The Counter-culture

There was a point yesterday, during Super Sunday, in which I took a step back.

Hundreds of callers were making hundreds and hundreds of calls. We had such enthusiasm and energy, in two sites, with dozens of agencies and schools and synagogues representing their own institutions and their belief in a shared community. We had activities for kids and families, abled and special needs, letters and programs for Israeli soldiers, live video conferences with Israeli partners, vendors and artists … and more.

But there was something else.

Sitting with a sorority of non-Jewish young women – who come every year to our Jewish federation to make calls for Super Sunday – I realized what it was.

These young women represent the very best of our values (yes … of our Jewish values). They look at the world around them, at the cynicism and selfishness that bombards them. And they stand up for something else. They stand up for caring. And they stand up for community. They come every year to a Jewish federation’s Super Sunday – even though they’re not Jewish – to make calls, to solicit funds. Because our values are theirs too: caring, building, and saving.

They are counter-cultural.

Faced with all the daily assault of messages that tell them to do their own thing, to not care, to find the single sexy ‘flavor of the month,’ they say no.

Faced with all the opportunities to sit back and do nothing, and allow others to carry the burden, they step up.

Meeting these young women was a revelation. I was expecting to walk in and give them a pep talk, to give them some motivation for making their calls. But really, I was the one who walked out inspired and moved. Because they are counter-cultural. And we should aspire to be the same.

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