It’s that Hallmark Time of the Year

shana tovaBy an anonymous regular reader

I’m not interested in your kind greetings, your heartfelt blessings or your blithe hopes for a healthy New Year. The world is broken, but you’d never know it from the chirpy, bright graphics and naïve words of optimism that have been delivered to my inbox throughout the last few days – hundreds of Shana Tova messages, and they all get the ‘delete button’ treatment. These e-cards are a cheap shot at establishing a connection, a dubious communications strategy to promote a cause and considering the personnel and time involved, an economic burden on the organization.

Rosh Hashanah is a wonderful opportunity to pause, reflect on your relationships, think about your Jewish aspirations and pledge a commitment to a meaningful life in the year to come. However, Jewish organizations are so busy competing with each other, trying to impress their donors and branding their product that the Jewish holidays simply become another marketing opportunity, employing Jewish motifs and cliches in superficial ways.

But there is an alternative, and it’s ground-breaking: if you’re really thinking of me, send me a thoughtful email – just a few lines will do, surprise me with a spontaneous phone call – even if it’s been a year since we last spoke, or send me a friendly text with few kind words – but make sure it’s not a cut and paste job because I can tell. And if you really want to be retro, pick up a pen, write a note, buy a stamp and send me a letter. I promise to reply.