Monday, February 16, 2009

Upcoming Attractions

We have some big things in the works for you this week, including an interview with one of the most useful young Yids in St. Louis.

On top of that, we are doing a joint post soon with David's Voice on an exhibit hailing from the Israel Museum that is making its first appearance in the United States.

Around the world, York University in Toronto was the site of some old fashioned Anti-Semitism hiding behind anti-Israel roots

And tucked into this update, I would like to present a radical idea: Financial concerns prevent young Jews from participation in Jewish events.

My case for arguing this is the upcoming UJC Young Leadership New Orleans Tikkun Olam Conference.

St. Louis has a grand total of 4 participants in this interesting and unique conference. Cincinnati, a city with a smaller Jewish population has around 25.

Was the event better publicized in Cincinnati? Is the community better organized around these types of opportunities?

The NOLA conference isn't cheap. For a conference that starts on a Sunday morning and ends on a Tuesday morning, meaning some of us have to miss our jobs (cuz we don't get paid for being Jewish yet), we have the privilege of paying a cool $350, not to mention the hotel rooms and airfare. You are looking at a trip that could cost around a grand when all is said and done (you can't forget drinking money, this is New Orleans, after all).

To be fair, because I support Jewish Federation of St. Louis monetarily, they are returning the favor....but their subsidy is only about half the registration fee, which still leaves me on the hook for a few benjys.

So back to Cincinnati, why do they have such a fantastic rate of participation?

In two words: Corporate Sponsorship. In one word: creativity...or foresight...

That's right, a Cincinnati based bank is covering the costs for these young adults to make the trip to New Orleans in order to provide community service.

Maybe we should reach out to the Cincinnati Federation and have them help us out so that the next time one of these trips rolls around, St. Louis will have better representation, and more young leaders will have the opportunity to become connected and energized.

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