I’m sitting in JFK and waiting to board a flight to Moscow. This is the first time I have ever been invited internationally to present to a Jewish community and a Jewish Day school faculty. It is a big step forward for me, and it is also the result of a lot of hard work. I hope that my thoughts about this will provide encouragement for those of you out there who are looking to share their voice with the world.
First of all, what does this have to do with ADHD? If I have to explain to you how my associative logic works and how things interconnect – you may not have ADHD. But I’m going to get there. I am a proud owner of a hyper-associative-and-creative brain, and that is part of what makes my voice unique. I have build a career around my hyper-activity, teaching in motion in the museum.
Do I sound distracted? Let’s talk about Moscow.
About two years ago I saw a post on Facebook or LinkedIn about Rabbi Perry Tirschwell’s “Torah Educators Network YHShare Conference”. So I did what I always do – I got in touch with him. Perry invited me to speak in the upcoming conference on June 18 in Paramus NJ (that’s the cover picture), and one of the presenters, Dr. Danielle Bloom, introduced me to her sister Dara Goldschmidt. Dara founded the Lauder Etz Chaim day school in Moscow, and they were interested in my presentation for their teachers on the subject of Tanach and Foundation Stone’s De’Ara Tanach Map.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Dara joined my summer tour in the Israel Museum, which was offered specifically for educators and Israeli tour guides. That was a gutsy move on my end, and I was honestly scared. When preparing a lesson, my pedagogic teacher taught us to always imagine. A student asking “what does this have to do with me?”.. Well, here I was thinking that guides would ask “who the heck are you?” I mean, these guides know the Israel Museum pretty well and bring their clients there quite often. But after the tour, I received high praise and excited feedback, and these guides asked me “when are you going this again?” Or “can I bring my bar-mitzvah groups to you?”
I’m an entrepreneur. I’m always trying new things even though I don’t necessarily have much. What I have is potential, ideas, commitment, and love for what I do. I have to cold call, hustle, not take no for an answer, and sometimes accept a no. I’ve been rejected again and again, and it brings a huge smile to my face when a client who rejected me in the past, says to me “yeah, I heard about you. Let’s talk!”… perhaps this is a story for another post.
Being an entrepreneur os a journey a difficult journey. It requires determination and motivation to
Push forward, even when things are tough. For example: This is my fourth year in a part-time job, instead of being locked into the security of a full time job with a full salary. I’ve also started two MA programs which were a financial strain in this situation, not to mention the mental and emotional effort required to manage that along with everything else I’m doing. ADHD. But this is in order to assure that I can achieve my dreams in the long term.
It’s a hard life, and it’s an immensely gratifying life.
I’m beginning to see the fruits of my labour, and there are so many things that I wish I could share with you about what’s coming, but it’s too early. Stay tuned, and you will be hearing some very exciting news, hopefully very soon.
In my ADHD mind, this is all connected. I have consistently worked toward integrating my many interests into an educational museum experience. I am a naturally born educator, and grew up in the streets and rooftops of Jerusalem’s Old City. I have been raised by parents who care deeply about Jewish education and who are constantly traveling, and taught us the value of inviting people from all over into our home, touching their soul in a special way. I am also an artist, and have always been creative and artistic. And finally, the love of Israel, of Torah, of the people of Israel and our rich history, runs in my veins.
It is all coming together now. I am constantly engaging with different people and finding new ways to engage, learn, share, teach, and hope to touch the soul of the people I meet.
I’ve recently started a podcast as part of Tanach Study called Parasha Study Plus, where I present an idea about Archaeology on the Parasha every sunday (available on Spotify, Google Music, iTunes and of course by email and whatsapp groups). Believe me, when I saw the list of presenters on this list, I was intimidated. “Who am I?”, again, to even be presented in this prestigious list of renowned scholars and rabbis? And yet the feedback from this podcast has literally moved me to tears. People are beginning to hear my story, my voice, and to appreciate its uniqueness.
It is at this point that I am reminded of the Marianne Williamson’s poignand poem:
…Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.– ‘A Return To Love’ (1992) by Marianne Williamson
I’m inviting people into my world: The Rova Boy who grew up in the streets of Jerusalem, where the whole world would come and visit and be awed, is sharing a story.
I’m sharing a story: My story, your story, our story. And people want to hear that story.
Don’t give up. You have a special voice, it is your story. Share it with the world, and the world will eventually wake up and listen.