Dr. Hananel Rosenberg

Rabbis, communities, and social networks: traditional structures and new technologies

I study new media technologies, and am particularly interested and intrigued by all aspects of cellphone usage and its effect on our day-to-day lives: on social encounters, the romantic relationships we maintain; on our ‘timeouts’, such as watching a movie, attending theater productions, a ‘disconnected’ backpacking trip in the East; and on traditional social groups, for instance the Amish in the USA and the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) society here in Israel. Recently, I conducted an array experiment with Prof. Menahem Blondheim titled “the sans cellphone experience,” which examines the dependence patterns teens and adolescents develop in relation to the cellphone medium, using strategies from the ‘Deprivation Study’.

In the past year I partook in a research group, accompanied by researchers from the School of Education, in which we examined the interaction between teachers and student on social networks in times of routine (school year) and emergency situations (during Operation Protective Edge). We attempted to understand the usage practices, the motives, and the personal and ethical dilemmas of using online channels in these contexts.

As part of ‘Da’at Hamakom’, I study (under the guidance of Prof. Menahem Blondheim) the phenomenon of rabbis and religious community leaders using social networks for the sake of continuous interaction with their students and community. We wish to examine whether and how the hierarchal relationships carried out through social networks challenge traditional social structures. Furthermore, we wish to examine the manner in which the technological mediation shapes the nature of the relationship between the rabbi and his congregation, the structure of the community, and its boundaries.

Selected Publications

  • Rosenbreg, H., & Rashi, T. (2015). Pashkevillim in Campaigns against New Media: What Can Pashkevillim Accomplish that Newspapers Cannot? In: H. Campbell (Ed.), Digital Judaism (pp. 161-182). London: Routledge.
  • Rosenberg, H (2015). Cellular Phone in Israel. In: Lev-On, A. & Mann, R. (Eds.), Annual Report: The Israeli Media in 2014 Agendas, Uses and Trends (pp. 70-91). Ariel: New Media Research Institute, Ariel University. (Hebrew)
  • Asterhan, C. S., & Rosenberg, H. (2015). The promise, reality and dilemmas of secondary school teacher–student interactions in Facebook: The teacher perspective. Computers & Education, 85, 134-148.‏
  • Rosenberg, H. (2015). Home, Front and Mobile Phones: The case of the Second Lebanon War. Social issues in Israel, 20, 131-155. (Hebrew).
  • Rosenberg, H. (2014). Backpacking Experience and the Mobile Phone. Media Frames, 13, 39-92. (Hebrew).
  • Kohn, A., & Rosenberg, H. (2013). “Collapsing walls and the question of commemoration: Graffiti in the Israeli Withdrawal, August 2005”. Social Semiotics, 23(2), 606-631.
  • Rosenberg, H., & Maoz, I. (2012). “Meeting the Enemy: The Reception of a Television Interview with a Female Palestinian Terrorist among Jewish Youth in Israel”. The Communication Review, 15(1), 45-71.
  • Rosenberg, H., & Kohn, A. (2012). “‘I feel comfortable speaking with you softly’: New Media & Stutters”. Media Frames, 9, 29-68. (Hebrew).