Oberlin College, 1983
B.A., Creative Writing
San Jose State University, 1992
M.A., Instructional Technology (focus on interface design)
Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, 1986
President, Blum Interactive Media, Ltd, 1996-present
I founded Blum Interactive Media in 1996 to consult in the CD-ROM/multimedia industry. It quickly morphed into an Internet developer and eventually into my corporate entity offering my writing and media production services. Today, I write for a mix of newspapers, universities, online publications, non-profit organizations and other companies’ blogs.
For Shavei Israel, I write about “lost tribes” and “Hidden Jews.” For Israel21c, my articles focus on hi-tech startups in Israel and the entrepreneurs behind them. For my university clients, I write about professors, students and outstanding alumni. (I write much of Bar-Ilan’s annual glossy magazine.) I have written for Classified Intelligence Report since 2004, covering the classified advertising industry. My work for Teva was mainly for their IT department. I have recently edited two books of non-fiction for clients. The first was published in 2012 and the second recently found a publisher.
I do travel writing too. Here’s a long piece about our family trek in Nepal that appeared in The Jerusalem Post. Here’s another piece for The Post on my personal experience owning and driving a Better Place electric car (kind of a travel piece). My most recent piece at Haaretz was on a silent Jewish meditation retreat.
Completely unrelated to my writing work, Blum Interactive Media is also the publisher of iAccomplish, an app for the iPhone and iPad that helps users understand where they spend their time during the day, and is based on principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In addition, I developed Bloggerce, a free web tool that allowed bloggers to quickly turn selected posts into eBooks; and The Streets of Jerusalem, a prototype for interactive map-based video advertising in the Holy City.
Writer, Shavei Israel, 2009-present
Shavei Israel is a non-profit organization that assists “lost” and “hidden” Jewish communities around the world. I write articles about individuals who have been helped by Shavei Israel, consult on social media, publish a monthly newsletter, and produce video profiles and “viral” videos. I also manage the Shavei.org website. Sample profile articles include Daniela Malec, a “Hidden Jew” from Poland and Dr. Aaron Abraham from Mumbai, India.
Writer, Israel21c, 2005-present
Cover hi-tech for Israel21, an online publication presenting “Israel beyond the conflict.” Recent articles include a review of top ten gadgets from Israel and a look at new self healing software from IBM Israel. For some articles, write a related second version for publication by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A complete listing of my hundreds of articles for Israel21c can be found here.
Senior analyst/writer at AIM Group, 2004-present
I work as an analyst, blogger and editor covering the newspaper industry, classified advertising (the migration away from print as well as the Internet-only firms that have decimated the newspaper business), interactive media and social networking for the Advanced Interactive Media Group, publishers of Classified Intelligence Report. I’ve written hundreds of articles profiling media publishers across the world, as well as special reports on real estate, automotive classified advertising and Craigslist. Sample articles include a look at how much money The New York Times would save if it dropped print and went all digital and nine tips for alternative business models for newspapers. My current beats are Canada and Israel; previously I covered real estate an automotive classifieds.
Book Editor, 2010-present
I edited several books, including “Faith Unravels” by Daniel Greyber (the story of a rabbi’s crisis of faith after a friend dies, published in 2012); “Marrying the Y-Divide by Aryeh Pamensky (a marriage counseling manual); and “The Bell Tower” by Walter Blum (a fictional work about a young man’s journey through radio and love in the 1950s).
Writer, Bar Ilan University, 2010-present
I write articles for the annual Bar Ilan University Today magazine, as well as other online publications, focusing on outstanding scientists, alumni and graduate students at the institution. Sample articles have looked at research into a new methodology for diagnosing ADHD; development of new methods for fighting the aging process; and a profile of Oren Harmon, the author of “The Price of Altruism,” named one of the top 100 science books of 2011 by The New York Times.
Writer, Jerusalem College of Technology, 2011
I wrote and edited the annual JCT Perspective Magazine, which focuses on interviews with scientists, as well as updates on campus activities. I also worked with the president of JCT on internal and external communications material. Sample articles include an interview with a professor attempting to synthesize the theory of relativity with quantum mechanics; a profile of one of the leading researchers in Israel working with nano-optics; and a genetic approach towards addressing post-partum depression.
Writer, Hebrew University, 2012
I write for the university’s department of external relations. My most recent project was a series of four articles on leading researchers in the area of nano-technology, nano-medicine and nano-materials.
Media Trainer, NetOptics, 2013
Working with Linda Lovitch Communications, I participated in one-on-one media training for an executive at this hi-tech company. I played the “role” of a journalist interviewing the executive while Linda provided guidance on how best to present himself to the media.
Writer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, 2010-present
I wrote the quarterly Teva Global IT newsletter for internal IT publication. The articles were technical in nature but always started with one-on-one interviews and were, true to my promise, “journalistic in style (probably a first for an IT group). Examples include the automation of a Teva production facility and the back end integration of a major European pharma company acquired by Teva in 2010.
Blogger, Israelity, 2009-present
I post twice-weekly articles about life in Israel with a focus on innovation and fresh takes on local news items. Recent articles include a look at a unique Israeli wine made from pomegranates and how technology affects the brain (and how the Jewish holidays can help).
