Eileen Levinson, Founder & Creative Director
Wendy Jackler, Program Manager
Custom and Craft Los Angeles is a design studio & media lab formed in 2015 as the expansion of the web-platforms, Haggadot.com and CustomandCraft.org. We train Jewish community members in the production, distribution and best practices of online video creation. Our participants include both local organizations and individual lay leaders, committed to sharing their unique Jewish wisdom through new forms of online media, including short, shareable videos and social media engagement. Through our collective efforts of content creation, our studio gives local Jewish thought leaders the tools to connect with wider audiences within Los Angeles and beyond.
Our mission champions the “Both / And” perspective (Elu v’Elu). We believe that Judaism thrives as a collective of many voices and perspectives. Multiple sides of an issue can be discussed and accepted. Our goal is enable the many voices to share their individual wisdom with wide audiences online.
We also operate as a partnership (“Brit”). We don’t simply create content for clients. We have created a cohort of participants who receive trainings together so that they may exchange ideas and learn from each other’s success and challenges. Throughout the year, we create a content plan together and help partners develop the tools to continue the creative process on their own. As each organization shares their own content on their social media channels, we encourage them to promote each other’s work through tagging & reposts, helping everyone build their audience as a collective. We also promote their work on our websites, www.Customandcraft.org, www.Haggadot.com, and our Facebook page.
Inspired by “Lech Lecha”, we’re also encouraging organizations to take the next step in their communications strategy. Many organizations feel intimidated by new social media tools, let alone online video. Through our low-cost program (subsidized by the LA Jewish Community Foundation) we incentivize organizations to try new communications formats that they might otherwise not make space in their budget for. We hAs the year goes on, they learn by doing, even if they were previously un
Our program accepts eight annual cohort members, who receive a year of training sessions, and weekly consultations. We work with each partner to clarify their brand message, experiment with new trends on social media, and to create and share 24 videos throughout the year. We also host open studios events in our studio for the larger Jewish community, with camera & sound equipment, and editing stations. By the end of 2016, we will have created 200 videos shared on our partners’ individual social accounts, and on our websites Customandcraft.org and Haggadot.com.
We’ve seen the online audiences for our cohort participants double in the six months that we’ve been working together. In the six months prior to our program, our collective reach was approximately 192,000 users. In the six months of working together, we’ve reached over 527,000 users.
As our participants have started to roll out their videos, we’ve seen individual videos to get at least 2-3x the views of normal posts, and in some cases, up to 10x the views. Our best example so far is Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. Before we started working with them, their videos each got maximum of 200 views. Videos that we now create with them, or consult on, get a minimum of 1,200 views. You can view their content on both Custom & Craft, and Haggadot.com.
Jewish life might find its roots in ancient wisdom, but the methods for delivering that wisdom can rely on new models. What we’re creating is no different in spirit than the Talmud, it just looks different in outcome. We’re still providing the outlet for various perspectives on Judaism to share their voice in the medium of the day.
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