More Disconnect Love From Hamodia 11.10.11

From Hamodia:



THOUSANDS disconnected from their cell phones and laptops for at least one hour on Sunday, October 2, thanks to DaytoDisconnect, the campaign created by Ohr Naava, a Brooklyn based educational organization.

In August, Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein, the founder and director of Ohr Naava, launched a campaign to encourage people to switch off their mobile devices for at least one hour on Sunday October 2, and to connect with people face-to-face instead.

He chose that date since it was the first Sunday of the Jewish New Year, an opportune time to begin enhancing personal relationships.

In a few short weeks, the campaign received worldwide attention. It registered people from over 28 countries including Argentina,  Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada/Quebec Country, Chile, Columbia, England, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Israel, Italy, India, Indonesia, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Ukraine and USA.  

Within the United States, over 26 states were represented.

Elisheva Perlman, the Executive Producer of the campaign, said, “We were shocked by the response. Emails, Twitter mentions, an Youtube comments poured in from people of all backgrounds, religions and ages. People thanked us for doing this and jumped on board.”

One teenage registrant emailed, “It really helped me to be more focused on myself, and really helped me to connect with my family instead of being connected to electronic devices.”



Thanks, Hamodia! :-)

LifeInTheMarriedLane talks DayToDisconnect 10.10.11

LifeInTheMarriedLane’s Rivki Silver, one of our favourite bloggers, decided to make a vlog about her DayToDisconnect experiences last Sunday. In this great video (below), Rivki tells her DayToDisconnect story and even performs a song she wrote herself (tzenua) on her piano.

Thank you to the totally talented Rivki! And kol hakavod for Disconnecting!

Jerry Seinfeld, Disconnector 10.10.11

Hilarious clip of Jerry Seinfeld below, sounding suspiciously like a Disconnector, on Conan O’Brien. He laments the lack of social etiquette amongst Blackberry users and throws in an awesome iPhone joke. He’s still got it! Enjoy :-)


More Feedback: DaytoDisconnect Was a Hit! 06.10.11

from Youtube:

familygirl819 has made a comment on Disconnect and Enjoy:

i really enjoyed disconecting today! the two hours without tech , sppent with my fam made me appreciate my life so much more!
gmar chasima tova!

from Twitter:

MzEmilyJane10:23am via Web

@DayToDisconnect @AbbadiaMareFest@sammy105 Most of my time was spent with family… who I live with, but never see! It was nice =)


Layda_orgOct 04, 11:56pm via Web

@DayToDisconnect thanks for the follow! Sunday: #jewish fast day, went to wooded area in uptown Manhattan, NYC, by Hudson river, #meditated.
guicohen Guido Cohen

@DayToDisconnect it was great! keep doing it, at least once a month. it’s very very healthy!


via email:

Decided that I was going to learn for the 2 hours that I disconnected I ended up extending another half hour!I felt like a free person!!


spent about 75 uninterrupted minutes being able to focus on looking for an esrog

Just want to let you know that I really enjoyed disconnecting. I am
happy that I took on 5 hours – because at first I felt a bit lost and
unsure what to do with myself… But then I sat down with my mom and
we came up with a menu for Erev Yom Kippur and all 6 Succos meals!
Now, this is something I would end up doing anyway, but ordinarily my
mother has to beg me to actually do it and then I kvetch and don’t
have much patience for it, but since I had literally nothing else to
do (couldn’t even eat anything!), I was quite enthusiastic. Turned out
that I was “disconnected” for over 7 hours – and now I feel satisfied
and accomplished.
Thank you for this opportunity! (Maybe I should start disconnecting
more often…)
Tsippi :)
i disconnected for 2 hours while i was disconnected i was playing with
a kid who has special needs it was really relaxing not having to worry
about my phone while and interuptions–

Hi!! My name is Andrea. Im from Mexico City. I registered to
disconnect today. And it was really succesfull. My cousin and my
nephews came today to my house, and I told everyone, (including my
parents and my brother) that we needed to be disconnected today. We
talk for Hours and Hours and we enjoy our day a lot!! My parents
didn´t watch any TV today and they are used to watch it all sundays
and watch football, and they didn´t watch anything. My nephews
everytime they come to my house, they play XBOX and they draw
beautiful things with my dad, and my cousin my mother and I, we talked
a lot. Thank You for the information and videos you made. It was
helpful for my family to do this.

P.S .. We decide that once in the week we are going to disconnect.



I spent my hours with special children. But I did more hours than I
signed up for.


