Tag Archives: mensch

Julius Rosenwald: Repairing the World Book Review

One of the major tenets of Judaism is “tikkun olam“. In English, it means “repair the world” and in our modern lingo, it is social justice.

Hasia R. Diner‘s 2017 biography of the late businessman and philanthropist, Julius Rosenwald is entitled Julius Rosenwald: Repairing the World. Born in 1862 to Jewish immigrants, his early years were modest. As an adult, he took over the helm of Sears, Roebuck & Company and made it the retail giant of it’s day. He also ahead of his time in the manner that he treated his staff and his approach to those who were not as fortunate as he was. Instead of putting his names on buildings and using his wealth for conspicuous consumption, he was passionate about giving back. In addition to supporting his co-religionists, he supported the African-American community in a way that many Caucasians did not in that early 20th century.

Before reading this book, I had no idea who Rosenwald was. He is one of those figures in Jewish history who is not as well known as others of his day. This is a quick read (in a good way) and a story that I think is inspiring for us all, regardless of faith or family origin. It shows that it is possible to be a mensch and not give into the preconceived notions of other people.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History

Thoughts On The Robert Smith Announcement

On the surface, the reason that we go to college is to receive a degree and hopefully use that degree to better our future and the future of our family. But the college experience is much more than the academics. It is about the friends we make, the experiences we have and the growth that occurs in between the day that we move into the dorm freshman year and the day that we receive our diplomas.

The problem is that the cost of college has risen exponentially over the past few years. Many college graduates not only walk away with a degree, but with stifling student loans that have the potential to cripple them financially for years to come.

This past weekend, billionaire investor Robert Smith addressed the class of 2019 at Morehouse College. During his commencement speech, he announced that he was paying off the student loans of every graduate.

In Judaism, we refer to a good person as a mensch. Mr. Smith is more than a mensch. He is not only helping out the young men who graduated yesterday, he is setting an example for all of us, especially other member of the 1%. We all have the capacity to do good in this world, we do not need to be a billionaire, we just need a heart, a conscious and a willingness to step forward.

I wish that there were more like Robert Smith in the world.

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Filed under National News, Thoughts On....