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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

My Birthday Wish

I am co-opting my birthday for my synagogue. I can’t make the type of donation I’d like to and my synagogue has been a very important place for me over the last five years. For my birthday, I’m asking people to make donations to my synagogue. If this blog has ever made a difference to you, if I’ve made an introduction that helped you or if you are a random wish maker – please make a donation in my name to Emanuel Congregation. Here’s what I wrote on ChipIn…

My 33rd birthday is coming up and the only thing I’m asking of my friends, online and offline, is for a donation to my synagogue.

My synagogue is Emanuel Congregation in Chicago, IL. I’ve been a member since my conversion and also studied for my conversion there. It is my first Jewish family, introduced me to my inner circle of Jewish friends and is where I learned the difference between baruch and barchu.

We haven’t suffered a sudden catastrophe, we aren’t children in a far off country and I know that my house of worship isn’t a universal story. The recession is and the recession has done us no favors.

Emanuel Congregation has always prided itself in never turning away a member because she can’t pay her dues. We were on the brink of closing 10-15 years ago, but we now have a growing congregation full of families, singles and life-time members in their 80s, 90s, and 100s.

Here’s my ask.

If you can’t attend the Harold Ramis event on March 20, 2010, please make a donation to my synagogue in honor of my birthday.

In return, I will say thank you. I will also let you give me a dare or task for every $18 you donate.

It can be anything – attend shabbat services, host a dinner, volunteer at a soup kitchen, walk 5 miles, bake challah for you, send you a letter, bring you back something from my next trip out of chicago.

Keep it positive. If you donate $100, I’ll give you an hour of my time for free social media consulting.

The recession has hard hit traditional Jewish institutions across the world. There are times when even I ask, “Do institutions need to survive?” I’d like to see Emanuel succeed for a bit longer and your donation will help.

Rather send a check and make it tax deductible?

Emanuel Congregation 5959 N Sheridan Chicago, IL 60660

Thank you,


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