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Reboot asks people to ‘unplug’ on Shabbat next week

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The Jewish nonprofit Reboot is asking individuals and families to put down their digital devices for 24 hours starting at sundown on Friday, March 7.

That means no smartphones, no tablets, no computers.

Reboot developed the National Day of Unplugging as an annual “tech detox” to remind people to take a break from all things digital. The event, now in its fifth year, always coincides with the onset of Shabbat.

In the Bay Area, National Day of Unplugging events include a March 7 party from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at San Francisco’s Broadway Studios, presented by Digital Detox, Reboot and Camp Grounded. Attendees will check phones at the door and find opportunities to connect in many ways, such as board games, face painting, typewriters, a massage lounge and unplugged music by the Dustbowl Roots Collective.

In addition, there will be an unplugged hike March 8 at Lake Merced and the Contemporary Jewish Museum will stage an “Unplugged Night at the Jewseum” on Thursday, March 6.

Randi Zuckerberg, a Bay Area resident, the sister of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and author of the book “Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives,” is lending her voice to the cause.

“By consciously taking time to unplug and invest in ourselves and our most important relationships,” Zuckerberg noted, “we send the message that we respect our personal time, we value our loved ones and that we control our devices, not the other way around.”

Founded in 2002, Reboot has produced Jewish books, films, music, websites and public events, including “Unscrolled,” a modern reinterpretation of the Torah; the design competition Sukkah City, the online self-reflection project 10Q, the Sabbath Manifesto and the Idelsohn Society of Musical Preservation.

Robin Kramer, the executive director of Reebot, said the National Day of Unplugging has become “more than a day.”

“It’s become an international movement and a chance for individuals and families to pause and make a conscious choice to connect with the world around them,” Kramer said. “Unplugging from technology gives us the opportunity for face-to-face conversations and to enjoy the outdoors.”

Added Zuckerberg: “While [technology] is a wonderful thing, we also need to remind ourselves that a life truly well lived, is not a life constantly buried in a smartphone.”

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