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The Value of Storytelling

“Share a story. Move someone.”

This was the lesson conferred by Geoffrey Melada, Hillel International’s Director of Communications, on a busy Friday afternoon in the midst of Shabbat preparations. Speaking to UD Hillel’s marketing team and Israel interns, Melada shared insights to working in the Jewish world, how to utilize effective media skills and the emphasis on the value of sharing a story.

As a social media intern at Hillel, I learned that the most effective way to engage people is to “move” them.

People will not sign up for Birthright with lackadaisical posts on Facebook or Twitter, telling them how much fun they will have riding a camel in the desert or floating in the Dead Sea. Telling is easy, Melada shared.

You need to show them, inspire them, move them to sign up. Instead, find a friend who went on Birthright and make a visual or quick video, sharing how their travels to Israel brought them lifelong friends, changed their perspective on what it means to be Jewish and helped them grow as a person.

The value of storytelling applies to all parts of our lives. Stories open doors for people to connect. Community is built when we share stories with friends, RAs, and even professors. When you have a free moment, ask your professor what their story is, what they care about. Ask your friend about the hardest time of their life, ask your RA why they do what they do. These moments are important. They move people and establish connections.

Sarah Bernstein is a member of the class of 2020

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