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Databases can be exciting

Dear Aish Family,

When I was traveling recently in Los Angeles, someone asked me if Aish was really as inspiring and exciting as my weekly emails make it seem. I told them the answer was yes and no. The movement of Aish continues to inspire everyone involved on a constant basis. Every day there is another story of someone inspired online by Every day we receive feedback that an alumnus of Aish Israel is making a difference in Israeli society. Every day, someone lets us know how an Aish Rabbi helped them through a crisis. Every day is an Aish adventure.

Having said that, I explained, not everything is as exciting as those stories. In fact this past week I spent a tremendous amount of time discussing our database. This is not the type of thing that excites most, yet it is the key for achieving success through AISHVision 2030. I will explain.



When I became the International Director of NCSY, the largest Jewish youth group in North America, I realized that we lacked a centralized database. The issue was that without data we would have no idea if we were successful or not. I soon realized that one of our regions had a terrific database. It was built by a young college student named Dan Hazony. I immediately reached out to Dan and hired him to build the NCSY database out of his college dorm room. It soon became the gold standard in databases for Jewish organizations.

When I heard that Dan was making Aliya two years ago, I excitedly called him and offered him the position of Chief Information Officer at Aish. Thankfully, he accepted and has done remarkable work in helping to make sure that Aish is able to collect and retain accurate data. Just last fall, the Mayberg Foundation ran an article co-written by Dan and their Managing Director Amanda Mizrahi, underscoring the importance of donor support for such “less exciting” organizational functions like data management and integrated systems. In it, they explain why the Mayberg Foundation has chosen to invest in this part of Aish’s impact. 



We live in a world where retail stores know so much about us. That is how they target ads to us as we go online. Aish would like to offer spirituality in the same way. To help make our Jewish brothers and sisters aware that by attending a Jewish wisdom class online they can become a better spouse, parent, friend, etc. This all starts with data. I think this explains why Aish is such a special place. We can take something as mundane as a database and make it holy! I want to take this opportunity to thank Aish CIO Dan Hazony and his team as they help us achieve AISHVision 2030.

Our $3M for 3M campaign, is quickly approaching. Be part of our efforts to change millions of lives together!