I signed up to shut off my phone for one hour. i ended up doing an hour and a half becuase i loved being away from my phone as long as possible. It was so nice not to be tied down to my phone. After the hour and a half, i had to turn it back on due to the fact that i was driving far and needed to be reached. I think it was a beautiful idea.
Thank you Ohr Naava!


 I did get to disconnect for about 5 hours. I enjoyed taking care of my friend’s baby for the afternoon. A baby’s smile beats a shiny screen!

To growing awareness,



Dear Rabbi Wallerstein and the entire Ohr Naava staff,

thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to disconnect!
I listen to all your shuirim and they really inspire me!!!!!!!!!!
Maybe you can do day to disconnect once a month- like every rosh
chodesh or something like that!

Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



the best day of my life!!   thanks!! u guys are the best!!

-Simi F.


I disconnected today for 10 hours from my email- it was amazing. It
just showed me that I don’t need to be on my email all day talking to
my friends. I was able to relax and keep busy with other stuff.
Thank you Ohr Naava!



I think it was a great idea..I really think that as a whole that it
helped people come to realization that cell phones have become a sick ruins relationships..and distances people instead of
bringing them closer. I wish that this “day to disconnect” heightens
awareness of the over-usage and complete addiction of people and
encourages people to rethink their cell phone habit.
Thank you

Sent from my iPhone


Today I disonnected for about 5 or 6 hours instead of 2. I read a book
on tefilah, and it really inspired me! When I left my house i left my
phone at home, and i had an amazing time just because i wasnt stressed
and constantly thinking i need to reach someone or text or email. It
was great for
those few hours, it was just peaceful.
Thank you for an amazing opportunity! I suggest doing this monthly
maybe or every fast!
Thanks again!

Sent from my iPhone


Thank you for this wonderful campaign! I signed up for 12 hours but
did all 24! it was a really great experience. i think i did everything
you had on your list including visiting my grandparents, trying new
recipes, listening to music, spending time with family… Thank


I did two hours this morning from 11 am- 1pm and I have to say that it
felt so liberating. I am a single mom of one eleven year old boy, I
didn’t let him use technology either. At first he fought me but he did
a puzzle we ate breakfast together, he went to the eye dr got contacts
for the first time and we went out for lunch! I now decided to use
less of my blackberry/ facebook and more mommy and son time, I also
cut my sons time with technology and we both feel the difference!
Thanks ohr naava:).
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this special program.
today, when i needed to ask my friend something that i normaly would
have texted to her, i was forced to call her from my house phone
instead and i found myself on the phone for a few hours talking and
having a good time. i dont usually talk much to this friend of mine
and you never know…this could be the begginging of a new beautiful
friendship :)



Hi my name is Ariella and Im 14!
Today I “disconnected” from 7:30-8:30pm. It felt so accomplishing!
I broke my fast with my family, no iPods involved, in the beginining
of the hour.
Then afterwards, I sat down and did my homework! Straight through! I
finished all that had to be done.
Instead of watching a tv show, or the begining of the Ravens game, I
accomplished today.
I would be honored to be a part of something this great again!
Please continue this project- everyone, no matter who, can benefit!!
Thanks for helping me today!


Hi there!!
Thank you sooo much for reminding me to disconnect.
I really enjoyed the campaign. The idea is just perfect for our daily
lives, not only for one day!!
In the begining I thought that disconnecting from my phone for one
hour was enough, but an hour passed and another and another… It was
Also I want to thank you for the ideas, it’s been a long time since
the last time I played with my siblings a board game. We even played
twice and enjoyed it very much!!
Hope to hear of this project very soon and I hope you apply it also in
other countries and not only in the U.S.A
Thank you very much,
Ktiva Vejatima Tova!! May Hashem Bless you with the best!

– Lea –


I disconnected n it felt gr8. I finally had a normal 2 hr 1st seder widout checking my fone every 5 min n cant learn at all. Tnx 4 the idea n looking fwd 2 the nxt 1

Sent from my Virgin Mobile.

