There is an amazing fundraiser going on in the memory of Sam Sommer: Superman Sam For those of you who have been following his story, Sam is the son of two of my dear rabbinic friends, colleagues, classmates, and travelers (Phyllis, Michael and I all took a trip to Paris together). Inspired by Sam's story, Rabbi Rebecca Schorr, along with Phyllis and Michael created a fundraiser through the St. Baldrick's Foundation to raise money to fight childhood cancer: 36 Rabbis Shave for the Brave
Over 60 rabbis, cantors, and the like have all signed on to help raise, what was initially $180,000 towards this noble cause. Needless to say, the outpouring of support in Sam's memory caused the organizers to double their goal to $360,000. As of today, they are at $322,000 and counting. If you haven't had a chance to give, please do so.
But the reason why I am writing is because I have been asked if I am shaving for the Brave. And the truth is, I am not. It is not because I do not want to, which I desperately do, but because I am currently running a major congregational fundraising campaign. And after speaking with numerous experts on fundraising, they all agreed, one can really only focus on one campaign at a time. So I will just have to save the head shaving for another time. Perhaps Shave for the Brave II: Striking Back at Cancer.
In the meantime, I very much look forward to cheering on my friends and colleagues who are shaving at our annual Central Conference of American Rabbis convention at the end of March in Chicago. I will continue to encourage you, my readers to donate to this worthy cause. And I will continue to hold Sam's memory close to my heart even as hair will remain on my head ... for the time being.
Rabbi Sharff is the Senior Rabbi for The Reform Temple of Rockland in Upper Nyack, New York. He was raised in Houston, Texas where he discovered the acoustic and electric guitar while sitting in his dorm room one day. Rabbi Sharff graduated from the University of Texas and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.
Rabbi Sharff is the rhythm guitarist for RTR's in House Band, and he also served as the editor for Howard Salmon's z"l Comic Book Siddur.