Hanukkah is rapidly approaching, as is the end of the fiscal, secular year. That means many charities send us appeals for donations, via regular mail as well as email, text and phone calls. From a cynical point of view, this gets annoying. From a more generous point of view, this is understandable and meshes well with our giving history and nature (and our desire to get a tax deduction along with it).

A few days ago a friend posted on Facebook about what she considers a fitting holiday gift for a family member you begrudge: donate money to a charity you like but he or she despises...in their honor. In that way, your charitable cause benefits and your relative is stumped by your snide commentary.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


And here is a Brooklyn, New York- Jewish spin on the above idea.
Some years ago I returned home from doing an errand, to find that I could not park my car in my own driveway. Someone else had parked a car there, and I didn't recognize the car. There was no note there either, offering an apology for using my driveway space temporarily. I was angry and I had to drive around to find another parking spot. This was not easy because it seemed like a social event was taking place on my block and a lot of people had parked nearby.


I placed a handwritten note on the windshield of the car in my driveway, to express my annoyance at their misdeed. As well, I snapped photographs of this car, with the intention of calling the local police precinct. (They did not rush over to aid me, however.)

A few hours later the doorbell rang, and an Orthodox man was on my doorstep. He apologized for having parked his family's car in my driveway. He claimed that he thought it was his friend's driveway, meaning, my next-door-neighbor, whom he was visiting.  I controlled my anger but still chided him. In fact, I told him I had taken photographs and had planned to report this to the police. Again he apologized, and then he asked me what he could to make up for this.

We stood outside on my front steps, and I thought about this. What could I do that might teach him a lesson but wouldn't make me look bad? So I said, "How about you make a donation in my name to a group that helps Agunot." I wondered if he would cringe and protest but he agreed to do this. He even wrote down my name. I didn't believe he would follow through but by now I was calmer. He and his family drove away.

A few weeks later I got a receipt in the mail from an organization that helps Agunot. My name as well as the donor's name were on the receipt. I cannot tell you how touched I was by his effort. Really! And within days another Jewish charity, a local group that helps immigrant Jewish kids in Brooklyn, sent me a receipt as well. The man had made a donation to them as well, in my name.

There are several lessons to be learned from this story, and I hope you can do something like this in your life at some point. As we prep for Hanukkah, I wish you a wonderful Chag.

Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of The Jerusalem Post. Blog authors are NOT employees, freelance or salaried, of The Jerusalem Post.

Think others should know about this? Please share