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OK - so no one has commented on this blog entry and I cant stand it any longer.

If I receive one more email asking me to vote for a Jewish hero I am going to smash my computer screen.

This week alone Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the armed Jewish revolt against the Nazis. Gilad Schalit, in captivity for several years was seen to be alive. A video of Anne Frank was released.

And still I get these endless emails and Facebook messages asking me to vote for a Jewish hero.

In what is nothing less than a shameless act to gain attention this competition is embarrassing. And blog entries like this continue to perpetuate the sham.

Is no one willing to stand up and tell UJC that they are desecrating the title of Jewish hero? That they are allowing people to display their worst sides by clammering to receive $25,000?

This competition should be held up as another mis-guided attempt by a Jewish organizaion to disguise its inability to find direction and standing with a younger generation and over -compensating with the tantalizing draw of a cash reward.

Shame on UJC, shame on this competition and shame on every one who sends me emails asking me to vote for people who I am sure are doing great work, are great people and are nothing but pawns in this ugly game.


There is much in your comment that I agree with, eJewcator. I think competition is not the best way to promote heroism. While I understand that it's designed as an incentive, I'm not sure that the addition of a $25K prize best serves the spirit of this endeavor. It might have been interesting to see what would have happened if the winner received a surprise prize at the GA, with $ not part of the motivation for competition.

But with all due respect (always what people say before they're about to disagree), I don't believe this blog entry is a perpetuation of anything except the dialogue over heroism, which I believe is worth having. I think it also may shine a light (at least a little) on "unsung heroes," especially on the local level, the people who won't win the competition because they're not media/web-savvy/self-promotional enough to "work it" to increase their numbers.

Also, I agree that the definition of "hero" is subjective, and by invoking the Holocaust, you illustrate how we've, in a sense, "lowercased" both the word and the concept. But I'm not sure it's really fair to invoke the Holocaust in a context that's clearly not trying to say "these people are more heroic than those who rose up in the Warsaw Ghetto, or Anne Frank" - it's just trying to say that heroes aren't necessarily the people you have heard of. Some heroes are quieter types, or more modest, or are personal heroes.

The strength of your language ("shame on ...") indicates that you may continue to disagree with me. But I hope that you will reread this post, and see where I'm coming from: while this post may seem to promote the competition, what I'm really advocating is participation in the conversation over heroism, which you have now begun. So let's keep talking.

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