Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Reader is Always Right

Dedicated to the loving memory of Bert Walker and Avraham ben Leib Samuels, whose Yahrzeits were recently observed. They were both men of high moral character and both deeply devoted to their families.

This week, 2 things: Something from you to me and a treat from me to you.

From You to Me

It's that time of year again, time for me to ask for your anonymous feedback on this blog. It means a lot to me to hear from you, please take a minute or two to complete only 10 questions:

While we're on the subject, I would like to invite you to a behind-the-scenes look at what Jewish Spiritual Literacy is doing lately....

In addition to spending our Friday mornings crafting and delivering stories and questions for your nourishment, this non-profit organization spends the rest of the week bringing this Table-Talk type of Judaism to individuals and groups around the country.

Some pay their way and others – notably college programs – don’t have the funds to cover our costs. We also train teachers teach Judaism in a hands-on, spiritually rich pedagogy ("Art-of-Amazement style").

AND we give away thousands of books every year. Technically, we sell them at a loss, otherwise they don’t have a budget for them.

Check this out:

"Being able to walk away with a physical copy of the ideas you presented was a great opportunity, as most speeches that inspire me seem to slip out of reach when I get caught back up in the hustle of life. The Art of Amazement has resonated very well with me as its contents are directed at a number of principles I have already sought to incorporate into my life, and by citing Judaism as one of the greatest ways of achieving these goals it does a great deal to ease my hesitation in becoming a more committed Jew.” - Univ. of Maryland student

We are enabling teachers to inspire their students of all ages and parents to transmit a Judaism that works.

On that vein, our pilot "Love Your Neighbor" program is organizing and training volunteers in Jewish communities to visit senior living facilities on Shabbat, so that the residents can enjoy kiddush and the feeling of being connected to a community and so that the volunteers and their children can feel connected to the seniors.

Next week I'll send you our winter newsletter with the details of these and our other programs.

Simply by reading this blog, you are part of a national effort to uncover and promote this kind of engaging, down-to-earth, spiritual Judaism.

But to close out 2010, I would like to ask you to transform your participation into a partnership.

Maybe you don't read the blog/email every week. Maybe you only enjoy it on occasion. What's it worth to you? A quarter? A nickel?

There’s your question of the week: Is the thought-provoking Table Talk worth a nickel to you?

If so, please use the address or link below to send in your nickel. But if you want, I’ll offer you something on top of partnership just to sweeten the relationship. 5¢ a week comes to two-and-a-half bucks a year. If you are willing to double that – 10¢ a week or $5 for the year, I’ll send you a thank you gift that I know you’re going to enjoy. I’ll send you an exclusive podcast from the JSL archives, "From Hangnails to Hurricanes - An Ancient Approach to Suffering".

Please send your tax-deductible donation to:

Jewish Spiritual Literacy, Inc.
3700 Menlo Drive
Baltimore, MD 21215-3620
A 501(c)3 organization.

On-line (credit card, paypal, google):

(If there is an honoree or dedication, please let us know. All gifts will be gratefully acknowledged.)

All of these programs, including this blog, incur costs. Someone is paying for them (and none of them are meeting the full demand due to funding realities). For those who are already partners in this effort, thank you. For everyone, I so appreciate your occasional feedback (both enthusiastic and critical).

But if you have been enjoying this blog (even on occasion) for free, or if you find any of our projects meaningful, please become a member today for 5¢ or more a week.

But whether or not this is a good time for you to become a member or renew your membership, please do help by completing a the one-minute anonymous on-line survey.

This week, I'm asking you to step up to the metaphorical plate. Next week, an amazing new way to step up to the physical plate. Stay tuned....

From Me to You

Now that that's behind us... the "From Me to You" section of this email....

Remember the two dedications at the top of this email? Both of those men have grandsons who are making this world a better place through music.

Here's Brandon Walker's classic music video, "Chinese Food for Xmas".

And here's a Bobby Samuels beat-hiphop sample: "Keep Walkin'". Enjoy.

Shabbat Shalom

PS – want to help without spending a dime? This video will show you how to support your favorite non-profit just by searching the web:

Or go straight to their site:

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