations. The level of discretion publishers have when deciding what is appropriate content – in the advertising pages – is quite different than how decisions are made regarding the opinion pages. A well written Advertising Acceptability Policy can often go a long way in making life much saner for the embattled publisher. This session will take an intriguing look at case studies that confront the essential debate over free expression and community standards, and ultimately focus on the Jewish community and a recent case study from the publishers of The Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia.
David CohenDavid Cohen, Senior Associate for Israel and Middle East Affairs, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
David Cohen has spent over fifteen years working as a Middle East policy analyst, Jewish educator and Israel programs director – in both the U.S. and Israel. Currently, David is the Senior Associate for Israel and Middle East Affairs at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. David previously served as Associate Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League’s New England Region where his portfolio included responding to civil rights violations, conducting media outreach, writing press releases, and crafting opinion pieces on anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias. David was also the host of his own internet radio program called "The Cohen Side” which was featured on CyberstationUSA.com.
David earned his BA in History from Brandeis University and his Masters Degree in International Political History from Boston University. David studied European Politics and International Law at King’s College in London; and is currently finishing a Masters Degree in Jewish Educational Leadership through Hebrew Union College.

10:45 am - 11:45 am
Editorial Breakout Session:
Collaborate Now!
Facilitated by: Sue Fishkoff, Editor, j. the Jewish weekly of Northern California
As budgets shrink and layoffs continue, it becomes ever more important to come up with creative ways of working together. In this member-facilitated forum, we’ll brainstorm about sharing freelancers and columnists, developing regional partnerships, creating national campaigns, and other ideas for stretching our dollars and working more smartly. Come prepared to think big!

11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Lunch/Joint Session:
Panel Discussion with Local Press
Hernan Guaracao, Founder & CEO, AL DIA News Inc.
Jerry Modesire, Publisher, Philadelphia Sun
Dan Tsao, Publisher, Metro Chinese/Vietnamese Weekly
This session will include a panel of editors from other ethnic press associations in the Philadelphia area - Hispanic, African American and Chinese/Vietnamese - to explore the challenges and opportunities we all face.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Business Breakout Session:
Case Study: Reinventing the Jewish Community Newspaper for the Digital Age
Kelani Nichole, User Experience Strategist, Tabula Creative

Kelani Nichole will present a case study to illustrate the unique challenges that Jewish Publishing Companies face in the digital age. The study will focus on the three main aspects of building a progressive digital publishing strategy: Digital Sales, Marketing and Branding.

BrandingAuthenticity, Brand Recognition and Cross-generational Appeal
A look at the process of reinvigorating an established print brand and building a digital identity that can support increased value for the Jewish Community Newspaper.

MarketingBuilding Value Through Targeted Advertising and an Aggressive Social Media Strategy
A strategic approach to producing a dynamic advertising platform and forward-thinking social engagement strategy.

Digital SalesContent Monetization, Subscriptions and the Roadmap for a Profitable Digital Publication Platform
A progressive model for digital subscriptions and user-supported revenue streams designed to support an adaptable digital reading experience for the next generation of readership.
Kelani Nichole, User Experience Strategist, Tabula Creative
Kelani has over eight years of experience building progressive digital strategies for clients in the Education, Publishing and Cultural sectors including Harvard, International Schools Services, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Hidden City Philadelphia, The Academy of Natural Sciences and The Jewish Exponent. She leads the User Experience and Content Strategy practice at Tabula Creative Communications, a full-service digital agency located in the Old City Neighborhood of Philadelphia.  