What an amazing day I had today, I pledge to disconnect for three
hours and I thought omg what am I gonna do for so long…… I wasn’t
looking forward…. I was trying to remember what had gotten into me
when I made such a pledge….. I was going to go back and cancel or at
least bring it down to the minimum- 1 hour, with all my justifications
of people needing to get hold of me……. I’m not really the kind…
I’m not addicted……, but before I managed to get around to it the
2nd of October had already arrived and I knew I had pledged three
hours and a word is a word…. so reluctantly at 3:50pm I turned off
my phone and internet. At first it was itching me and I thought may be
I’ll just check my messages and emails….. I’ll do the hours later…
but knowing from experience I knew that it just wouldn’t work… then
for some reason I decided maybe I already did my hours because in the
night I never checked my phone…. but then I remembered that
truthfully I never switched it off…. then I thought to my self it’s
no big deal I’m just gonna do it, I have to………….
For a long time now I have had a large backdrop of course work I’m
meant to be doing, but I just never can be bothered or get around to
doing it. well…. not having much else to do and as an attempt to get
my mind off the phone situation, I took out my work…… with
tranquillity that I don’t know where it turned up from I began doing
my work, one hour passed……….. two hours passed………….. and
even the third hour passed………….. and I didn’t want to turn on
my phone….. YES I DIDN’T WANT TO TURN ON MY PHONE!!!!!………the
feeling of peace and disconnection was just something I didn’t want to
let go off, and so I didn’t turn on my phone straight away I carried
on till the end of the fast, managing to do a large chunk of my work
and certainly inspiring me to take care of the rest!



A Clean House is the Sign of a Broken Computer 05.10.11

…or a committed Disconnecter! We’ve been seeing this little number around the internet a lot recently and it’s struck a chord with the Day to Disconnect team. So many people remarked to us that their experience on Sunday, October 2nd – the DaytoDisconnect –  made them realize the sheer amount that can be accomplished once we Disconnect. Clean houses, tidy gardens, mending done, errands run… it’s like extra hours in the day! Yet another reason to join the Revolution! :-)



What Disconnecting is Like: Disconnectors Speak About Their DaytoDisconnect 03.10.11

Here’s some of the feedback we’ve gotten from Revolutionaries who disconnected on DaytoDisconnect.


Via email

Thank u 4 the opprotunity to disconnect! I did it 4 an hour and I
felt so free!! Thanks!!



Dear Day to Disconnect,

This was the most amazing idea. I really connected today so much
more, and it was very worth disconnecting! Thank you for giving me
that opportunity!



decided to disconnect from my cell phone at twelve AM, Sunday morning, just asI was getting ready to call it a night. I felt as if I was duping the system because after all I don’t usually find myself sleep texting. However, when I woke up this morning I felt refreshed and invigorated, since I actually slept a full eight hours. No disturbing texts stealing my REM sleep, no vibrating phonebeneath my pillow just a deep revitalizing sleep. As I woke up, and I wiped thesleep from my eyes I found my arm stretching towards my cell phone, but I suddenlyrealized that it actually felt good to be free…I didn’t feel compelled toengage in meaningless chatter or compulsively check my emails. I was able topray without getting a single email, text, or BBM, and I allowed myself the privilegeof being wrapped up in the pages of Sense and sensibility, I had a conversation with my younger sister and not once did she have to reprimand me for “not really listening” to her. I found that it possible for me to communicatewithout turning on my communication devices

malka gitty


I davened with more kavana bc I knew I had allocated this time for it.



Wow!! I did it! And actually loved my disconnection!!!! Thanx! Actually davened like a mentch!!


So i disconnected during the time that i was davening. That is
usually a  hard time, because i get distracted from my cell phone going off.
When i davened today it was a different davening. I was able to
concentrate because i knew that i was disconnecting with my human
friends and connecting to the real source, Hashem. Thank you for making
this day to disconnect. It really helped me be able to be more focused on
myself, and really helped me to connect with my family instead of being
connected to electronic devices.

                                       Thank You!


I wasn’t expecting to be in Eretz Yisroel for “disconnect day” so I had
forgotten about my commitment…
However, the idea must have reinforced the awareness of being “free”
in my head so I decided to be less connected for my visit. I decided
to check my email very infrequently and I rented a simple kosher phone.
I was visiting the Kosel during my commitment time and since I was in
the indoors section I had no cell phone service. I was enjoying
learning and saying tehillim and when I noticed that I had no service
I thought about going outside to check for voice messages etc. – then
I decided, no, I don’t need to let it control me. I went back to my
Most meaningful Tzom Gedalia I can remember…


Disconnecting was awesome. Instead of doing one hour I did two hours. I am so proud of myself. It felt so good to disconnect from my phones for once. I hope I do it again next time but longer.

Thank You and Shana Tova.


Just wanted to say THANK YOU for this wonderful opportunity to disconnect , I got to spend time with my kiddies hands on without interruption of my cell phone going off every 2 minutes and half acknowledging what my kids r saying , it was truly a great feeling to disconnect to connect with my kids full hearted.  Thanks again , ur tremendous efforts towards this wonderful project, has left me wanting to this more often , x0x0x0


Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


So I just finished my disconnect hour!!
I actually used the time wisely to accomplish some things around the
house. (I don’t know if that is what I was supposed to be doing!!! :) )
It was actually quite peaceful and I really felt a GOOD and WHOLESOME
disconnection from technology.
I would suggest this program to run on EVERY fast day!! As it is most
feasible then and appropriate.
Thank you for tis great and wholesome program!!!



