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What would Moses say about fundraising for the future?

We plant trees for the next generation
We plant trees for the next generation

“Moses was 120 years old, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.”

As Liberal Judaism celebrates its 120th anniversary, this is a quote we keep coming back to. Like Moses, we stand on the edge of a Promised Land – but one we will not inherit ourselves.

Liberal Judaism has just undertaken its first crowdfunding campaign, raising a staggering £275,000 to support our work and our members. Yet, like many other charities who have fundraised in this way and, indeed, like Moses himself, the people doing a lot of this work may not be the ones who feel its impact.

In our case, this includes providing bursaries for children wanting to attend LJY-Netzer youth camps and events, a Progressive Jewish chaplain in universities and a centralised b’nei mitzvah and Kabbalat Torah programme for smaller communities that do not have a rabbi.

This is all to create the next generation of confident and passionate Liberal Jews and to ensure that our children have a future-proofed Judaism.

It was not Moses and his generation who went into the Promised Land, but a future generation that went forth. If I’m honest, Moses didn’t go quietly into the night. He wasn’t happy about not seeing the Promised Land. He railed against God’s plans.

It is a struggle to realise you are not going to see the fruits of your efforts – that a legacy will be created, but that it is going to be delivered by the next generation. This is actually a central idea within Judaism. The Talmud tells us that we don’t plant trees for ourselves, as we are never going to see them, but for the next generation to benefit from. In the end, Moses accepted what was happening. The Torah tells us he may have been dying, but his vision was not diminished and his strength not abated. His advice to Liberal Judaism, and anyone raising funds, would be to think about the future with a clear vision and a reinvigorated strength.

 

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