by Carrie Bornstein
As a parent of three young children, I am constantly fielding requests for things: Ima, can you buy me a Superman toy? When can I get a cell phone? Can I have a sleepover? Read me a story. Pick me up. I promise if you get me a dog I’ll take care of it every single day!
It never ends.
As kids we were so accustomed to asking for things. We knew what we wanted, and we could almost taste the thrill of actually holding success in our hands. If we could only convince the people who could make it happen for us…
If I can tune out the whining, it is always clear to me how much my kids believe in their cause. Whether my daughter is asking for her own room or for a cookie for dessert, she is all in: passionate and articulate.
The thing is, it usually works. My husband, Jamie, reminds me that despite the guilty feeling that all I do is say ‘no,’ the truth is, I almost always say yes. We get up at 5:30 in the morning if that’s when the kids wake up, we clean up vomit from the back of a car (this is all hypothetical you realize, yes?), we put syrup on waffles before cutting it into pieces.
Jamie and I give and give and give because we believe in the cause. Because we know in our bones that their future depends on our generosity of spirit.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
This is the time of year when most of us feel like parents, with worthy nonprofit organizations tugging at us, asking for help.
I am not quite as unselfconscious or comfortable as my children when I make this request of you, yet here I am, because, just like my kids, I so truly believe in what I’m asking for. I know that the shape of our Jewish future depends on my asking – and you saying yes.
Last week we spoke with a woman who planned to drive four hours to immerse at Mayyim Hayyim to celebrate her survival and exit from the abusive relationship she stayed in for so many years.
Our upcoming class to help new Jews get comfortable and confident in their new Jewish lives keeps getting new registrants every day. Another woman told us how helpful our Jewish Healing Guide for Women with Cancer was upon her diagnosis. And a rabbi on the west coast recently told me that she knows Mayyim Hayyim is healing the pain of people who have been scarred by what they think is traditional ritual.
I am asking you to say yes in making a gift so we can accommodate the growing number of people who are visiting Mayyim Hayyim to immerse and to learn. We want to provide more educational offerings: for boys, for young children, for caretakers. We want to convene a national conversation about best practices for training volunteers, facilitating conversions, and providing a space that is accessible and inclusive.
So here I am, asking for a year-end gift. I hope that like me, you also believe deeply in Mayyim Hayyim’s mandate to create the Jewish future we all wish to see, and that you will help make it possible.
We still have a way to go in raising the money we need before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. Every gift of every size truly makes a difference.
Carrie Bornstein is Mayyim Hayyim’s Executive Director.