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Alan Greenbaum: God and golf

Golf and God — sounds crazy, doesn’t it? No two things could have less in common, right? But in the past couple of months, I have discovered that the two are quite compatible.

For the readers of this article who are golfers, you know quite well that God is invoked quite often on every fairway and putting green. Wink, wink. But here I am talking about something quite different.

I have been working on a fundraising project for my synagogue, Congregation B’nai Harim, to improve the area behind the building so that we can have more programs outside, where people will be safer regarding the COVID-19 virus. Our plan is to have social events, classes and even an outdoor prayer services, all weather permitting.



Our rabbi, David Azen, is an avid golfer and was on the Princeton golf team when he was an undergraduate student there. He suggested that we host a tournament to help raise the needed money. In the past, all of our fundraisers focused on our famous ethnic Jewish foods at the Nevada County Fair Corner Deli and at an annual event we call Deli Nite. So running a golf tournament was new to all of us.

I joined the planning committee and offered to go into the community at large to find sponsors and businesses that would donate gifts to this event. In anticipation of this task I was very nervous. After all, two of the three “no no’s” in civil conversation are “money” and “religion” (the third being “politics”). And here I was, representing a religious community and asking for money. As our folks say : “Oy vey!“




What I have experienced so far (the tournament is not until Oct. 3) is just the opposite — generosity and enthusiasm. We are so blessed in Nevada County with a business community that desires for others what they desire for themselves: success and thriving. After our tournament I will publish a list of all the merchants who have participated and shown their support in order to express our gratitude.

So in the process of promoting a golf tournament I have experienced the presence of God among people of all (and no) faiths; what God has implanted in us all — love and generosity.

Alan Greenbaum lives in Grass Valley.


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