Being off my laptop was hard after a 3-day period of being off it
already.  Everything else I could be without.  I did not know that it
would include my laptop.  It was a good idea.



It was nice and relaxing  not having to listen for my phone.
It was a bit lonely going shopping “alone” instead of having someone on the phone keeping me company but I was more focused on the task at hand and on the people around me.

Thanks for the opportunity.



Didn’t use either my cellphone or laptop the entire day until about a
half hour before I sent you this email (it’s now 6:09 PM), so I
accomplished more then the 2 hours I’d signed up for.  I read, spent
time with my husband, and just enjoyed the quiet.

P.S.  Now I turned the laptop back on so that I watch Avienu Malkeinu 6.



I prepared dinner while waiing for my son to come home from shul to break the fast together. Then we sat down together to work on the text and design of his wedding invitation. The wedding planner I had left a message for earlier in the day called 3 minutes before the hour was up, and I did NOT answer the call, telling my son the time was all his.

All the best

from Twitter:

yitzy65:10pm via Web

@DayToDisconnect The “Disconnection” felt great, it felt so Liberating!! 2 Hours Unplugged, 2 Hours Disconnected, 2 Hours just for G-D!!


LynnATL4:39pm via TweetDeck

@DayToDisconnect enjoyed disconnecting today. Thanks for the encouragement. Spent some time @Starbucks patio w friends#perfectfallday

moyilin3:09pm via Twitter for iPhone

@DayToDisconnect disconnecting right now for 2 hours going to the park with my kids

12:22pm via Web

Hinini Muchan Umezuman Lkayem Mitzvas aseh shel disconnect. All pumped for the next hour. @DayToDisconnect


from Facebook:

It think it is a wonderful idea and I joined. Four hours spent with my grandchildren in CT. without interruption.

I work in a dental surgery – today’s classic event:
Dentist: Do you have a GP?
Patient: No I have an Iphone
Crazyyy world of technology


מיכאל ח

עכשיו אתם מבינים למה אנחנו לא בקשר? כי יש לנו סקייפ מסנג’ר פייסבוק ICQ טוויטר פלאפון פטיפון SNS ועוד כל מיני מרעין בישין.
וככה חדוות החיים דועכת לה.
מעכשיו אני מנתק את המחשב עד אחרי החגים.
ביי לכולם………………




Keeping It Local: Where Do Our Disconnectors Live Anyway? 03.10.11

It started with an idea, and two months later, DaytoDisconnect is a worldwide movement. 
We are astonished by the speed with which this has taken off, 
and we thank you all for spreading the word!

People from 28 Countries Have Disconnected, Including:


-Thornhill, Ontario
-Winnepeg, MB

South Africa
-Highlands North


-Sao Paulo
-Santana de Parnaiba

-St Kilda East
-East Killara

-Buenos Aires

-Mexico City

Great Britain/UK
-Stanmore (check)


-Maison Alfort

Costa Rica


-Jerusalem – Ramat Eshkol, Arzei Habirah, Maalot Dafneh, Har Nof
-Bnei Brak
-Bet Shemesh
-Ramat Bet Shemesh
-Tel Aviv
-Kiryat Yearim
-Ginot Shomron
-Rishon Litziyon
-Modiin Illit
-Beitar Illit
-Yishuv Elazar
-Gush Etzyon
-Maale Adumim
-Petach Tikvah
-Neve Daniel
-DN Misgav

US: Over 26 States Including:
-Wesley Hills
-Spring Valley
-New Hempstead
-West Hempstead
-Boro Park
-Bay Ridge
-Far Rockaway
-Long Beach
-Park Slope
-Kew Gardens
-Forest Hills
-Kew Garden Hills
-Rego Park
-Fresh Meadows
-Richmond Hill
-Great Neck
-Dix Hills
-Marine Park
-Merrick, LI
-Staten Island
-Belle Harbor
-Atlantic Beach
-Washington Heights
-New Rochelle

-Union City
-West Orange
-Key Port
-East Brunswick
-East Windsor
-Cherry Hill
-Fair Lawn


-Owing Mills
-Silver Spring

-Inger Grove Heights


-Boca Raton
-N Miami Beach
-Miami Beach
-Sunny Isles


-Cleveland Hts.
-University Heights

-U City
-St Louis

-Oak Park

-Missouri City

-Long Meadow

-Bala Cynwyd
-Huntington Valley

-Beverly Hills
-Valley Village
-Los Angeles
-San Diego
-Santa Monica
-Long Beach







HSV – Hot Springs Village


West Bloomfield

Rio Rancho


DaytoDisconnect On JM in the AM! 28.09.11

Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein and Charlie Harary sat down with JM in the AM’s Nachum Segal to discuss DaytoDisconnect over the airwaves!  Nachum loved the idea of unplugging for a few hours and reconnecting with the people around us.

