It is hard for me to put into words the incredible unity that Aish experienced this past week. A few months ago we decided to join AJOP (Association of Jewish Outreach Professionals) in a fundraising campaign run by Charidy.com. We attempted to raise 1 million dollars in 24 hours. We had many questions regarding how and who but, nevertheless we thought it was worth a shot.
Our first step was to task Rabbi Jack Kalla with coordinating the campaign. We had no idea at the time how much of a Herculean effort would be required. Rabbi Kalla was outstanding!
Our next move was to try to get the Yeshiva involved. We were unsure how everyone would respond and how the Rabbis would feel about taking time away from Torah study for this project.
In a classic Jewish leadership format, the Rabbis of the Yeshiva led the way.
We had over two hundred people making calls the first night of the campaign from 8pm -1am. The atmosphere was electric. Every time the totals went up significantly the chevra let out a cheer.
On a separate floor, under the guidance of Stacey Kalla, we had over 50 young women, who attend our Aish Destinations program, making calls. They were so thankful to be able to give back to Aish.
I left the building at 4am and there were still a dozen young men working the phones. I wasn’t sure who they were calling at that hour until someone screamed out “Who has the Australia list?”
By the morning we had made our goal of 1 million dollars. We then had to make a decision about whether we wanted to risk trying a bonus round. We decided to go for another $360,000.
We continued the calling and emailing. Sure enough we reached our bonus goal with less than an hour left.
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who participated by calling, emailing, FaceBooking, contributing and cheering us on.
I also want to thank our amazing Aish board members who believed in us and contributed to our success in every way possible.
The bottom line is that there is NOTHING that our organization cannot accomplish through our collective determination and the Almighty’s help.
I saw something on the internet that helped me make up my mind as to what next year’s goal will be:
If Hamas is raising 3 million dollars to build a tunnel to harm Jews than Aish HaTorah next year will raise 3 million dollars to strengthen the Jewish people.