Behind the Scenes at A Night to Honor Israel

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 11:47am

465 We must do more with less. Recent economic conditions have made this the catch phrase of charitable institutions worldwide. It rings true for the UJFT as well.

As I ran around behind the scenes Sunday night, March 6 at “A Night to Honor Israel,” an event held at the Founder’s Inn by CUFI (Christians United For Israel), I looked beyond all the grand staging and theatrics and saw them doing more with less.

While the event looked like a big budget affair, the staff was comprised mostly of volunteers.

CUFI, with more than 600,000 members, is the largest pro-Israel lobbying organization. According to Pastor Victor Styrsky, CUFI’s representative for this region, the organization itself runs on a very small budget and distributes nearly every dollar it takes in to Israel.

Last night, I witnessed the collection and counting of more than $6,000. Every penny of this money (under my watchful eye) was counted three times and delivered directly to the UJFT for distribution to JDC (The Joint Distribution Committee, UJFT-supported agency).

The “epic” appearance of this event was something I just wasn’t used to, and it wasn’t even what inspired me. At the end of the night, as a highly efficient crew of volunteers broke down the set and cleaned up the room, I watched people pitch in just because they wanted to help.

It occurred to me that if volunteers could pull off an event of this magnitude – an evening where every minute was scripted in a way that would make Broadway producers jealous – then we can move mountains ourselves.

We don’t need the pageantry or the dancers or the flag-bearers. We just need to do what we do best. Help each other.

- Sid Bridge, UJFT Marketing Director

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