Hanging above my desk are several postcards created by my Dad. He was a whiz with Photoshop, and I count his postcards among my most cherished possessions. Some of the captions are “Poppa Steve’s Summer Camp for Wayward Children” and “Josh Hubal Stars in the Attack of the Abominable Snowman.” His favorite subject was his family and he often wove in kitschy, B-rated horror films from the 1950s. The postcards were always crafted with one purpose: to make you laugh.
When I think of my Dad, the first thing that comes to mind is his sense of humor. He put humor in everything he did: whether it was in the art he created, the whimsical postcards he made or three girls he parented. He taught us that finding a way to laugh will ease any pain. I believe he prized laughter above all; that is a tremendous gift to leave in this world.
Last week brought a few personal challenges: an aching tailbone injury that continues to nag, a mix of emotions from dropping my son off at college and the tough decision to cancel our Campaign kickoff brunch. After many hours of careful planning, canceling was not an easy decision to make, but the safety of community members must come first. Of course, the Campaign to raise funds will not be canceled. There is much work to do since the needs of our Jewish community have not changed.
As I sit here staring at Dad’s postcards, I have made a decision. My personal mantra for surviving the challenges of the Federation Campaign for 2022 and the year to come is to find a way to laugh. As the COVID-19 Delta Variant threatens to take away what little freedoms we tasted earlier this summer, choosing to laugh will certainly renew my spirit. If we must endure another year of Zoom meetings, let’s at least share a chuckle.
So, if you find your phone ringing on Super Sunday, August 29, or in the week that follows, please answer. It may be one of our Federation Campaign volunteers. They will be asking you for money to support our local Jewish organizations and, of course, we ask that give with a generous spirit. However, perhaps the call can also be an opportunity for a more valuable conversation. We have all endured a truly difficult year and I urge you all to stay connected. If I am on the other end of the call, I hope we will be able to share a laugh or two. That would be a tremendous gift to give.