A young boy with a serious illness was a big football fan. So Grossman, Usdan and the staff made some calls and found someone to donate two Super Bowl tickets, and someone else to sponsor the trip. When the boy found out about the trip, his parents said it was "the first time he smiled since getting his diagnosis."
What is the dream of the future president of the United States? For the answer, check out your e-mail or a pocket-sized, 36-page booklet called "Jewels of Elul IV," which is subtitled "29 Dreamers and Their Dreams." Among the dreamers who sent in their thoughts and hopes are the presumed presidential candidates, Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama.
But by and large, despite those enticing pitches, adulthood turns out to mean acceptance -- of how you played the hand you were dealt, of mortality, of beshert -- even if it sometimes includes flashes of 40-f---ing-8-like fury at the way the world turns out to work.
The small group inched forward through the dark walkway, clinging to one another. They giggled as they glanced nervously around at the bloody limbs strewn on the floor and thick cobwebs covering the walls. A ghastly creature lunged at them from a dark corner, and the terrified bunch shrieked. They finally made it out of the House of Horrors at Universal Studios, thanks to the guidance of a slightly annoyed teenage employee.
I'm standing on the balcony of a boutique hotel in New York's Lower East Side, looking down on Orchard Street, having a "Godfather" moment.
The unforgettable superheroes of comic strips became the stuff of endless Hollywood big-budget sequels. But more often than not, they began in the fevered imaginations of struggling young Jewish guys, whose wildest dreams could be hemmed in only by four panels and black ink.
I worry about children who are told they must get every answer correct. I worry about kids told there's no room for second best. I worry about the child who must always be the star. If we demand success each time, and leave no room for failure, our children's dreams will shrink to fit their certainties. They will play it safe and never try too hard, never reach too far, never put too much of themselves into any pursuit. It is entirely possible to exalt the mind while crushing the soul.
Your child comes home and says she wants to be a doctor someday. Your spouse or serious beau tells you he or she dreams of being something greater. And you douse the dream with a comment: "You aren't smart enough," "You don't have the skills needed to do that" or "No one will take you seriously."
Schlitt spent the past five years transforming a midlife crisis, a professionally disastrous trip to India, and his burning and failed ambition to make a movie about that disaster into a one-man show called, "Mike's Incredible Indian Adventure."
I felt a great, humbling appreciation that I was now doing what so many of my ancestors had wished to do for thousands of years.
Do you remember your dreams?
During the past few years, an effort has been made to retrieve women's devotional literature and present it to a contemporary Jewish world.
What is it in the human soul that kills our dreams and turns us into bugs?
Sarra Levine and Rochelle Robins began sharing their dreams three years ago, during a long car ride from the Michigan Women's MusicFestival to Philadelphia.
"I always knew I wanted to start a politically minded organization that was Jewish and focused on women," Robins says. "I also wanted to create the school I sought but couldn't find."