Budget Trucks Almost Killed me and all I got was This Letter

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 1.47.20 PMIn response to renting me a truck that almost got me killed, I received the following email today from Budget. Perhaps the worst email from a customer service agent I have ever received in response to serious complaint. I actually feel bad for Adrianne Agent 32537 that she works at a company that doesn’t care for their customers and has to send letters such as these. It must be horrible to work for Budget and be forced to lie and defraud customers. I have included a link to the complaint below:

Dear Mr Bookstein ,

Thank you for contacting Budget Truck Customer Service.

We extend our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience you have been caused and we can certainly understand your frustration. We are sorry to learn your recent experience with a Budget licensee has not met the usual high standards our customers have come to expect and deserve.

Unfortunately, we are unable to compensate on a rental that did not take place with Budget Truck. [Even though i rented it through your site] You would need to contact the licensees’ you
picked up from. They handle all of their issues on their own, because the truck that was rented was not a truck owned by Budget Truck but by the licensee. We apologize for any confusion this may cause.


t 32537

Budget Truck Customer Service Team
4500 South 129th East Avenue, Tulsa , OK 74134
Tel: (800) 462-8343 (Option 1,3)
Fax: (303) 824-3087
Email: btr-customerservice@avisbudget.com
Web: www.budgettruck.com
P Consider the environment. Please do not print this e-mail unless you really need to.




Iran Must Not Be Allowed to Remain Nuclear

Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace, implored Congress and the world to disarm Iran’s Nuclear program completely in an ad placed in NYT and Wall Street Journal. The powerful ad was organized by my close friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach who recently spoke at length about Iran at Pico Shul during his last visit. While Shmuley was not victorious in his recent congressional campaign, he is making his presence in the halls of congress known none-the-less.

The voice and conscience of the Holocaust is calling on the world, and Congress in particular to act. Yet, the White House has pledged to veto any new sanctions bills. Wiesel knows full well what the White House has said. But he is counting on the Senate to cast a vote tightening sanctions.

The Iranian regime has won a major victory. While crippling sanctions brought Iran to the table, President Obama and his ill-guided advisors refused to bring the regime to its knees. This is a grave mistake. One wonders what possible benefit could Washington have to refuse to press harder against Iran. We don’t have time for games of Risk. Israel – and the world’s – safety is at stake.

As any Persian Jew in Los Angeles will say, “You are a fool to believe anything that the Iranian government promises. You don’t trust them. And you certainly, never, under any circumstances, let them get the upper hand.”

Here is the full text of the ad below.

Iran Must Not Be Allowed to Remain Nuclear

If there is one lesson I hope the world has learned from the past it is that regimes rooted in brutality must never be trusted. And the words and actions of the leadership of Iran leave no doubt as to their intentions.

Should the civilized nations of the world trust a regime whose supreme leader said yet again last month that Israel is “doomed to annihilation,” and referred to my fellow Jewish Zionists as “rabid dogs?”

Should we who believe in human rights, trust a regime which in the 21st century stones women and hangs homosexuals?

Should we who believe in freedom trust a regime which murdered its own citizens in the streets of Tehran when the people protested a stolen election in the Green Revolution of Summer, 2009?

Should we who believe in the United States trust a regime whose parliament last month erupted in “Death to America” chants as they commemorated the 34th anniversary of the storming of our Embassy in Tehran?

Should we who believe in life trust a regime whom our own State Department lists as one of the world’s foremost sponsors of terrorism?

America, too, defines itself by its words and actions. America adopted me, as it did so many others, and gave me a home after my people were exterminated in the camps of Europe. And from the time of the founding fathers America has always stood up to tyrants. Our nation is morally compromised when it contemplates allowing a country calling for the destruction of the State of Israel to remain within reach of nuclear weapons.

Sanctions have come at a terrible economic cost for the people of Iran. But, unfortunately, sanctions are what have brought the Iranian regime to the negotiating table.

I appeal to President Obama and Congress to demand, as a condition of continued talks, the total dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and the regime’s public and complete repudiation of all genocidal intent against Israel. And I appeal to the leaders of the United States Senate to go forward with their vote to strengthen sanctions against Iran until these conditions have been met.

I once wrote that history has taught us to trust the threats of our enemies more than the promises of our friends. Our enemies are making serious threats. It is time to take them seriously. It is time for our friends to keep their promises.

