With so many Jewish villains in the news lately, including convicted financial scoundrel Bernard Madoff, corrupt politicians, and Jewish community leaders allegedly laundering money, it is refreshing to discover and applaud a true Jewish hero.
A grassroots e-mail campaign is promoting Rabbi Ephraim Simon for recognition as a Jewish Hero in United Jewish Communities’ online contest. If he receives enough votes on the UJC Website (www.jewishcommunityheroes.org/nominees/profile/rabbi-ephraim-simon), then his altruistic act may be recognized by UJC, the Jewish federation’s umbrella organization, with a $25,000 donation to Teaneck Chabad House.
The Internet campaign “celebrates the selflessness and courage of those who put others before themselves.”
The e-mail that is circulating is encouraging people to: “Please go to this site and vote every 12 hours for Rabbi Simon as Jewish hero….”
The e-mail continues: “As many of you know, Rabbi Simon selflessly donated his kidney!!!!
“He would never accept any award for this act, so lets [sic] take this opportunity to win this award and get a miracle boost of 25k to the chabad house of teaneck!!!!”
According to the Website, www.jewishcommunityheroes.org, “Over the next three months, anyone across North America can go online, submit nominations, and vote for the candidates they believe best embody the spirit of the award.” The five finalists will be honored at the General Assembly in Washington, D.C., in November, and one of them will be named Jewish Community Hero of the Year. A $25,000 award will be presented to the Hero of the Year “to be used as an investment in their community project or non-profit effort.” The four runners-up will receive smaller awards to be used in their community projects or non-profit organizations.
“It only takes a few seconds so please vote!!! ( You can vote as many times as you want, every 12 hours),” reiterates the e-mail. “Rabbi Simon gave someone a miracle…lets give him one too!”