Dear Aish Family,
One of the most common questions I or my team receive is “Does Rabbi Burg write this weekly email mail?” The answer is easy. Absolutely! For six and a half years I have viewed this as an important tool for me to be able to communicate with all of you, our partners.
Rabbi Noach Weinberg, of blessed memory, our founder and visionary, always referred to donors as partners because that is exactly what you are. The easiest way to support a cause is to write a check and, yes, we immensely appreciate all of you who do that. Yet we want more from you than just money. We want you to feel our cause in your heart; to feel it in your bones; to realize that Jewish wisdom is one of the greatest gifts the Almighty ever bestowed on His children. And to know that we must ensure that every Jewish man, woman and child must be given an opportunity to bask in that knowledge.
Accordingly, I have also viewed my weekly email as a chance to draw back the curtain on the world of Aish and to see all the wonderful things in which we are engaged. Even if some are tough issues. You are our partners and I want to share it all with you. Therefore, I want to share an amazing conversation I had with a long-time donor to Aish.
This past week I was traveling domestically as per my usual schedule when I’m not in Israel. I had the opportunity to speak with a donor who had just increased his gift tremendously. As I thanked him, I was a bit curious as to what spurred him to increase his support.
I started with the obvious: “You really must have liked that new video I sent you that is meant to engage the younger generation.” He answered that, in truth, he didn’t really get it. Strike one. “Was it the strategic plans I shared with you regarding our engagement of the Americas and Israel,” I asked? “No,” he said, “not that either.” I tried again. “How about our plan for reopening the Dan Family Aish World Center, post Covid?” He said, “Steve, all of that is great but that’s not why I’m supporting you.” Having struck out, I asked him straight out why he had so generously increased his support.
He said it was something I had quoted to him when we first met. Years ago I quoted a “famous literary philosopher,” the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. The cat said to Alice: “If you don’t know where you are going, then any road will take you there.” He said, “With AISHVision 2030, I know exactly where you are headed. Will you get there? I don’t know for sure but given Aish’s track record, I would certainly not bet against it.” In fact, he added, “I am clearly betting on your success.”
These words moved me tremendously. They were so refreshingly honest and forthright. Will we be successful in engaging 3 million Jews in Jewish wisdom over the next 10 years? No one knows for sure, but to quote my friend, “I would not bet against Aish.” Ever. Period. Full stop. Thankfully, thousands of others feel the same way. They know where we are headed. They believe in where we are going. And more than anything else, they want to be partnering in reaching 3 million more Jews. AishVision2030 is going to take a tremendous amount of effort, blessings from Almighty, and financial resources. If you’d like to partner with us, please click here. Join us on this journey. We need more of you – our partners – than ever before.
Rabbi Steven Burg