How many event speakers have you seen who tear up their honorarium checks as they speak? Not many, I’m guessing.
It’s hard to commit yourself to doing one specific, thoughtful mitzvah each day. We all aspire to do it. But last week over 40 business professionals saw how it’s done.
I’m proud of our chairs, Kurt Olender, Steve Weisbrot, and Ben Lehrhoff, and my colleagues Paul Kaplan and Susan Solomon. They put together a scenic rooftop event the other day to hear Josh Shapiro, a former "Wolf of Wall Street," tell his experiences working for the infamous firm Stratton-Oakmont. The venue was really cool, perhaps one of the coolest we’ve used in a long time, with views of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Shapiro detailed his life at the wild, high-pressure, high-intensity firm and how they regularly duped their clients – often out of large chunks of their life savings.
He also shared the toll that it took on his conscience and his ability to look at himself in the mirror.
So he quit.
And instead he looked for a life where, instead of doing bad for people every day, he could be doing good for people by helping them improve their lives. Now he works as a Physician’s Assistant in Washington Heights. 

He’s now committed to “completing one mitzvah a day.” So he tore up the speaker check as his mitzvah for that day in support of our Federation. Because he’d heard from Kurt Olender, our co-chair, about the impact and reach of what Federation does. We’re grateful – to Josh, to our chairs, and to all those who help us do a mitzvah today.


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