Half of the fun of the GA is all of the free, made-in-China trinketry that Jewish organizations hope will help sell their causes.
I haven’t even hit the convention area where scores of Jewish organizations are giving away free plastic wares as they peddle themselves to potential donors. But I’m already loaded down.
For me the GA is a way to stock up on free pens. I don’t know where Hermitage Lighting is, but their free pen sponsoring the GA just helped me take down the American cell phone number of the head of UJC’s Israel office, Nachman Shai.
The niftiest so far is the pen that UJC’s Washington office gave out that has in it a retractable scroll that lists all 155 Jewish federations that the UJC serves. I think it will actually become a useful little crib sheet back in the office for when I can’t remember the names of all 8 federations in Illinois, or for when I want to feel reassured that there is indeed someone trying to raise money from Jews in Mid-Kansas.
The most inexplicable, however, is the triangular highighter that can barely fit in my hand, not to mention my pocket. It comes from something call CBL and will hit the garbage as soon as I publish this post… Though I do expect some fading neon Jewish themed tagging going on a the Opryland, what with all the young leadership here.
I’d keep all of the pens in the free plastic beer cup with the Nashville Predators’ logo, if I only had a place to carry it.
My favorite giveaway:
The taglit-birthright israel lip balm did come in handy. But one has to wonder if birthright organizers realized the irony that, while they are giving away lip lubricant, birthright trips are also quickly gaining the reputation as the greatest Jewish make-out event in the history of the world. Just ask the tens of thousands of young Jewish women aged 18-25 who have now made out with IDF soldiers over the past seven years. Better yet, ask the soldiers.