Values – David Montblatt

David MonblattValues.

It’s a word that appears frequently in communications today, but that has numerous ambiguous meanings.  When asked to describe our philanthropy, we always mention that we back nonprofit institutions with positive values we believe in, values that parallel our own.

Progressive Business Publications corporate culture is founded on a strong positive value system, focusing on intangibles like accountability, integrity, concern for the greater good and more.  We feel these are vital for true success in the long term. So we are proud to work with great nonprofits and initiatives that foster similar values – in fact, a good value system is a requirement for our support

Recently, we began asking some of our nonprofit partners to write about values they see as integral to the programs we develop and sponsor.  One of the first to respond is David Montblatt, the Director of our acclaimed youth program for the best and brightest high-school juniors and seniors in the regional Jewish community, the Satell Teen Fellowship for Leadership and Social activism.

David is a respected lifelong educator as well as a noted thespian.  The value he chose to focus on is lifelong learning.  He explains the roots of his choice below.

“ Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) offers that our universe is structured upon three things: Torah, Avodah, and G’milut Chasadim. The first of these, Torah, can be translated as “learning” – the act of taking in or knowing some of all there is to know – drawing from the well of Infinity. This is an external act, gathering up something (information) outside of ourselves. The act itself is holy, for it both empowers us to better understand our lives and forces us to recognize the infinite nature of God. Learning brings us closer to the Eternal.

As Director of the Satell Teen Fellowship for Leadership and Social Activism, a value that we choose to nurture is that Jewish learning, by definition, is without end. By believing in, and creating a culture of lifelong learning, we bring meaning to our lives, ensure Jewish continuity, and draw closer to God.

Throughout their one-year experience together, the Satell program gives tomorrow’s leaders the opportunity to pursue learning (Torah), internalize and express learning (Avodah), and transform learning into acts of loving kindness (G’milut Chasadim). It can therefore be said that values drive the Satell Teen Fellowship for Leadership and Social Activism, and each year, forge the path that our Fellows set out on.”