2005-04-06—Louis Rose Society
San Diego Jewish Times, April 6,
Today in our San Diego Jewish community, there is the same kind of cynicism when it comes to fundraising for community needs. Although they play lip service to being broad based, every major campaign attempts to “round up the usual contributors”—the big donors like the Jacobs family, the Viterbis, the Prices, the Galinsons and so forth. People tend to take the continued goodwill of these contributors for granted. How many times have you heard, “let the Jacobs do it” or some other variant?
This cynicism has two
deleterious effects. First, it
results in what the folks at the United Jewish Federation call “donor
fatigue” – big donors getting tired of always being “rounded up.” There
is fear that over the long run, such fatigue could lead to these families
diminishing their financial commitment to our community.
That would be a disaster, as their involvement is so important.
But, perhaps even more
dangerously, the idea that building our community is something that only “big
donors” can do, leads other Jews to believe mistakenly that they have to be
wealthy in order to have a say in our Jewish community.
How many times have you heard someone say, “no one will listen to
me—I don’t have the kind of money the machers have”?
Believing mistakenly that they can’t make a difference, they drift to
other kinds of interests, and the Jewish community thereby is deprived of their
valuable ideas and involvement.
Aware of such feelings in
our community, Norman Greene, my former co-publisher of the now defunct San
Diego Jewish Press-Heritage, and I recently began the
Louis Rose Jewish Historical Preservation Fund at the San
Diego Jewish Community Foundation.
This should be a people’s
monument, one to which members of our Jewish community—as well as our
Gentile friends—will contribute a very affordable sum of
$36 each, knowing that their contributions will be just as appreciated as
those of our community’s financially important families.
On my website at www.jewishsightseeing.com,
I’ll post names of contributors as they are reported to me by the Jewish
Money collected for the
Louis Rose Fund will continue to aggregate as we grow towards our $100,000 goal
for a monument and small park that will adjoin the boat channel that skirts the
edge of “Roseville” and leads to San Diego Bay.
The design of the monument
and the park will go through the City of San Diego’s various approval
processes, but we hope—with your help—to be well along the way by March 24,
2007, which will mark Louis Rose’s 200th birthday.
Once the Louis Rose
monument and park are completed, the next goal of the Louis Rose Jewish
Historical Preservation Fund will be to bring more awareness of Jewish
achievements and contributions to San Diego County with a historic plaque
program that will mark sites of significant Jewish interest.
Everyone who contributes
$36 to the “Louis Rose Fund” at the Jewish Community Foundation
automatically becomes a member for one year of the San Diego Jewish Historical
Preservation Association. Tax-deductible contributions may be made to the Jewish
Community Foundation at 4950 Murphy
Canyon Road, San Diego, CA 92123 with the notation on your check indicating that
the contribution is for the Louis Rose Fund.
After that, depending on
how actively you would like to offer your ideas and volunteer your time, you can
be a macher in this organization. From the planning of the Louis Rose
monument, to the celebration of Jewish achievements in various fields of
endeavor throughout San Diego County, the organization needs your input.
(If you need to know more
about Rose, please check out my book Louis
Rose: San Diego’s First Jewish Settler and Entrepreneur from your
local library, buy it at a bookstore, or purchase on the web via www.amazon.com
Your ideas about what
other sites in San Diego County should be remembered for their Jewish
significance also will be most welcome indeed.