Monday, March 9, 2015

Rants #1: Ten Million Dollars, and an Electric (non) Bicycle

1. Ten Million Bucks for What?
I saw this article making its way through the social networks:
Temple Israel in West Bloomfield receives $10M endowment
A West Bloomfield-based synagogue has received a $10 million endowment from a Birmingham couple.
The money donated by Temple Israel members Sarah and Harold Gottlieb will establish The Stephen Gottlieb z"l Cantorial Chair, in memory of their son who died in 2006. The endowment also will support the music program at the temple and fund an annual concert called the Stephen Gottlieb Tribute Concert.
Harold Gottlieb said he hopes the event will be a catalyst for increased music education and commitment to Judaism and Jewish music in Southeast Michigan.
His son, Stephen Gottlieb, was a music lover who taught himself how to play the piano, guitar, flute, drums and banjo. He also taught others how to play music.
The annual concert is scheduled for July 19 at Temple Israel.
After reading the piece I had two different thoughts:
1. Good for Temple Israel. They've always known how to raise funds
2. That's it? A "Cantorial Chair" and an annual concert? That's one very, very expensive chair. Who's sitting in it? Pavarotti? 10 million dollars used to buy a whole heck of a lot more. Like a campus. Or an entire staff of teachers. Sure, interest rates are terrible, but couldn't they get a bit more bang for their buck? If anyone reading this is interested in donating 10 million dollars to a good cause, contact me. I can guarantee much more than a "chair" and a concert.

2. That's Not a Bicycle.
There's a new phenomenon in Israel of electric bicycles. Basically, these are bicycles with batteries attached to them that you can pedal like a bicycle, although no one does. Instead, you turn the handle and ride it more like an electric moped. Now, if the only people to ride these things were the elderly, I could appreciate their value. But mostly, people are buying these things for their children. I know, I'm officially old, but when I rode my bicycle to school back in the 1750's (in the snow and rain, by the way), I actually had to pedal my bike. With my legs. With no battery assistance.


Someone should tell the Israeli parents buying these things for their kids that exercise is good for their children. Kids don't need batteries for their bicycles. Pretty soon they'll be driving them all over the place so that they don't have to "walk".