Keeping the lights on: is often not on adage to consider when trying to stimulate motivation or inspire others. In philanthropic circles, funders eschew giving to simply keep the lights on. Most of the time, maintaining the status quo is the enemy of progress. We need to be better than just “ok.”
Yet, when we think of keeping memory alive, paying tribute to a friend or a loved one, providing comfort from pain, shelter from the darkness or isolation or loneliness, that is a light we would all want to turn on – and keep on.
If you know Marianne Bloomberg – even a little – you know how much she cares about her family and the Jewish community of Detroit – her second family. She has spent nearly three decades working on the Jewish community’s behalf, the majority as a professional with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan working to ensure that the “community lights are kept on.”
Three years ago, in June 2016, a beloved member of her family, her sister, Carole Lasser, passed away. In her last months, Carole and her family were aided and comforted by Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network (JHCN) and its Senior Director, Rabbi Joey Krakoff.
Though it could never ameliorate the pain and sadness, when given the opportunity in 2018-2019 to serve as an Applebaum Fellow intern at JHCN, Marianne found a way to make the practical and emotional time work.
The immediate aim of the internship was so Marianne could help expose other families to the critical work of the organization and hopefully galvanize financial support. After all, what better voice than a family member who was exposed to Jewish Hospice’s end of life care services.
However, sometimes the goal of giving back is as simple and profound as helping to keep the lights on for someone. Someone like Marianne, so she can keep the light of her sister Carole on and perhaps do the same — and more — for others. At the end of the day, what else is more important?
Image: Marianne Bloomberg (left) sits with client, Rabbi Krakoff, Senior Director and Megan Topper, Director of Philanthropy for Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network enjoy time as they sing to Avi Schreiber on the keyboard
Images courtesy of Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network
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