A Christmas Zamir

Jewish ghosts get no respect. Not like the Ghosts of Christmas past present and future – they do great business this time of year. We maybe catch a movie and eat Chinese.
Though for us this week is little more than a break from work or school, it’s nice to slow down and reflect – especially if you’re one of the many who doesn’t really observe Shabbat. So I took a moment and looked up some fellow ghosts, and given they had little else to do, they were glad to forward some messages:


Have you ever seen this happen? A member spends a lot of time planning an event, and then is disappointed because of poor turnout. There are two main reasons why turnout to an event might be poor. It might be bad timing – a holiday during which many members are out of town, or an evening where a major community event (like a prom) is going on. It might also be bad promotion – an event planner can do a great deal to promote strong attendance at an event by talking about it beforehand and even calling people to ask them to attend.

Happy Chanukah

Before you head off to parties, driedels, gifts and gelt, allow me to extend to you all best wishes this Chanukah. And between the fun and celebration, perhaps you might pause to reflect on the words of this song by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame:
Peter Yarrow- ©1983 Silver Dawn Music ASCAP
Light one candle for the Maccabee children
With thanks that their light didn’t die
Light one candle for the pain they endured
When their right to exist was denied
Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice
Justice and freedom demand
But light one candle for the wisdom to know
When the peacemaker’s time is at hand
Don’t let the light go out!
It’s lasted for so many years!
Don’t let the light go out!
Let it shine through our love and our tears.

Light one candle for the strength that we need
To never become our own foe
And light one candle for those who are suffering
Pain we learned so long ago
Light one candle for all we believe in
That anger not tear us apart
And light one candle to find us together
With peace as the song in our hearts
What is the memory that’s valued so highly
That we keep it alive in that flame?
What’s the commitment to those who have died
That we cry out they’ve not died in vain?
We have come this far always believing
That justice would somehow prevail
This is the burden, this is the promise
This is why we will not fail!
Don’t let the light go out!
Don’t let the light go out!
Don’t let the light go out!

On Change

People hate change. People love change.
Some people react to any change with fear and doubt – holding on to tradition with fists tight and minds closed. Some people react to change by enthusiastically adopting every new thing just because it’s new, without thought of consequence.
Both views are flawed.
Those who reject change blindly ultimately fail to adapt to the world. Like dinosaurs, their fate is to vanish into fossilized memory.
Those who accept change blindly strew havoc and destruction in their wake, not realizing that their new approach may be inferior to the tried and true.
Change is a partner, one who should be courted and examined thoughtfully before being invited to move in.
Change and BBYO
BBYO is currently facing change. You’ve heard the words:
Engagement – Updated Policies – Dashboard – B-Linked
These all represent significant changes for BBYO. Over the days to come, I will explore all of these in more depth.
But I’m going to give you a preview now.

BBYO Phone Conference

(I’m pleased to welcome a new author to BebersGhost.com: ShanesGhost [read more about him on our about page]. Posts by ShanesGhost do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BebersGhost, but that’s ok, because posts by BebersGhost don’t necessarily reflect the opinion of ShanesGhost either. I’d also like to take this opportunity to note the arrival of Max Baer’s Ghost on “The Dead Aleph’s Society”. With so many ghosts, it’s like Halloween every day. Trick or treat…  – BebersGhost)
Last night there was a phone conference between international staff and members of BBYO. I use the term “between” lightly, because it was really just International staff speaking for an hour and twenty minutes while members tried in vain to get their questions past the Grand Aleph Godol’s selection criteria. While I was not privileged enough to sit in on the conference call, I did have a link forwarded to me containing the audio log of the call.
After listening to the mp3 in its entirety, and pondering over it for a good amount of time, the biggest concern I have is that the members, and the staff do not see eye to eye. In the beginning of the call it seemed that the members had one understanding of how these changes would affect their chapter, and the staff had another. But by the end, it seemed as if nothing had changed that, and the conference call had only served to reinforce each side’s arguments. With the plethora of mysterious whispering, and the almost mocking laughter from Ian aside, the conference call seemed to run in circles. Some great questions were answered, but the energy seemed to die off with statements from staff conveying a message that seemed to say “We are not convinced”. So what does it take to convince a member of international staff, and how can you get both sides to see eye to eye?
Well, it is in the inherent nature of all members of BBYO should have slightly different goals than that of staff, but is this the cause such a disagreement? While it was clear that BBYO Inc. is highly concerned with the safety of every member, and the members of BBYO were highly concerned with the hassle and burden of the proposed red tape, is there no grounds for a compromise? I can guarantee that this dispute will only be calmed if both parties gain a level of mutual understanding, and both parties agree to some form of eye-to-eye communication.