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Hitting a home run

Todd Stettner

Last year the Kansas City Royals suffered a heartbreaking loss to the San Francisco Giants in game seven of the 2014 World Series, but not before proving they had the right stuff and deserved to be on a world class playing field. We all shared in their pain and disappointment. This year, as we now know, the World Series  turned out differently as did a bet we placed with Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. Kosher barbeque and New York bagels, lox, and cream cheese were at stake. Why them and not the New York Federation? Basically, because New Jersey got to us first and we have a special relationship with them as we share in funding and utilizing our Israel representative Ofer Lichtig. 

As one of my colleagues said recently, “baseball is a metaphor for life to us Americans” and I believe so to American Jews as well. Like the Royals, we are a community that has had our struggles and victories. Some victories were like this year’s World Series and some were near victories like game seven of last year. We always strive, just as the Royals do, to be the best, but often fall short. That is OK. In fact Jewish religion and tradition takes that into account. But we still have that desire and that drive to strive for perfection. We know that we will never do all 613 mitzvot, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying! 

I don’t know if we will ever have the opportunity in Judaism to be “World Series Champions,” but I do know that we have the opportunity to make the world a better place by the actions we take every single day in the way we treat each other and how we “repair the world.”

So while I can’t say I won’t enjoy those bagels and lox from New York, the parade in Kansas City, or the joy that is going on all around me, I will take even greater pleasure in the annual achievement of another successful campaign; hitting a home run by reaching our campaign goal and meeting needs in Kansas City, in Israel and around the world. 

Thank you Kansas City Royals, players and management and all of our supporters who helped us win our bet and do what we do to take pride in Kansas City for all Federation does everywhere. Everyday.