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What Is A Twitter Chat and How Do I Participate?

Meredith Polsky

MatanChat; #matanchat; MatanA Twitter chat is where a group of Twitter users “meet” at a pre-determined time to discuss a certain topic, using a designated hashtag (#) for each tweet contributed. One or more moderators will pose questions (designated with Q1, Q2…) to prompt responses from participants (designated with A1, A2…) and encourage interaction among the group. Chats last a finite amount of time – usually an hour. (Brand new to Twitter? Learn more here.)

We are excited to introduce scheduled monthly chats on topics in inclusive Jewish education using the hashtag #matanchat. These chats will be opportunities to discuss the theory and practice of including people with disabilities in Jewish education. You can also use the tag to continue the conversation between scheduled times.

For more information, including how to participate, see “How #matanchat works” below. Contact @mataninc or with questions.

The next two chats will be:

Sharing Skills: Access and Inclusion in the Real World: Thurs., 2/18, 1-2pm EST

Bar/Bat Mitzvah for Adolescents with Disabilities: Thursday, March 17th, 1-2pm EST

Questions for the upcoming chat on February 18:

Q1 (1/3) Many older synagogues and older community buildings are not yet wheelchair accessible. #matanchat

Q1 (2/3) Popular field trip destinations are also often inaccessible. #matanchat

Q1 (3/3) How can we make sure that students with physical disabilities are not left behind? #matanchat

Q2 (1/2) Many experiential education activities involve arts and crafts or handwriting. #matanchat

Q2 (2/2) How can we make hands-on activities accessible to blind students and those with motor impairments or limited hand use? #matanchat

Q3 (1/3) Many popular activities also assume gross motor skills. For instance, Israeli dancing, gaga, running across the room. #matanchat

Q3 (2/3) How can we make these activities accessible to students with gross motor impairments?

Q3 (3/3) When we can’t adapt an activity, how can we make sure that students are still part of the class while it’s happening? #matanchat

Q4 (1/3) Jewish education often involves lively discussion, in which students are expected to actively participate. #matanchat

Q4 (2/3) Students who process slowly, don’t speak or have limited speech, have ADHD or autism, or are deaf may be left out. #matanchat

Q4 (3/3) How can we support disabled students in understanding the conversation, expressing their opinions, and asking questions? #matanchat

Our chats will be held monthly, at times to be announced. As chats are scheduled, they will be listed in this document, tweeted by the @mataninc Twitter account, announced on Facebook and posted to the Matan email list. If you would like to be tagged in Twitter reminders of #matanchat, tweet to @mataninc.

How Matan Chat Works

What is #matanchat? #matanchat is a monthly scheduled Twitter chat on topics in inclusive Jewish education.

What if I don’t know how to participate in a Twitter chat? There are instructions further down in this document — scroll down to “How do I participate in #matanchat?”

You can also see an example of what chats look like here: #examplechat: an example Twitter chat that explains how Twitter chats work.

When is #matanchat? Monthly, generally on the 3rd Thursday of the month. It’s ok to show up late or post answers after the chat. You can also use the hashtag for informal discussion at other times.

How do I participate in #matanchat?

  • Log into your Twitter account (or create one).
  • At the scheduled chat time, search for “#matanchat” on or the Twitter app. Make sure to click “live” or “all tweets” (otherwise you will see only the tweets twitter considers the most important, which makes conversation difficult).
  • Questions will be tweeted by @mataninc. They are prefaced Q1, Q2, etc.
  • When you respond: preface your answer with A1, A2, etc, so people know what question you’re answering. Include the text “#matanchat” in your tweet so other people will see it!
  • You can respond to other participants, too, just make sure to include the #matanchat tag and and preface your tweet with the answer number.

Who creates the questions? Generally Ruti Regan (@rutiregan), our rabbinic intern, writes the questions and moderates the chats. Sometimes we will have guest moderators.

When and where are questions posted? Questions are posted to #matanchat from the @mataninc twitter account during the scheduled chat times. They are also posted to the public document ahead of time to give people the option of looking at them in advance if they like to.

What happens with the answers? Anyone on Twitter can read your answers, either on the #matanchat tag, on their timeline (if they follow you), or on your profile. We make most answers accessible on the public web 1-4 days after the chat in a Storify (a tweet collection). If you don’t want your tweets included in the storify, tell @mataninc or email

Here’s an example of what a storify looks like:


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