I feel constrained- I’ve been watching the news- for months- in a sweaty state of terror- thinking that the world is about to pivot and climax: we are either going to go into a “cold war-like initiative” against Russia/separatists, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Hamas and Boko Haram (as I now call our multiple continent aggressors: our modern day anti-allies, AKA our WW3)… or we will have to rise up as the civilized world- and come together as HUMANS focused on sustaining a peaceful community, that seeks harmony and the protection of societies greatest gifts (i.e.: academic, liberalized, modernity- AND the safety of all of our children at school and home). After all, it takes an entire village to raise just 1 child. (I’ve drank the Clinton Global Initiative Kool-Aid, #noceilings #ImReadyForHillary).
I’m only 1 generation removed from the holocaust– just a Shoah survivors granddaughter acknowledging that if he hadn’t escaped Poland, nothing that I have- or have affected- would exist; I feel (my) grandpa Joe Meisler in me- pushing me- to have a plan to protect his- our- Jewish family. I hear his long drawn breaths- and even longer solicitation to somehow get to Tel Aviv, or find a way to hide outside of Brooklyn (irony: I’m the passionate founder of thecrowdraising platform MazelTov, and known for working within the Jewishcommunity). As I have watched the synagogue attacks in Paris, and reminisced of the April 2014/Passover shootings in Kansas City– I’ve consistently thought back to my post-9/11 game plan: hiding myself in my Imam’s wife/Syrian-Muslim-friend-from-FSU’s tornado shelter (no ones going to accuse the leaders of amosque– in Oklahoma- of harboring a fugitive Jewish tech leader).
My Imam’s wife (Eman) and I came to this time worn conclusion: if women were in charge, there’d be peace, and since Halal food is kosher, but spicier- I can coexist under her watch- and nothing will happen to me under her back yard swingset? After all, we both survived 9/11 at FSU- when swastikas popped up on campus, and a bigot DROVE his F-150 into the mosque on campus!
Seeing the surrender flags on the Brooklyn bridge…wondering if I’ll wind up on a future social media panel- wearing a burqa– or see my idols stripped of their powerful female identities…I can see Rachel Sklar in a silence of the lambs mask, and Chelsea Clinton wearing a bonnet– while they’re on air, learning as the cameras start running- to placate the un-Americanized world- on a channel called ISIScnn?
This is not a Philip Roth plot/mock up/pitch! Unfortunately, there’s more than a plot against America brewing- this one is of biblical proportions!
Unfortunately, my alternate universe is all of our potential realities- under any type of fundamentalist rule.
How can we fix the problems in the world, without destroying the generations coming after us?
- Keep focused.
- Work on the problems you see!
- Stay directed- and rise up to the challenges you see hurting your vision.
- Stay academic.
- Be the most enlightened- and the person thinking about how projects will really benefit society.
When I talk about my MazelTov– I talk about micro versus macro. I talk about small versus large- giving one person the ability to help a big project, or letting a big project get finished by a lot of people!
A percentage of all MazelTov transactions are designated to pre-selected Jewish charities- partnered and funded by MazelTov.
As young adults and parents plan their Bar and Bat Mitzvah simchas (celebrations), and through my site, these families have the ability to change the lives of thousands of other Israelis. Part of each of their big days, and becoming a young adult in the Jewish community, is giving back (the biggestmitzvah one can complete is Tikkun Olam– the act of repairing the world). When party invitations are mailed out, families send along their party page link: and their own story- behind why their child’s Tikkun Olam project is so important: “by giving gifts through the MazelTov network, our “child is the best” is helping support the research at Laniado Hospital– a public hospital in Israel”, or their family wants to give within the reform movement “Help “My awesome preteen” rebuild the Jewish community in the Rockaways, URJ West End Temple, still growing back after hurricane Sandy!”
As a late stage start up, MazelTov has carved it’s own path- choosing who to work with- and for the micro and the macro
By aligning with large and small Jewish charities, MazelTov is able to see bigger and smaller projects succeed- just through crowdraising.
Unlike crowdfunding- crowdraising is inherently victimless. If you don’t reach your personal gift goal- you’re still giving back a set percentage of your proceeds or gifts. You’re already going to donate from your total- because it’s the Jewish tradition to give when given- why not automate the process?
The MazelTov user base of 200,000 registered members, chooses what charity WE want to help. I’m invested in West End Temple because I am in love with the Rockaways, and I know that the children deserve a beautiful school and sanctuary- and I can give to the Hebrew school rebuild by hosting more potluck dinners for Shabbat, planning more speed dating dinners at my apartment, and plan more diverse pro-Israel technology forums, on college campuses and in international offices! With each ticket I sell, I’m guaranteeing that I’ll give back to the people that need it the most- the big and small charities making it happen.
The news keeps focusing on the next generation- and who will clean up all of our messes. We can only make the world better through innovative, creative ways. By making doing “good things for society” with automation- we are GAMIFYING giving back.
Imagine if you had an army of young kids, eager to help you: now, give them the tools to get the work done. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.