The Power of the Ask

dice question markThe last few weeks have been packed with Purim parties & Passover prep.  But amidst the details of the Jewish calendar, I’ve been more enamored with the coffee invites I’ve been sending out as we think ahead to next year’s leadership structure for Jewish Life at GW.

A number of bright minds on campus have been hard at work thinking through bold & needed changes for the 2013-2014 school year.  They have taken on the task of DREAMING BIG, utilizing strengths while having an honest conversation about creating a more vibrant Jewish community for next year.  I’ve had the blessed task of selling this vision, asking many students out for coffee to see how their strengths & passions might align with doing good things for Jewish GW next year.

Today I had four such coffee dates with H., B., T., and L.  These four individuals are diverse in multiple ways.  Some are younger and some older, some come to Jewish spaces every day on campus and others have turned away when not finding their niche.  None are “Hillel regulars”.  But I was struck today by how all have two key values in common.  First, each cares deeply about their own sense of Jewish identity and what responsibility they have to their community.  Secondly – and more striking to me – each responded with pure and utter enthusiasm.  With zero arm twisting on my part, each individual simply needed to be asked – asked to find their seat at the table, to contribute to bettering a community, to use their talents in a way that could be valued by others.  Each conversation ended with my sense that all would be applying to join our new leadership structure next year.

What role would YOU be willing to play in this world, if only you were asked?  And how can YOU invite others to be active participants in building something great, creating spaces for others to exercise leadership?

(And a BIG, FAT PS: we hope you’ll join us in this endeavor!  Take a peak at what’s happening & let’s do coffee.)

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