Jewish group calls for day to disconnect from technology

By Jennifer Lipman, August 26, 2011

A Jewish women's study group is to stage a day for people to disconnect from technology.

The "Day to Disconnect" has been organised by members of the Ohr Naava women's Torah Centre in Brooklyn.

The aim is for people to switch off mobile phones and other devices for at least one hour on October 2. The date was chosen as the first Sunday after Rosh Hashanah, which they said was "the perfect day for making a fresh start".

The organisers hope to encourage people from around the world to take part in the switch-off, and switch on instead to face-to-face interaction.

"When you are connected to technology, you are disconnected from everything else," said Ohr Naava director Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein. "Constantly checking our phone when we are with others has reduced the quality of our relationships with the people that we care about most.

"If we can shut off our phones, for even one hour, during the business of a regular day, we can condition ourselves to be in control of our technology and not vice versa," said campaign spokesman Charlie Harary.

Last updated: 4:17pm, September 1 2011