Why Charity Water?

Dahlia has been working hard at her goal of raising $5000 for charity: water, but she is a little concerned that we’ve strayed from the message too much in an effort to take advantage of her cuteness. (This email will contain no blatant cuteness, but you can click here if you really need some now.) Her birthday is just over 2 weeks away (January 13, 2012), and she wants to make sure people get in their charitable donations before the end of 2011. 
Dahlia has asked us to compose a message that clearly explains what this campaign is all about, and why she cares so much about water: 
1. Why do a fundraiser? Is she not getting presents?
Fear not! Dahlia will be getting presents for her first birthday. Mom and Dad, grandparents and other friends/family will still be getting her some birthday gifts. This 1 year old will not be deprived of material showering on January 13th. We decided, however, that since 1 year olds don’t really know what’s going on, and can’t appreciate the difference between 5 presents and 15 presents, that dedicating this birthday to a charity could have meaning in Dahlia’s life for many more years to come than something from BabiesRUs.
2. What support Water?  
It’s hard for a 1 year old to choose their favorite charity – there are so many options! What sealed the deal for Dahlia was her love of bath time and trips to the pool. This kid just loves water! If she’s ever in a bad mood or under the weather, just plop her in the tub and she’s splashing and squealing like a happy little piglet (sorry Dahlia, but it’s true!)
3. Why charity: water?
Now this is a good question. There are a lot of organizations that focus on water, but something stood out about this non-profit. First of all, 100% of the money we raise will be spent on water projects in the developing world. Charity: water’s overhead is paid for my corporate sponsors, so we’re not paying for some NYC fundraiser’s salary. ALSO, the $5000 we will hopefully raise is going to pay for an entire water project for a school, village or hospital. It’s a tangible difference that this money is going to make, and Dahlia will get a report afterwards with the GPS location of her Water Project. If you want a taste of what charity: water does so well, check out some of their videos
4. Are you just going to ask me for money again next year?
Probably not. We would like to make a positive impact on the world every year (and not only around birthdays), but that can’t simply mean asking our friends and family to make donations. There are other ways to make the world a better place (volunteering, promoting awareness, advocacy) that don’t rely on hitting up loved-ones for cash. So while we’re not going to promise this is the last fundraiser that will ever come from the Steinbergs, don’t worry that this is going to be an annual campaign you need to worry about each year.
5. Thank You 
We truly appreciate every single donation that has been made, and realize that it is no simple act to part with hard-earned money. We also appreciate everyone who has shared this campaign with other people through email, tweets and facebook posts. It’s been so nice to receive donations from people we did not send emails to! And thank you to everyone who has sent us encouraging messages about enjoying this campaign. It’s been both fun and meaningful for us, and we hope it’s a bit of both for all of you as well. 
We hope this explains clearly what Dahlia’s Birthday Campaign is all about, and if you would like to make a donation, please click on the link below:
*A note about ANONYMOUS donations: Just keep in mind that if you made your donation anonymously, your name will not be shared with the Steinbergs. We will have no idea that you gave, and will not know to send you a thank you when this is over. So if you choose to leave your name off of the website, please send us a note so we can know that you made a gift. 

Censorship of a Yeshiva University Student Paper


An article was recently published on the YUbeacon website, and then taken down at the request of the Yeshiva University Administration. This is no big surprise, which is why I made sure to copy the article before it was removed.

I don’t think it’s an amazing article, nor do I think what the anonymous author wrote is altogether shocking, but there’s no excuse for censorship of the student paper for something of this nature.

You can read the article for yourself below:

How Do I Even Begin To Explain This
Posted on 05 December 2011.
Written by: Anonymous

I leave the melave malka with my new Longchamp bag slung over my shoulder as I walk down the busy streets of Midtown Manhattan. Looking into the eyes of the New Yorkers on the streets, I suppress a sly smile.

In a city of over 1 million people I don’t stand out at all. I look the same as any twenty-year-old woman as I check into the hotel and take the elevator up to the third floor.

Opening up my large purse and pulling out my things for the night, I can’t look at my reflection in the mirror on the nightstand. I’m not ready for that yet. Peeling off my Stern-girl exterior I slip on my lace and spray my newly-liberated skin with a noticeable amount of floral perfume.

Smiling to myself as I smooth down my freshly-ironed hair, I hear my Blackberry ping as I reach for it with my free hand. It’s him.

“Should I pick up some drinks?”

“Why not? Sure.”

I put my phone on the nightstand and crouch down to perfect my glossy pout when that familiar bell chimes again.

“I don’t understand why these bottles say they’re different sizes. They all look the same.”

I chuckle to myself. My phone rings in my hand.

After a short and frivolous conversation on the levels of eventual intoxication produced by different amounts of beer, his phone dies. I go back to glossing my lips and curling my eyelashes.

Adjusting the clasp on my Hadaya necklace, I finally take in my whole reflection in the bathroom mirror. My transformation from Occasionally-Cute-Modern-Orthodox-Girl into Sexually-Appealing-Secular-Woman: complete. I had managed to startle myself so much that I rush to cover myself in my peacoat. My hand won’t stop twitching at my side while I sit impatiently on the bed. “How long does it take a person to walk?” I think aloud.

A minute later there’s a key turning the lock in the front door. Breathing deeply in an attempt to regain my composure, I stand up and open the door with a coy grin. He says “hey” as he walks in with a bare head. After all of our secret rendezvouses, I’m still not used to seeing him without his yarmulke on, but this time it’s somewhat of a comfort.

My partner in crime improvises with the room key as a bottle opener and we gorge ourselves on Stella Artois and cable television. In between swigs, I glance over at him; my cheeks are flushed and my head feels lighter with every drop. Making him think I’m farther gone than I actually am helps me shut off my conscience when I kiss him hard on the mouth. That little pest of a conscience is screaming again when he starts taking off my dress, so I shut her up with a last gulp of beer.

As soon as my bra hits the floor, the voice is gone.

Between the fumbling, the pain, the pleasure, I convince myself that I’ve learned how to make love.

Cuddling with him that night, I tell him how much he means to me, but I know I can’t tell him I love him. He removes his arm from around me and turns away. I bite down hard on my lip but my emotions betray me and I let out a whimper.

I get dressed the next day and hail him a cab before I walk back to the university cafeteria. Wanting nothing more than to sink into the earth with a lifetime subscription to The New Yorker and an endless supply of blueberry smoothies, I drag my feet as I walk.

I call up my cousin who lives in the east Village with her stockbroker boyfriend. She’s touching up her manicure while we talk.

“I made a stupid mistake.”

“What did you do?”

My silence is enough of an answer.

“Well, now you have to learn from it.”

Not wanting to hear such rational words, I mutter something and hang up.

The only thing I learn is how to do the walk of shame the day after.