Neither your honey nor your sting

There was an educator in Ohio, in the 1960’s and 70’s, named Rabbi David Stavsky. He was a rebel, an innovator, and a person that always challenged the status quo.

In June 1966 a wire news service published the following item:

  “A Columbus Orthodox rabbi has called for the abolition of the Bar Mitzvah ceremony in American Judaism on the premise that nothing has contributed more to the adulteration of faith and the confusion of intellect than the Bar Mitzvah training program in America.”

For the uninitiated the Bar Mitzvah ceremony recognizes the rite of passage to manhood of a Jewish boy reaching the age of 13. It has evolved into a multimillion-dollar industry; inhabited by party planners, caterers, musicians, photographers etc. This has caused the ceremony to stray away completely from the original purpose of the tradition.

His point was simply that a Jewish education should not end with the Bar Mitzvah. So, he started a local day school; the Columbus Torah Academy, to continue educating children through high school.

His academy, like so many other non-profit institutions, depend heavily on grants and outside funding. In 1972 Rabbi Stavsky spoke to a faith based educational conference in Chicago. He spoke to the diverse group in attendance, each in their own way faced the difficult dilemma of what they were willing to do and what they were willing to compromise in order to raise funds and still stay true to their core values and mission statements.

He said, “no educational institution worthy of its name would survive the test of time if it surrenders its ideology and purpose for the sake of a grant or a gift…if allocation means watering down curriculum or religious ideology, the reply must be ‘neither your honey nor your sting.’” His words have stood the test of time.

With the help of GrantWatch, nonprofit directors and organizations can search the faith-based grants they so greatly need, that do not compromise their values or traditions, no matter what that may be. Thus, helping gain more ground for whatever their educational goals are as an institution. Non-profit institutions depend so heavily on grants and outside funding that any bit of extra help is always a great asset.

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