By Sarah Portlock, The Brooklyn Paper
A Brooklyn Heights rabbi has obviously learned a lesson from his faith’s comedians — his new book about the economy (of all things!) certainly has great timing.
Rabbi Aaron Raskin’s book, “The Rabbi and the CEO: The Ten Commandments for 21st Century Leaders,” intertwines the merits of Jewish tenets with business leadership ideals — and it hits bookstores this month, just as the economy implodes.
But not to worry; Raskin and co-author Thomas Zweifel, the CEO of a consulting firm, argue that rediscovering business ethics is as simple as remembering the story of Moses.
When the venerable Jewish savior and the Israelites were trapped during their escape from Egypt, Moses cried out to God, only to be told, basically, “Just do it.”
The lesson? “Kvetching was not an option,” Raskin points out. In other words, stop whining.
Raskin, the founder of Congregation B’nai Avraham on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights, and Zweifel say that recent figures — former GE CEO Jack Welch and just about everyone affilated with Enron, for example — lack that kind of leadership.
“Leaders of a new kind are called for … and we found that marrying the two [the CEO and the rabbi] makes something new possible: a new type of leadership,” Raskin and Zweifel write in their introduction.
Such leadership style is, of course, above any religious beliefs, but the best embodies the Jewish customs of tzedakah (charity), emet (truth) and no kvetching (kvetching).
“The Rabbi and the CEO: The Ten Commandments for 21st Century Leaders,” by Rabbi Aaron Raskin and Thomas Zweifel (Select Books, $16.96), is available through www.selectbooks.com