Stop complaining! It’s Free!
Posted by lchaimlover on February 28, 2007
Heard the news? Sheldon Adelson, the 5th richest man in the world, coincidentally a Jew, has pledged $30,000,000 to the birthright program. Wow, huh? And interesting article in Jewsweek about this news said “birthright is no magic bullet against assimilation. But clearly even a fleeting exposure to the achievements of the Jewish state does create a window of opportunity for strengthening Jewish identity.” This is what I want to focus on. There are so many critics of birthright, and while I can see how some of their claims are warranted, on the other hand…From personal experience, birthright gets people in the door (of the Jewish world) and that makes all the difference. One of my dear friends was an unaffiliated Jew before birthright, now: she is an intern at Hillel and attends reform shul every so often. If there is a Shabbat dinner, she is there. She is proud to say, “I’m Jewish!” Where Hillel fails, due to cliques and awkwardness, birthright succeeds. Where Chabad fails, due to religiousness, birthright succeeds. It’s the right amount of everything, culture, religion, and fun. And it’s packaged brilliantly, spend 10 days with college students, in Israel! The year I signed up, Hillel was handing out condoms, and the logo on the packages: “Israel, it’s still safe to come.” I’ve seen few better marketing strategies. So now to my last point, the money! While many sit and criticize birthright as a waste of money, a good business man named Nachum once told me, “Rich people don’t spend money on something that won’t work or isn’t a good investment.” If the 5th richest man in the world is willing to put his money into it, then you know what? Enough said.