America meant two things to me before I came here: wide-angle screens in movie theaters, and diners.
So I’m grateful to be living now in the diner capital of the world. I love diners. They’re the essence of what America means for me. I love the leather booths, the symbolic optimism, and the wide array of options. Who knows how many diners we have in New Jersey? Apparently 625, I was told the other day. But it may be more.
I was thinking a lot about diners last week at Super Sunday. I think we do a decent job of reaching out to a large number of people in the community. We can always do more. But the question is, what’s the quality of that outreach? Is it enough to reach out and call someone once a year and ask for funds?* I know we do more than that – at the very least, you get a good-quality Jewish newspaper and a couple of interesting mailings with a very small UJA donation. But what more can we do?
So I have a plan. Come have breakfast with me.
Starting in January I’m going to sit in a diner twice a month for breakfast. Details and logistics will be announced shortly. I’ll pick a different diner in each of the five counties we serve. Each time I’m aiming for 10 people to come join me. I’m not soliciting for funds. I just think that if you’re in this community and you care about who we are as a Jewish community, we should meet. I should learn from you about what you think, and you should hear from me. That’s my starting point.
If you want to join me, call my colleague Susan Solomon at (973) 929-3123. I will need lots of caffeine and a couple of eggs with whole-wheat toast.
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*Trick question. Just checking to see that you were paying attention.