A New Year Boost

One of the four questions often asked at a Seder is: “why is this night different from all other nights?” I’ve adapted that question to the Rosenberg Fund for Children and ask: “what makes the Rosenberg Fund for Children different from all other organizations?”

One way I’ve tried to make this organization stand out is by answering personally all notes and letters that are addressed to me by our constituency. This is a daunting task because even in the email age, almost every day several of you drop me a line.

When I travel a lot, usually in Spring and Fall, the growing pile of unanswered correspondence in my inbox mocks my good intentions. I regret to admit that some notes languish for months.

But after the turn of the year things can get very quiet at the RFC and I schedule almost no travel for fear of weather-related cancellations. First I nibble at the mound of paper, but then I gather steam, gobble it up and get to the bottom. This happens every time because the more communication I read the more engaged I become with the fascinating people who write.

One letter that stood out this year came from a 15-year-old beneficiary who thanked me for our grant. But I was most impressed by other things he wrote about. In discussing my parents’ case he said: “It is utterly sick and twisted for our country to refer to itself as the land of the free and yet it cruelly opposes those who question the government.”

He concluded his letter by addressing me more personally: “Some people would be embittered and angry with the world, but it is a stunning testament to your love that you retained your hope and continued to help the activist community.”

I’ve said and written many times that no matter how much I facilitate the help the RFC gives to hundreds of children, I get such profound satisfaction from what I do that I feel I receive so much more than I give. Some of you who have heard me say this or read what I’ve written might wonder if perhaps I’ve exaggerated just a bit when I’ve expressed this thought. But I bet if you got the kind of letters we receive regularly here at our office you would know why I feel this way. And starting off the New Year by reading so many of them gives me a great boost.

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