Blogger, This Normal Life, 2002-present
“This Normal Life” is a weekly blog about so-called “normal” life in Israel. The column is occasionally cross posted to a number of other blogs and to regional Jewish newspapers in the U.S. Started in 2002, This Normal Life is one of the oldest Israeli publications in the blogosphere and attracts thousands of readers a month. Sample articles include a subversive approach to marriage in Israel and a report on the tragic death of a local Jerusalem teenager.
Author, “The Shiputz Book: the First English Language Guide to Surviving a Home Renovation in Israel, 2009-present
In final stages of production of this self-published book, which helps readers steer clear of the nightmares of home renovation in a strange land. Publication focus is on digital delivery, in particular for the Kindle and iPad platforms.
Writer, Jewish and Israel publications, 2005-present
I regularly contribute articles to The Jerusalem Post as well as other Israeli and Jewish publications such as The Jerusalem Report, Haaretz and Hadassah Magazine. Sample articles include a uniquely Israeli experience at the movies, a trip to the Jelly Belly Factory in California, and a “back stage” look at the business of Jacob’s Ladder, Israel’s leading folk music festival.
Producer and Host, “Brainwaves,” 2011-present
I host a two-hour weekly “eclectic alternative” music program called Brainwaves on several Internet radio stations, including andHow.FM and Rock XS. Previously, the show aired on ErrorFM and Radio Free Nachlaot. An archive of the show with playlists can be found here, and the most recent episodes also stream on Mixcloud. Previously produced Indiescrete, an independent/alternative music podcast, which presented and promoted exclusively music from independent and small label bands.
Writer, Gift of Life, 2011
I interviewed recipients and donors of bone marrow transplants for this non-profit organization’s blog.
Editor, Shaffer Enterprises, 2009-2010
I edited a 500-page curriculum to teach Hebrew to English speakers. The project also included recording and editing 150 audio snippets for the dialogues contained in the curriculum.
Vice President Marketing, Comverse, 2001-2004
As a VP of Marketing for telecommunications provider Comverse, I helped craft branding and positioning; worked with PR and advertising functions; wrote marketing collateral; spoke at industry conferences around the world; gave corporate presentations to analysts; served as the company’s liaison to the Mobile Entertainment Forum; and managed the company’s public-facing website and corporate Intranet. Also wrote and directed an interactive multimedia software simulation that demonstrated a new product strategy and was tested with focus groups in Europe, the U.K. and the U.S.
Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Jerusalem Global Ventures, 2000
I helped evaluate hi-tech companies for investment for a leading venture capital firm.
Founder and CEO, Onago, 2000
I founded startup building an application enabling on-demand group creation for mobile devices using WAP. Presented before many VCs in Israel, Europe and U.S. before market crashed.
Founder and CEO, Neta4, 1997-1999
I founded Neta4, a startup which developed a personalized web publishing platform. The company raised over $3 million and grew to a staff of 25 in Jerusalem, New York and San Francisco. Position involved full range of entrepreneurial skills, including conceptualization; fund raising; negotiations; working with legal, HR (recruitment) and advertising; product definition and management; presentation at industry events; frequent overseas travel to conferences; and interfacing with investors and board of directors.
Author, Interactive Media: Essentials for Success, Ziff-Davis Press, 1996
I wrote a popular consumer paperback on interactive multimedia (CD-ROM) conceptualization, design and product management. Published by Ziff-Davis Press as part of the “Essentials for Success” series.
Producer, Encyclopedia of Judaica, 1996
I managed production of the CD-ROM version of this classic print publication for Judaica Multimedia.
Senior Producer, SuperStudio, 1994-1995
SuperStudio developed award winning edutainment and infotainment multimedia CD-ROM titles. My position involved conceptualization and project management; working with video and audio; flowcharting; budgeting; storyboarding and scriptwriting; and generating new business overseas. Primary title: “Explorers of the New World.”
Producer, Mindscape (formerly The Software Toolworks), 1992-1994
I produced multimedia CD-ROM titles in education, infotainment, edutainment and games for top 5 multimedia publisher. Specific titles included “How Multimedia Computers Work” and “How Your Body Works” (in cooperation with Ziff Davis Press), “The Adventures of Nikko,” Grolier’s “Interactive Encyclopedia,” “Oceans Below,” and others. Conceived and sold “How Your Body Works” internally before moving to Israel. Interfaced with marketing, advertising and PR functions. Provided regular updates to senior management.
Instructor, Interactive Multimedia, San Francisco State University, 1991-1994 and Herzeliya Interdisciplinary Center’s Digital Media Studies Program, 1996
I taught interactive multimedia at both universities.
Producer, InfoUse, 1991-1992
I worked on a team developing multimedia titles for healthcare. Two main projects: “Take Control” taught how to stay safe from HIV to learning disabled young adults, and “Ashtown” presented interactive games to help fifth graders stay away from smoking. Ashtown won several awards.
International President, International Interactive Communications Society, 1991-1992
I served as International President for the largest professional association of the multimedia industry in 1992. In 1991, was President of the Bay Area Chapter.