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The organization is going to get more money out of you. They do that with what they call the (you put in the name of the organization) dinner. Every nonprofit has it. It can be at the pizza joint, they'll have their yearly dinner. They take a piece of schnitzel they got for three dollars and upcharge you 30,000%. They know you wouldn't pay $800 for a piece of schnitzel if there wasn't a reason. They need to sell you on this.
To sell you at the dinner, they use people they call honorees. The honorees is how they get you to come. Here is how they will use them. Be ready.
Save the Date
The first sign somebody is going to be taking your money.
They tell you to save the date. Stay away from anything that says ‘Save the Date.’ That means something expensive is coming up. If you get one of these, pretend you didn’t see it and plan a trip for the ‘Date.’ Save the date for something cheaper than the fundraiser. A family trip to the Netherlands is a good way to save money.
The best advice I can give is to never look at your mail. You will save a lot of money on donations and bills that way. If you're lucky, you can also get out of a Bar Mitzvah.
The fact that they have money to send you a letter that says they are not ready yet is a problem.
They will prep you with the save the date. Then they bring on the guilt. There are people being honored. You can't go on a trip when people are being honored. You have to honor them. They're honorees. They haven't honored these friends in a while.
The honorees are people that other people like, who have a lot of friends. Or, they're people that other people need to pretend they like, for potential work; you want to be closer to these people. The organizations use these people to get you to come out to the fundraiser. They don't trust that you like the shul enough. They thus honor the Friedbergs. Everybody knows the Friedbergs.
What are the Friedbergs honored for? Knowing people. That's what they've given to the shul. They've never volunteered or helped with a Shiva Minyin, but they know people.
How to Not Get Pulled In
Over the years, I've made it a point to have friends that nobody likes. I was going broke on friends who were affable. I noticed a disturbing pattern; the shul was honoring these people. These friendly people offering to pay for dinner, when you go out together, is just a guise before the big blow of the $2,000 you will be putting out for their honorees dinner. If you can find unlovable friends who are also poor, you have struck gold.
If you see somebody sticking their hands in the herring and taking all the meat out of the choolante pot, for themselves, befriend them.
How They Pick the Honorees
You will know it is a fundraiser when the Fridberg family gets honored for being great community members. When people get honored for accomplishing nothing, that is a clear sign it's a fundraiser.
If there is more than one couple on the bill, that is another clear sign it's a fundraiser and that the person who deserves to get honored, and is second on the poster, is not popular enough. Nobody cares that you brought the children out of Sudan if people aren't hanging with you at Kiddish, but it would look decent to honor you. Do you have friends? That is what we care about.
For this reason, you should also avoid friends who have solved any worldwide crisis, such as starvation or disease. Your friends should be unhelpful and unfriendly people.
You have to give money for these people that are also going to interrupt your dinner. Anything to take your focus off the fact that you've just put out $800 on a piece of schnitzel.
Theses are other honorees. You don't know them. Why they tell you about these honorees, I have no idea. Yet, you're forking over another $500 for them to be there. They have to pay these people to talk over you and interrupt your conversation.
Watch out for these people. These are the people that tell you about the dinner. They tell you about your friends and the speakers. They write the letters. They tell you to 'save the date.' They call you when you tried to not respond. You had to tell them you must've not gotten the letter. They know you are lying. If you don't go, you'll be offending them.
Once people join a committee, they become very crafty. Your friends are on the committee, and they're going to tell you about that friend that is being honored.
The Issue Is Friends
If you've learned something today, it's to not have friends. Being part of a community, it's best if you don't know anybody. Then you don't have to feel bad not showing up. You can save a lot of money that way. It costs too much money to not offend people.
If you plan the trip, try your hardest to forge a ticket that shows you purchased it before the committee sent out the 'save the date.' The committee will ask for that. And never join the committee. They put you on that committee to make sure you're going to be there. You get no discounts on schnitzel.
And make sure to support your congregation, pay your dues and dedicate to your community in honor of your ancestors.
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My kids take after me. Due to Kibud Av vEim, they always let me take first.
You get it? ‘Take after me' means to be like their dad. Instead, they let their dad fill his plate first, as per the Mitzvah to honor parents. Very good kids. If we can have a positive influence on the next generation with our puns, that is the blessing.
Giving Tzedakah, I like to know where the charity is going. That charity box in the front is for kids who need help with their artwork.