“Yotzer” is the word for creator in Hebrew, and Menny Benady embodies the term. Although he functions as a web professional and digital marketing expert, he’s also an artist who dabbles with different methods and techniques. These range from sketching to oil and acrylic painting, wall painting, sculpting, and digital drawing (with his phone!). This month, we introduce you to Menny Benady — leader of the Israel Elementor Community!
Menny’s passion for creating online and offline communities is typical of the wonderful folks who’ve helped develop the global Elementor community to what it is today. In Menny’s words, building communities enables “people [to] develop a significant base for networking and professional development.”
Menny’s been with Elementor since its early days. Let’s take a look at those times from his perspective and find out what it feels like to be a community leader!
Name: Menny Benady
Profession: Web Creator, Digital Marketing Expert, Speaker & Consultant
Which community do you lead? Elementor Israel Community
Leading the Israel Elementor Community
Before Menny was part of the Elementor community, he was an active member of the Israeli WordPress network. He joined meetups and participated in discussions on forums and blogs. Then, back in 2009, he set up his first blog, which was about digital marketing. It was the beginning of his journey with WordPress, and eventually, Elementor.
About two years later, Menny got to know the founders of Elementor — Ariel, Yoni, and Yakir. They had started a WordPress theme development company called Pojo. Menny gained first-hand experience with the difficulties of using themes in Hebrew. As Menny explains, “There was a very small pool of relevant themes that [supported] right-to-left languages such as Hebrew, Arabic, [and so on].” However, only a few worked with Hebrew out-of-the-box.
It was necessary to translate commands and titles to Hebrew, then make the themes compatible by modifying the underlying code to display content from left to right. This was an intense amount of work compared to using left-to-right languages such as English. So, Pojo was a pleasant surprise.
Even now, when he’s asked what one functionality he’d add to Elementor if he could, Menny answers without hesitation: “I’ll very much appreciate the ability to turn Elementor templates to Right-to-Left direction [at the] click of a button.”
As one of Pojo’s first customers, Menny formed a close relationship with its founders. At this point, he was also developing his “community-building skills”, so by the time the initiative that became Elementor was formed, he already had many years of experience leading the Israeli community of digital marketers called “The Social Media Observer’”
One of the first impressions we had of Menny was that he had a burning passion for learning and educating others. He says, “I … had a background as … an educator both in the business arena and in the academy position that I acquired from self-learning.”
Add in his unique position of being able to fully understand the needs of an Israeli web creator, and you have a roiling mix of reasons why building a community was the next logical step. With his colleagues Shay Agiv and Gabriel Pinto Hasagiv, he began to build an online Facebook community for Elementor users in Israel.
Growing the Community
If he were CEO of Elementor for one day, Menny would try to meet as much of the team as he could: “I think [the] Elementor human resource is one of its strengths.” Obviously, people and community building are very important to him. This is also apparent in his commitment and hands-on approach to day-to-day tasks in his role as a community leader.
Menny’s daily routine typically involves following group discussions in the community, administering feedback, and helping other members. He also works on developing new initiatives and maintains contact with his fellow admins. He says, “Shay Agiv and Gabriel Pinto Hasagiv, [and I] are in contact every day … via WhatsApp and phone calls.”
Building an online Israeli community of web creators was a significant move, but Menny thought extending it locally and offline was the next suitable course of action. He says, “It was very important to let it grow as a real offline community as fast as I can in order to let people develop a significant base for networking and professional self-development.”
The impact of this decision to maintain online and offline communities is tangible. Menny calls it a “synergy” which has provided a huge boost that is making both communities more like a single entity.
How about having a historical figure join in the fun and help boost the community even more? Turns out, Menny would pick a (biblical) symbol of creativity and art, Bezalel Ben Uri. “It [would] be fascinating to have him in our community”, he says.
Some experiences in your life stick with you forever. For Menny, one of these memorable moments was the first Elementor meetup he helped plan and execute. He says, “It was a great success with 250 attendees that registered without any payment and still, the commitment was very high”:
Certainly, whether negative or positive, these sorts of experiences influence or reinforce our actions over time. In Menny’s case, we’re sure seeing his efforts to build and sustain communities met with positivity and enthusiasm only encourages him to continue on this path.
When we asked Menny about his favorite Elementor feature, we were pleasantly surprised and delighted he compared Elementor to a cake. When you’re helping yourself to the best cakes, every bit is a treat. “I love all of the ingredients in the Elementor ‘cake’ but in the right quantity,” he explained with a wink.
While we’re not certain what, if any, culinary or baking skills Menny might be hiding, he does indeed have many interests outside Elementor. As we mentioned earlier, he’s an artist who experiments with varied mediums.
He says, “I do so many things … [that] people are surprised that even though they know me in one field of expertise, I help them in another.” It’s all natural to him to have such eclectic interests. He’s also focused on the quality of what he does. “I try to be the best in what I do and love,” he says.
As we’ve previously established, Menny’s a passionate learner and educator, and educating is something he does in a professional capacity, too. He’s taught in the university for more than eight years now. This includes courses related to the digital world and Elementor.
As a digital marketer, he manages campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. He also functions as a consultant to businesses, helping them to use their digital assets the right way and build sustainable programs.
In an Alternate Universe
This may not be a comic book multiverse, but it’s certainly fascinating to consider how our alternative versions might differ from us if they did exist. We put this question to Menny: if he weren’t a web creator, what would he have chosen as a career?
At first, he had to make a choice — business, digital marketing, web development, or architecture. When he didn’t pass the audition for architecture, he found himself studying technology management and marketing. This was in 1999. So, it’s probably safe to say theoretically that we have at least three more versions of Menny who went into one of the other fields.
Ironically, Menny now lectures about Elementor in the same institute where he failed the architecture audition — the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. He also teaches in various capacities at the School of Communication, Ariel University, the 6b design school in Tel Aviv, and more.
It’s often said that being well-rounded helps one better relate to a wider range of people. We certainly think this is a truism in Menny’s case. Being a giver is also fulfilling in more ways than one. He says, “[I] believe that giving brings connections and networking that leads to wealth.”
Do you want to join Menny and become an Elementor evangelist? If so, apply to become a community leader!