Confessions of a Lucky Guy
Some people commemorate their so-called mid-life crisis by splurging on things they don’t exactly need. I considered that option but chose another path.
My wife, Patti, and I dabbled in volunteering at JFS for many years. We delivered food packages to the elderly for various holidays and Patti served as a Friendly Visitor for a Holocaust survivor. It whet my appetite for something more than an expensive toy or a foolish fling in hopes of turning back the clock. Instead, I wanted to play a part in changing lives.
Thumbing my Jewish nose at protocol (the mid-life crisis?), I invited myself to join the Board of Directors. Then I became President. Now, as my 2-year term draws to a close, I’d like to share the gift of that experience.
The past 24 months were a highlight reel of fun and adventure, but six moments will remain with me forever:
Embrace-A-Family. Everyone loves this program which runs from mid-November through late December. Take a tag shaped like a dreidel and fulfill the wish of someone in need with a gift. I’ll never forget the sight of a father teaching the meaning of sharing to his 8-year old son. You don’t need to be an adult to understand tzedakah.
Good Morning JFS. If you only have one hour per year to learn about JFS, this is it. Each story is heartwarming. The people are amazing.
How Could We Do Any Less?
How could we do any less?
When people fled affliction and disaster during ancient times, we welcomed them into our tents.
When persecution by government and ignorance of the populace gave rise to pogroms and shtetls, we shared what little we had.
When economic calamity of the 1920s created disruption and authoritarian regimes in the 1930s, we comforted those in harm’s way and prayed for a miracle.
When outside forces threatened the state of Israel with intimidation and, at times, much worse, we spoke together in support.
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Walking In Each Other’s Shoes
We are the sons and daughters of refugees. Whether our grandparents, great-grandparents or a more distant ancestor came to the US from another country, few of us can lay claim to be natives. We’ve fled persecution for a better life since biblical times. Some family members came to escape pogroms in the late 1800s while others left the chaos of Europe after World War I and still others reached our shores mere steps ahead of Hitler’s war machine. Are we any different than people fleeing tyranny today?
JFS SV President
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