Thursday, October 24, 2013

Life Is Give and Take, Part I

Charity Begins at Home
We have been receiving an inordinately large number of solicitations from seemingly worthy, charitable, and non-profit Jewish organizations. We have determined that when you give to one, they in turn make money by selling our name to other such organizations.

As such, we have decided to see what each organization does with our money, and then narrow down our contributions to just a few select ones and give more to them.

Since 2000, we have worked with and contributed to a local Holocaust survivor group, where we know many of the members and know exactly what good our donation would do.

When it came time to selecting others, we waded through solicitations whose cover letters seemed to begin with “Dear Friend,” even though we don’t know anyone there. Some of these groups included the American Jewish Historical Society (who included a membership card), a Jewish student group at San Jose State where I used to teach (who asked for a contribution from $200 to $60,000), the Anti-Defamation League (who included a “Supporter” card for my wallet), and the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (who provided us with twelve address label including six with the “bbyo” logo on them), 

I have donated many of my original research papers on Holocaust denial to the library at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is across West Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles is The Museum of Tolerance.

That Museum continuously churns out solicitations stacked within envelopes imprinted with “Urgent Renewal Reminder.” “We’re urgently awaiting your response,”  “Your Response Requested,” to “It’s Time to Renew Your Membership!” and “Your Membership Matters!”

When we received yet another solicitation from the Museum of Tolerance — the fifth within a month or so —we did some basic research. In a full-color, 8-page, glossy solicitation brochure, we discovered that the founder and dean, the very photogenic Rabbi Marvin Hier, had his smiling ponem (face) appearing in eleven visuals. Why was he so happy, you might ask?

According to reports, in 2010 he “earned” $721,714 for his modeling (among other efforts), his wife Marlene earned $344,329 as director of membership development, and to keep as much gelt as possible in the family, his son Alan D. Hier, earned $187,274 as international director of fundraising and communications for SWC Museum Corp.

I just returned their last fund raising form, and declined to give a donation at this time, asking if the Hier family would instead donate to me.

Moral: The more you give; the more someone may want to take.

You can follow Ho-Ho-Kus Cogitator blogs from 2012, by going here.

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