The Shmooze

Atoning for Your Texts on Yom Kippur

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share

At first glance, the ads echo the old “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s real Jewish rye” ads — the ones featuring distinctly non-Semitic faces in ecstasy over Jewish rye bread.

But in a $100,000 campaign that launches this week, the punims belong to scandal-bitten celebrities. And the look-alike ads tout the value of so-called “offlining” — shutting off hand-held devices — on September 18, otherwise known as Yom Kippur 5771.

“You don’t have to be Jewish to atone for your texts on Yom Kippur,” reads the headline on a poster featuring a stricken-looking Tiger Woods. Lindsay Lohan’s exhausted visage adorns an ad whose kicker is “…to make amends for your Tweets on Yom Kippur.” And a wrinkly, smiling Mel Gibson stars in an ad that shares the same message about giving up “drunk dialing for Yom Kippur.”

The offlining movement isn’t exactly organic; the founders of an ad agency and a PR firm teamed up to launch it earlier this year, ostensibly to atone for devoting “much of the last couple of decades to convincing you to log on, click here, call now, surf, search, pay bills in your underwear, trade from the beach, add ‘friends’ to your digital network and … tuck your children in from your mobile device,” according to the Offlining website.

“Offlining, Inc. isn’t selling anything but a balance between offline and online time,” the ad executive, Mark DiMassimo, stated in a press release; his cohort is Eric Yaverbaum, a publicist. “It’s a vehicle through which Eric and I and others can exercise our free speech rights to try to persuade people to turn off their devices from time to time,” DiMassimo wrote. “We don’t know if we’re going to convince Tiger, Mel or Lindsay to join the movement, but we hold out hope that we will.”

Although the sentiments are admirable, we think DiMassimo and Yaverbaum “doth protest too much.” While we’re all for people of all faiths ditching handheld devices 365 days a year, forever, Offlining feels more like a slick reverse-psychology pitch for new business.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Yom Kippur, Yaverbaum, Tiger Woods, Texts, Texting, Offlining, Lindsay Lohan, DiMassimo

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.