Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Forward 50 2014

Jeff Jacoby

Who would’ve thought one Tweet from a worried father could turn the Jewish world upside down with equal parts compassion and fear?

The social media post from Jeff Jacoby, 55, a Boston Globe columnist, included a photo of his 16-year-old son, Caleb Jacoby, and a plaintive plea: Help me find my boy.

Soon thousands were retweeting the plea, and posting photos of Caleb Jacoby with a yarmulke on their own Facebook pages and on other social media sites.

It helps when you have more than 11,000 Twitter followers. Especially when some of them are neoconservative notables like Commentary editor John Podhoretz, who shares Jacoby’s hawkish views on Israel.

But it turns out that when a missing boy is involved, political and sectarian divisions mean little — and Jewish voices from all corners of the blogosphere pitched in. Caleb’s suburban Boston Jewish day school mounted daily searches in the chilly January weather.

The only sign of hope was the fact that police insisted from the start that there was no evidence of foul play. Indeed, a few days later, Caleb was found (under circumstances that are still unclear) in New York’s Times Square.

His famous father thanked those who helped out — but has pointedly refused to explain what happened to his son or why he apparently ran away from home.

So what did the rest of us learn? The power of social media in the Jewish world? Perhaps. The power of fame? No doubt!

Maybe the most important lesson: The Internet has a heart, too.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    NY-12 Candidate Forum

    THE TEMPLE EMANU-EL STREICKER CENTER and Virtual

    Aug 10, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    Will the last Jew left in New York’s congressional delegation be reelected? Will New York’s senior congresswoman receive another term? Or will one of the newcomers upend Manhattan politics?

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at help@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.