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Editorial Breakout Session:
"Best Practices" in Social Media
Itai Elizur, Audience Development Associate, The Forward
Bob Goldfarb, Director of Marketing and Audience Development, The Forward
This presentation will outline "best practices” in social media and discuss how The Forward incorporates them in its overall digital strategy, both in the newsroom and in marketing.
As an introduction, we will present current statistics demonstrating the importance of social media in today’s news environment. Then, we will give examples of each of the three main values of social media for digital news organizations: assisting editors and reporters in the newsroom to collect and monitor information; helping news outlets to build their brand value and relevance by engaging their readers; and driving direct traffic to their sites.
We will also show how any news organization, regardless of size and nature, can by implement a social-media strategy with a three-pronged strategy: optimizing messages on the different social platforms, making content more interactive, and widening the audience.
Itai Elizur, Audience Development Associate, The Forward
As the Audience Development Associate at The Jewish Forward, Itai Elizur is responsible for expanding the audience, visibility and influence of The Forward through traditional marketing, digital platforms, social media channels and events. He also, oversees creative new initiatives online and manages The Forward's social network platforms and digital communities.
Itai has held several positions in Israeli media.  He was homepage editor for the leading Israeli news website, NRG Maariv, and broadcasting producer and anchor on IDC Radio 106.40 FM. Recently he served as the U.S Correspondent of the Jerusalem based newspaper Makor Rishon. Itai has also published articles in numerous Israeli publications and popular websites such as Ynet, Mako and Maariv.
Itai, 26, is a native of Tel Aviv, Israel and an honors graduate of the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya. He is currently completing his M.A. in Media Studies and Management at The New School University in New York.
Bob GoldfarbBob Goldfarb, Director of Marketing and Audience Development, The Forward
Bob Goldfarb has worked in marketing and media for more than three decades, including radio, the recording industry, the music business, and print and web publications. His experience includes the strategy and execution of media campaigns through display advertising, broadcast commercials, and web advertising, direct mail, public relations, and public events.  At The Forward he is responsible circulation-building efforts, coordinates with the PR firm that the newspaper retains, supervises the planning of marketing materials for advertising sales and fundraising, and oversees social-media strategy. He studied marketing at Harvard Business School, where he received his MBA, and is an honors graduate of Harvard College. Formerly publisher of Zeek Magazine, Bob has also blogged about Jewish media for eJewishPhilanthropy.org, and was the subject of a profile in Seattle’s JTNews in 2003 written by Joel Magalnik.  Bob lives in New York City.

Thursday, June 14

9:00 am - 10:15 am
Joint Session:
Launching the Metered Model: Successful Digital Revenue Strategies from Over 350 Publishers
Matt Skibinski, Vice President for Affiliate Relations, Press+
RR Donnelley’s Press+ has helped 357 publishers, including newspapers, magazines, websites, trade publications, and newsletters launch metered paid models on their digital products. Learn how these publishers are generating new revenue from digital subscribers, and how not a single publisher has lost display ad revenue from launching with this method. Hear specific examples and best practices from data collected from the over 350 launches on the Press + platform, including:
  • How to implement the metered approach to transition to a paid model without losing audience or a nickel of advertising revenue
  • How an "opt-in” and "opt-out” print/online bundle can increase overall circulation revenue by double-digit percentages with no downside
  • How to leverage "All-Digital Access” bundles so that readers purchase one digital subscription for all versions of your content
  • How you can launch a paid-content initiative in a few days with NO technology investment
Matt SkibinskiMatt Skibinski, Vice President of Affiliate Relations, Press+
Matt Skibinski is the Vice President of Affiliate Relations for RR Donnelley’s Press+ e-commerce platform for publishers. Since joining Press+ in 2009, he has helped over 350 news publishers analyze, plan, and execute metered paid content models on their digital products -- without losing advertising revenue, audience, or influence. He is a graduate of Tufts University.

10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Joint Session:
Using History to Report
Jonathan Sarna, Ph.D., Chief Historian, National Museum of American Jewish History; Joesph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University
Leah Berkenwald, Online Communications Specialist, Jewish Women's Archive 
Seth Chalmer, Assistant Director, Berman Jewish Policy Archive
Ami Eden, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, JTA

See firsthand how several organizations are making use of archival material to inform current-day readers.




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