Friday, August 22, 2014

What We Can Learn from Ice Buckets

The goal of this blog is to add something cool your Friday night dinner. Please print and share.

Bill Gates This week's question for your table is:

What's your opinion of the ice bucket challenge?

More specifically:

1. Would you do it?
2. Who should I do it?

Yesterday I was privy to a conversation where a group of rabbis were debating whether or not it was an undignified activity for a rabbi to participate in.

I frankly didn't know enough about the project to respond. I have not paid attention, not seen any videos, ignored every single tweet and post about it.

So I did some research....

LA Times sports writer Bill Dwyer has mixed feelings.

This public health blogger argues in favor of it.

Forbes, too, comes out in favor.

(And, interestingly, that Forbes article led me to this one that anyone out there trying to raise money may find useful.)

Regarding the dignity issue, my own perception is that a rabbi's participation is innocuous and would be regarded as "in good fun" and not undignified. I assume and hope that the rabbi would preface his video with a dvar Torah along the lines of:

"We should all be giving 10 percent of our income with or without this ice bucket challenge and if one person here today makes such a commitment, it will be worth every shiver. I personally long for the day when human beings are so focused on taking care of each other that we no longer need gimmicks to get people to give. But in the meantime, I'll do whatever it takes to help people and I hope you will too!"

It seems to me that the takeaways here are:

1. People will participate in something outside their comfort zone if you call it a "challenge" yet make it super easy to succeed and even fun and get them on video having fun, and that video has to be really really short.
2. People will give more money when the message is really simple and easy to get: "stop this terrible disease"
3. People like cold stuff when the weather is warm

That, as my grandfather z'l would have said, is my 2-bits.

For your table: What are your 2-bits?

Shabbat Shalom

ice-bucket-challengePS - Yes - it is still possible to subscribe to our new Amazing Nature for Teachers program - for your child's teacher or school - does your child's or grandchild's school even know about it?

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