Good afternoon NERUSY. I would like to begin by sharing my favorite story with you, and even if you have heard it before, I urge you to take a moment to reflect on it.
A man was walking along a beach. Off in the distance he could see a woman going back and forth between the surf and the beach. Back and forth she went. As the man approached, he saw hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide, and the woman was tossing them back into ocean --- one at a time. The man was struck by the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish to rescue, and many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the woman, she continued picking up starfish one by one and throwing them back into the surf. The man said, "There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. How can you possibly make a difference?" The woman smiled, picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean, and responded, "It sure made a difference to that one ... and to that one."
NERUSY, how will we make a difference? We have the spirit, the Ruach, to reach unprecedented heights. We can make a lasting impact on each other, our communities, and the world. We can change the world, NERUSY; just like saving starfish along the beach, it's the little things that matter.
Tikun Olam starts on the individual level. Individual diversity, passion, and inspiration drives our region. I plan to foster the unique nature NERUSYers possess through small measures, like sending out informational e-mails, compiling a database for volunteer opportunities available throughout the region, and a survey to connect individuals with similar passions to learn and work together. Even the smallest changes in NERUSY will promote more action, learning, and fundraising. When we combine our individual efforts, the results are magnificent.
On chapter and regional levels, we already have extremely qualified and passionate representatives. Through new tools like shared online documents, I plan to set up a network of communication where chapter SATOs and RGB members share events, strategies, and fundraising ideas to work as a cohesive group. With this joint effort, representatives can share valuable ideas, and strategies to implement in programs, their chapters, and RGB projects. Other changes include: bringing back friendly inter-chapter SATO competitions, specific focuses for RGB projects, and new SATO regalia. Additionally, I plan to have monthly check-ins with officers.
Change starts small. With small realistic changes, we can --- and will --- transform the world around us. As your next Social Action and Tikun Olam Vice President, I will harness the Ruach and passion we thrive on. I leave you with this: Lo alecha ham'lacha ligmor, V'lo ata ven chorin l'hibateil mi-menah. It is not for us to complete the work, but neither are we free from it. NERUSY: let's change the world ... one starfish at a time.