So we were sitting around with Jerry one day -- me and the other Marketing and Communications folk -- spitballing ideas of how to stimulate young Jews continent-wide to consider federations as their home. We weren't really coming up with anything when suddenly one of the guys sneezed -- "ISH" was the sound we heard. Gesundheit, I yelled. "That's it," a couple of the pros with whom I work yelled out. "That's what?" the rest of us cried. "ISH, don't you get it? It's all about being Jewish and relating to the feds." "Huh?" some of us asked. But, believe it or not, from a sneeze came one of the great marketing ideas of all time.
I know, some of you cynics out there, and all of you over 35 don't get it but, really, like our famous Heroes campaign, we have sent this "ish-thing" up the flagpole and everyone under 35 saluted. In our press release on May 6 (The Jewish Federations of North America Launches "what's Your #Ish?") we said, in relevant part, "...Readers are invited to [post their ideas of what being Jewish means to them...and to tag their #ish with the hash-tag symbol." Don't know what that sentence means?? That's ok because neither do we -- that's our gift.
Yeah, it could mean British or Finnish, Scottish or Spanish, but it doesn't; it would be foolish to think so. This is about being #ish; what's so hard to kapish? It's not necessary to embellish even if you think the whole idea hellish. It's just the ishist -- try that as the anagram it's meant to be. And, if worst comes to worst, remember -- the ISH website is where you will find innovative bathroom design.
But, if you would go to our #ish website, you can watch the great ads we've done with some major stars -- the Sklar brothers and Joey something (both very funny) -- that speak to the ishiness of being Jewish and federation-connected. Some people will think us foolish, others will wish we would take our ish and bury the "idea" such as it ish...er, is.
But, that's not all -- "[F]or every #ish response, JFNA will credit 25 cents (yes, that's $.25) to a $50,000 #ish fund for charity. The fund will cover the core thematic needs supported by the ...Annual Campaign." This will give the lie to those out there who say that JFNA fails to meaningfully support the Annual Campaign. Continuing our work begun with the famous UJC "pizza and a Pepsi" campaign, we are there for the federations, our owners in meaningful ways. Those quarters will add up quickly, so give us your #ish before we run out.
This all brings to mind a brilliant cartoon in the May 10 New Yorker. Two guys are standing in front of a movie theater:"I can't decide if that was bad in a good way, good in a good way, good in a bad way, or bad in a bad way." Except, I can...
So, friends, start asking yourselves and your friends the obvious question aloud: "what's your #ish" and watch strangers staring at you quizzically. Your only #ish once you know.