Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jews, Basketball, & Money

Happy birthday DeepThroat! I've long found it amusing how people will ask my friend, upon hearing his birthday, if he "only gets to have a birthday every four years." For some reason, people don't seem to get that it is the 29th - not the 28th - which is the 'extra' day. On that note, a guy who sits near me in shul will be celebrating his 1st anniversary tomorrow. Now that's a good way to get out of giving presents.

An interesting story that's out there: A Jewish high school basketball team is one game away from a regional championship... but the game is on Shabbos. And the league won't move the game, despite requests from all over including state senators, and despite the seeming ability to do so... and the league does not allow games on Sunday. Why? Hard to say:

"Sunday is a logical day, because people don't work on Sunday. There's no school," Reader said. "It's been picked by society to say that's a day when people from a family are together. And so why not make that the day of rest."

When a reporter said most people would consider his "day of rest" comment to be a Christian biblical referance, Reader said, "You can make an assumption and I can make an assumption."

Senate President Peter Groff, D-Denver, praised the young men for making the hard decision to stand by their faith, even if it means forsaking their hoop dream.

Amen to the last part - it's quite a Kiddush Hashem. Jewess with Horns and Jersey both have posts on the subject - check them out.

On another interesting note, via DaBoys, I found this fascinating Pew study about religion in America. I want to expound on this later, but this set of statistics shows just how well Jews have it... which means we also are incredibly bad at other things.

The most affluent religious group in America? Well... Hindus. But right behind them, and well ahead of anyone else? Jews. 46% of Jewish homes have an income over $100,000. 46%! And yet... we have so many institutions and charities begging for money?

The problem is not that people aren't giving. The problem is an incredible redundancy of organizations and schools that are not necessary, horrid spending practices by individuals and institutions, lack of oversight of any funds whether in schools or charities, a ridiculous level of inefficiency in all institutions, and a complete unwillingness to open up the books. Why aren't more parents - who are increasingly asked for more and more money for tuition - demanding to see where their money is going?! Why do we allow what should be an affluent group get drained of all resources to the point that an economic crisis is always looming? Why is that bottom group constantly getting bigger and bigger instead of being lifted up?

It is laughable that almost no Jewish organization has opened their books. Not schools. Not charities. Not shuls. There's all this money in the Jewish community, yet where does it go? Nobody knows.