Go here to listen:

We’re huge fans of JM in the AM and are super grateful to Nachum for helping to spread the Disconnect Revolution!

JM in the AM broadcasts at 91.1 fm in the New York City area and at 90.1 fm in the Hudson Valley. Listen here.

101 Things To Do While Disconnecting 27.09.11

  1. Go visit someone special
  2. Bring photo albums
  3. Refold your wardrobe
  4. Reorganize kitchen drawers and cupboards
  5. Get out the Scrabble
  6. Or Monopoly
  7. Or make your own game
  8. Sit in a park or garden
  9. Take the dog
  10. Bring stale bread and feed the ducks

    #27: Pick something from the garden

  11. Or take a boat out on a lake
  12. Don’t forget sunscreen
  13. Buy some glass jars and make pickles
  14. Or bake a cake for after the fast
  15. Read the paper
  16. Cut the paper up and make a collage
  17. Do something crafty! Like:
  18. Learn to crochet
  19. Start making Sukkah decorations like:
  20. Paper chains
  21. Posters
  22. Lanterns
  23. Draw somebody’s portrait
  24. Take it to the framer
  25. Hang it
  26. Plant something in the garden
  27. Pick something from the garden
  28. Make a lemonade stand
  29. Wash the car
  30. Read a book
  31. Write a book
  32. Or start with a short story
  33. Or a poem
  34. Paint your nails
  35. Paint your friend’s nails
  36. Change dead lightbulbs
  37. Do some mending
  38. Organize the shed
  39. Or attic
  40. Go to the zoo
  41. Or to a farm
  42. Milk a cow
  43. Pet a baby goat
  44. Ride a horse

    #19: Start making Sukkah decorations

  45. Pick berries
  46. Make jam
  47. Or bake a pie
  48. Meditate
  49. Pray
  50. Sing
  51. Or find a dance class
  52. Make a puppet show for your kids
  53. Make paper dolls
  54. Or build a Lego house
  55. Go to a farmers’ market
  56. Or visit a flower market
  57. Smell the flowers
  58. And buy them for yourself or someone special
  59. Pull out an old musical instrument
  60. And make up a song
  61. Get to know your neighborhood
  62. Bring a camera
  63. Or a sketchpad
  64. Or a tape recorder
  65. Start a diary
  66. Or read your old diaries
  67. Write somebody a letter
  68. Walk to the post office and mail it
  69. Go for a long drive
  70. Look out for autumn leaves
  71. Find a shiur
  72. Or just learn with a friend
  73. Or teach a friend something you know
  74. Or learn something new
  75. Take a bath
  76. Visit a home for the elderly
  77. Or an ill friend
  78. Make a scavenger hunt
  79. Alphabetize your record collection
  80. Polish shoes
  81. Defrost the freezer
  82. Burn a scented candle

    #99: Make up a good bedtime story

  83. Go to the library
  84. Or go see a play
  85. Make a mixtape
  86. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  87. Or a community center
  88. Or an animal shelter
  89. Or organize a clean-up at the park
  90. Drop off old clothes at a thrift store
  91. Plan a party or get-together
  92. When it gets dark, go for a walk
  93. Or take your bike for a spin
  94. Don’t forget your helmet
  95. Rollerblades, anyone?
  96. Have a family dinner after the fast
  97. Build a fort with your kids
  98. Play hide and seek
  99. Make up a good bedtime story
  100. Tell your family how much you love them
  101. Enjoy the quiet


Who’s Disconnecting? Rabbi Paysach Krohn Is. 22.09.11

So you may be wondering – who’s disconnecting?

Rabbi Paysach Krohn is!

Rabbi Krohn is a noted author, lecturer, father of five and a fifth-generation mohel from Kew Gardens, Queens. Rabbi Krohn also leads tours throughout Europe, speaking about the rich and vibrant Jewish communities that existed prior to World War II.

In 2004, he launched PaL (Phone and Learn), an organization which matches Jews who want to learn more about their heritage with a friendly, knowledgeable tutor for up to an hour a week of Jewish study and discussion over the phone.

The dynamic organization has seen tremendous success since it’s inception and continues to inspire people throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

Rabbi Krohn has also served as a guest speaker at the annual Shavuot retreat hosted by Gateways since 2005.


  • Archive

  • Categories