Elie Wiesel

Nobel Peace Laureate

This Ad was produced by This World: The Values Network (LOGO)

Executive Director, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

And Sponsored by Michael Steinhardt, Board of Governors, This World: The Values Network; co-founder Birthright Israel

Will Anyone Fill Bronfman’s Chair?

As the Jewish world comes to grips with the passing of the legendary Jewish leader, activist, philanthropist and businessman Edgar Bronfman, who died this weekend at the age of 84, major questions arise. Is this the end of Jewish mega-philanthropists whose enormous gifts have propped up many of the leading Jewish institutions in the Jewish community? Will any already committed mega-philanthropists step up to take his place at the helm of broad-based Jewish giving? Can the Jewish world recruit younger mega-funders?

Statistics are hard to come by for outsiders. Jewish legacy organizations and Jewish Federations have been depending on large gifts from aging donors to make up for the steep decline in donations from younger donors. Attempts to recruit a new generation of Jewish mega-donors is not working.

Bronfman was at the top for years in Jewish giving, and his largess and generosity were at the top of the contemporary Jewish world. Bronfman’s support cut across political and ideological divides. For example, he supported the orthodox Yeshiva Chovavei Torah and the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College. Bronfman, in his role as President of the Samuel Bronfman Foundation, also gave generously to Jewish causes. It is unlikely that anyone will ever support such a broad range of Jewish organizations and causes ever again.

Bronfman was the long time head of the World Jewish Congress who used this pulpit to advocate for Jewish rights and fought for many Jewish battles including securing restitution from Swiss banks. His deep concern for Jewish identity among young Jews made him one of the first supporters of Birthright Israel. He also advocated for Soviet Jewry, against the Nazi Kurt Waldheim, and for better ties between the Jewish community and the Vatican.

Unlike the Jewish Mega-donors who give primarily to secular institutions such as universities, museums, hospitals and family foundations — think of Leonard Lauder’s gift his year of 1 billion to the Met — Bronfman’s generosity extended overwhelmingly to Jewish causes.

The Jewish institutional world is scrambling to find more Bronfmans, but there will likely be no more. The current generation of Jewish mega-donors have adopted the central part of Hillel’s maxim, ‘if I am only for the Jewish people, what am I’. Bronfman’s commitment to the Jewish people came from another age entirely. He was a student of the first part of Hillel’s maxim; ‘if I am not for the Jewish people, who will be.’

As the Jewish community mourns the end of the Bronfman era, Jewish communities need to immediately act on Hillel’s ‘if not now, when’ maxim: ‘If we cannot capture the hearts, minds, and philanthropy of Jewish mega-donors today, will we ever have another chance?’

According to his Foundation website, some of the organization that he has funded include:

92nd St. Y Bronfman Center for Jewish Life
American Jewish World Service
Birthright Israel
BIMA: Berkshire Institute of Music and Arts
Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel
Congregation Beth Elohim
Edgar M. Bronfman Center at NYU
Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Foundation for Jewish Camp
Hebrew Charter School
Hebrew College Rabbinical School
Hebrew Union College
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
Jewish Outreach Institute
Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
Limmud FSU
Mechon Hadar
Re’ut Institute
Save a Child’s Heart
Temple Har Shalom
The Curriculum Initiative
The Shalom Hartman Institute
UJA – Federation of New York
Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Thanksgivukkah: Instagram’s Most Popular day

The intersection of religion and social media came to a beautiful crescendo this year with the double holiday of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Instagram recorded more photos that day than in any day in its history. Why? It’s not exactly clear if these were specifically shots of people’s turkeys or menorahs or both. Whatever the reason, Instagram helped us do what the menorah is all about: bring attention and advertise the great miracles of Hanukkah. (photo of Bibi’s special Thanksgivukkah Challah)

From Mashable:

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlapped for the first time in more than 100 years in 2013, and Instagram users made the most of it. There were more pictures and videos shared on November 28 than any single day in the platform’s history.

“We saw record usage as Instagrammers shared a heaping helping of holiday cheer,” Instagram wrote on its company blog. “Your Thanksgiving and Hanukkah-related photos and videos helped make yesterday our busiest day on Instagram so far.”

Instagram didn’t share specifics on how many photos and videos were uploaded, but we assume that a different holiday will have the responsibility of beating that record. (The next Thanksgiving-Hanukkah overlap won’t take place for thousands of years.)