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It’s Been A While, But I’m Back…


Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 4.17.14 PMThanks for your patience while we worked out some technical challenges with – I’m looking forward to bringing you more writing, advice and food for thought in this space over the next few months, and hope you’ll be here to think, learn and laugh with me. Until the fresh content is fully baked, I wanted to share these two videos with you.

I’ve started working as freelance community manager for ELI Talks, a program designed to bring TED-style talks and weekly on-air conversations to people who want to explore Jewish engagement, literacy and identity. Most of the time, I’m behind the camera, live-tweeting the weekly conversations (you can see past editions at the ELI Talks website under the section for ELI Talks on Air). But my first run was as an intervieweee – I spoke about my writing on everything from Jewish singles to life after loss; and my next one was as an interviewer, as I spoke to the guys behind the Jewish video site Shmideo. (The links in the previous sentence will take you to MyUrbanKvetch, for the minute-by-minute breakdown, in case you’d like to see a part of the video without sitting down to watch the entire thing. :))

More content to come – looking forward to sharing with you in this space soon! (And a happy Jewish new year to those of you who are celebrating…)

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Video Workshop: “Leadership in the Digital Age”


In May, I was invited to London to speak as part of the Jewish Leadership Council’s Lead Division’s newest initiative, Leading In which was created in response to the desire and need for more leadership skills training, expressed by alumni of Lead’s programmes as well as employers within the community. The JLC, in a blog post about the program, explained:

We believe that Jewish communal leaders need both a deep understanding and knowledge of the UK Jewish Community as well as a core range of leadership skills. Leading In consists of regular bi-monthly evening sessions, open to all who are in a leadership position in the community, both lay and professional. Each session will include a leadership skills based session (a choice of three with the option to participate in a fundraising series over several sessions), an opportunity to network and a masterclass with an inspirational, visionary leader.

The event, held at the London Jewish Museum, was attended by 60 lay and professional leaders from more than 30 Jewish communal organizations. Debbie Klein, chair of JW3 (the about-to-launch Jewish Community Centre), gave the opening keynote discussing leadership tips, and participants chose from workshops like, “Inside the mind of a leader” with Jeff Wolfin, “Fundraising” with Jeff Shear (the second in the series), and my session, “Leadership in the Digital Age: Conversing, Commenting and Creating Meaningful Relationships” (available in its entirety – 1 hour, 22 minutes – below.

“Leadership in the Digital Age” – Esther Kustanowitz, May 2013


Jewish Blogging 101 and 201 Now Online


I recently concluded a three-part webinar series on social media and blogging for the Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California. My presentations from those webinars are now available online. See the “Social Media Basics” webinar here.

Newly uploaded on Slideshare is “Jewish Blogging 101” and “Jewish Blogging 201,” both below.

Does Your Organization Have an Anti-Innovation Checklist?


Is your organization or boss afraid of change? Turned off by technology? Terrified by the prospect of innovation? Then he (or she, or they) might already have an ‘anti-innovation checklist” – a group of core principles and phrases that they trot out in order to discredit new ideas and creativity in favor of the status quo.

The list below comes from a Harvard Business Review post by Youngme Moon, the Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. What other excuses have you heard from individuals who or organizations which resist change? (My favorite is “if it ain’t broke, and even if it is, don’t fix it.”)

My Anti-Creativity Checklist from Youngme Moon on Vimeo.

Are Facebook and Twitter a Fad?


At a recent event about social media and Jewish community, I spoke on a panel with Leah Jones where we addressed what the future of these social media tools might be. More videos from this event are available on my YouTube channel.

Do You Like – or Hate – the New Facebook?


New is scary – who put my friends over there? – because you suddenly feel like you don’t know what’s going on in a territory that you might have known super-well before. But here’s why the new Facebook isn’t all that bad, from tech reporter Sarah Lane over at Current.

EstherK on the TV (a.k.a. “the YouTube”)


I’m a writer by training, but I have other skills too. Check out my online video clips, with more to come shortly:

Comedy, Community & Comfort (ELI Talks, June 2014)

Leadership in the Digital Age (workshop at LEAD, London, UK, May 2013)

ROI Community (Jewish innovation project) and the Jewish Future (IBA News, June 2012)


Rosh Hashanah, Explained on Good Day NY (September 2004)

High Resolutions: Facebook Guy

Blink and you’ll miss me, but I do a dance cameo in the famous “Rosh Hashanah Girl” video.

Esther Gets a Makeover on Life & Style

Let My Parents Go!, featuring my finest overacting skills

Esther interviewed on ParadeTownUSA about the Salute to Israel Parade

If you’ve liked these clips, subscribe to my YouTube Channel, or even better, sponsor my yet-to-be-titled upcoming video show, coming soon in 5770! Got an idea for a show? Wanna be a sponsor? Contact me anytime via the contact form on this site or by email: jdatersanonymous at

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