HomeNewsBusinessCultureHealthVideoNewsletter

It’s Not News Unless It’s Jews News

Shalom Life speaks with founder of most popular Jewish Facebook fan page
By: Sammy Hudes
Published: August 17th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News
Eliyokim Cohen

Millions of Jewish people across the world are by now familiar with Jews News, a popular Facebook page that has rapidly risen to prominence during the past eight months.

Founded by Eliyokim Cohen in 2010, the fan page really took off this January when it had around 8,000 likes at the time. Today, it surpassed 300,000 fans, making it by far the largest Jewish-themed page on Facebook.

“I never really put much effort into it until this January when I realized how much potential it had. Then I just sort of started spending all my time on it and now we started putting a lot of money into it through Facebook ads,” Cohen told Shalom Life in an exclusive interview from Israel. “My goal is to have the biggest Jewish Facebook page in the world and to unite the Jewish people. We’re very fractured right now and you see that most clearly in Israel.”

Originally from Boston, Mass., Cohen says he grew up non-observant but still had a “typical Jewish upbringing.” He attended Hebrew school on Sundays and says he always loved Israel, although never fully understood what it meant to be Jewish.

“I just thought it was like any other thing, sort of like a hobby,” he said.

While living in the U.S., Cohen attended college at the University of Georgia. Later in his life, he found himself in trouble with drug addiction for seven to eight years and in 2008 was caught in a high-speed car chase from the police.

Cohen spent some time in prison and decided to make some life changes once he was released. He began learning Torah with a rabbi and soon became observant. After also attending yeshiva, he opted to move to Israel.

“When you’re starting Judaism from scratch, you realize that everything about Judaism revolves around Israel. To live in New York or to live in Atlanta didn’t make any sense to me so I wanted to go to the place that makes the most sense as a Jew,” Cohen says.

He has now lived in the settlement of Shiloh, located about a half hour north of Jerusalem, for two years. Cohen now dedicates much of his time toward his goal of uniting Jewish people around the world.

“Ever since I became observant, I wanted to bring Judaism to people that grew up like me. I always loved being Jewish but never knew why. Everyone’s on Facebook, so I wanted to try and find a way to get Jews together, get them discussing things, and share things with them that they’ve never seen before or I thought were interesting, so I started [the page].”

Cohen posts articles and photos related to Judaism on the page all day long, often every hour or so. Once it gets too late in Israel for him to post, Cohen’s friend in California takes over the page for the next four to seven hours.

There are currently over 200,000 people “talking about” Jews News, according to Facebook, and its weekly reach is 7,000,000 per week. The total reach is close to 80,000,000 says Cohen, the largest of any Jewish page.

Future plans include the launching of a website following the holiday of sukkot in early October. Jews News has also partnered up with Aliyah Magazine, an Israel-based outlet aimed at breaking some of the common stereotypes regarding Israeli life and culture within the Diaspora.

Given the efforts he is putting into the page and its current numbers, Cohen expects to hit 1,000,000 likes in the coming months.

In addition to political commentary and religious messages, Cohen is known to share humourous images on his page, often featuring adorable animals and food art.

“I started realizing that if you post pictures, those are things that people look at the most and share the most. They can just look at a picture, which is brainless,” he says. “It takes two seconds. It just sort of snowballed from there. I want to give everybody something they can find interesting from the page.”

Related articles: Jews News, Eliyokim Cohen, Facebook, Twitter, social media, Jewish, Israel, Shiloh, Boston, Atlanta, Georgia
1 times
Celebrity Chef Ezra Title on His TV Show and Favouite

Shalom Life chats with the “Healthy Gourmet” co-host about local food and why he doesn’t want to open his own restaurant.

Bringing Challah Back: New Recipe!

Try this easy-to-make recipe and bring this Friday night tradition back into your home with mouth-watering challah.

The Perfect Meal with Jewish Celebrity Chefs: Day 2

We celebrate five of the world's best Jewish chefs - Day 2: Jamie Geller.

Exclusive Interview: The Man Who Bit the World

Shalom Life speaks with Noah Galuten the blogger behind the incredible Man Bites World and The Cookbook Blog

Exclusive Interview with Nacho NY's Lee Frank

Shalom Life sits down with the founder of NachosNY, the world's first blog dedicated to our love of all things nachos.

In the Kitchen There's No Nationality or Religion

"Working in the kitchen with sharp instruments doesn't mean we have to kill each other", says one of a team of multiethnic chefs who brought culinary glory to Israel.

Celebrity Chef Ezra Title on His TV Show and Favouite

Shalom Life chats with the “Healthy Gourmet” co-host about local food and why he doesn’t want to open his own restaurant.

Bringing Challah Back: New Recipe!

Try this easy-to-make recipe and bring this Friday night tradition back into your home with mouth-watering challah.

The Perfect Meal with Jewish Celebrity Chefs: Day 2

We celebrate five of the world's best Jewish chefs - Day 2: Jamie Geller.

Exclusive Interview: The Man Who Bit the World

Shalom Life speaks with Noah Galuten the blogger behind the incredible Man Bites World and The Cookbook Blog

Exclusive Interview with Nacho NY's Lee Frank

Shalom Life sits down with the founder of NachosNY, the world's first blog dedicated to our love of all things nachos.

In the Kitchen There's No Nationality or Religion

"Working in the kitchen with sharp instruments doesn't mean we have to kill each other", says one of a team of multiethnic chefs who brought culinary glory to Israel.

news_scroll_down
OUR FACEBOOK FANS
Blogs
Take Responsibility for Your Own

The 19 year old sophomore sat on the exam table looking at the floor. A college student with obvious charm

The Stanford Prison Experiment at

In 1971, researchers set up a prison in the basement of Stanford University's Psychology Department. The idea was to

U.S. vs. Europe: Health Care

As I have tried to make abundantly clear the United States is the only country in the industrialized world that

Hands Off America

Alright, that does it.Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Americans have been willing to do their part for

Fat Returns After Liposuction ...

A study appeared in a journal titled “Obesity” which was reported by a group from the University of Colorado. In

What does Victory Look Like?

Sixty-five years ago today, World War II officially came to an end. On September 2, 1945, Japanese Foreign Minister

JEWISH TWEETS

Share This Story With Your Friends!

Your Name:

Friend's Name:

E-Mail:

Friend's E-Mail:

(This information will not be displayed publicly)

Optional Message: