What whoud you doBy Stuart Botwinick

If in early 2015 I asked you what does the lottery, Adele and Star Wars have in common, it would be hard to imagine. Today, virtually anyone who consumes any media or talks to anyone who does, would be able to give you the hard facts about each. With all the questions about what’s happening in the world, US politics, the economy … there were three major records set just in the past few weeks.

Lottery – largest prize in history!

Adele – fastest selling single in history!

Star Wars -biggest grossing move in history!

Could anyone have predicted these world record breaking occurrences? As we stride into the New Year and take a moment and think about this…

  • How can we use these current events and make them relevant in our work and our Jewish community – how do they consciously play into our conversations in our congregations – from the pulpit, in our schools, in our programs? I’m thinking that the ‘what would you do if you won’ conversation could be the platform for some great strategic planning, if not tikkun olam curriculum.
  • Is there a way for us to take time to look for the dark horses, moonshots and seemingly random things and connect them? What might we not always see coming but could very well have a dramatic impact, sometimes in less than a year.
  • Do we have it within us to produce something record breaking, memorable or significant – something that can alter our impact, our programs, or the perception of such for the long term, the year or just the moment?

Great highs, great lows will undoubtedly be a part of 2016. Pause, think ahead – what can be done with that ‘ahead thinking’ today? What can I do with today’s current events to make Jewish community relevant? What can I do to contribute to the highs?

May 2016 be a year of great consciousness and great highs for all of us.

P.s. RIP David Bowie – I didn’t see that one coming either.

Stuart Botwinick is Executive Director of Temple Beth-El of Great Neck (NY) and a board member of Jewish Without Walls/JWOW.