Sir Moses Montefiore, the 19th Century Anglo-Jewish financier, was once asked how much he was worth. His reply was a lowball of even the most conservative estimate. Shocked, his questioner protested, but sir, your holdings in the Bank of England alone must be many times that.
Montefiore replied simply. "You asked my worth, not what I hold. I gave you the sum total I’ve donated to charity this past year."
Rabbi Daniel Cohen, author of What Will They Say About You When You're Gone? and a speaker at the 2019 FJMC International Convention, challenged us: "The problem is, although we crave a more meaningful life, we don't know how to rise above and turn that longing into reality. To rise above these distractions and tap into the best version of yourself, you need to unpack the details that make up your daily existence. You need to hold them up to the light, reconsider them, and decide what to keep, what to lose, and what to do differently."
What is the legacy you want to leave for your family, friends, community? Do you share your actions with your family? Do they see your involvement in your Congregation? Your Men's Club? your community? Do you discuss with them your philanthropy and volunteerism and why it is important? Are you passing this legacy on to your children - generation to generation?
As the President of the FJMC, I am often asked,"How can we involve more young people?" By the time they reach the twenties and early thirties, it is often too late. The question I ask is, "what have you done to demonstrate why your involvement is important to you?" It is not enough to say, I went to a Men's Club meeting. It is important to take you children with you (even a young age) so that see first-hand why it is important to them.
In my life, following certain sports teams was important in our households and, even though my children have moved away, they have kept their allegiances. We also raised our children in a household were Judaism and Jewish involvement is important, and my children are carrying that forward to their children. L'Dor VaDor" But it does not happen by osmosis. You have to teach and show your children every day why it is important.
Your involvement in Men's Club and Jewish life is important; make sure you understand that it is important to pass that legacy on. With your priorities you manage your own legacy. There is a true difference to what you hold and what your worth is. You can make that decision.
FJMC International President